by Phyllis Shaikun
Special to Community
The National Council of Jewish Women, Louisville Section, held its closing meeting of the year and installation on Thursday, May 28, at Majid’s Restaurant. A highlight of the afternoon luncheon was the presentation of the Henrietta Herzfeld Award to Sandi Friedson.
Prior to the formal presentation of the Herzfeld Award, Susan H. Glazer, Henrietta’s granddaughter, spoke lovingly about her grandmother’s devotion to the ideals of NCJW and the betterment of the community.
Madeline Abramson offered a moving tribute to Friedson, a valued friend with whom she has worked side-by-side on numerous projects. A profile of Friedson, including many of her NCJW and community accomplishments, can be found on page 19.
Keynote speaker, Judge Patricia Walker FitzGerald, pointed out that we are fortunate in this community to have a unified family court system where one judge handles all interactions involved in a specific case. “Most cases,” she said, “involve drama and unhappiness,” she said, “and some 85-90 percent involve issues of substance abuse.”
She feels it is important to have knowledgeable people in the community take the time to look at court proceedings as a check on accountability. With one-third of family court cases concerning whether a child should be removed from the home, she believes those involved need to feel they are being dealt with fairly. That’s where NCJW’s Court Watch program comes into play.
The Louisville Section has been called upon by the local courts to play an important role in the re-examination of the court system’s handling of child abuse and neglect cases. Although family courts in Jefferson County are closed courts, Court Watch-trained volunteers will be allowed to monitor cases and record statements, behaviors and attitudes for the specific purpose of providing feedback. Data will be compiled and NCJW will prepare a report for the judges advising them of the findings.
The Section conducted a similar program several years ago about cases involving domestic violence and sexual assault that provided invaluable information and helped to implement change. If you would like to be a Court Watch volunteer, please call the NCJW office at 458-5566.
Judy Shapira announced that Camp Gilda will be held again this year at the end of June and Karen Kohn announced the 26th annual Shopping Spree fundraiser will run from August 15, 2014-August 13, 2015.
President Sue Paul’s year-end report was replete with successes from securing grants to help underwrite various programs to raising needed dollars from Nearly New Shop revenues. Community service endeavors continue to help families and individuals at various organizations such as the California Area Family Development Center and Maryhurst, and Public Affairs and State Policy Advocacy endeavors keep section members enlightened and up-to-date on matters of import.
Phyllis Shaikun inducted six new board members for 2014-2016. They included Bari Calderon, Phyllis Fine, Sarah Harlan, Amy Lapinski, Joslyn Marksbury, Renee Reynolds and Christon Segal. Sharon Hordes will fill a one year unexpired term.