NCJW, Nashville Section, Has Productive Year Despite Pandemic

By Jennifer Goldstein

The Nashville Section of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) has a long history of service to the community of Nashville. Despite facing a global pandemic, NCJW is thrilled to announce that we will continue to be able to support our community projects. . 


Projects developed and supported by the Section have become a part of the lives of many of the citizens of our city. Projects supported by the Nashville Section support women, children, and families in the Nashville Metropolitan area.  


The funding for all Section projects is achieved primarily through contributions at the Section’s annual fundraiser, called Ways and Means, though is also supported through gifts from private philanthropic foundations, corporate grants, and bequests by our members naming the Section as a beneficiary in their wills. 


Each year, returning or new projects are invited to apply for support through a process called Study and Survey. After filling out their application, projects are asked to attend an allocations meeting facilitated by our Study and Survey chairs and members of the committee. This year’s chairs were Jamie Brook, Freya Sachs and Erin Zagnoev. 


Like many other organizations, NCJW, Nashville Section had concerns over how the COVID-19 pandemic would impact their ability to support their annual projects. The pandemic has not only impacted NCJW’s ability to engage their members through in person programming, but it has also prevented our members from volunteering with projects in the same way; however, our members and donors have continued to support this meaningful work.  


Previous Ways and Means fundraisers, which fund the projects, have been in-person gatherings inviting such enticing speakers as Ashley Judd. The 2020 fundraiser, chaired by Abbey Benjamin and Stephanie Kirschner, adapted to the needs of the moment. Despite our inability to be together in person and celebrate NCJW’s impact on the local community, our members continued to show their support and raised enough to fully fund all project requests. 


NCJW, Nashville Section is beyond grateful to our members for continuing to show their support, not only to our section, but also to the women, children, and families in the Nashville Metropolitan area who will benefit.  


On Wednesday, May 19, at NCJW, Nashville Section’s 2020-2021 Closing Meeting, the membership voted to fully fund the following project requests: 

  • A Step Ahead 

  • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), funded through the Fensterwald Fund held by NCJW, Nashville Section 

  • Gilda’s Club of Middle Tennessee’s children and teen programs  

  • Kosher Food Box with Jewish Family Service 

  • Kosher for Passover Food Boxes with Jewish Family Service 

  • Renewal House 

  • Senior Friends Rosh Hashannah baskets with Jewish Family Service 

  • Snack Box Program with OUR KIDS 

  • Vanderbilt’s REACH for Survivorship 

  • Vanderbilt Hillel’s Shabbat Dinners 


Lastly, NCJW, Nashville Section is also honored to announce our 2021-2022 Executive Committee: 

  • Erin Coleman, President 

  • La Quita Martin and Harriet Workman, VPs, Advocacy 

  • Felicia Abramson, Hayley Levy and Katie Wayne, VPs, Membership 

  • Stephanie Kirschner, Marci Levy, Mollie Perry and Lauren Wachsman, VPs, Programming 

  • Rachel Fleischer and April Nemer, VPs, Projects 

  • Andrea Bernstein and Kim Lapidus, Treasurers 

  • Abbey Benjamin and Julie Fortune, Secretaries 

  • Tara Axelroth and Rachel Hauber, Past Presidents 


We are grateful to our 2020-2021 Executive Committee, and will miss those who rolled off of the board: 

  • Amy R. Smith, President 

  • Amy Pearl, VP, Programming 


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