Take a Stand

December 1, 2005 by  
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At the National Council of Jewish Women, “Advocacy is all about action.” This organization works hard to shape public policies and legislation that affect women, children and families. Their national initiatives include the Strategies to Prevent Domestic Violence (StoP) and BenchMark, the NCJW campaign to save Roe and, thus, women’s right to reproductive choice.

Locally, the Houston chapter of the NCJW has many community service projects that aid various groups around town. They established the Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, which provides advocacy, legal representation, abusers intervention counseling and community education about domestic violence. The Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters, or HIPPY, is a family-based literacy program that gives parents the essential tools to be the primary educators of 3- to 5-year-old children. These tools include activity packets, home visits and group meetings.

The Houston chapter also participates in the Meals-On-Wheels program, in which members deliver hot meals to the elderly and disabled throughout Houston. The Preparation for Adult Living/Lifelong Independence for Teens program provides birthday celebrations, graduation presents and wish list requests to formerly abused teens at Child Protective Services.

Through the Donny Workman Memorial Lunch Program, HIV-positive Houstonians who participate in an art outreach program are provided with lunch and art scholarships. Another scholarship program is the Lee K. Feine Scholarship Fund, which offers scholarships to third-year college students or graduate school students going into the fields of education, health and social welfare, or Judaic studies. With the Childcare Scholarship Fund, daycare assistance is provided for qualifying parents that work, go to school or are in job training.

This month, NCJW will host the 21st annual gala on Dec. 3 at the Marriott Westchase Houston. Raising funds for the important projects that NCJW undertakes, the Starlight Ball will offer dinner, dancing and a silent auction. It’s a great way to get involved, have fun and support a very worthy organization. H

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