Volunteer of the Month
The Volunteer of the Month recognition is given to a volunteer who is a paid-up member in good standing who has demonstrated passion, long-standing service and commitment to our Section’s goals and values.
Ginny Wasserman: May 2017
Ginny grew up in the Bronx, earned her BA at City College, her MSW at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work and was a doctoral candidate at Columbia University. She then worked as a psychotherapist and social worker in a number of community agencies and education and academic facilities. She retired in 2002 from Hackensack Medical Center after 20 plus years as a behavior health clinical supervisor and administrator.
Carla Silver: April 2017
National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County Section is pleased to announce that Carla Silver has been selected as its April 2017 Volunteer of the Month.
Ellen Ptalis: November 2016
Ellen has devoted her professional life to educating children. After earning bachelor and master’s degrees from NYU and the University of Pennsylvania, she taught in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn. She and her husband then moved to Glen Rock, where they had two daughters and subsequently relocated in Hackensack.
Ava Silverstein: October 2016
Ava was given the October Volunteer of the Month Award in recognition of her work for the past six years as physical therapist at the weekly Multiple Sclerosis Swim-In program run jointly by NCJW and the MS Society. This program could not functioned without her. Ava grew up in New Rochelle, NY, and she and her husband moved to Woodcliff Lake 28 years ago to raise their family of two daughters. After earning her degree in occupational therapy at SUNY in Buffalo, Ava worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. She subsequently earned a master’s degree in physical therapy at Columbia University and went on to work at the Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York. She first met Ruth Cowan when she volunteered at the NCJW’s After Breast Cancer Surgery program and continued with her as a volunteer at MS Swim-In. Ava was president of NCJW Mid-Bergen Section for two years and co-president for another year. She has also been involved with Jewish Federation of Northern NJ and the Melanoma Research Foundation of which her husband is president. In her spare time, Ava loves traveling, biking, painting, needlepoint and gardening and is presently studying at an Ulpan to learn conversational Hebrew.
Evelyn Masheb: September 2016
Evelyn Masheb, National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County Section’s September Volunteer of the Month, was a retired early childhood school teacher, reading specialist and staff developer looking for a way to keep busy after retirement. Then she found NCJW BCS, and the rest is history. Evelyn volunteers at the Children’s Court Care Center at the Bergen County Courthouse, organizes activities for children at the Holley Center, and handles countless mailings of NCJW bulletins, newsletters, etc. at her home with a cadre of volunteers. She also helps out at HIPPY programs when needed. Evelyn is the mother of a daughter and a son and has four grandchildren. We are delighted to recognize Evelyn Masheb’s numerous and enthusiastic contributions to bettering the lives of children with this month’s Volunteer of the Month award.
Aida Melamed: May 2016
Aida was born in Cuba after her parents emigrated from Russia and spoke only Yiddish until she went to school. She was always interested in numbers and helped her father in his business while she was in high school. After earning her degree in accounting from the University of Havana, she worked as an accountant and then ran two stores with her husband. Aida married in 1960 and immigrated to the United States, settling first in Brooklyn and then in Fair Lawn. She joined the Jersey Hills Section of NCJW in 1974 and served as its president for several years. When Aida moved to Fort Lee, she became active in the Bergen County Section and quickly assumed the role of Treasurer of the Thrift Shop, a job at which she works very energetically and efficiently, saving the section money by carefully scrutinizing every bill. She is an invaluable volunteer.
Ruth Wolf: April 2016
Ruth is being honored for her many years of volunteering at the Council Thrift Shop. She was born in Germany and left in 1933 when her family emigrated to Israel, where she lived for 25 years. While there, she served in the Israeli Army. After coming to the United States, she married and had three sons, including a pair of twins, and has three grandchildren. She has lived in Dumont since 1964. Ruth had a varied and interesting work experience through the years, including sales at Macy’s for five years, 12 years at Scholastic Magazine where she assisted in choosing books for schools all over country and 21 years at Cablevision, servicing cable boxes! She is a valuable Thrift Shop volunteer who brings her experience and her charm to her job there.
Sylvia Silver: March 2016
For over fifteen years, Sylvia Silver has been a faithful and valued volunteer at the Council Thrift Shop. She came to NCJW after 26 years of teaching art in elementary schools in New York City. Born in the Bronx, Sylvia earned her bachelor’s degree at Hunter College and a master’s degree at City College and Columbia University. She is widowed and the mother of three children and grandmother to four.
Michael Silverstein: November 2015
Michael’s first project was hanging T-shirts for the Clothesline Project for the Rape Crisis Center, part of NCJW StoP (Strategies to Prevent Domestic Violence) program. He was very much in demand because, being a sailor, Michael could tie the ropes so the clothesline didn’t sag to the ground.
Anna Burris: October 2015
Anna Burris, a longtime member of NCJW Bergen County Section, began her work at the section by immediately becoming Corresponding Secretary. She served as Vice President of every department, except Fund Raising, has sat on various committees, and continues to volunteer at the Adler Aphasia Center and the Children’s Court Care Center at the Bergen County Courthouse. She is always available to help out Vice Presidents and has proven herself to be invaluable in many ways over the years.
Ruth Kornheiser: September 2015
Ruth is being honored as this month’s Volunteer of the Month because of her continued dedication to the work of NCJW.
Abby Reff: May 2015
I am honored to be the first man selected to be a “Volunteer” of the Month by NCJW BCS. In 1996, when my wife, Roxanne, became an active member in NCJW, I started to assist in her volunteer efforts. I became a member of NCJW in September 2006, following my retirement from full-time employment. In the early years, 1996 – 2006, my activities included picking up bread and other baked goods from a local bakery and delivering them to the shelter in Hackensack or to the Senior Citizen housing project in Fort Lee multiple times a week. I also assisted in the Clothesline Project and of course attended many fund raising functions related to YCS (Casino Night) and CFA (Wine and Chocolate function) to name a few. In late 2006 I became a full volunteer and Board Member of the MS Swim-In program which is tremendously rewarding.
Jane Moser: April 2015
I moved into Teaneck in 1959. When my kids went off to school, I felt I wanted to volunteer in something related to nursing, as I was an RN. When I got in touch with Ruth Cowan, she told me about a Breast Cancer group that met in the mornings at the Washington Township Y. Ruth was instrumental in starting the NCJW Swim-In group almost 40 years ago, which met at the Teaneck Jewish Center. I eagerly volunteered there and many more venues before we found our home at the JCC on the Palisades. I have attended almost every Wednesday since the group’s existence. While I initially worked one-on -one with the clients in the pool, helping MS and other handicapped swimmers, I now find myself in the locker room, helping the wheel-chair bound getting ready for the swimming sessions and then later on extend assistance when they finish their sessions.
Alice Kanrich: March 2015
I grew up on Long Island and graduated from Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA with a major in English. After six weeks learning Speedwriting I was hired by Mademoiselle Magazine as general secretary and soon promoted to Editorial Assistant to the Press Editor. What a fabulous and fun place to work for two years as a young college grad. I met and married Ken Kanrich and have two sons, Jeff and Andy. We lived in Louisville, KY for two years, then moved to Teaneck where I joined NCJW in the late 60’s. I completed my Elementary Education Certification at William Paterson and taught Special Ed in Teaneck for a short time.
Judy Myers: January 2015
I have been a member of NCJW BCS for more than 25 years. It seems like yesterday that I moved into Horizon House and was introduced to Roz Suchow. She spoke so highly of NCJW and convinced me to join. Soon afterwards she invited me to go with her to Council Thrift Shop and we spent many wonderful days in Teaneck. It was always fun and rewarding working with customers and helping them when needed.
Grace Fuld: November 2014
My friend Nan Matlick called and invited me to a NCJW general meeting about 8 years ago.
Susan Laskin: October 2014
I joined NCJW as a young mother 30 years ago. I became involved in the original Mid-Bergen Section with my friends and neighbors and became Vice President of Programming for a number of years. In1995 I joined NCJW’s ABCs program (After Breast Cancer Surgery). I became President of that organization for 10 years, helping many women recover emotionally and physically from a breast cancer diagnosis and surgery (myself included).
Florence Sarfin: September 2014
I have been a member of NCJW for more than 50 years. My first involvement was in the Northern Valley Section. My dear friend, Harriet Ozer, was President at that time and asked me to join. Within one year I became Vice President of Administration, handling all correspondence and running the Board meetings which were held at the homes of various members. There were about 25 members on the Board at that time. I served with many wonderful and dedicated women.
Ellen Pell: May 2014
I joined NCJW almost 20 years ago. During this time I have met and worked with many amazing and dedicated women.
Ruth Dinkes: April 2014
Eight years ago I began devoting a significant portion of my time to volunteering at NCJW BCS and have not looked back since. I find it intrinsically rewarding to make a difference in people’s lives, and I feel great satisfaction in bringing a project to a successful conclusion.
Roslyn Lynn: March
I joined Council about 9-10 years ago at the urging of my sister-in-law, Corinne Weiner. She told me about all the wonderful things that NCJWBCS does in our community and I told her, “I’m in!” At first, I did stuffing meetings and other activities for new members. Later on, after my good friend Bernice Pollack passed, I took on her responsibilities for hosting general meetings. For the last six years I have taken great pride in seeing that all of our members have the appetizing refreshments for our terrific meetings. I, too, am amazed at all the varied and worthwhile speakers that our program committee arranges. Even after giving up driving three years ago, I have been able to continue my participation in hosting under the supervision of the Administration VP’s. I have enjoyed knowing that we provide something important to our community and helping others who are less fortunate. I hope that as my 90th birthday approaches I will continue to be able to provide the pastries and assorted goodies that go along with our Public Affairs and Education. Volunteering for such worthwhile causes makes me feel proud, indeed.
Erika Reis: January 2014
Some 13 years ago I was smart enough to join NCJW BCS! I have become acquainted with a group of highly motivated and dedicated women doing important community-based work. After retirement I was anxious to fill my time with volunteering and found the Center for Food Action (a major NCJW project). Every Tuesday morning I answer dozens of calls from clients in need of food. I set up appointments, do intake and where applicable, refer clients to other social service agencies. It is very gratifying to meet clients when they come to pick up their packages and see how it eases their burdens in these difficult times.
Sabina Sicklick: November 2013
I joined NCJW BCS ten years ago, after losing my husband. I was retired and alone and felt I wanted to be involved in something worthwhile. I had heard NCJW was a “hands on” organization. A close friend, Marcia Levy, invited me to a meeting where I was warmly welcomed. Joining NCJW was a decision I am glad I made.
Harriet Breuer: October 2013
Joining NCJW BCS has helped me in so many ways. I got involved in chairing and volunteering in Council Thrift Shop, writing the invocations for general meetings and the annual Installation journals, and reading and engaging in discussions with my Book Group sponsored by Section.
Phyllis Becker: September 2013
As a member of Evening Branch, I was on the Board and active at Holley Center.
We are ably assisted by a cadre of dedicated volunteers. I am so proud that NCJW BCS received the 2013 Citizen Community Achievement Award from the Bergen County Bar Foundation for both the Children’s Court Care Center and the Domestic Violence Waiting Room at the Courthouse in Hackensack, NJ. I also participate in the Clothesline Project with StoP (Strategies to Prevent Domestic Violence) and Hippy. It has been my great pleasure to be a Board member of NCJW BCS and I hope to be able to serve for many years to come.
Henrietta Wolfeiler: June 2013
My first volunteer position for NCJW in 1960 was chair of refreshments for Evening Branch. From there I volunteered wherever needed (too many positions to count.) Full time retirement brought me back to NCJW, and now my passion has been volunteering in our community service projects, namely establishing the volunteer schedule for the waiting room for victims of domestic violence. This has been gratifying as I have seen the enthusiasm on the part of the volunteers and the clients. I also co-chair StoP (Strategies to Prevent Domestic Violence) and under the StoP umbrella I am involved in the Clothesline Project, where victims of domestic violence share their story through art on t-shirts. I look forward to continuing my NCJW BCS volunteering wherever needed.
Edna Lewitz: May 2013
I had been a member of the YCS Northern Regional Advisory Council for some time when Ellen Jacobs invited me to join NCJW BCS to serve as the community liaison between YCS and NCJW. Living up north in Mahwah,I was not familiar with the organization. I was and still am in awe of the enthusiasm and commitment to the many special interests and community outreach of the Section. Of course, my personal passion has always been for the welfare of the children of the Holley Center. It is so heartwarming to know that these children are cared for by so many women of the Section. It has been such a joy hearing how receptive everyone has been to the Birthday Cake program and helping to put a smile on a child’s face on their special day. I am truly honored to be part of this outstanding organization. I will always remember Bernice Pollack, our first Birthday Cake Lady.
ARLENE FRIEDMAN: April 2013
I became involved with the Walk-in-Center about 20 years ago, as member of the Northern Valley Section of NCJW. A member whose family was in the wholesale chicken business donated the “main course” and the meals evolved from there and into the merged Bergen County Section. We are one of the many congregations and groups to each serve the homeless about six times, covering the entire year.
I have served in all five Hackensack locations, and the amount of meals we prepare is now over 100. We have a wonderful group of both women and men volunteers cooking at home and serving at the facility. Unfortunately, our services are needed now more than ever. We are constantly rewarded by the thanks and appreciation we receive from the community we serve.
EVALYN BROWNSTEIN: March 2013
Volunteeering for NCJW BCS has been a very fulfilling experience for me because it has allowed me to continue my lifelong commitment to education. Through my work with HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters), I have played a role in a program that helps parents gain the confidence and skills to become a child’s first teacher. Also, as member of the Scholarship Committee, I have been privileged to help the young women who will be the leaders of a new generation. Lastly, I have found chairing the Awards and Nominating Committees to be valuable experiences providing me further opportunities to work with the multi-talented, creative and dedicated women of Bergen County Section.
ROZ WILSON: February 2013
I had been a passive member of Council for quite some time when the pattern of my life changed. At the suggestion of a fellow Council member, I started to actively volunteer my services. I began to work at Council Thrift Shop more than 20 years ago. I found that when you give a little, you get a lot in return. My tenure at the store has been quite fulfilling. The customers that we serve enjoy the treasures and bargains they find, and I enjoy helping them. Service to the community with NCJW BCS, has been rewarding indeed.
PHYLLIS SCHRIGER: January 2013
I joined NCJW over 40 years ago, becoming past President of Northern Valley Section. After my husband’s death, I became an active Solos member in Teaneck and ran it for many years. I volunteered in the Thrift shop from 2004-2008 and put on clown shows for Holley Center at Christmas time. My current passions are Bergen Family Center, Shining Lights seniors program and Hippy in Englewood. I have always enjoyed hands-on projects where I could gain satisfaction knowing I’ve helped those less fortunate in our community.
CELIA ARGINTAR: December 2012
I have been a Board member of Council for nearly 30 years. During this time I have
GLORIA ANSH: NOVEMBER, 2012
When I first joined Evening Branch, I was given a major job working on Art Show, an important fund raiser. Later I chaired Jewish Affairs, Nominating Committee, the Journal and continued to bake goodies for section events. I soon became deeply involved with our Thrift Shop, coordinating fashion shows, decorating windows and staffing the store as the volunteer coordinator. I have found that volunteering has its own rewards, especially in an organization such as ours.
BETTY FEUER: OCTOBER, 2012
Project Literacy was the first community service for which I volunteered after my retirement. I especially like the excitement for my students and me when we see their gradual growth from a non-reader to successfully reading and comprehending. I also enjoy working with the members of the Aphasia Center in Maywood. Holley Center gives me the chance to work constructively with the children and let them know how much we care for them. My other passions have been working and playing with HIPPY children whose parents are taught how to help their children at home. I also enjoy interviewing the young women applicants who apply for one of our section’s scholarships.
JUNE MARKS: September 2012
To be an NCJW BCS volunteer is an honor, and to be chosen as the Volunteer of the Month by our membership is truly overwhelming. I am very proud to be part of this organization of unique and powerful women. My passions have been volunteering at Council Thrift Shop for the past 15 years as well as working with the Children’s Court Care Center at the