Mazal Tov To:
Foreign correspondent Ruth Cruber, recipient of the Fritz Redlich Distinguished Alumni Award from the Institute of International Education. Gruber’s stellar career spans seven decades. Haven, one of her 16 books, a television miniseries in 2001, documents her role in the secret rescue of 1,000 Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.
Toronto Star columnist Michele Landsberg, honored by the Canadian government for her contribution to women’s lives. Landsberg says she became a feminist when, at 12, the police arrested her for trying to hitch a ride home from a bookstore. When she refused to identify herself, the police found her rabbi, who attributed her errant ways to the fact that Landsberg’s mother worked.
In an October column, Landsberg, wonders why Muslim leaders don’t speak about state-sanctioned horrors against women—enslavement, burning, and mutilation— that are often inflicted in the name of Islam. The reason, she concludes, whether in Pakistan or Canada, is “a set of deeply ingrained cultural patterns of valuing just about anything—deficit cutting or men’s so-called honor—more than women’s lives.”
Dancer and choreographer Liz Lerman, who this year received a MacArthur “genius” grant. Her Maryland-based company, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, holds workshops across the country that offer ordinary people, of all ages and backgrounds, the chance to create and perform dance in their communities.
Rabbi Shirley Idelson, appointed associate dean at the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College in New York. Idelson, chaplain at Vassar College for seven years, edited Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation (Rutgers University Press) with Rabbis Rebecca Alpert and Sue Levi Elwell.
Activist Susan Elizabeth Pollack, who received the Jan Karski Freedom Award for Valor and Compassion for her 10 years of work smuggling Jews out of Ethiopia. The award, sponsored by The American Center of Polish Culture & Freedom House, is named for Dr. Jan Karski, the first to give Allied forces an eyewitness account of the mass killing of Jews during World War II.