August 2009

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• Ann Lewis Honored

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Ira Forman and Ann Lewis. (Photo: Bonnie Squires)

Ann Lewis Honored by NJDC

-- Bonnie Squires

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) presented the first Belle Moskowitz Award to presidential advisor and long-time Hilary Clinton staff person Ann Lewis at a reception in Washington, D.C., on June 16. The reception was held, fittingly enough, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

The Belle Moskowitz award is named for the most influential female political advisor of her time, a woman who advised New York Governor Al Smith during his administration and worked on Smith's 1928 presidential campaign as well. Moskowitz's achievements have recently been highlighted in a book written by her granddaughter, Elisabeth Michaels Perry, and entitled Belle Moskowitz: Feminine Politics and the Exercise of Power in the Age of Alfred E. Smith. Northeastern University Press is the publisher.

Ann Lewis, who is now president of the nonprofit organization No Limits, served as director of communications and then counselor to President Bill Clinton and senior advisor to Hillary Clinton during the presidential primary campaign. Ann's public service career has also included stints as a professor at Brandeis University and the University of Pennsylvania, political director of the Democratic National Committee, the Jewish Women's Archive, and Emily's List, among others.

I served with Lewis on the national governing council of American Jewish Congress in the 1980s, and she was always a leader. She also made certain that Congressman Barney Frank, her brother, appeared at all of the AJC national conventions!

The large group of luminaries who attended the NJDC reception to pay tribute to her demonstrated the high regard in which Ann Lewis is held, not only in Washington, DC but across the country.

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