Alan Alda Interviews Letty Cottin Pogrebin on Friendship and the New Etiquette of Illness

Press Contact: Beatrice Mora
Office: (212) 678-8950

January 29, 2014, New York, NY

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is pleased to present "Alan Alda Interviews Letty Cottin Pogrebin about Navigating the Challenges of Friendship through Illness, Grief, and Sickness Of Heart" on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. at JTS (3080 Broadway at 122nd Street, in New York City). A Henry N. and Selma S. Rapaport Memorial Lecture, the conversation will feature acclaimed journalist, activist, and author of the highly praised How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, and renowned actor, director, and writer Alan Alda. Tickets are $15, and space is limited. RSVP at Please arrive at least 15 minutes early for check-in, and have photo ID available. This program is cosponsored by the Center for Pastoral Education at JTS.

Fascinated by the varied reactions of her friends during her recent bout with breast cancer, Letty Cottin Pogrebin was inspired to interview more than 80 people for her newest book to learn what those who are hurting-physically or emotionally-wished their friends or relatives had said or done to provide help and comfort. "Illness is friendship's proving ground," she writes. Actor-writer-director Alan Alda will join Pogrebin in a conversation about a new etiquette regarding illness; one that's based on honesty, empathy, and a large dose of humor.

Letty Cottin Pogrebin, a founding editor and writer for Ms. Magazine, has authored 10 books, including Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America, and was the consulting editor on Free to Be, You and Me. A leader in many social justice causes, she is a regular columnist for Moment magazine. Alan Alda has earned international recognition on screen and stage. Winner of seven Emmy Awards, he played Hawkeye Pierce on the classic television series M*A*S*H, and wrote and directed many of the episodes. He has starred in numerous films and Broadway shows, and hosted the award-winning series Scientific American Frontiers, interviewing leading scientists from around the world.

The annual Henry N. and Selma S. Rapaport Memorial Lecture at JTS [Public Events: (212) 280-6093] was originally established in 1982 by Selma S. Rapaport (1916-2010), who served as president of the Women's League for Conservative Judaism and as a longtime JTS board member, in memory of her late husband. A distinguished attorney and committed Jew, Mr. Rapaport (1905-1980) served as president of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, New York, and as president of the United Synagogue. He was an active member of the JTS board, and a generous benefactor of JTS's scholarly programs.

JTS serves North American Jewry by educating intellectual and spiritual leaders for Conservative Judaism and the vital religious center, training rabbis, cantors, scholars, educators, communal professionals, and lay activists who are inspired by our vision of Torah and dedicated to assisting in its realization.