The central call to action for National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is, “Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:18). Founded in 1893, we are the oldest Jewish women’s grassroots organization in the country and are continually guided by Jewish values that call on us to improve the lives of the most vulnerable women, children, and families. We work both in the United States and Israel to achieve this goal.
Our 180,000 members, 60 sections, State Policy Advocacy Network, and seven Action Teams use our Theory of Change to accomplish this: meaningful education, combined with progressive and feminist advocacy, and dedicated community service results in impactful transformation on local, state, and federal levels.
NCJW is committed across the board to working in deep partnership and collaboration with other organizations that include local establishments, public schools, local government agencies, human service providers, faith-based institutions, and other non-profits, as well as elected officials holding positions in a multitude of offices.
Our work has shifted over the last century in response to the most pressing challenges facing not only Jewish women but all vulnerable women, children, and families. Just some of this work includes aiding immigrants, providing resources for refugees, pioneering juvenile justice reform, advocating for family leave and child care, protecting reproductive health, rights, and justice, and passing critical civil rights legislation. Our work now focuses primarily on safeguarding and expanding access to abortion and contraception, protecting and promoting the vote, and pushing for fair, independent, and qualified judges on federal courts.
In Israel, NCJW focuses on social and gender justice and empowers Israeli and American women to create a fair and just society by using our same theory of change.
From our founding in 1893, National Council of Jewish Women has been defined by our advocates’ commitment to and belief in education, advocacy, and community service. Our 60 sections, made up of local advocates in 30 states, are our history and our future. Because of our sections, NCJW is distinguished as a network that can build bridges and maintain dialogue through hardship.
Our grassroots network of sections uses their Jewish values to create change in each local or regional community. Every NCJW section is a unique organization, intertwined with both national NCJW values and specialized goals to empower change. NCJW sections are partners to the national office in change-making and train the wider community on how to organize people effectively, help write local and state-wide legislation–some of which becomes models for other state and national legislation, and run deeply impressive and widely-recognized community service projects.
You can get involved locally by attending educational and social events, joining program committees, volunteering in community service programs, shopping at resale stores, lobbying with other section members, and much more.