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9.28.12 Issue

by Pam Monsky, for NCJW

           The Great Omaha Chocolate Festival is a day of delicious decadence. What isn’t decadent is the day-to-day work of the National Council of Jewish Women. The funds raised by the Great Omaha Chocolate Festival support NCJW’s vital programs that truly make a difference in the lives of so many people.

The second annual Great Omaha Chocolate Festival is Sept. 30 from noon to 5 p.m., and will once again be held at the UNO Field House. A record-breaking 44 vendors will have booths with an amazing array of products for sale. General admission is $5 for adults and entitles the bearer to five free samples of chocolate products. Admis-sion for children two-ten years old is $3 and entitles the bearer to three free samples. Extra sample tickets and raffle tickets may be purchased for $1 each, and vendors will also offer anything and everything chocolate for sale at special festival prices. Tickets are available in advance at www.OmahaChocolate or can be purchased at the door.

“It has been a joy to be a member of NCJW Omaha Section for the past 30 years,” said Beth Friedman, event co-chair. “NCJW’s leadership teams have worked intuitively to identify key issues affecting women, children and families. This work has been on the forefront of issues like domestic violence and bullying prevention, promoting the vote and pay equity. At the same time, members have worked tirelessly to develop community service and social action programs and projects to meet those needs in our communities.”

The money raised through the festival funds an incredible array of programs and projects. These include:

• MINI-GRANTS FOR TEACHERS, which provide grant money to public school teachers for innovative and creative classroom projects that are not funded by school budgets.

• R.A.F.T. (Resources Available for Teens), a directory of resources and social services available for teenagers in the Omaha metropolitan area. It is distributed through the public and parochial schools, and its website.

• JACKSON SCHOOL PROJECT, which supplies backpacks and school supplies on the first day of school to students in selected grades.

• READING PUPS, a program in partnership with Domesti-Pups, which takes trained therapy dogs to elementary schools to help build confidence and improve students’ reading skills.

• PHYSICALLY AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED FINANCIAL SUPPORT, Funds have been established for the special needs of physically and visually impaired children and adults living in the Omaha area.

• COMMUNITY HEALTH AND WELLNESS, NCJW has presented programs to raise awareness on community health and wellness issues affecting families in the greater Omaha area.


NCJW Community Service Vice Presidents Sonia Tipp, left, and Holly Weill with Jackson School Principal Tynisha Northcutt and Adopt-A-School Chairwoman Harriet Epstein.

Event co-chair Joanie Jacobson explained, “The whole purpose of NCJW is to improve the quality of life for all women, children and families, through advocacy and community service programs. These programs award mini-grants to teachers for special projects, help students become better readers, and offer city-wide resources to teens-in-need, as well as enhance the goals of the Women’s Center for Advancement. Without the revenue generated by the Festival, these programs would fall by the wayside due to lack of funds. That’s unacceptable to us.”

The corporate sponsor of The Great Omaha Chocolate Festival is Bakers Candies of Greenwood, Nebraska. The Big O – 101.9 is the media sponsor, and radio personality Dave Wingert will make a special appearance at the event. For more information about the Great Omaha Chocolate Festival and to see a listing of all the great vendors who will be participating, please visit www.Omaha and find us on Facebook.

National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.