The National Council of Jewish Women – Los Angeles (NCJW-LA) recently held a grand opening for a new, Westside-based Council Shop and Donation Center at 3757 Overland Ave and Venice Blvd (Los Angeles, CA 90034). The new shop location is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

NCJW was founded by women who are committed to bringing out social and political change to improve the quality of life for women, children, and families. According to the NCJW website, it was men who inspired the creation of NCJW at the 1983 World Exposition in Chicago. The male-led Jewish delegation to the exposition’s World’s Parliament of Religions asked Hannah G. Solomon, founder of the National Council of Jewish Women, to contact female leaders across the country for a concurrent Jewish Women’s Congress.

The council shop sells a variety of clothing, furniture, household goods, art, accessories, and other items at affordable prices. The donation center accepts donations of gently used items, which are then sold in the council shop or given to women in need. The council shop and donation center are a great way to find affordable items or to donate items to a good cause.

Argie Plakas, the Donations Procurement Manager at NCJW-LA elaborated on the purpose of the new council shop and donation center. 

“NCJW-LA previously had six council shops, making the newly inaugurated council shop the seventh. The purpose of the seventh store is to provide another location for the community to shop, and to further promote sustainability,” Plakas said. 

The council shops contribute about 73 percent of the NCJW-LA budget. So, a lot of the funds collected from the council shops are being distributed to programs provided by NCJW-LA. 

“Our programs as of right now are focusing on Moms Wellness Network, clothing assistance program, WEHO rental assistance program, West Hollywood pilot for guaranteed income, Guaranteed Income program, and scholarships to help women struggling in the community,” Plakas said. 

When asked about the meaning and whereabouts of the products being sold at the council shops, Plakas talked about the meaning behind every product. 

“They come from all over the place. They come from people who want to support the Jewish Council, people who want to donate, estate sales, and we do free pick-ups and pack-ups for items that are being sold to the council shops,” Plakas said. 

When asked about the cash programs for working women and families, Plakas responded by stating that the assistance is for those who live by the poverty line. 

“The council shops are great because they provide a place for the community, and they also go back to our programs and services. As far as the guaranteed income, it provides cash-based assistance to families with low income in West Hollywood,” Plakas said. 

“Before I started working for NCJW-LA, I used to shop at the council shops, but now that I am here, I love it more. I love the idea of people being able to afford things they couldn’t previously afford. For NCJW-LA, the focus is getting that rental and clothing assistance because we feel that is what is needed most,” Plakas added. 

When asked if Plakas had ever visited, or seen the women that NCJW-LA has helped in the past, she mentioned that on her first day in office, they were doing interviews with people who are part of the program to see how it’s helped them, and how it’s currently going. 

Photo provided by Argie Plakas

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