This profile was last updated in 2005
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a volunteer organization that has been at the forefront of social change for over a century – championing the needs of women, children, and families – while courageously taking a progressive stance on such issues as child welfare, women’s rights, and reproductive freedom. Informed by Jewish values, and the understanding that these values have universal appeal, NCJW’s 90,000 members and supporters work together to make the world at large and their communities, in particular, a better place.
In 1891, Hannah G. Solomon was invited to organize the participation of Jewish women in the Chicago World’s Fair. When Hannah and her recruits learned that they were expected to perform hostess duties, they refused and planned a revolutionary women’s forum instead. There, they founded the National Council of Jewish Women, changing the role of women and the nature of volunteerism forever.
Social Action Agenda
Over the years, the pioneering organization has protected the interests of women, children, and families through US-based efforts including those supporting reproductive freedom; quality, affordable childcare; civil rights; civil liberties; the separation of religion and state; and the prevention of domestic violence. This social action agenda is mirrored in Israel, where NCJW advocates on behalf of women, children, and families; tolerance and coexistence; and US support for Israel.
Community Action Projects
NCJW members work in over 100 sections across the United States, through critical community action projects that address the needs of women, children, and families on the local level. These projects provide personal hands-on support to complement the organization’s ongoing advocacy efforts at both the state and national level.
Members are also key to NCJW’s powerful grassroots network. The organization educates, activates, and mobilizes members on important public policy issues through its award-winning online action center and email action alert updates.
Major NCJW projects include BenchMark: NCJW’s Campaign to Save Roe, which promotes a federal bench with judges who support fundamental freedoms, including a woman’s right to reproductive choice, and StoP: NCJW’s Strategies to Prevent Domestic Violence. In Israel, the NCJW Women and Gender Studies Program at Tel Aviv University is the first undergraduate degree-granting program of its kind. Its complement, the NCJW Women Studies Forum, advances research and analysis in feminist studies. Yad B’Yad: NCJW’s Initiative to Nurture Knowledge supports grassroots organizations serving at-risk children and their families.