At the time when every time you turned on the TV you saw Palestinian kids throwing rocks at Israelis and Israelis pushing Palestinian kids back, we decided that we had to show schoolchildren a different view of Israel, so “Passport to Israel” was founded. The first year of existence, we presented the program to thousands of children and passed out bubblegum with Hebrew comics.
When Detroit hosted the National Convention, the hotel was so difficult to find your way around, so we spent hours each night moving balloons from one area to another and we would announce that to reach different meetings one needed to follow a certain color balloon.
I was sitting at lunch one day when I heard women talking about CASA. I called NCJW to be told that there would be no training program for six months, I nagged so many times that they allowed me to accompany a team of CASAs to learn. I became the committee chair and went on to develop Children’s Advocates.
The social workers at Oakland County Probate practiced “New Beginnings” which meant that when a child was removed from their home, they were not allowed to take any possessions. Not even a blankey or toy. That’s when I asked NCJW to start the blanket program, so that each child would receive a cuddly blanket to hold. Since, of course, many children in hospitals, etc., receive our “Wrapped in Love” blankets.
For many years board retreats were held at Camp Tamarack. We developed programs to help us grow and to learn to pass our programs (babies) on. We would have each group write a skit and rehearse presenting it, and then have to pass their skit to another group. It made for a lot of laughs and learning.
Attending a Bar Mitzvah in Chicago, I read about “Shoes to Share,” an organization that collected, cleaned, and shipped shoes to third world countries. So we borrowed their ideas for our inner city kids.
At National Convention in Kansas City, Rosie Schlussel and I snuck out of the hotel and went across the street to a shopping center, not realizing it was St. Patrick’s Day. When we came out there was a parade in progress and we couldn’t get back across the street. I grabbed Rosie by the hand and led her through the parade yelling “pregnant women” and no one realized we had been gone.
I have been on the board for over thirty five wonderful years.