On March 23-25, 2017, NCJW Chicago North Shore Co-Presidents Tina Cantrell and Donna Gutman were fortunate to attend the NCJW 47th National Convention in Atlanta. Titled “Shaping the Future, Leading the Way,” they joined over 250 courageous and visionary leaders who champion issues we care deeply about: women’s health and reproductive justice, a fair and balanced judiciary, a democratic Jewish state of Israel that advances gender equality and civil society, and a commitment to welcoming immigrants and refugees to our shores.
Tina had these words to share following her return home:
We were inspired by award recipients. Luma Mulher is founder and CEO of the non-profit organization Fugees Family Inc. Using the power of soccer, education and community to empower refugee children to successfully integrate into the U.S., Luma (a Jordanian, Muslim, immigrant, gay woman) received the Hannah G. Solomon award, which honors an individual who has changed the lives of others through leadership and service.
The Women Who Dare award was given to Hilary Clinton. She spoke to us via video, congratulating NCJW for ongoing and tireless efforts on behalf of women, children and families.
The Lifetime Achievement award went to Judge Phyllis Kravitch, who was unable to be with us due to health issues. However her law clerk eloquently related Judge Kravitch’s courageous past, and inspired everyone in the audience to stand by our principles.
The recipient of the Faith and Humanity award was given to Congressman John Lewis. Receiving multiple standing ovations, he regaled us with praise for what we do on behalf of Jewish women, social activism, and fighting for the rights of others, even in an uncomfortable political climate. Mr. Lewis continues to advance social change to make a positive impact on our society.
Our section was honored twice, first by winning the award in the Media Strategies showcase for our outstanding website and electronic newsletter. (Special credit goes to Melissa Prober for her work and talent who made this possible.) And our wonderful co-president, Donna Gutman, received the prestigious NCJW Enduring Leadership award for undying and relentless work on behalf of those less fortunate than ourselves.
There was so much to celebrate at Convention, but our work is far from finished. We must continue to fight for our beliefs. Now that we are home, Donna and I recommit to all of you to leading our extraordinary section. Please continue to mobilize with us, utilizing the courage of our convictions as NCJW advocates for social and economic justice.