The National Council of Jewish Women is a grassroots organization of volunteers & advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, & families & by safeguarding individual rights & freedoms. For over a century, NCJW has been at the forefront of social change. NCJW members are outspoken champions for progressive policies at the federal, state, & local levels. Over the years, NCJW’s collective voice has changed the world for the better – improving the lives of women, children, & families in the US & Israel.
What is the National Council of Jewish Women?
In 1893, Hannah G. Solomon of Chicago was asked to organize the participation of Jewish women in the Chicago World’s Fair. When Hannah and her recruits discovered that participation was not substantive, but would consist of pouring coffee and other hostess duties, they walked out. Hannah then took matters into her own hands, building on the courageous action and volunteer work she had been leading for years. By the end of the World’s Fair, Hannah and the accompanying delegate body of women had founded the National Council of Jewish Women, changing forever the role of Jewish women and the nature of volunteerism.
Today, after more than a century, NCJW remains distinct among organizations — courageous, compassionate, powerful, and, above all, pioneering. Functioning as a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.
NCJW built its national legacy by stepping forward and speaking out on crucial issues years before others followed its courageous example. The national organization has offices in New York and Washington D.C. It also has an office in Israel where NCJW’s social action agenda in Israel mirrors its interests and efforts in the United States. Through its Jerusalem office, NCJW works with coalition partners to promote women’s rights, tolerance and coexistence, the well being of women, children, and families, and United States support for Israel.
Chicago North Shore affiliate has been instrumental in making a difference in the lives of thousands of people. NCJW helped develop the Meals-on-Wheels program, becoming the first national Jewish organization to join the initiative and serve on its national board. Locally, NCJW worked with the Trinity Episcopal Church in Highland Park to establish Tri-Con Child Care Center when a growing need for subsidized child care developed in the North Shore area. NCJW looks for a “need” in a community. Then our dedicated members find ways to fill that need.
The NCJW Chicago North Shore affiliate has over 900 members who participate in a number of important community service, advocacy, and education programs. We provide opportunities for all members to enjoy the company of like-minded women who are striving to make a difference in our communities, in the U.S. and in Israel, through community service, advocacy, education, and social programming. In addition, our upscale resale shop, Encore and More, located at 1107 Central Street in downtown Wilmette, accepts donations and shoppers. Encore and More is the section’s major fundraiser, which allows us to offer our programs and events to our members and the community.