NCJW, LOUISVILLE SECTION TIMELINE
The following full chronology traces the path of NCJW’s involvement in improving the quality of life for women, children, and families in the Jewish community. We are so proud of how many of Louisville’s current social service agencies were originally created or established by our section.
1895: NCJW was founded in Louisville by Rebecca Rosenthal Judah.
1896: Worked with Adath Israel Temple at the Industrial School.
1897-98: Maintained first summer Kindergarten in the city and first free public baths.
1899: Helped with Temple Free Kindergarten. Began Bible Study Circles. Formed Junior Circle for boys and girls.
1900: Furnished milk for Temple Free Kindergarten. Established fund for Jewish women in hospitals.
1902: Established Jewish Corner Library at Y.M.H.A.(Young Men’s Hebrew Assn.) Hospital Circles organized.
1905:Placed synagogue directories in hotels.
1907: Immigrant Aid formed to care for Jewish girls coming from port cities.
1908-09: Equipped and maintained Kindergarten at Home of Innocents.
1910: First Legislative Committee.
1912: Furnished equipment for hot lunches in rural schools.
1914: Established Penny Lunch (Kosher) at George Morris Elementary School. Co-operated with American Jewish Relief work.
1915: Big Sister Committee worked with Jewish girls in Juvenile Court. Organized child welfare work in public schools.
1915-20: Public Housing Programs, abolition by law of child labor, anti-lynching laws.
1921: Established Jewish Student Loan Fund.
1926: Worked for School Board Election.
1931: Assisted New Americans in obtaining citizenship papers. Members started tutoring in public schools.
1933: Joined Louisville Conference of Jewish Organizations.
1934: Gave financial assistance to bring German children to the U.S. Volunteered at Jewish Children’s Home.
1937: Helped Neighborhood House pay citizenship teacher for foreign-born.
1938: Established Lazinsky Memorial Fund to be used for emergency refugee work.
1939: Workshop started to give New Americans an opportunity to earn money. Started Nursery School at Jewish Children’s Home, scholarships given. Created toy workshop at Y.M.H.A.
1941: Sponsored Legislative Institute on Juvenile and Adult Delinquency.
1942: Served meals to servicemen at Y.M.H.A., sold War Bonds, packed clothes for allied war relief, donated blood.
1944: Monthly Bulletin (newsletter) started.
1945: Participated in Jewish Welfare Federation’s Committee on a Home for the Aged.
1946: Ship-A-Box originated: sending supplies to Jewish youth in Israel.
1947: Volunteer aides work at Jewish Hospital. Volunteers at Jewish Children’s Home.
1948: Volunteer Hostesses serve at Jewish Hospital.
1950: First time volunteers in psychiatric wards.
1955: Nursery School disbanded. Co-operated with new nursery school at JCC and donated equipment. Service to Jewish Hospital taken over by newly formed Women’s Guild of Jewish Hospital. Participated in Tercentenary Pageant celebrating 300 years of Jews in America. Co-sponsored Golden Age Group (later Club 60) with Jewish Community Center.
1956: Opened Nearly New Shop (resale shop) on Market Street. First Yearbook published.
1957-58: Section became incorporated. Mental health study group led to the establishment of Bridgehaven programs to help ease the transition from mental hospitals back to community participation. Received award from KY Assn. of Mental Health.
1959: Joined group to study merger of city and county schools.
1960: Raised money for Hebrew University High School.
1961-62: Granted scholarship to U of L student in penology. Cooperated with other groups in opening Senior House (now ElderServe), a social and recreational center for senior citizens. Started remedial reading at Roosevelt Elementary.
1963-64: First school for Community Action “Keep Them in School”. Sponsored Open Occupancy study. Established National Women’s Committee for Civil Rights. Participated in the civil rights March in Frankfort with Rev. MLK, Jr. Received Shroeder Award for community leadership and service.
1965: Screened women for the Job Corps. Helped prepare for Project Head Start in Louisville.
1966: Initiated the NCJW Hannah Solomon Award for outstanding community service. Started T.E.A.M., talented, energetic, able and mature citizens helping students.
1967: Formed Drama Workshops at four elementary schools. Life membership started.
1969: Provided financing to help establish Community Coordinated Child Care.
1970: Opened Senior House West. T.E.A.M. program taken over by Board of Education; volunteers continued to work. Assisted with Head Start project.
1971: Received the Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Provided seed money for California Area Day Care Center (renamed Keystone Learning Academy in 2014).
1973-74: Led study on Juvenile Justice and worked to separate juvenile detention facilities from adult jail.
1975: Helped to open Shelter House (now called YMCA Safe Place), a haven for runaway youth.
1976: Initiation of Henrietta Hertzfeld Award service to NCJW, Louisville Section. First Encore Sale by the Nearly New Shop.
1977: Established the Jewish Film Festival series—dealing with the quality of Jewish life. Sponsored the creation of Kentucky Youth Advocates.
1978: Cooperated with the Bureau of Jewish Education to establish the NCJW Jewish Resource Center at the Jewish Community Center for teachers and parents (See 2011). Established office for NCJW, Louisville Section.
1983: Donated seed money to open Brooklawn Child & Family Services (now called Uspritus), a center for treating adolescent substance abusers.
1984: Helped establish CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Project of Kentucky, a volunteer advocacy program to advocate for children in foster care system. Began NCJW Jr. Council for students in grades 7-12.
1985: Celebrated the Section’s 90th birthday and 10th anniversary of Fashion Encore. Received award from Jewish Family and Vocational Service for 90 years of service and leadership. Began Discover Israel, a social studies enrichment unit for public school sixth graders.
1986: Opened NCJW Parkside, an adult day care center housed at Four Courts Senior Center. Participated in “Mother’s in the Workplace” survey, coordinated by NCJW’s Center for the Child to study the changing needs of families in which mothers work.
1987: Helped to start Kentucky Women Advocates, a statewide coalition committed to achieving quality for women. Started the HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) project through Jefferson County Public Schools Head-Start Program. Held first Shopping Spree discount program.
1988: Participated in “Challenge for Community Action”, a nationwide program of community service, education, and advocacy on quality child care. Nearly New Shop moved to Mid-City Mall.
1989: Reactivated the New American Resettlement program for Jewish immigrants.
1990: Reactivated an environmental issues committee. Organized and promoted introductory program for public TV series, “Raising America’s Children”.
1991: Produced and participated with Jr. League of Louisville and Coalition of 100 Black Women in a weekly cable TV program, “Images of Women”, to discuss current issues such as child care, spouse abuse, and the environment. Developed and funded a language lab for immigrant-assistance program.
1992: Initiated and jointly sponsored a community-wide conference on aging with seven health and education institutions.
1993: Celebrated National NCJW’s Centennial. Participated in 100 year event: NCJW’s National Day of the Working Parent to spotlight unmet needs of working families.
1994: Held Fall Fashion Encore sale at the Nearly New Shop. Sponsored Public Schools Study Groups on the KY Education Reform Act (KERA). Initiated a Centennial Endowment Fund.
1995: Began NCJW Court Watch Project to monitor Domestic Violence court cases.
1996: Celebrated Louisville Section’s Centennial with a Gala celebration.
1999: Received Advocate in Action Award for the Court Watch Project. Began Women Helping Women Project, giving clothing vouchers to women in need through various local agencies.
2000: Started Adopt-a-School with Cochran Elementary. DV-911 began with the collection and reuse of cell phones for victims of domestic violence.
2001: Helped to open the Intake Center at the Hall of Justice for victims of Domestic Violence. Helped fund Shalom Bayit survey to learn patterns of domestic violence in the Jewish community.
2002: Staged a sold-out production of The Vagina Monologues, raising money for abused women. Held a Judicial Forum and an Education Forum.
2003: Held the Louisville Section’s first Women’s Seder.
2004: A Run/Walk to Stop Domestic Violence was held in partnership with the Center for Women and Families.
2005: Started Suitcase Project, providing basic toiletries in backpacks or totes to children being moved within the foster care system.
2006: Established the District Court Family Enhanced Supervision Docket after twelve years of advocacy to handle domestic violence cases exclusively.
2007: Helped fund and oversaw placement, dedication of roadside historical marker honoring Rebecca Rosenthal Judah, founder and first president (1896-1910) of the Louisville Section.
2008: Established, funded, and helped staff the first annual Gilda’s Club Summer Camp for children whose lives are affected by cancer.
2009: Raised funds and expanded the Jefferson County Domestic Violence Intake Center, making it an all encompassing facility. Received Founders Award from YMCA Safe Place Services in honor of their 35th anniversary.
2010: Completed an extensive renovation of the NCJW office and Nearly New Shop.
2011: Held first Mah Jongg Mania event fundraiser. Beginning of generous funding Grants from Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence for the NCJW Jewish Resource Center.
2012: Created and sponsored the Inaugural David Richart “Pathway to Justice for Children” event. The event’s focus was a forum: “Who Counts? Justice for Kentucky’s Abused Children”. Kentucky House Member Tom Burch (District 30) received the first David Richart Justice for Children Award for his efforts in securing protection for abused and Neglected children.
2013: Honored with the Volunteer Group of the Year Award from the staff of Gilda’s Club, Louisville.
2014: Reactivated NCJW Court Watch Project at the request of the Family Court judges to monitor Child Abuse & Neglect court cases; spearheaded a major three-part study series at The Temple on abused and neglected children, filed an amicus brief with the Kentucky Court of Appeals in support of Kentucky’s open records law.
2015: Launched new website for the Louisville, Section. Celebrating the Louisville Section’s 120th birthday– Judy Chicago, internationally famous artist, author, feminist, educator, and intellectual to be the guest for a patron’s dinner and public lecture on April 13, 14 respectively.
2017: Awarded John Fleischaker the David Richart Pathways to Justice Award, which kicked off major fundraising efforts to establish the Jefferson Family Recovery Court..
2018: Managed Court Watch Program for the Open Courts Pilot Project and celebrated the opening of the Jefferson Family Recovery Court.
2019: Initiated and coordinated efforts to expand the Family Recovery Court into three other counties in Kentucky, hosted a series of Mindfulness workshops, hosted the annual summer children’s camp at Gilda’s Club, hosted a dinner for approximately 80 family members attending the various support groups at Gilda’s Club, coordinated community discussions for the juvenile detention center closings through the Richart Committee, co-sponsored the Women’s Vote 100 programs with the Frazier History Museum and other local women’s organizations and planned for the Pegasus Parade/Suffrage Parade, and awarded two college scholarships through the NCJW Scholarship Fund.
2020: Celebration of NCJW, Louisville Section’s 125th Anniversary, co-sponsored Children’s Advocacy Day at the Capitol (Frankfort), launched and managed the Promote the Vote initiative for voter engagement (JCRC later became a co-sponsor), celebrated the first group of Jefferson Family Recovery Court graduates, co-sponsored community discussions regarding Racial Injustice, introduced Local Life Membership, published the first NCJW, Louisville Section Cookbook, promoted women’s reproductive rights through National NCJW’s “Rabbis for Repro” program, and redesigned NCJW, Louisville Section and Nearly New Shop websites. (March 2020: global COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States and restricted in-person events)