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Sen. Anna Kaplan, First Political Refugee and First Iranian-American Elected to New York Senate, to Speak at B’nai Sholom

State Senator Anna Kaplan, the first political refugee and first Iranian-American elected to the New York Senate, will discuss her work as a senator in a talk at B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany.

Kaplan will deliver her talk Monday, June 3, 7 p.m. at the synagogue, 420 Whitehall Road, Albany, New York.

The program is free and open to the public.

Kaplan represents the 7th Senate District on Long Island.  She first ran for the Senate in 2018, calling for passage of the Reproductive Health Act, sensible gun safety legislation and increased economic development in Nassau County.    

Kaplan was born Anna Monahemi in Tabriz, Iran, to a Jewish family.  When the Islamic Revolution swept the country, her parents made the difficult decision to send their daughter to the U.S. on her own for safety.  She arrived in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, as part of an international effort to save Iran’s Jewish people and was sent to live with a foster family in Chicago, where she learned to speak English and completed high school.  Eventually, she was granted political asylum.  After her family was finally reunited, they moved to Queens, where Kaplan graduated from Yeshiva University Stern College for Women and then Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Upon settling in Great Neck, Nassau County, where she and her husband raised two daughters, Kaplan felt a strong desire to give back to the country that had opened its arms to her as a child in need, volunteering at her daughters’ public schools and in her community.  In 2011, she was elected to the town of North Hempstead Council, where she passed groundbreaking legislation such as a town-wide ban on gender identity discrimination and anti-BDS legislation, helped secure more affordable housing for district seniors and rehabilitated parkland.

For more information about the June 3 program with Sen. Anna Kaplan, visit or contact the B’nai Sholom office: or 518-482-5283.


Founded in 1971, B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany is a home for contemporary Reform Judaism in the Capital Region.  Nearly 130 diverse households from eight counties seek religious, educational and social fulfillment at B’nai Sholom.  For information about B’nai Sholom and the benefits of belonging, visit  or contact the B’nai Sholom office at 518-482-5283 or


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