In the midst of Carnival season – February 28, 2011 – the National Council of Jewish Women of Greater New Orleans made time in between parades and parties to host a luncheon at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside hotel to honor Joan Berenson for her community service and positive influences in the city. Berenson, who has been involved with NCJW for years, is currently the vice president of community service for the organization and was instrumental in the development of the New Orleans Jewish Day School. She also serves on the board of the Jewish Endowment Foundation as well as Jewish Children’s Regional Services, among other organizations.
Because of her continued commitment to these charitable organizations and community-enhancing projects, the Hannah G. Solomon award was bestowed upon her at the luncheon, which was chaired by Dana Shepard, Pam Lyles and Sue Singer. The prestigious award is named for the woman who founded the National Council of Jewish Women in 1893 and is given annually to leaders in the community.
The National Council of Jewish Women’s local chapter strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. It is a volunteer organization that is inspired by Jewish values, taking a progressive stance on issues such as child welfare, women’s rights and reproductive freedom.