Non-profit

National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW)

Website:

www.ncjw.org

Location:

NEW YORK, NY

Tax ID:

13-1641076

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $5,164,934
Expenses: $5,011,754
Assets: $17,964,377

President:

Dana Gershon

Formation:

1893

Type:

Social advocacy group

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is an organization that supports left-of-center policy goals in the United States and Israel. The Council claims 180,000 members across 60 chapters in its 30-state policy network and action teams in seven states. [1]

The NCJW has four political priorities: abortion advocacy, blocking conservative federal judicial appointments, voter mobilization, and gender equality in Israel. The organization is best known for its activism regarding federal judicial appointments, and it opposed many nominations made by the Trump administration, notably including Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. The NCJW also supports left-wing economic reforms, encourages voter mobilization efforts in left-leaning constituencies throughout the US, and gives tens of thousands of dollars each year to Israeli organizations which support left-of-center policies on gender. [2]

History

The National Council of Jewish Women was founded in 1893 in Chicago at the World’s Fair as a means of “Americanizing” the Jewish population while preserving its heritage. Most of the organization’s early efforts were focused on study circles, charity, and social services. The NCJW soon branched into political activism largely at the behest of its founder, Hannah Solomon, and early member Belle Moskowitz, who worked for New York Democratic Governor Al Smith. The NCJW particularly supported immigration reform and established a number of social programs to support incoming immigrants. [3]

The NCJW’s membership expanded rapidly after World War II, especially with the formation of the state of Israel. Membership nearly doubled from 1945 to 1970, going from 60,000 to 110,000. Based on the organization’s experience with American immigrants, the NCJW established support programs for Americans who immigrated to Israel, including skills training programs for Israelis who would move to the United States for a few years and then return home. The NCJW’s Department of Israeli Affairs became the organization’s largest subgroup and remained so for fifty years. [4]

The NCJW became more politically oriented in the 1960s during the civil rights movement, making pro-abortion advocacy one of its primary political positions. [5]

Federal Judicial Confirmations

Supporting or opposing federal judicial appointments is one of the four main focuses of the National Council of Jewish Women. [6] Through the #CourtsMatter campaign, the NCJW evaluates judicial appointments and gives recommendations to its chapters to write letters to U.S. Senators in support for or opposition of nominees. [7]

District Courts

In October of 2020, the NCJW condemned two federal judicial nominees. The NCJW accused Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, who was nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, of being inexperienced and of having a conservative bias. NCJW argued that this bias was evidenced by her formerly clerking for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and by her membership in right-of-center legal societies, including the Federalist Society and the Claremont Institute. [8] The NCJW also opposed Toby Crouse, who was nominated for the U.S. District Court for Kansas, for allegedly protecting conservative interests on health care, abortion, labor law, and criminal justice. [9]

Neomi Rao

On January 30, 2019, the NCJW expressed opposition to D.C. Court of Appeals nominee Neomi Rao. In a letter to the Chair and ranking members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the NCJW argued that Rao cannot be fair or independent as a judge. [10]

In a letter sent to Cleveland Jewish News, the NCJW opposed other judicial nominees within the state of Ohio as well as a judge nominated by President Trump for the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. The group argued that the nominees should be rejected because they “have a history of bias,” using examples where these judges resisted left-of-center policies. [11]

Amy Coney Barrett

The NCJW condemned the nomination and appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. On September 26, shortly after the announcement of Coney Barrett’s nomination, NCJW CEO Sheila Katz released a statement condemning the nomination on the grounds that Coney Barrett of opposed Obamacare, would use religious liberty to justify private discrimination, and would place her personal religious beliefs over “settled law.” [12]

On October 8, the NCJW co-signed a letter with 41 other liberal religious-inflected advocacy groups appealing to the U.S. Senate block the nomination of Coney Barrett. Other co-signers included Bend the Arc, Justice Revival, Catholics for Choice, Jewish Women International, and African American Ministers in Action. [13]

On October 26, after Coney Barrett’s confirmation, the NCJW released a statement condemning the Senate for “rushing” the confirmation rather than passing a liberal COVID-19 relief bill. [14]

Voter Mobilization

In 2020, the National Council of Jewish Women launched the Promote the Vote, Protect the Vote program. The program provides a guide for its chapters to use in training volunteers to register local voters and educate them on political issues. Both the NCJW and its program emphasize that 501(c)(3) nonprofits are permitted to engage in voter outreach as long as they are officially nonpartisan, and the guide even provides directions to avoid the appearance of partisanship, such as inviting attendees from both major political parties to voter outreach events. [15]

Fulton v. City of Philadelphia

In 2020, an adoption agency sued the city government of Philadelphia for cutting off funding after it refused to place children with same-sex parents. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the case on November 4. In October, the Anti-Defamation League filed an amicus brief co-signed by the National Council of Jewish Women, Bend the Arc, Jewish Women International, Keshet, and T’ruah, which argued that the adoption agency was using claims to religious freedom “as a sword, not a shield” to oppress LGBT individuals. [16]

Advocacy

Abortion

Abortion advocacy has been one of the National Council of Jewish Women’s primary political focuses since the 1960s when the organization became a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood. [17] In 2020, the organization published the “Abortion and Jewish Values Toolkit” which cites the Torah and Talmud to argue that abortion is permitted by the Jewish faith. The Toolkit also states that if the US government outlawed abortion, it would constitute government support for other religions (particularly Christian sects), and therefore violate the First Amendment. [18]

Economic Regulation

The NCJW supports numerous left-of-center proposals to regulate the economy. On its website, the NCJW advocates raising the minimum wage, passing an Equal Pay Act to mandate closing the purported gender pay gap, instituting federally-mandated paid leave programs, and outlawing private discrimination on the grounds of gender or sexuality. [19]

Israel

The National Council of Jewish Women spends tens of thousands of dollars each year on grants to Israeli organizations. In 2019, the organization spent $90,000 on grants primarily concerning feminism and gender equality. The NCJW spent $10,000 to support Israeli electoral candidates who support gender equality, and another $10,000 on an unspecified “elections project.” [20] In 2020, the NCJW spent $100,000 on Israeli grants. [21]

In 1998, the NCJW founded the NCJW Women Studies Forum at Tel Aviv University. [22]

Lobbying

Since 2008, the National Council of Jewish Women has spent $40,000 per year on lobbying. As of November 2020, the NCJW was on pace to reach the same expenditure in 2020. [23]

References

  1. “About Us.” NCJW. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://www.ncjw.org/about/. ^
  2. “NCJW’s 2020 Israel Grant Recipients.” NCJW. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://www.ncjw.org/ncjws-2020-israel-grant-recipients/. ^
  3. Rogow, Faith. “National Council of Jewish Women.” Jew Women’s Archive. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/national-council-of-jewish-women. ^
  4. Rogow, Faith. “National Council of Jewish Women.” Jew Women’s Archive. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/national-council-of-jewish-women. ^
  5. Rogow, Faith. “National Council of Jewish Women.” Jew Women’s Archive. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/national-council-of-jewish-women. ^
  6. “Our Current Policies.” NCJW. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://www.ncjw.org/work/. ^
  7. “Meet a Federal Judicial Nominee.” #CourtsMatter. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://courtsmatter.org/. ^
  8. “Kathryn Kimball Mizelle.” #CourtsMatter. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://courtsmatter.org/nominees/kathryn-mizelle/. ^
  9. “Toby Crouse.” #CourtsMatter. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://courtsmatter.org/nominees/toby-crouse/. ^
  10. “The Most Extreme Trump Judicial Nominees Pending in the Senate: Neomi Rao, nominated to the DC Circuit.” The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. March 2019. Accessed November 1, 2020. http://civilrightsdocs.info/pdf/judicial-nominations/2018/most-extreme/TOC/Neomi-Rao.pdf. ^
  11. “The Most Extreme Trump Judicial Nominees Pending in the Senate: Neomi Rao, nominated to the DC Circuit.” The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. March 2019. Accessed November 1, 2020. http://civilrightsdocs.info/pdf/judicial-nominations/2018/most-extreme/TOC/Neomi-Rao.pdf. ^
  12. “National Council of Jewish Women Opposes President Trump’s Nominee to the Supreme Court.” NCJW. September 26, 2020. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://www.ncjw.org/tax-types/press-releases/. ^
  13. “Dear Senator,.” Google Drive. October 9, 2020. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://drive.google.com/file/d/12YY30RUIaxzK2Gwg6WSo3s-V-pwSaus2/view. ^
  14. “National Council of Jewish Women Appalled by Senate’s Rush to Seat Amy Coney Barrett.” NCJW. October 26, 2020. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://www.ncjw.org/tax-types/press-releases/. ^
  15. “Voter education: Candidate Forum.” NCJW. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://www.ncjw.org/act/action-resources/voter-education-candidate-forum/. ^
  16. Kampeas, Ron. “Everything ‘potentially up for grabs’: What Jewish groups are watching for in this unusual Supreme Court session.” JWeekly. October 8, 2020. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://www.jweekly.com/2020/10/08/everything-potentially-up-for-grabs-what-jewish-groups-are-watching-for-in-this-unusual-supreme-court-session/. ^
  17. Rogow, Faith. “National Council of Jewish Women.” Jew Women’s Archive. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/national-council-of-jewish-women. ^
  18. “Abortion and Jewish Values Toolkit.” NCJW. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://www.ncjw.org/act/action-resources/jewish-values-and-abortion-toolkit/. ^
  19. “Economic Justice.” NCJW. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://www.ncjw.org/work/economic-justice/. ^
  20. “National Council of Jewish Women.” ProPublica. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/131641076/01_2020_prefixes_06-13%2F131641076_201906_990_2020013017086095. ^
  21. “NCJW’s 2020 Israel Grant Recipients.” NCJW. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://www.ncjw.org/ncjws-2020-israel-grant-recipients/. ^
  22. Safir, Marilyn P. “Women’s Studies in Israel.” Jewish Women’s Archives. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/womens-studies-in-israel. ^
  23. “Lobbying Firm Profile: National Council of Jewish Women.” Open Secrets. Accessed November 1, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/firms/summary?id=D000054213. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 1949

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Jun Form 990 $5,164,934 $5,011,754 $17,964,377 $797,447 Y $4,016,446 $351,036 $420,568 $550,653 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $4,394,984 $4,768,703 $16,479,067 $696,382 Y $3,611,965 $324,607 $516,507 $563,701 PDF
    2015 Jun Form 990 $5,020,792 $4,914,807 $17,899,282 $703,991 Y $3,661,739 $54,778 $642,987 $579,252 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $5,628,283 $4,900,548 $19,526,304 $717,958 Y $3,980,583 $425,274 $419,824 $527,258 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $4,358,457 $4,749,984 $17,311,524 $792,368 Y $3,430,657 $182,544 $438,217 $949,390 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $4,143,366 $4,420,873 $16,942,391 $798,028 Y $3,180,008 $121,076 $501,098 $991,870 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW)

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    NEW YORK, NY 10115-0002