Janet Solitt grew up in Miami, Florida. She graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1985 and received a Juris Doctor degree from the American University Washington College of Law in 1988.
Janet practiced law in Tampa before returning home to South Florida in 1992. Since then she has divided her time between her professional career as a private asset manager and her secondary career as a professional volunteer, where she focuses on community organizing around women’s social justice issues. Janet has served on the board of directors of NCJW, Inc. since 2005 and is currently a Vice President. She also currently serves on the board of Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida and on the Broward County Commission on the Status of Women.
I was raised in Miami and returned to South Florida after leaving the state for college and grad school. South Florida will always be home to me.
After my second child was born I finally had some time to volunteer. I looked at several organizations and found my home with the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW). NCJW is not only a community service provider. It is a grassroots organization that trains and empowers women to advocate on issues of social and economic justice. And it does so through a Jewish lens. The work of NCJW resonated with me because it enabled me to do good in the community but also taught me how to lobby for legislation that would change people’s lives forever. The saying goes, “Give a man a fish, you give him a meal. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”. NCJW does both.
We are facing a challenging time in our nation’s history. Under the new administration, women, people of many faiths and color, immigrants and members of the LGBTQ community are facing the loss of substantial rights. We must work together if we are to succeed in preserving our most basic and fundamental American values. We need moral leadership and must not allow the normalization of racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and homophobia in the highest ranks of our political system.
NCJW is committed to continuing efforts to protect and defend the values and programs we so passionately believe in at a time when so many of them are being challenged. We will monitor the new administration with a clear priority being placed on women’s health including reproductive justice, our court system and greater civic engagement in voting at all levels of government.
So how will we do this work? Through training and building our field to leverage the capacity of our grassroots for the 2018 and 2020 elections and beyond. Unlike many national organizations, NCJW is organized through a network of 65 sections in 28 states, and has the capacity to impact critical issues at the grassroots and national levels. NCJW trains and mobilizes its members to be effective advocates on a broad range of social issues including reproductive rights and women’s healthcare, domestic violence, equal pay, and immigrant and LGBTQ rights. We will utilize our Promote the Vote, Protect the Vote program as a vehicle for protecting voter rights; getting out the vote; understanding the importance of mid-term and gubernatorial elections, redistricting and census, and building towards 2018 and 2020.
We must stand up, speak out and be present. As women we have a unique opportunity to make our voices heard. Turning out progressive voters must be our highest priority to restore the balance of power that our founding fathers intended.