Anna Kaplan: From Iranian Refugee to Town Councilwoman
ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: What organizations helped young Iranian Jews immigrate to the United States and settle there?
Anna Kaplan was born Anna Monahemi in northern Iran and raised in Tehran. When the Islamic Revolution took place in 1979, Anna was sent to the United States at the age of thirteen as part of an international effort to help the Jewish children of Iran leave the country.
She completed her education in the United States and eventually settled in Great Neck, in Nassau County Long Island, a suburb of New York City. She became active in the local community, and was elected North Hempstead Town Councilwoman in 2011. She recently ran in the Democratic Party’s primary election for the United States Congress in New York State’s Third Congressional District.
Anna has been honored for her service to the community by the Nassau County Legislature, the Nassau County Comptroller’s Office and the Town of North Hempstead. In 2010, she was officially recognized as a Woman of Distinction by New York State Senator Craig Johnston.
Anna has the honor of being the first Iranian-American to be elected to municipal office in New York State. Following her historic election as Councilwoman, she was profiled by Lifetime TV Networks as part of their “Remarkable Women” campaign.
She is a twenty-one year resident of the Town of North Hempstead, where she lives with her husband Darren, and daughters Sarah and Taylor. She is fluent in Farsi and Aramaic.
Councilwoman Kaplan spoke with us about Jewish life in Iran, Iranian Jews in the United States, and her own life and career.