THE CONVENING 2019
SEPTEMBER 17, 2019
Museum of Jewish Heritage
New York City
Liz Elting, Founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation, is an entrepreneur, business leader, linguaphile, philanthropist, feminist, and mother. After living, studying, and working in five countries across the globe, Liz started TransPerfect out of an NYU dorm room. During her tenure as Co-CEO, she grew TransPerfect into the world’s largest language solutions company, with over $600 million in revenue, 4,000+ employees, 11,000+ clients, and offices in more than 90 cities worldwide. Liz has been recognized as a NOW “Woman of Power & Influence,” American Express’ and Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Woman of the Year,” one of Forbes’ “Richest Self-Made Women,” and is a recipient of the 2019 Charles Waldo Haskins Award for business and public service from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Publisher and CEO of the Forward, Rachel Fishman Feddersen, has been an innovator in digital media since the earliest days of Silicon Alley. She is passionate about creating and supporting the most engaging media properties, and exploring new ways of reaching readers, wherever they may be. She has worked with audiences of many millions, as Chief Content Officer of Patch, with its 900 sites across the country; Digital GM at MentalFloss.com and TheWeek.com, thought-leading brands for millennials and global citizens; and editor-in-chief of Parenting.com.
Rachel has won awards from the MPA, Webby Awards, MIN and most recently, Stevie Awards. She was named a Content Strategist of the Year by MIN; was inducted into MIN’s Digital Hall of Fame; and was a guest at President Obama’s White House Summit on Digital Women.
Rachel has made regular appearances as an expert on the TODAY show and Good Morning America, as well as NPR and PBS. She serves as a member of the March of Dimes National Media Advisory Committee. She has an English degree from Amherst College and a masters degree from NYU’s Tisch Interactive Telecommunications Program. She studied Hebrew and Yiddish (along with French, Italian, German, and Spanish), and lived in Israel for a year.
Since her arrival at the Forward in 2016, Rachel has been leading the Jewish news organization during an increasingly complex time for traditional journalism, spearheading a fully digital transformation as the Forward celebrates 122 years of existence. Her digital growth strategy allows the Forward to break news, produce in-depth features and first-rate cultural coverage, and reach millions of readers each month.
Ann B. Friedman is the founder and chair of Planet Word, a new interactive museum of words and language in Washington, D.C., opening in Spring 2020. A former teacher, Friedman taught beginning reading and writing for 9 years in Montgomery County, MD. From 2010-2016 she served as chair of the board of the SEED Foundation, the parent of the nation’s only inner-city, public, college-prep boarding schools and remains its vice chair. She is an emerita director of Conservation International, where she served on the board for 16 years. She is vice chair of the board of trustees of the Aspen Music Festival and School and a long-time trustee of the National Symphony Orchestra. She is a trustee of the Aspen Institute and serves on the advisory board of Ascend, the program to end family financial insecurity through a two-generation approach. She earned degrees from Stanford University, the London School of Economics, and American University. She and her husband, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman, have lived in Montgomery County since 1988, after living abroad in London, Beirut, and Jerusalem during the 1970s and 80s.
Thomas L. Friedman, Social Entrepreneur Supporter and award-winning New York Times op-ed journalist, became the paper’s foreign affairs Op-Ed columnist in 1995. He joined the paper in 1981, after which he served as the Beirut bureau chief in 1982, Jerusalem bureau chief in 1984, and then in Washington as the diplomatic correspondent in 1989, and later the White House correspondent and economic correspondent. Mr. Friedman was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Lebanon) and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Israel). He also won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Mr. Friedman is the author of “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” which won the National Book Award in 1989. He has written several other books, including “Hot, Flat and Crowded,” an international best seller. Born in Minneapolis, Mr. Friedman received a B.A. degree in Mediterranean studies from Brandeis University in 1975. In 1978 he received a master’s in modern Middle East studies from Oxford. His column appears every Sunday and Wednesday.
Tamar Manasseh is the Founder and President of Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killings (MASK). Following the shooting death of Lucille Barnes in 2015, Manasseh, a mother of two who grew up in Englewood and now lives in Bronzeville, rallied several other mothers and established MASK (Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killings). In the summer of 2015, Manasseh and other parents in the community took to their local corner daily to let everyone know that they’re watching.
MASK’s purpose is to put eyes on the streets, interrupt violence and crime, and teach children to grow up as friends rather than enemies. MASK’s primary mission is to build stronger communities through a focus of violence prevention, food insecurity, and housing. Additionally, MASK partners to ensure that community members have access to necessary city services, opportunities for education and professional skills growth, and economic development.
Manasseh has also helped launch MASK initiatives in other Chicago neighborhoods, as well as cities throughout the nation, including Evansville, Indiana; Staten Island, New York; and Memphis, Tennessee.
Rachel Sumekh is the Founder & CEO of Swipe Out Hunger. The organization is the leading nonprofit in addressing hunger amongst college students. Her work has been recognized by The Obama White House, The New York Times and landed her on Forbes’ 2017 30 Under 30 list.
Swipe Out Hunger began in 2010 with a few friends at UCLA and since has grown onto 82 universities, serving 1.7 nourishing million meals. Their innovative approach allows students to donate their meal credits to food insecure peers so everyone has access to warm, nourishing meals. The organization has written legislation leading to $20+ million to end hunger on campus. She is a proud UCLA grad, sits on the board of her synagogue, IKAR and credits being the child of Iranian Jewish immigrants for her intersectional perspective.
Barbara Tober is the President of Acronym, Inc., a firm which invests in art-related projects, including GUILD.com and Quilts Across America. Tober is the Chairman Emerita of the Museum of Art and Design, where she served 15 years as Chairman. She also worked as Bride Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief for 30 years and published numerous articles and standards, along with the book The Bride: A Celebration. She has appeared on numerous radio and talk shows as a spokesperson for the wedding industry, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, and dozens of others. A prolific philanthropist, Tober has been honored and awarded by International Furnishing and Design Association, Publicolor, The New Jewish Home, Lighthouse Guild, and the American Cancer Society, among others.