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NCJW honors women for service to organization and Dallas community

Texas Jewish Post, published March 10, 2016; submitted by Jane Larkin

On Jan. 26, at its annual birthday luncheon, NCJW Greater Dallas recognized women and agencies who have dared to dream of a better world for women, children and families in Dallas, and who have fought to safeguard individual rights and freedoms. The Dallas Section gave out three individual awards to members who have given selflessly to NCJW and the community, and one agency award to an NCJW partner that has had a significant impact on women, children or families in the city.
This year’s Pioneering Partner Award recognized NTARuPT (North Texas Alliance to Reduce Teen Pregnancy). NTARuPT is a coalition of over 35 nonprofit groups that seeks to reduce teen pregnancy. NCJW volunteer Terry Greenberg heads the agency and has been instrumental in the coalition’s success, securing a $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to further its work. NTARuPT was born when Dallas was selected as one of three pilot cities to receive funds from a Ford Foundation Grant awarded to NCJW, Inc. to address barriers preventing access to contraception in underserved populations. NCJW Greater Dallas provided seed money to form the coalition uniting like-minded faith and secular organizations on the issue.
Cheryl Pollman received the 2016 Hannah G. Solomon Award. The Hannah G. Solomon Award is named for the woman who established NCJW in 1893 and is presented to someone who has helped to change and expand the role of women in community life, and whose leadership has motivated others to fight for change.
Pollman became active in NCJW in 1997. Over the past 20 years, she has served as president, chair of strategic planning and the SHARE Endowment Fund and in many other leadership positions. She has taught continuously at Vickery Meadow Learning Center (VMLC) for over 15 years. Pollman sits on the VMLC board of directors and serves on the board of the Vickery Meadow Neighborhood Alliance, Vickery Meadow Action Team, Vickery Meadow Brain Trust and the Mayor’s Task Force on Poverty. In recent months, she assumed a leadership role in the Dallas chapter of Moms Demand Action to fight gun violence and draw attention to the dangers posed by open carry.
The Emerging Leader Award is presented to an individual who demonstrates a commitment to the Greater Dallas Section through service and support, has served on the board for less than five years, is a current committee chair or officer, and shows future leadership potential. This year’s recipient, Amy Schachter, has co-chaired the Levine Academy Gala, the JCC Gems Gymnastics expansion, and recruitment for the 2015 Dallas Maccabi team. Currently, she is co-chair of a campaign to fund stained-glass windows at Anshai Torah. In 2009, Schachter joined the NCJW board and became passionate about the organization’s WACHS (Women’s Access to Comprehensive Health Services) program.
Rabbi Nancy Kasten received the 2016 Janis Levine Music Make-A-Difference Award, which honors the memory of Janis Levine Music, an NCJW leader who gave of herself with dignity and kindness of spirit. Kasten was part of the first wave of women ordained as rabbis, and she has served as a role model for all women who want to be strong change-agents without deviating from their moral compass. Kasten became involved in NCJW when she moved to Dallas.
She appreciated that NCJW offered an opportunity for women to come together around a common goal. As someone who is passionate about mindfulness and social justice, she sees how dedicated NCJW volunteers such as Adlene Harrison, Pat Peiser, and Syl Benenson use their commitment to making the world a better place to express their spirituality.
“We are pleased to honor the work of these remarkable women and change agents,” said NCJW Dallas President Caren Edelstein. “Their work ensures that the future will be brighter for many women, children and families in our community.”

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