November 2021

As we enter November, a month of gratitude and appreciation, we spotlight Pittsburgh King school, a community partner with whom we are so thankful to be working.  Pittsburgh King, a Pre-K-8 school located on Pittsburgh’s North Side, is a participant in our Kids Community Closets program.  Because of you, our generous donors, we are able to provide clothing and other necessities to the students at King. Thank you for helping us to make that possible. 

Also, don’t forget that Designer Days are coming to Thriftique beginning November 3rd and volunteer positions are still available with several fun perks to enjoy! In addition, join us TONIGHT with any questions you have about COVID-19 vaccine boosters, shots for kids, and ongoing vaccine equity challenges.  This month we’re also hosting an incredible movie series alongside Chatham University and others that you shouldn't miss. Keep reading for more details. 

 As always, we are grateful for your continued support and engagement with NCJW Pittsburgh.


With a faith in the future and a belief in action,

Sara Segel

Interim Executive Director

NCJW Pittsburgh Section


Why Volunteer at NCJW Designer Days?

  • Get a first look at what hot, designer items are on sale! 
  • Earn a $15 voucher to use on any items in the shop (for use when you are not volunteering)  
  • Free and delicious food will be served during all shifts
  • Your time and energy at Thriftique helps National Council of Jewish Women step forward, speak out, and stand up for women, children, and families in the Pittsburgh area.

One Friday each month, we gather on Zoom to welcome Shabbat while exploring an issue or idea that connects to the NCJW mission. Protecting life, pikuach nefesh, is our most precious mitzvah. Today at 4:30pm on Zoom, we will be hosting two UPMC physicians who are members of the Pittsburgh Community Vaccine Collaborative: Dr. Maya Ragavan, MD, MPH, MS, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Dr. Glenn Rapsinski, MD, PhD, Infectious Diseases Fellow. They will discuss the current state of COVID-19 vaccines, their availability for younger children, boosters vs. 3rd doses, ongoing equity concerns, and more. To register and/or submit questions for the doctors to answer live during the session, visit All are welcome to attend.


Yes, YOU Need to Plan for Retirement
Friday, November 12, 12-1pm, on Zoom 
Start with the basics - and understand the building blocks for long-term financial stability. With Erin Gearhy of Northwestern Mutual. Sign up here.



Top Financial, Legal, and Professional Considerations When You're Adding to Your Family
Friday, November 19, 12-1pm, on Zoom
Understand more about the life-altering experience of adding to your family. Join CFW and our partners JFCS Career Development Center, Neighborhood Legal Services, and Pittsburgh’s Financial Empowerment Center for this important panel discussion examining top considerations for your financial, legal, and professional well-being. We’ll also be talking with Rachel Silver, past NCJW Leadership Development Program participant, for her perspective as a working mother. Sign up here.


NCJW is a sponsoring organization for the Just Films series with Chatham University’s Women’s Institute. This series of films and discussions on gender and intersectional social justice issues promises to be riveting, with wide-ranging topics like criminal justice, technology, and more. For more information and/or to reserve your tickets click HERE. Upcoming films include:


November 10th at 6:30pm, Chatham’s Shadyside Campus

$avvy, which investigates the historical, cultural and societal norms around women and money. With incisive humor and captivating honesty, $avvy questions why women often take a backseat to their finances and why it’s so important now more than ever for women to take control of their financial futures. NCJW will be convening the panelists for this screening.



Belly of the Beast

January 12th, Virtual Viewing

When an unlikely duo discovers a pattern of illegal sterilizations in women’s prisons, they wage a near impossible battle against the Department of Corrections. Filmed over seven years with extraordinary access and intimate accounts from currently and formerly incarcerated people, Belly of the Beast exposes modern-day eugenics and reproductive injustice in California prisons.

Book Labeling in Honor of Joyce Fienberg

On October 24th, NCJW partnered with the 10/27 Healing Project and Repair the World Pittsburgh to offer a community service project as part of the 10/27 Memorial Week. After introductions, some words from Howard Fienberg, Joyce’s son, and a prompt for reflection, 25 volunteers labeled over 3,000 books for the Children’s Room in the Courts, an NCJW project near and dear to Joyce’s heart. The Children’s Room, located in the Allegheny County Courthouse, provides a safe space for the children of families involved with the courts to use while court is in session.  All children who visit, leave with an age-appropriate book to keep.


With the motto, “Learn More, Do More, Become More,” Pittsburgh King PreK-8 is a dynamic school on Pittsburgh’s North Side. You may have noticed the school’s artistic metalwork wrapping the building when going to the Children’s Museum or the Aviary, both near King.

King students take turns leading a daily, group guided instruction session to learn about positive social interactions. They also participate in daily Community Time, which helps promote a strong sense of shared responsibility.

Pittsburgh King is led by Principal Nathan Berkowitz, who is committed to a social/emotional learning initiative to insure success for his diverse student population and is working with the Safe Routes to School program.

Pittsburgh King is a participant in the NCJW Back 2 School Backpacks and Kids Community Closets program. This year, we provided over 150 backpacks and outfits in a variety of sizes to the students at King. Our work is in coordination with Keino Fitzpatrick of Communities in Schools, a parent-driven nonprofit aiming for school success. Through Keino, NCJW provides requested clothing to supply King students’ needs throughout the year due to growth, messes or accidents while at school, and other unexpected needs. We are proud of our long-term, evolving connection to this Pittsburgh school and hope to strengthen and deepen our ties.

In a thank you note this year, Bernice Wilkerson from King wrote:

 I have seen the WONDERFUL donations that you not only have given to us this year but have also given to us in the past years!!!  It can be very challenging for today's families, with trying to buy school uniforms, especially through this pandemic.  With businesses closing and people losing their jobs, it is rough.  I just wanted to send a quick shout out to say that The King family (parents, students, and staff) thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!”


Kids Community Closets

For several weeks in September, the Anathan House basement emptied of KCC purchases, and the first floor filled with hundreds of boxes of clothing, as our 19 partner schools and agencies began pickups throughout the month. Amidst the planned distribution, we discovered a cache of unused backpacks stored offsite from a prior year. These backpacks were welcomed by the Boys and Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania and Sto-Rox Family Center.

In addition to the bonus backpacks, we distributed over $36,000 worth of clothing - soft pants or leggings, tee shirts, undies, and socks. Purchases were made after the agencies provided NCJW with their wishlists. The schools and agencies use the items to stock closets that are available to the children they serve. Ordering for year-round needs ensures availability when a child grows, has a mess or accident, or for any individual circumstances.

As items arrived, a group of 10 volunteers unpacked the deliveries in the basement, sorted the clothing, and filled boxes for each school or agency. Completed orders were brought to the main floor of Anathan, where each agency arrived for a pre-scheduled pick-up time.

KCC Coordinator and volunteer extraordinaire, Elaine Beck, and staff had the opportunity to welcome the agencies and schools and meet their representatives. Throughout the week, all of the boxes had found new homes and were made available to nearly 1,000 students in the region.

 A special shout-out goes to Elaine who stepped up to organize volunteers, and with them,  the basement and building, as well as  coordinated all KCC pickups. Hazak, hazak!!

We could use your help with this important program. To sign up for KCC volunteer opportunities, click HERE.


Realignment Project Update

As part of our Realignment Project work, 28 NCJW volunteer leaders and staff members participated in the Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation, a 2-hour experience facilitated by LaTrenda Sherrill of Common Cause Consultants.

This simulation illustrated for us how structural racism has created the extreme economic inequality between White and Black Americans.  It was a powerful, eye-opening experience that gave participants a deeper understanding of structural inequality and the impact of decades of federal policies on today’s racial, hunger, income, and wealth divides.

Next steps in the Realignment process includes developing a decision-making criteria matrix to help evaluate all current and future community service opportunities and programs.

We will continue to share our progress in future newsletters. As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to Sara Segel.

Thriftique will be taking a brief pause from accepting donations from Oct. 18th to Nov. 8th to prepare for Designer Days. The store will remain open for shoppers. Thank you for your patience.


The National Council of Jewish Women is a volunteer organization that has been at the forefront of social change for over a century. Inspired by the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (“healing the world”), NCJW courageously takes a progressive stance on issues such as child welfare, women’s rights, and reproductive freedom. And we encourage everyone—people of all faiths—to join us.

Copyright © 2020 NCJW Pittsburgh Section, All rights reserved.

National Council of Jewish Women - Pittsburgh Section
1620 Murray Ave  | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15217
412-421-6118 |

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