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Ruth Messinger & Randy Cohen

May 3, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Ruth Messinger

“The Idea of Caring”

A Conversation between Ruth Messinger and Randy Cohen for Person Place Thing

For our May Narrative Medicine Rounds, we welcome former Manhattan borough president, former city councilwoman, Global Ambassador of American Jewish World Service Ruth Messinger, who will be interviewed by writer Randy Cohen, creator of the radio program, Person Place Thing, an interview show based on this idea: People are particularly engaging when they speak not directly about themselves but about something they care about. Guests talk about one person, one place, and one thing that are important to them. The result? Surprising stories from great talkers. Person Place Thing is produced with JCC in Manhattan and sponsored by WAMC Northeast Public Radio in partnership with Humanities NY.

Listen to a podcast of the event on iTunes U

Randy Cohen

Ruth W. Messinger, President of American Jewish World Service (AJWS) from 1998 to July of 2016, is currently the organization’s inaugural Global Ambassador. In this role, Ruth is continuing her crucial work of engaging rabbis and interfaith leaders to speak out on behalf of oppressed and persecuted communities worldwide. Ruth’s remarkable 18-year presidency at AJWS began after a 20-year career in public service in New York City as a City Council member and Manhattan Borough President. Under Ruth’s leadership, AJWS grew exponentially—granting more than $270 million to promote human rights in the developing world and launching campaigns to end the Darfur genocide, reform international food aid, stop violence against women and LGBT people, end land grabs and respond to natural disasters around the globe. A tireless advocate and social change visionary, Ruth mobilizes rabbis and faith-based communities throughout the U.S. to promote human rights. She previously sat on the State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group and is currently a member of the World Bank’s Moral Imperative Working Group on Extreme Poverty. Ruth is also currently doing international human rights work for AIDS Free World and serving as the inaugural Social Justice Fellow at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Additionally, she is the Social Justice Activist-in-Residence at the JCC of Manhattan.

Randy Cohen is a writer, whose humor pieces, essays and stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines (The New YorkerHarpersThe AtlanticYoung Love Comics). He has won four Emmys, receiving three for his writing for Late Night with David Letterman and one for his work on Michael Moore’s TV Nation. For twelve years he wrote “The Ethicist,” a weekly column for the The New York Times Magazine. His most recent book is Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything.

Rounds this month are co-sponsored by Columbia Commons IPE: Collaboration Across Professions.

Refreshments are served and Rounds are free & open to the public .


May 3, 2017
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:



Open to public