November 2022 Newsletter


There’s always a bittersweetness to putting the high holidays in our rear view. I look forward to this time of year. The changing season with its crisp air signaling the season of hibernation. The cold air forces us inside which, for me, always means more time for family, more time for introspection, and more time to pause, regroup, and plan. The thoughtfulness of Yom Kippur followed by the harvest of Sukkot always brings me back to the previous year’s quiet, planful time. Literally and figuratively, I am seeing the results of seeds planted. I can retrospectively look back on how my commitments have grown and bore fruit. I can also make decisions about how I want to rearrange my garden for a more bountiful harvest next year. This time is so important, so thoughtful.

While we often think about the things we want to change or improve in the year to come, I also hope we can all take time to celebrate what DID work. Shining a light on our successes is just as important as acknowledging our failures. A huge success I am feeling right now is the momentum I see in our close and distant communities around justice. Sometimes we measure success through numbers - amount of people registered to vote, quantity of participants at an event, number of people served. While these metrics are an established way to indicate impact, there’s something else that shows me the work is paying off. It’s a spirit. It’s the ruach in conversation with friends and strangers. It’s the knowing connection felt when looking in someone’s eyes where no words are spoken. It’s the feeling of hope.

There’s so much work still to be done. As we settle into this chilly renewal I would love it if you all would join me in taking just a moment to celebrate our collective successes. I am sure doing so will push us to create more in the future.


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

Marissa Fogel
Executive Director

NCJW Pittsburgh

Designer Days 2022

VIP Preview Party Ticketed Event
Wednesday, November 2, 5PM - 9PM

Public Sale
Thursday, November 3 - Monday, November 7
We can’t wait to see you for our biggest event of the year! Whether it’s for the VIP party, the daytime shopping, to volunteer, or all three, you’re guaranteed some interesting finds and a fun atmosphere. Find all the details HERE.

VOLUNTEER for the Public Sale
Thursday, November 3 - Monday, November 7

We need you! Ever thought about volunteering at Thriftique? Here’s your chance to get involved. We need volunteers to help out for the public sale. Register HERE.

We thank our amazing Sponsors:
Sharon Ryave Brody ◆ Henry Krakovsky ◆ Carabella Boutique

Divorce Information Session
Friday, November 4, 12-1PM

Are you contemplating divorce, but have no idea where to start your planning and research? Join family lawyer Julie Colton and MomsWork for this popular info session, updated for 2022. We'll cover everything from the divorce process, how to find the best lawyer for you, what to know about custody and lifestyle changes, trends in divorce, and more! This event will be confidential. Register HERE.

Healthy Homes Workshop
Thursday, November 10, 12-1PM

Join Women for a Healthy Environment to learn ways to make our homes healthier, safer, environmentally conscious places to be. Register HERE.

So You Think Your Child Needs Early Intervention?
Friday, November 11, 12-1PM

Does your child experience challenges that do not seem to affect most typically developing children? Join Jamie Baumgardner of Functional Roots, an Occupational Therapist focused on parent coaching and helping you navigate the confusing and stressful environment of accessing OT. Register HERE.

Mom Owned Market
Sunday, November 13, 11AM-2PM
Anathan House - 1620 Murray Ave

Get ready for the most family friendly shopping experience ever! MomsWork is hosting over two dozen local businesses for our first ever Mom Owned Market. From bakers to caterers, to retailers to service providers, every business is local and mom-owned. Shop local, shop woman-owned, shop mom-owned. There will be a babysitter on-site for kiddos to do crafts and play while you shop. Register HERE.

Fix Harrisburg, a Joint Program with NCJW Philadelphia
Monday, November 14, 2-3PM

PA’s legislature is the largest full-time, third most expensive, and one of the least productive legislatures in the country. Bipartisan bills popular with a large majority of Pennsylvanians—property tax reform, environmental stewardship, equitable school funding, gun safety, redistricting reform—are introduced in every session and go nowhere. This waste and inefficiency is not due to governmental ineptitude but is dysfunction by design. PA’s legislative rules, written by the majority party leaders, give complete control of the legislative agenda to partisan party leaders who prevent bipartisan solutions from getting votes in the House or Senate. Let's Fix Harrisburg. Register HERE.

Working Moms Support Group
Thursday, November 17, 7-8:30PM
Anathan House - 1620 Murray Ave

Working Moms Support Groups are back! These free, in-person groups are drop-in, with no cohorts required. There will be free childcare (limit 6 kiddos), snacks, tea, support, networking, and more! Starting November 17th, set your calendar for every third Thursday, 7 to 8:30 pm. Our groups are facilitated by experienced therapist Cortney Seltman, whose passion for building incredible group experiences is not one to miss. It would be our pleasure to see you there. Spread the word! Register HERE.

Just Films Series: The Great American Lie
Tuesday, November 15 - Reception Starts at 5:30PM, Film Starts at 6:00PM
Eddy Theatre, Chatham University

NCJW is again a sponsoring organization for the Just Films series with Chatham University’s Women’s Institute. Just Films is a collaboration of six organizations in Pittsburgh committed to women, girls, gender equity, and social justice: Black Women’s Policy Center, Chatham University Art & Design Department and Women’s Institute, NCJW Moms Work, Women and Girls Foundation, Women’s Law Project, and YWCA Greater Pittsburgh. We believe in the power of film to promote conversations about social, political, and economic change. We also believe in engaging the community broadly and deeply in dialogue as we pursue equality together.

Join Just Films for a film about how a US value system built on the extreme masculine ideals of money, power, and control has glorified individualism, institutionalized inequity, and undermined the ability of most Americans to achieve the American Dream. After the film, join a group of talented women working to address the needs encountered in the film. Free and open to the public. Register HERE.


In addition to the Pennsylvania Constitutional Amendment vote on SB106 that will likely occur in the spring of 2023, there are additional challenges being discussed by legislators that could be re-introduced in January:

HB 118 (Ryan-R): Forced death certificate/ “fetal remains” bill: This legislation will affect any Pennsylvanian who experiences miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or abortion. It inserts a false medical claim into Pennsylvania law by changing the definition of “fetal death” to a “product of conception” from any point in pregnancy.

HB 904 (Borowicz-R)/ SB 378 (Mastriano-R): Six-week abortion ban: This bill seeks to criminalize abortion at six weeks with no exceptions for rape, incest, or when the pregnant person’s life is at risk. Physicians who refuse to comply with a legislative demand to provide Pennsylvanians substandard medical care could face criminal charges.

HB 1500 (Klunk-R)/ SB 21 (Martin-R) Down syndrome ban: A “reason” abortion ban that targets families navigating complicated pregnancies. Specifically, this legislation seeks to prevent open, honest dialogue between a physician and their patient exactly when they need it most

Thanks to your June and July repro contributions, we were able to answer the call put out by the Steel City Access Network for comfort kits. These kits are given to volunteer drivers who provide transportation to those seeking reproductive healthcare. The kits contain non-medical supplies that might provide care and comfort during the trips, such as snacks, heating pads, emesis bags, pads, ice packs, drinks, electrolyte powder, wipes, etc. As part of University of Pittsburgh’s Week of Civic Engagement, we were able to get 100 kits packed and ready for SCAN drivers to use. These kits cost over $50 each, last several trips, and are very useful for both the driver and the person seeking care. Thank you to all who helped pack the kits and to everyone who contributed to our repro campaign.

Join this Jewish community phone bank effort to protect abortion rights around the country!  We first gather as Jewish community with people throughout the country at 5:45 PM (EST), and then enter the phone banks together at 6:00 PM (EST).

KENTUCKY Phone Banking OPPOSING a ballot question against abortion access
November 2, starting at 5:45 PM

Two steps to sign up -- please click both registration links:

  1. Jewish Community gathering at 5:45 PM (EST)
  2. Protect Kentucky Access (phone bank training and calling) at 6:00 PM (EST)

MICHIGAN Phone Banking SUPPORTING a ballot question protecting abortion access
November 1, starting at 4:45 PM

Two steps to sign up -- please click both registration links:

  1. Jewish Community gathering at 5:45 PM (EST)
  2. Michigan Reproductive Freedom for All (phone bank training and calling) at 6:00 PM (EST)

VolunTots needs your boxes for our co-hosted Thanksgiving food box deliveries event! If you have medium to large boxes, please drop them off at Anathan House on weekdays and we’ll save them up for our November event.

Our ever-popular Working Moms Support Groups are returning this fall! To ensure you’re the first to know, double check that you’re on the MomsWork email list. Check the MomsWork box on this page.

Elections, elections, ELECTIONS! It’s time to decide who you’re voting for, and MomsWork has two resources to evaluate where your candidates stand on moms, children, and families.

Child Care Voter has surveyed candidates on where they stand on the child care crisis.

Family Care Act has compiled candidates' stances on paid parental leave.

Pick through your ballots with a fine-toothed comb. Every vote is essential to building a country that will work for all of us.

Join HERE to be added to our Voter Engagement email group to be kept up to date on our actions

There’s still time! Many poll positions remain open in Allegheny County. Working the polls ensures that people can vote closest to home with the shortest lines and is a direct way to impact voter turnout. Register to be a poll worker HERE

Don’t Miss Any Deadlines

November 1 (today, if you’re reading this the day it was sent) is the last day to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot if you’ve registered. Fill out the online application for your mail-in or absentee ballot HERE. Paper ballots need to be turned in in-person Downtown at the County Building, 542 Forbes Avenue. Ballot return is available in the lobby of the building from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

Next week, we cast our votes. Make your voting plan now.

Make sure your vote counts!

NCJW Pittsburgh wrote over 150 letters with Vote Forward to encourage registered voters in PA and GA who have not voted regularly to vote in the November 8th election. NCJW nationally wrote over 15,000 letters! These letters were mailed along with hundreds of thousands of additional letters around the country on October 29th. We wrote letters at our events, at an in-office letter writing open house, and some in our network, like Shari Woldenberg and Ellen Olshansky below, hosted letter writing parties. Great work Pittsburgh!


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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 © 2022 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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