It has been a busy and productive year for the National Council of Jewish Women, Louisville Section, and members looked back on their accomplishments and challenges at the group’s closing meeting at Vincenzo’s on Wednesday, June 1.
Significant accomplishments during the past year included filing a “friend of the court” brief to support the successful appeal of a lawsuit against the Health and Human Services Cabinet; supervising the section’s Court Watch Project in 10 Jefferson County Family Courts that resulted in a recommendation to restore a Family Drug Court; and helping pass a bill to create a pilot project to open Family Court proceedings to members of the public.
While national NCJW offices in Washington and New York are working to formulate a five-year plan to make the organization more relevant to the lives of its members, the local section is doing its part by updating bylaws to reflect the changing needs and circumstances of its membership.
In addition, a six-woman delegation from the section lobbied our federal representatives during the Washington Institute this spring. During the year, the section collaborated on projects with Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Inc. and the Jewish Community Center and provided clothing from the Nearly New Shop to groups such as Jewish Family & Career Services, Maryhurst and the Kristy Love Foundation, which provides shelter for women who escaped the sex trade.
Plans for the fall were announced and included the section becoming part of the Community Foundation’s Louisville Day of Giving on September 15; ushering in the annual Fashion Encore Sale on September 25 and 26 and selling Shopping Spree cards valid between August 2017 and August 2018.
A number of distinguished judges spoke during the formal program including Chief Judge Patricia Walker Fitzgerald, retired; Judge Deborah Deweese; Jefferson County Clerk David Nicholson and Julie Lott Hardesty, representing County Attorney Mike O’Connell. They recognized NCJW’s work on the Court Watch initiative, their support of a bill to create a pilot project opening Family Court proceedings to members of the public, and their recommendation to restore a Family Drug Court.
Nicholson commented that NCJW’s fundraising and advocacy helped to get the Family Court established. Hardesty noted that the problem in Kentucky is gangs and illegal drugs. While the budget survived, there are no new dollars for services.
A special presentation was made to NCJW Jewish Resource Center Director Betsy Prussian, who retired after managing the Center for 21 years. Jewish Community of Louisville President and CEO Sara Wagner and NCJW Louisville Section Past President Sue Paul thanked Prussian for representing NCJW and the JCL in the community and for educating elementary school students about all things Jewish.