Mission & History

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NCJW Mission

The National Council of Jewish Women San Francisco Section (NCJW SF) is a grassroots social justice organization of volunteers and advocates of any gender, ethnicity, race and national origin who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW SF strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.


Our objectives are two-fold:

  • Partner with other social justice groups, legislators, educators, law enforcement and government agencies to empower women, children and families through eradication of violence, exploitation, discrimination and lack of opportunities in our community.
  • Assist women, children and families to avoid victimization and overcome barriers to empowerment.


We have the following five goals stemming from our mission:

  • To eradicate violence against women and girls
  • To end commercial exploitation of women, children and other vulnerable individuals
  • To eliminate gender discrimination
  • To reduce inequality of opportunities for women and children
  • To empower women and girls for a successful life and professional realization


In 1893, Hannah G. Solomon of Chicago was asked to organize the participation of Jewish women in the Chicago World’s Fair. When Solomon and her recruits discovered that participation was not substantive, but would consist of pouring coffee and other hostess duties, they walked out. Solomon then took matters into her own hands, building on the courageous action and volunteer work she had been leading for years. By the end of the World’s Fair, Solomon and the accompanying delegate body of women had founded the National Council of Jewish Women, changing forever the role of Jewish women and the nature of volunteerism.

Hannah G. Solomon, Fonder of the National Council of Jewish Women
Hannah G. Solomon, Fonder of the National Council of Jewish Women

On August 27, 1900, inspired by Hannah G. Solomon’s movement, Hattie Hecht Sloss of San Francisco convened a group of women numbering more than 600 at her synagogue, Temple Emanu-El with the purpose of determining whether they wanted to establish a section of the National Council of Jewish Women’s network. If they agreed, San Francisco would become the 36th section of the organization.

That day, 158 of those assembled became charter members of the San Francisco section. An organizing committee was formed to choose the first board of directors. Hattie Hecht Sloss was selected to serve as the first section president.

Hattie Hecht Sloss, Fonder of the National Council of Jewish Women San Francisco Section
Hattie Hecht Sloss, Fonder of the National Council of Jewish Women San Francisco Section

In every decade since then, NCJW San Francisco has prioritized the most pressing issues of the moment – from providing for the needs of immigrant women and children in the early 1900s, to more recent struggles combating human trafficking and promoting equal pay for women, voting rights, advocating for a fair and independent judiciary, immigrant rights and protecting reproductive health, rights and justice.

The 11th Triennial National Convention of NCJW – Washington DC, November 15, 1926

Order your free copy of our history book!

The Story of NCJW San Francisco Section: 115 Years of Courage, Compassion, and Community Service

by Victoria Cooper

If you wish the book shipped to you, please fill out the form below and donate $10 to help offset the costs for delivery. Donations over this amount are welcome!

You can also pick up a copy of the book at our office at 2000 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 411. To schedule a pick up, please call the office at (415) 346-4600.

Order your free copy of our history book!