The National Council of Jewish Women/ Cleveland’s 16th Lois Zaas Annual Memorial Advocacy Lecture will tackle women’s incarceration and the impact imprisoned women have on communities in its panel “Women Incarcerated: Families in Crisis” at 7 p.m. Nov. 21 at Temple Emanu El, 4545 Brainard Road in Orange.

Pepper Pike resident Cyndy Fellenbaum will also be awarded the 2019 Advocacy in Action Award by NCJW/Cleveland during the event for her extensive volunteer work with the organization and Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple to improve the quality of life for women, children and families. Her NCJW work includes serving as a board member; advocating for women’s health issues and families with students who have special needs; starting the ongoing Threads of Love and Caring program to collect, package and deliver toiletries for sexual abuse victims in hospitals whose clothing is taken as evidence; and creating and sponsoring an Ohio bill that became law in 2016 banning the sale of non-mesh bumper pads known to cause infant mortality. Before retiring, Fellenbaum had a 31-year career in special education.

“Cyndy’s passion and skill in researching and advocating for issues of great benefit for women, children and families has earned her this honor,” Elaine Geller, president of NCJW/Cleveland, said in a news release. “Her extensive involvement in women’s health issues is particularly important to the community.”

The panel, who will all give different presentations, consists of Jacqueline Greene, a partner at Friedman & Gilbert and police and jail/prison misconduct litigator; Ronald B. Adrine, a retired Cleveland Municipal Court judge; Robyn Turner, a social justice organizer; Crystal Bryant, the director of the Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry; and Nikki Trautman Baszynski, legal counsel at The Justice Collaborative.

“Women who are imprisoned, even with minimal charges, can lose their jobs, homes and children within three days of incarceration if unable to make bail, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crime in the United States, 2016,” Geller said in the release. “This panel will discuss why this affects us all and what we can do about it.”

The event and following dessert reception are all free and open to the public with reservations. For additional information or to RSVP, call 216-378-2204, ext. 101 or visit ncjwcleveland.org.

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