January 18, 2019 •
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25th Annual Women's Interfaith Forum

sponsored by the Social Action Committee and Sisterhood-The Women's Connection

sponsored by
Social Action Committee & Sisterhood—The Women’s Connection


Wednesday, January 23, 6:30 PM ( snow date: Thursday, January 24)

TOPIC: REALTY CHECK: How Far Have Women Come in the Past 25 Years?

On Wednesday, January 23, at 6:30 PM, Temple B’nai Abraham’s Social Action Committee, in partnership with the Sisterhood−The Women’s Connection, will sponsor the 25th annual Women’s Interfaith Forum, celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy at the temple. Since 1994, the Women’s Interfaith Forum has gathered women from greater Essex County’s houses of worship and faith-based groups to share a vegetarian meal prepared by the women of TBA’s Sisterhood, followed by a discussion of issues of interest to women of all backgrounds. Many guests are repeat participants who have attended this event over the decades. Acquaintances have become friends as many attendees look forward to this yearly event. Janet Penn and Ruth Ross, TBA Social Action Committee Co-chairs, along with TBA Sisterhood Co-Presidents Donna Ellenbogen and Deborah Jacob, are spearheading this year’s event.

The topic this year, “Reality Check: How Far Have Women Come in the Past 25 Years?,” will explore the advances of women in the fields of law, health care, science and business. A four-woman panel will address this subject as it relates to each speaker’s particular field. A Q & A will follow the panel discussion.

A vegetarian/dairy buffet dinner will be served. Reservations are required.  There is no charge to attend the event, but seating is limited. Register online  by Friday, January 18, or call 973.994.2290. When you register, please indicate with which house of worship or faith-based group you are affiliated. Please bring a non-perishable food item to support a local food pantry.


25th Annual Women's Interfaith Forum Registration Form

Reality Check: How Far Have Women Come in the Past 25 Years?
co-sponsored by the Social Action Committee & Sisterhood-The Women's Connection
Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 6:30 PM (snow date: Thurs, January 24, 2019 , 6:30 PM.) A vegetarian/dairy buffet supper will be served.
There is no charge for this event, but seating is limited. Reservations required. RSVP by January 18
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Prema RoddamLAW
Prema Roddam is an attorney with the New York office of Chugh, LLP, practicing in the areas of Corporate Law, Immigration Law, Family Law and Commercial Litigation. Ms. Roddam clerked for Judge Diane Clarke Streett in the Delaware Superior Court and for Judge Arnold New in the Philadelphia Commerce Court. She received her JD with pro-bono distinction from Widener University Delaware School of Law. She is actively involved with several philanthropic organizations and serves on the board of Manavi (www.manavi.org), a South-Asian Women’s Organization. Ms. Roddam is President of the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey (SABA-NJ).

Mindy Scheier
, Founder – Runway of Dreams, has worked in the fashion industry for over 20 years, working as a key member of the design team for the INC collection, as well as styling Saks Fifth Ave in NYC. She has dedicated her life to being the change she wants to see within the fashion world by being relentless in her mission to create an all-inclusive fashion community.

After the success of her fashion design school for kids, Future Fashionistas, Ms. Scheier founded the first 501c3 non-profit organization to develop adaptive version of existing apparel, Runway of Dreams. Her son, Oliver, was born with Rigid Spine Muscular Dystrophy, causing clothing challenges due to muscle weakness and his inability to dress himself.  Runway of Dreams aims to be incorporate modifications to mainstream clothing for the differently-abled community, changing the landscape of fashion as being ALL-INCLUSIVE. Wearing fashionable, adaptive clothing can help being different feel “normal.” Runway of Dreams collaborates with brands in the fashion industry to develop, modify, and create adaptive versions of mainstream clothing. Mindy Scheier continues to break barriers and challenge industry norms daily.

Cecilia MarzabadiSCIENCE/S.T.E.M.
Cecilia Marzabadi, Ph.D.
was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University in Biology and Chemistry (double major), followed by her Research Master’s in Organic Chemistry from the same institution. Prior to obtaining her Doctoral degree, she worked as a Research Chemist in the Metabolism Group for Monsanto Agricultural Products Company.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis under the direction of Professor Christopher Spilling. She conducted post-doctoral research in New York City at Hunter College-CUNY working with Professor Richard Franck. Her post-doc work was the development of a cycloaddition-based approach to the synthesis of 2-deoxy--glycosides, an important constituent of many biologically active natural products.

She started her academic career at Seton Hall University in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1999 as a Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Chemistry. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2005 and to Full Professor in 2012. During her time at Seton Hall, she has been active in the campus community as a member of the faculty senate, in university planning, and in faculty compensation and welfare activities. She has served as the Interim Director for the Women’s Studies Program, and as the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chairperson for the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. She has been an Alternate Councilor for the North Jersey Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and is currently the Chair-Elect for the section (2020). She is a Member of the ACS Women Chemists Committee. She has also served as Member at large for the Carbohydrate Division of the ACS. Her research interests are in synthetic carbohydrate, in medicinal chemistry and in examining practices that lead to the promotion and retention of women in science.

Marsha Atkind
has served for the past 10 years as Executive Director and CEO of The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, an independent foundation dedicated to improving the health and well-being of vulnerable, underserved populations in both Greater Newark and the Jewish community of MetroWest, NJ, elevating the quality of community healthcare, reducing disparities in access and promoting the infusion of compassion and humanism into our healthcare system.

Ms. Atkind spent most of her career as a professional volunteer, culminating with a three-year term (2002-2005) as national President of the National Council of Jewish Women, an organization of 90,000 members and supporters with over 100 affiliates across the United States.  She served on the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University, the boards of HIPPY, USA, Essex County CASA and the New Jersey Jewish News (President), and the Advisory Boards of the NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education at The Hebrew University and the NCJW Women & Gender Studies Program at Tel Aviv University.

Ms. Atkind has extensive experience as a speaker and board trainer on such topics as volunteer involvement, developing effective teams and public speaking. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, attended Columbia Law School and is the recipient of the Alpha Epsilon Phi Susan Rudd Cohen Award for Outstanding Communal Service (2003) and NCJW’s Hannah G. Solomon Award (1999).


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