Don't you wish that more media attention went to people making a positive difference and not just those who are super rich, super athletic or super scandalous? In this spirit, I take a moment to kvell about a friend who received some much deserved coverage. Back on 12/15/2015, the New York Times offered up a list of New Yorkers that readers could vote for as New Yorker of the Year. And who should be listed on it? But our friend Ann Kansfield, who I grew up with and went to school with in Rochester.
Ann was being nominated because she's the first Lesbian Chaplin of the New York Fire Department. But her work goes beyond that: she's one of those people who work tirelessly for the benefit of others. As a Christian Minister she's pretty much the furthest thing from a Jew, and yet, she makes Tikkun Olam, repairing of the world, her life's work.
And so to see her get a mention by the New York Times is just too cool and too appropriate.
And if that weren't enough, she went ahead and won!
The moment you’ve all been waiting for: the winner of our “New Yorker of the Year” contest.
As chosen by reader submissions, the Rev. Ann Kansfield, the Fire Department’s first female (and first lesbian) chaplain, won by a landslide.
Ms. Kansfield, who also ministers at the Greenpoint Reformed Church in Brooklyn, received 81 votes, many of them submitted by members of her congregation.
We nominated her for breaking barriers and for helping some of the city’s bravest workers.
Her supporters wrote in with more reasons: her generosity of spirit, her support of her community, and her growing ministry.
You may not agree with Ann on her views of politics and religion. But I'd be willing to guess that you would agree that it sure is nice to see people who make doing good their life's work, get the press, even if it's just this once.
Here's Ann, Myself and others in the yearbook as Trapezoid Editors. Who knew I was standing with a future New Yorker of the Year?