March 8, 2021 – New York, NY – Tonight at 8:30 pm ET, Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA), will launch Hadassah Presents: Women of Vision. The radio show will air on TalkLine with Zev Brenner, the flagship program of TalkLine Network, America's leading Jewish broadcasting network. In a series of interviews conducted by Hadassah CEO Janice Weinman, the show will highlight women whose visionary leadership and innovative approaches to the challenges in their respective fields have resulted in noteworthy success for their organizations.
Dr. Weinman’s first guest is Dr. Mehnaz M. Afridi, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at New York City’s Manhattan College and director of its Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center (HGI). Dr. Afridi is believed to be the only Muslim teacher of the Holocaust in the United States, and likely the world, according to experts in the field.
Dr. Georgette Bennett, Dr. Weinman’s second guest, is the founder of several organizations including the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA). When describing her work in a 2020 interview, she said, “I get enormous joy from people being able to rise above politics, Syrians and Israelis coming together, and beginning to trust each other.”
Dr. Weinman’s third guest is Jennifer J. Raab, who will soon mark her 20th anniversary as President of Hunter College, the largest college in the City University of New York system. During her tenure, she has transformed the college from an open-admissions institution to a selective, highly ranked college with markedly higher graduation and retention rates. As she explained in an interview, “I have a vision and I have always been very, very determined.”
Dr. Weinman will speak with Dr. Afridi tonight, Monday, March 8, with Dr. Bennett on Monday, March 22 and with President Raab on Monday, April 5. The shows can be heard at Hadassah Presents: Women of Vision, which will be updated regularly with future guests and air dates, and on WSNR 620 AM Radio in the New York City Metropolitan Area.
Hadassah created Hadassah Presents: Women of Vision to shine a spotlight on the impact women’s leadership is having on some of today’s biggest challenges. The guests will share insights on their paths to leadership, the characteristics that shape their approach to their work and their role models, past and present.
As the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States, Hadassah is ideally positioned to present a series on women leaders. For more than 100 years, Hadassah has prepared women to assume leadership roles in their communities as well as collectively in national efforts.
It’s also fitting that Hadassah create a platform to showcase visionary women leaders because Hadassah founder Henrietta Szold was one herself. In 1912, horrified by the conditions she had seen in Jewish refugee camps during a trip to pre-state Israel, Szold took action, founding Hadassah and devoting the rest of her life to creating the modern health care system in Israel and villages for disadvantaged youth.
ABOUT THE GUESTS
Dr. Mehnaz M. Afridi teaches courses on Islam, the Holocaust, genocide, comparative religion and feminism at Manhattan College in New York City. In 2011, she was named Director of the college’s Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center (HGI), which is dedicated to teaching the lessons of the Holocaust in order combat prejudice, genocidal ideologies and both apathy about and denial of the Holocaust in future generations. Her recent book, Shoah through Muslim Eyes (Academic Studies Press, 2017), was nominated for the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust Research and the Jacob Schnitzer Book Award. She is currently working on The Wounded Muslim (Lexington Books, forthcoming) and is co-editing International Approaches to the Holocaust (Nebraska University Press, forthcoming).
Dr. Georgette Bennett is a longtime leader in the field of conflict resolution and intergroup relations. In 2013 she founded the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA), which has raised more than $150 million for Syrian war victims. Earlier, in 1992, she created the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, which builds respect for religious difference. She is a co-founder of the Global Covenant of Religions/Global Covenant Partners, which focuses on delegitimizing the use of religion to justify violence and extremism. Her book Crimewarps: The Future of Crime in America was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Her new book, Thou Shalt Not Stand Idly By: How One Woman Confronted the Greatest Humanitarian Crisis of Our Time, will be published this year. She is currently working on Religicide with Nobel Prize co-recipient Jerry White.
Jennifer J. Raab is President of Hunter College. Since she assumed the presidency, she has significantly increased Hunter’s government grants and awards, strengthened its fiscal management and secured $400 million in private support for the college. In addition, she has launched a $25 million library renovation, overseen the construction of a number of other building projects and created partnerships with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer and Weill Cornell Medical College. Before being named to her current position, President Raab was a litigator Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Paul, Weiss, after which she was appointed Chairman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, a post she held from 1994 to 2001.
ABOUT THE HOST
Dr. Janice Weinman has nearly 50 years of experience and accomplishments in the not-for-profit and government sectors. In addition to almost a decade as Hadassah’s CEO, she served as President of K.I.D.S., an organization supporting millions of children in need around the world; Corporate Vice President for External Affairs of The Mount Sinai Hospital/NYU Medical Center and Health System in New York City; Executive Director and CEO of the American Association of University Women; and Executive Vice President of the College Board. She was the assistant to the United States Secretary of Education in both the Carter and Clinton administrations and has held professional and volunteer positions at a variety of civic organizations. Dr. Weinman earned an EdD and an MA from Harvard University and a BA from Brandeis University.