NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JEWISH WOMEN MICHIGAN
Sallyjo Levine 2022-2023
Given at Installation June 22, 2023
This past year has been unprecedented for dedication and commitment from our remarkable volunteers of NCJW|MI. Following is a brief report of the achievements of the Michigan Section. The vice presidents whose portfolios contained the following committees mentored and guided the Chairs to complete their missions and to continue their work for the various committees. We are grateful for their dedication to our organization: Evva Hepner, Lauren Koenigsberg, Carrie Kushner, Amy Zeskind, Margo Stocker, and Sue Rollinger. Our treasurer was Terry Hollander, our recording secretary was Dani Gillman, our assistant recording secretary was Risha Ring and our corresponding secretary was Sandy Weiss. The executive cabinet included Amy Cutler, past president, the vice presidents, treasurer, recording and corresponding secretaries and Susie Jacob, Sue Simon, Sharon Leider, Susan Marwil, Sandi Matz, Cindy Babcock, and Linda Levy.
• Wrapped in Love – For more than a dozen years the volunteers of this community service project have met every Monday to tie fleece blankets for children who are in hospitals, shelter care or receiving help through social services. Thank you to Bobbie Patt, Ruth Zerin, and Sandy Collins and their group of dedicated women.
• Backpack project – This project provided backpacks filled with appropriate level school supplies to 1350 students. This included homeless students in Oakland County and students who have been identified as in need through Jewish Family Service.
Thank you to Deede Auster and Jan Goldfarb for their dedication to this project.
• Back 2 School Store – Carol Rosenfeld, Sandi Matz and Fran Grossman have done an outstanding job of bringing this program to completion. Although we were not able to hold our real pop-up store, these women along with their cadre of volunteers were able to provide clothing, books, school supplies, and personal care items for 900 Detroit area school children. 19 agencies in Detroit were recipients of these items and they were able to distribute the items to the children in need.
• Jewish Youth Awards – This year we had students from outstate Michigan as well as our local area who submitted essays for the Awards contest. They were outstanding! We had monetary prizes for first, second, third and honorable mentions. Thank you to Risha Ring and Marilyn Kohen for chairing the program.
• Video Contest – Our video contest was led by Randie Levin for high school girls in Oakland County. Entrants were asked to develop a 30 second video using the topic of climate change. Again, outstanding entries.
• Children’s Advocates – This very important program consists of court appointed advocates to investigate minors in guardianship situations and to determine if the placements are suitable. We provided 96 mini reviews for the court system. I want to extend kudos to Nancy Raimi and Liz Bank.
• Kosher Meals on Wheels – KMOW is a program that benefits homebound seniors over the age of 60. Kosher lunches and dinners were delivered Monday through Friday. Due to a grant that we received we were able to purchase a machine that allowed us to change our packaging and make it more “green”.
• Israel Affairs – The Israel Affairs Committee of NCJW|MI was established to educate Board members, the membership, and community at large on NCJW’S involvement in Israel through a grant and programs that impact the lives of Israeli women, children and families. Under the guidance of the co-chairs, Edie Rubin and Sharon Leider, the Israel Affairs committee offered programs and a wonderful night at the Charach Gallery with an exhibit of Israeli art.
• Nosh and Knowledge – allowed us to bring three programs on women in the arts to our office for lunch and beautiful art. Thanks to Sandy Weiss. And, of course, we enjoyed our wonderful Book Talks with our master storyteller, Edie Broida.
• NCJW Green – The Green committee was formed in part to educate the community about global warming and the problems with plastics. Under the guidance of Cathy Cantor and Marilyn Mossman, volunteers continue to knit and crochet plarn balls to make mats. The focus of the committee this year was to alert us to the dangers that plastics bring into our lives.
• The Human Trafficking Awareness committee, headed by Cindy Weintraub and Rita Sitron, hosted a webinar with Remy Sweet and family members to present Remy’s story of being a victim of trafficking.
• The Advocacy & Elections committee, under the leadership of Cathy Cantor, Linda Levy and Lynn Lieberman, worked diligently to get ballot proposals and legislation passed for reproductive freedom and abortion access, fair elections and expanded voter rights, and gun violence prevention. The committee planned Fall Focus. Thanks to Barbara Hillman for coordinating the speaker. NCJW | MI has been recognized by local leaders and clergy, as well as our national organization, for its role in educating the community and advocating for the issues that NCJW cares about.
• As important as these programs and projects all are, we must recognize the Women of Vision fundraiser. We were fortunate to have Juju Chang and Sheila Katz…a dynamic lineup for the event. Thanks to Judy Robinson and Marian Littman who chaired the event and to Sandi Matz who headed our patron campaign.
• Our Spring Fundraiser was a huge success with twenty NCJW members as the cast in the Vagina Monologues. Thanks to Sandi Matz, Jennifer LoPatin, and Marilyn Kohen for heading our debut to stardom.
• A huge thanks to Cookie Markowitz for her work on the All Kid’s Playground, Carol Rosenfeld, Dale Rubin and Linda Kayes for their work on Literacy Outreach, and to Dottie Wagner for Soup. Enid Schatz and Rosalie Dean worked on the annual Games Day, and Margery Jablin took charge of our BOOKSTOCK contributions. Marian Littman and Janet Moses worked tirelessly on Archives and you can see these archives in their new home at Temple Beth El.
• Just a few added highlights. We had the Detroit Youth Choir entertain as well as a concert by Cantor Neil Michaels, held a composting program at the Hess Hathaway Park, spent three nights with forums consisting of legislators, and had an exceptional fall focus with Barbara McQuade. In addition, the board had a retreat in the fall.
The State of Affairs of National Council of Jewish Women, Michigan is healthy and strong. We look forward to continuing our commitment to the Detroit Metropolitan Community, the Detroit Jewish Community, and our sister community in Israel. The volunteers of NCJW|MI can be proud of their achievements and stand ready to begin the new fiscal year with added vigor.