The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.

A Faith in the Future. A Belief in Action.

Hannah G. Solomon Award

This award is named after our founder who in 1893 brought together ninety Jewish women from all over the United States to the Parliament of Religions at the Chicago World’s Fair. By doing this, she formed the first major Jewish Women’s organization, The National Council of Jewish Women, dedicated to faith, humanity and serving unmet human needs.

This prestigious award is based on the following criteria:

  • An individual who is known for her/his interest, activity and stand on vital issues with which NCJW is sympathetic, and has helped translate them into community programs
  • An individual who has made known and stimulated interest and action in unmet needs at the grass roots level and brought about important community services
  • Someone who is a catalyst for social change


Dr. Shelly Wimpfheimer is the Executive Director of The Community Chest, a nonprofit organization that has been in existence in Bergen County since 1933. She joined the Chest in April of 2013. Additionally, for the past four years she has served as an Executive Coach to middle and senior management staff of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, New Jersey Department of Children and Families and to the New Jersey Department of Human Services.
Previously, Dr. Wimpfheimer served as the Executive Director of PASE, the Partnership for After School Education, and as Vice President of Youth and Family Services of the YMCA of Greater New York. Prior to joining the YMCA, Dr. Wimpfheimer served as the Executive Director of the Division of Family Guidance in Bergen County for 16 years. She is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Rutgers School of Social Work Continuing Education Department and a mentor in the Master’s in Nonprofit Management Program at Fordham University.

Dr. Wimpfheimer has also served on several nonprofit boards where she held various leadership positions, including President and Trustee of Bergen Family Center. A leader in several national and statewide professional organizations, she is a current board member of the Network for Social Work Management and a past president of the Network. Dr. Wimpfheimer has a DSW from Hunter College School of Social Work, an MSS from Bryn Mawr School of Social Work and Social Research and a BA from Penn State University. She holds an LCSW license in New Jersey and an LMSW license in New York.

NCJW BCS is pleased to honor Dr. Wimpfheimer as a leader in the social work profession who has always demonstrated a passionate interest in the well-being of children and families. “I am committed to high quality and ethical practice,” she notes, “to ensure that clients are given the opportunity to have an enhanced quality of life.” Dr. Wimpfheimer and her husband Justin have been married for 48 years. They have two children and four fabulous grandchildren!


Mitch Schonfeld has been President/CEO of the Bergen Family Center in Englewood since 1992. The organization is the oldest continuously-operating family service agency in Bergen County and currently provides services to 5,000 infants, toddlers, children, youth, families and older adults annually. NCJW Bergen County Section has supported several programs at Bergen Family Center with volunteers and financial aid for many years. These include its popular HIPPY program (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Children), Adult Senior Center (for visually-impaired adults and other seniors), and its newest endeavor, NCJW BCS/Renee Guller Infant-Toddler Center.

Hannah G. Solomon Award Past Recipients
1966 Pauline Rappaport
1970 Police Chief Robert Fitzpatrick
1971 Paula Rosenblum
1974 Ann Robison
1976 Doris Quarles
1977 Joan Liseman
1980 Ruth Cowan, Shirley Hart
1982 Rabbi Judah Washer
1984 Hilde Goldberg
1986 Florence Nass
1988 Norman Tell
1990 Marilyn Taffet
1993 Susan Katz
1995 Honorable Loretta Weinberg
1997 Sister Patricia Lynch
1999 Jacqueline Kates
2001 Madeleine Brecher
2003 Ruth Zalaznick
2005 Barbara and Alfie Liebmann
2006 State Senator Richard J. Codey and Mary Jo Codey
2007 Ellen Jacobs
2009 Harry Belafonte
2010 Marcia Levy
2011 Bea Podorefsky and Connie Hochberg
2012 Ina Miller-Silverstein
2013 Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle
2014 Elaine Adler
2015 Elaine Meyerson
2016 Richard Mingoia
2017 Mitch Schonfeld