Jewish Women’s Foundation Benefit

Jewish Women’s Foundation Honors Super Achievers Joy Hirsch, Roberta Kaplan and Nazee Moinian

The Forward
By Masha Leon–


“My Jewish faith is represented by my values and love of education,” said Joy Hirsch, professor and neuroscientist at Yale University’s School of Medicine, Hirsch was one of three remarkable women honored at the Jewish Women’s Foundation Benefit Luncheon, held on March 14 at The Plaza. “I come from a small community in Oregon,” Hirsch said, responding to moderator NYC-Arts host Paula Zahn’s query about the “impact of Judaism on her persona.” “My parents were farmers… probably the only Jewish farming family in Oregon.” Also onstage was Roberta Kaplan, a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. On March 27 she appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court, defending Edith Windsor in challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of the Marriage Act .Nazee Moinian, “fluent in French, English, Farsi and Arabic” was onstage, as well. Her multiple talents were listed in the program under the title “Consultant on Iranian Politics.”

Hirsch, one of the developers of the diagnostic marvel the MRI, has made pioneering breakthroughs in understanding the workings of the human brain. “I feel strongly about mentoring young women through their science careers…. brains are beautiful, and a smart woman is really an important person,” she said, When Zahn asked Kaplan if arguing before the Supreme Court was a realistic goal,” Kaplan — whose credentials include “New York super lawyer and one of the 500 leading litigators in the United States,” responded lightheartedly: “I was very lucky.” And as for her Judaic commitment, Kaplan replied: “In my bat mitzvah in Temple Emau-El in Cleveland, Ohio, my Torah portion was Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof [Deuteronomy: 16:20: Justice, justice, thou shalt pursue].” The coincidence elicited lots of chuckles.

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