My very good friend since junior high school, Sammie Snyder Moshenberg, and I were both working as editors in NYC in the late 70s. Sammie left Scholastic, Inc. to work at NCJW, in 1981(?). She and I would meet at the Royal Hotel for lunch most Wednesdays, and I would hear about her job and what was going on. I continued to hear about Sammie’s career at NCJW. But it was not until I was living in Connecticut as a free-lance editor working from home with a 2-year-old that I shared my yearning to connect with smart, community-service minded women. Soon I was in touch and in league with Gail Trell and well-entrenched with PR, publicity, and community service projects with the Stamford Section. Phyllis Snyder was my SPA, and she joined Sammie as my mentors who turned me onto advocacy. Creative, interactive strategies that help me to inspire like-minded people with the same progressive values as I have into full-fledged advocates: The Welfare Simulation, You Be the Judge, What Do We Say, Dear? role play at a Washington Institute many years ago.
Some of my favorite memories: Anyone of the pieces of training I received during my 12 years of serving as an SPA, sharing ideas and camaraderie with the sharpest, most passionate, and funniest broads I will ever meet, each of whom will be my friend forever. “Working on the Topical Statements committee of the National Board in 2006 and 2007, drafting press releases on comprehensive sex ed, making the HPV vaccine widely available, immigration reform, Darfur, and getting out of the war in Iraq. Such fascinating indoctrination into research organizations we could trust, such passionate discussions, such collaborative, careful crafting of statements to represent the organization! Then, reading and defending the results before the entire national board helped to clarify the issue in my mind, strengthen my own use of language, and my positions, made me a political junkie, a player, an empowered advocate.
NCJW has sharpened my skills as a critical thinker, team- and coalition-builder, meeting coordinator, spokesperson, social media maven and techie, wordsmith, campaign strategist, influencer, leader, delegator, ambassador, diplomat, and most of all, feminist advocate. And enriched me with lasting friendships with people all over the country and the world.