National Council of Jewish Women, Michigan
2020 – 2021
Amy Cutler – President
This annual report includes projects that have been long standing at NCJW|MI as well as some more recent. The following report reflects the fiscal year July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. We celebrate the accomplishments of the past year.
We are indebted to our Officers and Executive Cabinet and, especially, our Executive Director and Office Staff without whom this organization would not be as successful as it is. THANK YOU!
Vice Presidents: Evva Hepner, Susie Jacob, Carrie Kushner, Sharon Leider, Sallyjo Levine, Sue Rollinger
Treasurer: Nancy Rothfeder
Recording Secretary: Margo Stocker
Assistant Recording Secretary: Amy Zeskind
Corresponding Secretary: Sandy Weitz
Executive Cabinet: Irma Glaser, Fran Grossman, Evva Hepner, Susie Jacob, Carrie Kushner, Sharon Leider, Sallyjo Levine, Sharon Lipton, Jennifer LoPatin, Susan Marwil, Sandi Matz, Nancy Raimi, Susan Rollinger, Nancy Rothfeder, Margo Stocker, Sandy Weitz, Amy Zeskind
Executive Director: Susan Gertner
Bookkeeper: Lori Eisenberg
Office Staff: Hannah Iwrey, Linda Rouff, Liana Spiegel
Annual Support – Chairs: Joyce Rubenstein and Paula Wolfe were the chairs of this important effort. Our annual solicitation helps to support our local programs. This year Annual Support secured $35,817.00.
Archives- Chairs: Marian Littman and Janet Moses. NCJW|MI is a 127 year old organization. We honor our past, learn from it, and move on with the help of our chairs. Marian and Janet met frequently to update records.
Awards Committee – Chairs: Nancy Rothfeder and Margo Stocker. This committee nominated and selected recipients for the various awards that NCJW|MI presents to volunteers. The awards included our nominee for the Jewish Senior Life 8 over 80 Award was given to Janet Moses. The following awards were presented at the Installation: The Hannah G. Solomon award was given to Susan Marwil, the Marsh Zucker Exemplary Board Director Award given to Paula Wolfe, and the Emerging Section Leader Award given to Evva Hepner.
Back 2 School Store – Chairs: Lauren Koenigsberg, Carol Rosenfeld, Margo Stocker. During a normal year, 700 Detroit school children with ties to 19 different social service agencies are invited to “shop” for brand new winter coats, hats, mittens, underwear, shirts, shoes, pants, and socks as well as school supplies. This year, because of COVID, only 450 children were serviced. These items were distributed to children through the Agencies that are associated with the Back 2 School Store. A supplemental distribution was organized in January designated as “Wrapped in Warmth” to accommodate those children who were unable to receive clothes last August. Clothes were distributed to 300 children through our B2SS Agencies.
The Backpack Project – Chairs: Deede Auster, Jan Goldfarb, and Amy Zeskind. Again, because of the pandemic, we were unable to distribute the backpacks to the usual 1200 homeless children in Oakland County as usual. However, with the help of Jewish Family Service, we able to supply 450 backpacks filled with necessary items to begin the school year to needy Jewish students.
Education Assistance – Chairs: Judy Domstein and Joyce Sherman. NCJW gives loans and grants to Jewish college and graduate students. Approximately $100,000 was distributed to students through the William Davidson Foundation in cooperation with Hebrew Free Loan along with $15,000 for Maimonides loans. $5,000 was also supplied for grants for students.
Council re|sale – Chairs: Susie Jacob, VP overseeing the resale team of 16 members. Merchandise is donated by community donors. The proceeds support NCJW|MI community projects. The store opened in July 2020 after being closed for four months because of the pandemic. Considering the unusual and uncertain times this past year, goals were exceeded in donations and sales. All CDC guidelines were observed as the staff and volunteers continued their work.
Fall Focus. Chairs: Lynn Lieberman and Marilyn Mossman. NCJW|MI’ bylaws require that there be two general meetings during the fiscal year. Fall Focus is one of them. This year, the 20/20 Election committee produced the event which was a webinar on zoom. The topic was, “Protecting Michigan Election” with Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson, Oakland County Clerk, Lisa Brown, and West Bloomfield Twp. Clerk, Debbie Binder.
Governance – Chair: Susan Marwil. The Governance committee took on the responsibility of reviewing and revising the Policies and Procedures of NCJW|MI this year. The new document is being formatted for distribution.
Installation – Chairs: Myrna Edgar and Barbara Rosenthal. Program responsibilities, awards, scheduling, speakers and zoom assignments have all been the tasks of the chairs. The Installation was held on June 1, 2021.
Jewish Youth Awards – Chairs: Lauren Mandel, Julie Silberg and Amy Zeskind. This is an annual contest open to Jewish high school seniors. Funding is provided by the Esther (z’l) and Nathan Katz (z’l) Jewish Youth Awards Fund and the Dina and Herman z’l Brodsky Jewish Youth Awards Fund. 13 finalists were chosen after five readers review the anonymous entries. The finalists then had personal interviews with three judges, and all received unrestricted prize money. Every year, we see such outstanding young people who give us great hope for the future.
Kosher Meals on Wheels – Chair: Evva Hepner VP overseeing the KMOW team. Clients were referred by Jewish Family Service to the program. Kosher lunches and dinners were delivered 5 days a week by volunteers to home bound seniors. Approximately 60 volunteers packed and delivered meals to 135 – 150 seniors. Funding was provided by the Area Agency on Aging, NCJW | MI name funds, among others, as well as many clients who privately paid. Once more, because of the pandemic, there was an increase in clientele. The Jewish Federation of Detroit aided in the funding of this increase. We also received many grants that were obtained by our Executive Director, Susan Gertner.
Membership – Chairs: Judy Robinson and Dani Gilman. The purpose of the committee is to grow our membership keeping in mind our goals and needs. The chairs worked tirelessly to reach out to people who would like to join NCJW|MI, especially a younger generation. This past year, we welcomed 24 new members to NCJW|MI. There were 17 one year memberships and 7 three year memberships. The committee will continue to seek new ways to engage and attract new members.
Personnel Practices – Chair: Sue Simon. As the title suggests, this committee dealt with the responsibilities of the office staff and the re|sale store. They have been active in overseeing issues that have arisen throughout the year due to the pandemic.
NCJW Green – Chairs: Marilyn Mossman and Cathy Cantor. This is a new committee formed this year to educate members and the general community about global warming and the steps to create a planet that is sustainable for future generations. The committee is part of the world-wide initiative to end single use plastics. The “Plastic Bags Make Plastic Mats Project” was launched to make knitted/crocheted plastic mats for homeless individuals. Last July we participated in “Plastic Free July” and have implemented the “Say No to Plastic Straws” initiative. This committee meets monthly and has 25 members.
Programming – Chair: Sharon Leider VP overseeing committees for each program.
Nosh and Knowledge:
- Leonard Cohen, His Life and Music presented by Rabbi Aaron Bergman, Feb. 11, 2021
Chair: Sandi Matz
- The Venice Project, Life Under Water presented by Lynn Avadenka, March 18, 2021
Chair: Sandi Matz
- Interpretive Tour, Diego Rivera Murals at the DIA presented by Carlene Van Gorhies, April 22, 2021. Chair: Sharon Breidenbaugh.
Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival – NCJW|MI sponsored the film, “Have you Seen My Mother.”
SCRIP – Chair: Judy Robinson. Every month, we can order gift cards from a selection of hundreds of vendors from restaurants to grocery stores to cosmetics and more. A certain percentage from each vendor comes back to NCJW|MI. This last year, $1121.81 added to our income through the Scrip program.
Soup – Chair: Rusty Rosman. Arrangements have been made with Paul Wertz at Beth AHM to provide a variety of three soups each month as a fundraiser. Lately, challah has been added as well. This has been a very successful endeavor making $929.00 profit for NCJW|MI.
SPAs, State Policy Advocates – Cathy Cantor, Irma Glaser, and Linda Levy. These representatives are appointed by our national organization. They organize our participation in marches and lobbying as well as keeping us well informed and motivated about the issues about which are most concerned. There were several projects/programs that the SPAs organized.
- March 2020 – Make Your Voice Heard flyer explaining mail-in ballots.
- July 2020 – Let’s Both Vote campaign encouraging young family members to vote.
- Sep. – Dec. 2020 – Protect Your Vote seminar series.
- 9/02 – Meet the Candidates – Michigan District Candidates
- 10/08 – Protecting Michigan’s Elections – Secretary of State, County Clerk, Township Clerk.
- 12/03 – Post-Election Reflections panelists Brian Dickerson and Nolan Finley.
- Sep. 2020 – Candidate questionnaire created.
- Oct. 2020 – Memorial Walk to honor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Oct. 2020 – Deliver Your Vote flyer created.
- March 2021 – Hate is Hate webinar series begun.
- Our Father: Father Coughlin and American Fascism from 1930’s to Today, presented by Andrew Lapin.
Teen Yellow Pages – Chair: Sharon Breidenbaugh. Directory of resources for teenagers. This past year 300 books were distributed to the Oakland County Sheriff’s department and various schools and agencies.
Tributes – Chairs: Marian Littman and Bobbie Patt. Tribute cards in various denominations are available for purchase to honor and, also, remember individuals. The cards are written, sent and the tributes are published in the Bulletin. Tribute cards provided major support for NCJW|MI programs, both advocacy and community service. Prepaid tribute packages were delivered by volunteers to individual homes when needed by Sallyjo Levine and Margo Stocker.
Women of Vision – Chairs: Marian Littman and Judy Robinson. Our main fundraiser of the year, unfortunately, had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. However, the volunteers of the Patron Campaign chaired by Sandi Matz, renewed their energies to continue fundraising to meet the budget obligations of the organization. They exceeded their initial goal of $30, 000 and secured over $60,000 in pledges. A job well done!
Wrapped in Love – Chairs: Sandy Collins, Bobbie Patt and Ruth Zerin. Wrapped in Love is an ongoing community service project that meets almost every Monday morning. Even though they were unable to meet in person, they have continued their work on zoom. 10-14 women made fleece blankets that were given out to over 7 agencies who distributed them to children who have been removed from their homes or were receiving medical treatment or were in crisis and needed a warm and cuddly blanket. This past year blankets were also supplied to some adults who were in crisis. More than 700 children (including some adults) have received blankets this year during the pandemic.