Award-winning American journalist and author Jodi Kantor suggests a story about her would be timelier this coming fall, when a film depicting how she exposed Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual misconduct is released. But Tel Aviv University chose to award Kantor an honorary degree at its recent Board of Governors meeting.
The New York Times journalist was recognized for her article — and book of the same name — “She Said,” which helped launch the #MeToo movement that strove to hold powerful men accountable for sexual abuse and manipulation. Kantor’s investigative work won her a Pulitzer Prize in 2018.
Declining an interview in an email to the AJT, she wrote: “I am juggling multiple stories and kids.”
The university said the honorary degree was in recognition of Kantor’s “pivotal contribution to civil and cultural discourse as an investigative journalist and author; her uncompromising determination to reveal hidden truths that spur national debate, shift attitudes, shape policies and change lives; her courageous exposé of sexual harassment that gave rise to the worldwide #MeToo movement and transformed a generation; her numerous accolades as a celebrated writer; and her commitment to social justice rooted in Jewish and universal values.”
Kantor was not alone in being honored by the university. Katalin Karikó, developer of the mRNA-based vaccine platform for COVID-19 and other diseases, was awarded an honorary degree, alongside theoretical physicist Sir Michael Victor Berry; influential neurobiologist and geneticist Cornelia Bargmann; philanthropist and businessman James S. Gertler; Jewish history scholar Jehuda Reinharz; Bernd Huber, president of Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University; philanthropist Solomon Lew; evolution expert Jurgen Renn and former Banks of England and Canada governor Mark J. Carney, who was awarded the George S. Wise medal.
Additionally, Tel Aviv University named its sports center after Israeli-Canadian billionaire Sylvan Adams and awarded scholarships to two Olympic swimmers, Andi Murez, now a student in the New York Medical program at TAU’s Faculty of Medicine, and Shahar Rasman, an MBA student in the Recanati Program at the School of Management.
The scholarships are intended to enable athletes to study for new careers after retiring from sports. The Iranian American Jewish Federation of New York was also awarded an honorary fellowship.
All honors were presented by the university’s board chairwoman, Dafna Meitar-Nechmad, President Ariel Porat and Rector Mark Steif.
“The honorees of this event are all driven by a deep social consciousness, whether in the areas of academia, business, civic service or philanthropy, and their contribution is boundless,” said Meitar-Nechmad.
But it was Kantor’s honorary award that attracted the most attention at this year’s ceremony. The upcoming film, named after the book written by Kantor and fellow journalist Megan Twohey, will be released in the U.S. on Nov. 18. It stars Zoe Kazan, Carey Mulligan, Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, Samantha Morton, Tom Pelphrey and Adam Shapiro.
The book, which was published in 2019, described how the authors had unearthed evidence of Weinstein’s sexual misconduct, resulting in the bombshell New York Times article on Oct. 5, 2017. That article exposed significant allegations against the Hollywood producer, including three decades of sexual harassment of female employees at The Weinstein Co. and Miramax. Weinstein was eventually sentenced to 23 years in prison.
- Israel news
- Jan Jaben-Eilon
- Jodi Kantor
- Harvey Weinstein
- Tel Aviv University
- Board of Governors
- New York Times
- She Said
- pulitzer prize
- Katalin Karikó
- Sir Michael Victor Berry
- Cornelia Bargmann
- James S. Gertler
- Jehuda Reinharz
- Bernd Huber
- Ludwig Maximilian University
- Solomon Lew
- Jurgen Renn
- Mark J. Carney
- Iranian American Jewish Federation of New York