In 1891, Hannah G. Solomon was asked to organize the participation of Jewish women for the upcoming Chicago World’s Fair. When Hannah and her recruits discovered they were expected to perform hostess duties, they refused and planned a revolutionary women’s forum instead. Convening in 1893 at the World Parliament of Religions, these courageous Jewish women from throughout the country changed the role of women and the nature of volunteerism forever by founding the National Council of Jewish Women.
Since the 19th century, NCJW has realized its mission with pioneering programs and initiatives that honor and protect freedom, individual rights and civil liberties, as well as through service projects that benefit local communities.
By promoting Jewish values, the Utah Section of NCJW fosters personal growth and develops community leadership to make a real difference in the lives of women, children and families in our local, national and global communities.
Locally, we continue to partner with similar organizations, lobby the legislature/government and host a book club. This spring we again co-hosted a Passover Seder, skied Alta in memory of Amy Dishell, walked for Planned Parenthood to support its cancer screening services, and held a salon to review both the national leadership retreat and state policy advocate training.
And for our fall membership brunch, National NCJW President Linda Slucker came to honor Esther Landa, who turned 100 on Christmas Day, and who was both a co-founder of NCJW Utah in 1940 and national NCJW president from 1975-1979. We also worked with local partners to do voter registration and education in advance of the November election.
In 2013, we hope to start a Lilith Salon, with help from NCJW National, if there is sufficient member interest and someone to organize it. We are sending Kitty Kaplan and Cathy Collins to the Washington Institute in mid-March to learn more about national’s political advocacy work, to lobby our Congressional delegation and to bring info back to our state. Rochelle Kaplan had to resign as State Policy Advocacy Chair, due to family concerns. We rallied at the Capitol on March 1 with CORC and allies in support of Medicaid expansion. We will host the ski day on Mar. 19 to help a local women’s shelter, South Valley Sanctuary. And with the JCC, we will host our Annual Passover Seder on Mar. 21.