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Diane Troderman to be Honored by UMass Hillel

By Stacey Dresner

BOSTON – Hillel House at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will honor Diane Troderman and Anita Diamant at the  “A Tribute to Excellence” on Wednesday, May 9 at the University of Massachusetts Club in Boston at 5:30 p.m.

Diamant will also be the keynote speaker at the third annual event, which supports Jewish life at UMass Amherst. The event will include a dinner reception and program.

Diane Troderman has held numerous leadership positions in local, national and international Jewish organizations, including UMass Hillel.

“We are very excited,” said Saul Perlmutter, executive director of UMass Hillel. “Diane needs no introduction to any knowledgeable Jewish audience due to her leadership and activism. She is a past president of our Hillel Board and she was instrumental in the move from our 400-square foot office in the student union building back in the day to this 15,000 square foot Hillel House that has also enabled our Jewish student community to grown immeasurably. And nationally and internationally, she is such an important person.”

Particularly interested in Jewish education, Troderman currently is the chair of PEJE, the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education, and is actively involved in the vitalization of Jewish “complementary” schools and Hebrew language charter schools. She is involved with PELIE, the Partnership for Effective Learning and Innovative education, and the Boston-based Hebrew at the Center, an organization dedicated to revolutionizing the effectiveness of teaching and learning Hebrew. Troderman sits on the Board of The Davidson

School of Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary and chairs the Areivim Philanthropic Group working committee on Hebrew language in North America.

Between 2005 and 2008, she chaired JESNA, the Jewish Education Service of North America. She also was the founding chair of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, and has served on that Board since 1997. She is a trustee of her husband’s foundation, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. With Harold, she serves on the Board of Governors for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, and the Birthright partnership. She was President of UMass Hillel from 1992 to 1994, and was President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Springfield (Now the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts) from 1990-1992.

Anita Diamant is the author of 11 books. Her first novel, “The Red Tent,” published in 1997, won the 2001 Booksense Book of the Year Award. Based on the biblical story of Dinah, “The Red Tent” became a word-of-mouth bestseller in the U.S. and overseas. She lives in the Boston area and is a founder and the president of

Mayyim Hayyim: Living Waters Community Mikveh, a 21st

Century interpretation of the ritual bath that is a place for exploring ancient traditions and enriching Jews.

“Not only has Anita Diamant spoken at our Hillel, but she has made a difference through her books, her teaching and as a writer and  someone who is getting wonderful things done, like getting the Mayyim Hayyim mikveh built,” Perlmutter said. “That is something that has been something that has been important to our students as well as to the Jewish community as a whole.”

Diamant’s collection of personal essays, “Pitching My Tent: On Marriage, Motherhood, Friendship and Other Leaps of Faith,” is drawn from 20 years of her newspaper and magazine columns. An award-winning journalist, Diamant graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in comparative literature. She holds a Master’s degree in English from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

“If people are interested in attending, they should sign up soon,” Perlmutter said. “We are already forming the tribute committee which has names on it like Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt and many of the leading members of the Jewish community in this country, so this is going to be a very special event.”




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