Ava Silverstein of Woodcliff Lake was named October Volunteer of the Month by the Bergen County section of the National Council of Jewish Women in recognition of her work during the last six years as the physical therapist at the weekly multiple sclerosis Swim-In program.
Swim-In is the only water-therapy program in the United States that is run and supported financially by volunteers, at no charge to participants. Held at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly, it is run by NCJW BCS in collaboration with the National MS Society NJ Metro chapter. Each volunteer is assigned a role, such as assisting clients in the locker room, or assisting clients in the water.
The program was founded four decades ago by Ruth Cowan, a licensed physical therapist and NCJW BCS past president. Ms. Silverstein first met Ms. Cowan when she volunteered at NCJW’s After Breast Cancer Surgery Program. Ms. Silverstein was president of NCJW Mid-Bergen Section for two years and co-president for another year. She has been involved with the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey and the Melanoma Research Foundation; her husband is its president.