More than 140 current and former members and 25 past co-presidents gathered at Temple Emeth in Teaneck on April 20 to celebrate the Bergen County section of the National Council of Jewish Women’s 100th anniversary. The afternoon program included reflections on the past and looks toward the future. Throughout the year, the organization has been commemorating its 100th anniversary, celebrating a century of philanthropy, fundraising, advocacy, and sisterhood in Bergen County and beyond.
In her welcoming remarks, co-president Ina-Miller Silverstein said, “The past hundred years are our roots, and they will provide inspiration and guidance as we move forward. But our memories cannot outweigh our dreams for the future. The future is ahead, and we are preparing for it.”
The afternoon began with the showing of “NCJW BCS: The Movie,” a film about the history of the organization, written and produced by members Sherry Bloom and Nita Gottesman; it showcased the volunteer activities the section is involved with throughout Bergen County and its achievements over the past 100 years.
Major achievements and volunteer efforts include advocating for women’s rights locally and nationally, hosting a free MS swim-in program, helping local children and the elderly, feeding the hungry, and helping in Israel affairs. Harriet Cohen, who joined NCJW BCS in 1953 and is its longest standing member, was honored.
Former New Jersey Senate Minority Leader Loretta Weinberg of Teaneck, an NCJW BCS life member, is the Centennial’s honorary chair. “The number of individuals the organization has influenced and affected is almost overwhelming,” Ms. Weinberg said. In her years in the Legislature she always attempted to carry out NCJW’s values, she added.
The celebration concluded with songs specially written for NCJW, and with dancing. Everyone left with a copy of “Our Chronicle,” highlighting the memories over the years, courtesy of member Bea Podorefsky.
“As we look ahead at the next 100 years, our work is not done,” co-president Elaine K. Meyerson said. “We’re committed to standing on the shoulders of some very strong women and a few good men who came before us. We will renew the fight and offer a voice to the voiceless.”
For more information, go to www.ncjwbcs.org.