WEST ORANGE, NJ — At the NCJW/Essex annual Installation and Awards Evening on Wednesday, May 30, at Cedar Hill Country Club in Livingston, West Orange resident Patti Nathan received the Hannah G. Solomon Award and West Orange resident Penny Sherry received the NCJW/Essex Service to Section Award.
The Hannah G. Solomon Award is presented by NCJW/Essex to an individual who has changed the lives of others through leadership efforts and service on a community level. The NCJW/Essex Service to Section Award is presented to a member of NCJW/Essex whose generosity and resolute work as a volunteer has changed the lives of women, children and families.
With her trademark spirit and boundless energy, Nathan conveys a passion and a commitment to community activism, according to a press release from. Blending advocacy and volunteer activities in her life, she has dedicated herself to improving the lives of others by being involved in NCJW/Essex and her local community. She is an active volunteer at the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges as well as at her synagogue, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills. She has been a reading mentor, worked with at-risk teens and was involved in the South Orange-Maplewood Adult School board. A member of NCJW since 1955, Nathan helped spearhead the Kids Emergency Closet and has participated in the Back 2 School Store, Nominations, the Period Project and Impact Finance committees.
“I consider Patti my bonus gift from NCJW/Essex,” said NCJW/Essex board member Leslie Lavinthal, who met Nathan through the organization and had the honor of introducing her friend. “Patti is heart, soul, warmth and love.”
“I spend each day grateful that I am in good health and have found meaningful ways to be engaged and help others,” Nathan said, reflecting on her 63 years of involvement in NCJW. “I live by the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: ‘Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’”
A member of NCJW/Essex for more than four decades, Sherry was drawn to NCJW/Essex as a place with a mission in which she believed and women to whom she could relate. She kicked off several successful fundraisers, including the Hannah’s Sisters tapestry, the golf outing, and the Card and Mah Jongg Party. She has held numerous leadership roles, including chairperson of the gala, the golf outing, the Card and Mah Jongg Party, and Lunch and Learn committees, as well as working with the annual Back 2 School Store.
“Penny follows the legacy of the eight women before her who have received this award,” said NCJW/Essex Past President Linda Slucker, who introduced Sherry. “She has volunteering and fundraising in her DNA. NCJW/Essex has been the lucky recipient of her time, talent and philanthropy.”
“My life has been changed and enriched by NCJW/Essex,” Sherry said upon accepting her award.