Tuesday, January 14, 2020




Vice President, Program Planning  Arlene Gartenberg

Vice President, Voter Service  Barbara Ostroth

Secretary Joyce Jacobs

Treasurer Zohra Jamal

Membership Shirley Sosland


Women’s History Margot Embree Fisher

Education Margot Embree Fisher

Communication Margot Embree Fisher, Shahanaz Arjumand

Advocacy Lisa Schwartz

Historian Patricia O’Brien Libutti

Observer Corps Margot Embree Fisher, Barbara Ostroth, Lisa Rose

Ex officio: Louise Williams

Those listed below  served as President/Leader,  League of Women Voters of Teaneck during the years 1952-2020.

The League of Women Voters of Teaneck is now the 68th year of the League’s work in Teaneck. 

Thank you, all women who "stepped up to the plate."

Edith Foerster 1952-1956

Sylvie Ludowise Fall 1955

Audry Kytle  1956-1958

Eleanor Kieliszek 1958-1960

Barbara Parnell 1960-1962

Zelda Levere 1962-1964

Gene (Bookman) Popkin 1964-1966

Brenda Udoff 1966-1968

Gertrude Schwimmer 1968-1970

Naomi Berlin 1970-1972

Mary Allen 1972-1974

Gladys Preuss, 1974-1976

Jeanne Stopper 1976-1978 

Judy Glassman 1978-1978

Anne Finger 1978-1980

Francine Kaufman 1980-1982

Janet Austin 1982-1984

Diane Winer/Enid Hochman 1984-1988

Diane Winer 1985-1986

Janet Austin/Jamie Elkin 1986-1988

Louise Williams 1988-1992

Kay Hower 1992-1994

Carol Otis 1994-1995

Carol Otis/Louise Williams 1995-1996

Louise Williams 1997-2003

Doris Long Thurber 2003-2010

Patricia Libutti 2010-2010

Arlene Gartenberg, Vice President, Program,  


Prepared by Patricia O’Brien Libutti from articles in The Record (1952-2019) and The Suburbanite (2010-2019), League Lines, (1968-1973; 1985-2015), and League of Women Voters of Teaneck Minutes (1952-1993) and Special  Collections, Rutgers University,  Alexander Library, League  of Women Voters of New Jersey: Box 40, folders 1-3 1952-1985.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Code Girls The Story


On March 28th, the League of Women Voters of Teaneck (LWVT) celebrated Women’s History Month by hosting a public discussion centered around the book "Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II," by Liza Mundy. The U.S. Army and Navy recruited over ten thousand women from diverse backgrounds for World War II code breaking work. The “Code Girls” received military code training and then broke codes to decipher messages about enemy operations in the Atlantic and Pacific. Their endeavors were held to be “war-shortening”; their achievements remained a secret for fifty years due to the confidentiality oath each took.
Margot Fisher, Director, Women’s History for the League of Teaneck, began the evening with an unusual fact: her own mother was a Code Girl. She shared film clips from the March 22, 2019 Library of Congress Veteran’s War History Project "Code Girls Reunion.” Ms. Fisher also relayed anecdotal experiences that her mother, whose story is included in the book, shared with her family many years later.
About 40 people attended, including several members of other Bergen County leagues and Township book groups. Lively discussion took place on issues ranging from the personal feelings and experiences of the “girls” (actually young women recruited from colleges and teaching positions), intricacies of breaking different codes
and changing attitudes towards women in the military.
Suzann Harpole Embree with her daughter, Margot Embree Fisher and Bill Nye, "The Science Guy," whose mother was also a Code Girl. They were at the Veteran's History Project (VHP) "Code Girls Reunion" held at the Library of Congress on March 22, 2019.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

League 1970 book: This is Teaneck: A Community Handbook

The “Know Your Town” and “Know Your School” titles were publications done by many Leagues in the 50s through 70s. They were a major service to citizens across the USA.
This book record in Amazon shows what Teaneck did, at least one title. Rutgers University has more in their Special Collections Archives—-the whole New Jersey League Collection , in Alexander Library, New Brunswick, under Dr. Fernanda Perrone.

The files of League of Women Voters, Teaneck 1952-1985, are contained in Box 40, files 1-3, should anyone be curious.
“Know Your School” ( Leonia, 1968-69;
“Englewood Schools” (1968) and
“Ramapo Area Schools, Franklin Lakes, Oakland, Wyckoff,”(1971-72 )
are in the Sinclair collection of the Archives.

Teaneck’s titles included “This is Teaneck: A Community Handbook”(1961) and “Our Teaneck Schools: A Reference Book on the Local School System”( 1964).The 1970 title on the community was done with the Town Council, and is in our local library.
Maybe for the upcoming Teaneck Township History, there is a step beyond locating the books that you can provide.
If you have high quality PICTURES in PRINT, not digital, 1952—-1980 ( not later) of the ILO with LWVT members in them, too, we would appreciate your lending them.
Write Jay Levin, compiler/writer. jaylevin19@aol.com,about the pictures and books for consideration for the “History of Teaneck”, to be published by Arcadia Press, and is anticipated in early 2020.
If the material is used, your contribution will be acknowledged in the book. And l know, from writing/collating a modest LWV Teaneck history, that getting the pictures out from attics and boxes is the hardest part. It’s even harder than reconciling facts.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Fall 2018 Voter Registration Album

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Meet Susan Sipprelle, Director of the LWVT-sponsored film for TIFF Nov. 3: Soldier On: Life After Deployment

Click on  this link: Soldier On   for film trailer

Nov. 3, 3 pm. Puffin Foundation, DOCUMENTARY - 80 minutes

Directed by Susan Sipprelle
Description: Three women confront the challenges of readjusting to civilian life after their post-9/11 deployments. Their compelling and illuminating stories are presented in the context of a population that has little appreciation for the experiences and sacrifices of female veterans. Sponsored by League of Women Voters of Teaneck; American Legion Post #128; VFW Post #1429; Gooney Bird Detachment of the Marine Corps League
Talkback with Susan Sipprelle, film director 

Susan Sipprelle is a League member who directed and produced Soldier On: Life after Deployment. It is a production of Tree of Life Productions , which she founded. Visit Tree of Life to see the trailers and information about the other documentaries Susan produced/directed: http://treeoflifeproductionsllc.com/

Susan agreed to share her  thoughts abut film making, issues central to her film making, as well as  her ideas about this documentary. 

Experience with documentary film productionI never planned to become a documentary film producer! I was a commercial banker in Manhattan after I graduated from college. When my husband and I started having children in 1987, I stopped working, although I did complete my MBA from NYU in 1991. 

Over the ensuing years, as our family grew in size – we have five children -- I did some articles for local Bergen County papers. A friend, who noticed that I greatly enjoyed reporting, suggested I might want to take a journalism class. An AHA moment! I discovered that Columbia Graduate School of Journalism offered a part-time program, to which I applied and was accepted. At that time, my youngest child was 3 and my oldest was 17.  I concentrated in multimedia and graduated in 2008. 

By the late 2000s, the Great Recession had been declared officially over, although its impact remained severe. I, with the help of a recent film school graduate, began a multimedia project called Over Fifty and Out of Work that documented the stories of older workers who lost their jobs due to the downturn. We were asked to testify about our work before the Senate Health, Labor, Education and Pension Committee in June 2011, and we went on to make the documentary Set for Life based on the multimedia project. The film won several film festivals and was chosen by American Public Television for distribution. It has now been shown more than 4,000 times on public television nationwide.

The success of Set for Life inspired me to make another film. As our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continued to extend, I grew curious about the women volunteering to serve in the U.S. armed forces. Who were they? What happened to them during their military service? And, how did they readjust to life at home once their military service ended? 

These questions led me to make Soldier On: Life After Deployment. Both Senator Patty Murray and Congresswoman Annie Kuster sponsored screenings of my documentary on Capitol Hill. The film, also distributed by American Public Television, premiered on Channel 13 in March 2017, during Women’s History Month and has now been shown more than 2,000 times on public television nationwide. Screenings, sponsored by various organizations, have also been held in many states.

Why is the topic of women veterans important? Women today comprise almost 20 percent of the armed forces and 10 percent of the veteran population. They are the fastest-growing segment of the total veteran population. Despite their significant contribution to our country’s safety and security, three-quarters of female service members believe that the public fails to recognize or value their service. Moreover, their experience is set within the broader context that fewer Americans every year understand the commitment, sacrifices and experiences of individuals, both men and women, who serve. After WWII, more than 12 percent of Americans had served in the military. Today, it’s less than one percent.

For female veterans, access to veterans’ services, justice for military sexual trauma, and a supportive veterans’ community is an ongoing battle. Women veterans’ access to quality VA healthcare, community care and mental healthcare is not equal to male veterans’, although gradually improving. Summing up, the complete integration of women into the armed services as well as their full access to veterans’ benefits and the veteran community is a challenging work in process for the United States. Soldier On is part of that conversation and effort.

How did the documentary evolve?  I started this film thinking that I was going to make a documentary about how equine therapy helps female veterans recover from the trauma of war. But as I researched and met women veterans, I found that focus was too narrow a lens (although beautiful to film).

How long did it take to make? More than two years.

What did you learn about deployment and how women experience it?

I learned a great deal about why women volunteer to join the military:

Post 9-11 female veterans joined the military for the same reasons as men: serve country, receive education benefits, see more of the world, learn skills for civilian jobs, because jobs were hard to find. (Pew Research Center)

Where women and men differ:  42 percent of women veterans joined the military because jobs were hard to find compared to 25 percent of men. (Pew)

Women vets are less likely than male vets to be married, more likely to be married to a fellow service member, more likely to be a single parent, more likely to be divorced, and more likely to be unemployed after their service. Women vets tend to be younger than male and less likely to use the VA. (DAV)

81 to 93 percent of female veterans were exposed to some type of trauma prior to enlistment compared with much lower rates of 51 to 69 percent for the civilian population. (Zinzow et al, 2007) Traumatic experiences include childhood abuse and neglect and domestic violence, which have a significant impact on mental and physical health, family relationships, housing and job stability.

The last point above is the most important issue that I uncovered during the process of making Soldier On. It is the issue that most deeply influences women’s desire to volunteer, their military experience and their vulnerability to significant post-military emotional after effects such as PTSD and depression. Women who choose to join the military are frequently fleeing unstable home environments, where they have already been exposed or subjected to traumatic experiences. They are more vulnerable to the impacts of further exposure to trauma in the military – either through conflict or military sexual trauma. 

Another big discovery for me: almost three quarters of American youth are not eligible for military service because they are physically unfit, lack sufficient education, have a criminal record or have a tattoo that is visible while in uniform. Women in the military are not a social experiment, as often described. They are an absolute necessity to our armed forces in terms of numbers (not even considering the benefits of diversity): The military could not meet its enlistment quotas without women volunteers.  

What surprises were there in the process? I have described some of the surprises in the above answer. But, additionally, I was looking for three main characters with certain characteristics – homelessness (higher among female than male veterans), different branches of service, a mother, deployment(s).  With only three main characters, I did not expect to uncover, as I got to know them, almost all the significant issues that afflict veterans and women veterans in particular – difficulty transitioning home, relationship problems, depression, PTSD, homelessness, joblessness, suicidal impulses.

New Project? Just getting started on Citizen U.S. What does it mean to be an American? What are your rights as a citizen? Your responsibilities? Has your thinking on what it means to be an American citizen evolved over time?

Monday, October 22, 2018

Candidate’s Forum, Oct. 22: Prepared Candidates, Attentive Audience

Photos: Barbara Ostroth. Top: Candidates Shaharaz Arjumand, Lisa Dash-Grimes, Victoria Fisher. and Gerald Reiner with Moderator Minna Greenberg of the Bergen County ILO ( Inter League Organization)

Bottom: Attentive audience who participated vigorously in Q & A with the candidates. Questions from the audience were read by the moderator to the candidates, who had a set time to respond.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018