Local News

NCJW Book Club selections for the coming year

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The NCJW Book club meets at the Gulfgate Library from 1-2:30 p.m. on the second Monday of the Month. We often meet for lunch prior to our discussion near the library so that we can have some social time.

Summer selections and dates for 2019 will be announced at a later date. The NCJW Sarasota-Manatee website has information about book club. You will find: selections and dates for the current season, what we have read the past two seasons and Goodreads reviews of books on our selection list. The book club info on the website is under Community Services. If you have any questions contact:
Barbara Aferiat (C) 703-338-7112 or barbara@aferiat.com

2018-19 Selections

November 5, 2018
The Bridal Chair
by Gloria Goldreich
Review by Sue Reiss

December 10, 2018
Behold the Dreamers
by Imbolo Mbue
Review by
Rhoda Friedman

January 14, 2019
The Woman who Smashed Codes
by Jason Fagone
Review by
Judith Kalish

February 11, 2019
The Pearl That Broke It’s Shell
by Nadia Hashimi
review by Phyllis Elson

March 11, 2019
Big Little Lies
by Liane Moriarty
review by Nancy Golden

April 8, 2019
Mistress of the Art of Death
by Ariana Franklin
review by Susan Girese

May 13, 20019
The Leavers by Lisa Ko review by Laura Smith

February 11, 2019
The Pearl That
Broke It’s Shell
by Nadia Hashimi
Review by Phyllis Elson

March 11, 2019
Big Little Lies
by Liane Moriarty
Review by
Nancy Golden

April 8, 2019
Mistress of the
Art of Death
by Ariana Franklin
Review by Susan Girese

May 13, 20019
The Leavers
by Lisa Ko
Review by Laura Smith

Take a look — Buy a book

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NCJW is proud to again partner with JFCS to fight illiteracy in our community with their campaign, “TAKE A LOOK-BUY A BOOK-DONATE. ” JFCS Volunteer Project Manager, Sheila Birnbaum, who founded this program, has asked for donations of NEW unwrapped books for boys and girls Pre-K through fifth grade. All books will be delivered to JFCS and they will distribute books to at risk children.

The scheduled collection of books will be in February and March but, we eagerly look forward to receiving new book donations anytime. At our February general meeting we will have a box to collect the unwrapped new books or you may purchase books on the Amazon Wish List created especially for this book drive. Copy the link below into your web browser. The books purchased on Amazon will be delivered to Barbara Aferiat, who will deliver the books to JFCS. The Title of the Wish List is “Take A LOOK-BUY A BOOK.”

Link: https://amzn.com/w/12RWWS8I51FX4

Let’s make a difference in our community by giving generously. Owning, enjoying and sharing books is a privilege we take for granted, so please share that joy.
Questions: contact Barbara Aferiat, barbara@aferiat.com

NCJW Installation welcomes new board

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The new officers were installed at a recent National Council of Jewish Women Luncheon on May 9th. Over 60 guests enjoyed the beautiful view at IMG Academy in Bradenton as they were introduced to the new Board members. Thanks go to Carole Shaw and Roz Hopp for arranging this lovely event so officers could share their exciting ideas for the coming year.

The following officers were installed by Jan Segal with assistance by Rosalie Leon and her lovely singing voice. Pictured below are the new Co-Presidents Cindy Solomon and Joyce Hersh. The Vice Presidents are Phyllis Dreyfus (Administration), Communications (Rookie Shifrin and Jill Simons), Community Service (Bobbi Leibowitz, Anita Knisbacher, Irene Brett), Special Events (Carol Papish, Andrea Kutcher, Janet Alloy), Membership (Fredda Chalfin, Rosalie Leon, Programming (Marion Marshak, Rosalind Hopp and Carole Shaw), Advocacy (Marcia Schweizer), Corresponding Secretary (Marian Moss), Financial Secretary (Meg Antine), Recording Secretary (Evie Batten), Treasurer (Shirley Pollack) and Parliamentarian (Barbara Swartz).

Guest speakers were Wendy Ross, ABC Channel 7 weather-caster who entertained us with anecdotes about Channel 7 and Jessica Rogers, Vice President of Philanthropy for Children First Fund (and NCJW member) who thanked our members for all they do for Children First.

Exciting plans are underway for 2018-2019. If you are new to the area and are interested in finding a meaningful way to be a community service volunteer, call the NCJW Hotline at 941-342-1822 or view the website at ncjwsarasotamanatee.org.

You be the Judge: Religious Freedom

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Our Judicial System is a critical organization founded by guiding principles that provide fundamental rights for all Americans. “Judges are confirmed to lifetime positions on Federal Courts, including the Supreme Court and make decisions that shape our Nation.
Federal court decisions impact us all and everything we do: from the workplace to the schools, to family life.”

Our Courts Matter!

NCJW Sarasota-Manatee Section is proud to present this dynamic workshop on the federal court system. Dr. Linda Geller-Schwartz and Lauren Brownstein, the Florida State Policy co-chairs will lead this discussion. Participants will gain insight and understanding of the structure of the courts and why it is so important to have a diverse and independent jury.

Everyone who attends this workshop will have an opportunity to take part in a mock court session on a real case about religious freedom. They will learn how judges use both specific facts and the law to arrive at their decisions. As with many court cases, arriving at a decision can and will be a challenging process and an exciting experience for the participants.

This two hour program is both fun and very informative. The workshop will be presented on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. at the Jewish Federation Building on McIntosh Road in Sarasota. Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m.
Please contact Marcia Schweitzer at marcia7032@yahoo.com or 410-924-3190 TEXT only for questions and to reserve a spot.

Public Affairs and Advocacy Programs

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Currently, our Sarasota/Manatee Section has six core initiatives that are demonstrated in various ways: Human Trafficking, Teen Dating, Israeli Affairs, Lunch and Learn, a fall program that specifically focuses on one of our advocacy initiatives, Legislative Activities which includes two days in Tallahassee, a demonstration to promote change, and State Policy Advocacy. Some of these initiatives have significantly grown. Gun Safety is a project we would like to expand and there is an opportunity to make some changes with the Teen Dating Education initiative. There is always room for more but it will take volunteers to make it happen. We need your involvement, your ideas and your experiences. Please review all of our programs and come on board! For questions, interest and involvement – contact Marcia Schweitzer, VP of Advocacy at marcia7032@yahoo.com

Israeli granting program helps empower women

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In Israel, NCJW does its work through empowering Israeli and American women to improve the lives of women, children and families. NCJW brings a unique Jewish women’s progressive approach to advancing social justice and gender equality. Grants provided to Israeli organizations enable participation in advocacy coalitions, policy statements, and pioneering work in education and research, NCJW is a leader of women’s and gender rights in Israel.  For more than 70 years, NCJW members, throughout the U.S. have been supporting women, children, and families throughout Israeli society regardless of ethnicity, religion and economic status. We advocate for the equal status of women in the face of religious fundamentalism; women’s political leadership; women’s economic empowerment; LGBTQ rights; and educational opportunities for women.  Our Sarasota-Manatee Section will submit a proposal to support this program in the fall.

For the year 2018-2019, Anita Knisbacher and Marcia Schweitzer will present a unique video: PROMISES followed by a discussion. This is a beautiful and deeply moving portrait of seven Palestinian and Israeli children. PROMISES follows the journey of a filmmaker who meets these children in and around Jerusalem, from a Palestinian refugee camp to an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Although they live only 20 minutes apart, these children exist in completely separate worlds, divided by physical, historical and emotional boundaries. PROMISES explores the nature of these boundaries and tells the story of a few children who dared to cross the lines to meet their neighbors. The children of PROMISES offer refreshing, personal and sometimes humorous insight into the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. With remarkable balance and a compelling blend of pathos and humor, this Oscar-nominated Emmy Award winning film moves the conflict out of politics.The date and place has yet to be determined and plenty of notice will be provided.

What does my vote mean?

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How to interpret Amendments on the ballot

NCJW’s mission is to strive for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. In keeping with our mission, we aim to help others find their voices, not to speak for them but with them. As Florida’s State Policy Advocate (SPA) Vice Chair, Lauren Brownstein represents not only Sarasota-Manatee Section but the State of Florida during legislative sessions in Tallahassee, at local coalitions, during meet and greets with other community organizations and many NCJW workshops. NCJW has 7 sections in the state and Sarasota-Manatee and Tallahasee are the only sections on the west coast. As the SPA, it is her mission to connect this section with all of the other sections in this state.

Our section has identified a critical need and to address this gap, NCJW Sarasota-Manatee Section is having a very special event on Oct. 16, 2018. This will be a very informative opportunity to learn about the upcoming ballot amendments. Participants will hear how your “yes” and “no” votes will impact our state and us all. NCJW also plans to take this information and reach as many people as possible because these amendments are critical such as the “Second Chance Amendment” and it is important that people fully understand how the ballot is written and interpreted. Please hold on to your ballots until you attend this meeting because it will help you make an informed decision.

This special event will take place Tuesday evening, Oct 16th at 7:00 p.m. in the Palm Room at the Savoy, 401 Palm Ave. Sarasota.

Registration will begin at 6:30 pm. Space is limited so please RSVP as early as possible and guests will be welcomed. Send your RSVP and questions to Lauren Brownstein at laurenbrownstein@ymail.com or 941-243-3601.

Brownstein NCJW’s local Advocate

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NCJW has a strong focus on Advocacy. It’s mission is to strive for social justice, help others find their voices and not speak for them, but with them.

I am representing the state of Florida once again as State Policy Advocate (SPA) Co-Chair. This privilege gives me the opportunity to represent the Sarasota-Manatee Section plus the state during legislative sessions in Tallahassee. Locally, I am presently working on building coalitions, with like-minded community organizations and connecting our section with our five sister sections on the east coast and the one in Tallahassee.

NCJW as a non-partisan volunteer organization cares about women, children and families. I will continue to work toward our goals and share our local accomplishments with the rest of the state of Florida, our DC office and the other SPAs throughout the United States.
If anyone wants to discuss our advocacy work, including policies, issues and positions, please contact me at Laurenbrownstein@ymail.com (941-243-3601).

What is a State Policy Advocate?

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NCJW’s mission is to strive for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.

In keeping with our mission, we try to help others find their voices, not to speak for them but with them. As Florida’s State Policy Advocate Co-Chair, I have been privileged to represent not only Sarasota-Manatee Section but the state during legislative sessions in Tallahassee, at local coalitions, with other community organizations, at NCJW workshops and at local events. Last spring, we joined many groups and participated in the March For Our Lives movement in Sarasota.

NCJW has 65 sections nationally, with 7 in the state of Florida. As Co- SPA, I am the connection for our west Florida sections (Sarasota-Manatee/Tallahassee) with our east coast sisters, our DC office and SPAs throughout the country.

My Co-SPA, Linda Geller-Schwartz has been a wonderful mentor. She works tirelessly in keeping track of legislative issues that reflect NCJW’s core objectives. Look for Linda’s Newsletter monthly during the summer and bi-monthly in the fall.

If you want to join our advocacy work, learn more about state policies and issues, please contact me at Laurenbrownstein@ymail.com (941) 243-3601 / (617) 733-4773.

Lauren Brownstein
Florida State Policy Advocate Co-Chair Sarasota-Manatee Section

Join NCJW for a tour of the Children First facility

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Tour and Share in the “Delight” at the Children First Facility, 1723 North Orange Street, noon on March 27, 2019. We will tour the facility and Samantha Kingsley, CEO, is presently scheduled lead us in discussion about this successful program we have allied ourselves with this year.

Children First is Sarasota County’s exclusive provider of Early Head Start and Head Start programs offering a comprehensive range of services to more than 600 underprivileged children and their families living in our community. They provide full day preschool, infant and toddler care, nutritious meals and developmental screenings for children ages birth to 5. They also offer parenting skill training and literacy classes, career training, and referrals for housing, food, medical and clothing as well as employment assistance for their families. They are well known for their father’s program and Second time around: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and Money Smart courses.

Send Early bird registration to Norma Cohen, chairwoman of the Children First Program at cohennorma@verizon.net Again, you will receive an e blast for registration closer to the date.

Both facilities featured in this year’s Lunch and Learn programs provide positive solutions for women and families in need. Come to one or both programs to learn what we can do to facilitate change in our community!

By Karen Pariser
Lunch and Learn Program Facilitator