Roberta Kaplan and Audrey Strauss, two legal luminaries, will be honored recipients of the annual George A. Katz Torch of Learning Award (TOL), presented by American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU) at Cipriani on Thursday, May 18, at noon. Click here to register or donate.
Roberta (“Robbie”) Kaplan is the founding partner of Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP. In July 2017, Robbie left Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP after 25 years to found Kaplan Hecker & Fink, seeking to build what she calls a “new-fashioned, old-fashioned” law firm that combines a cutting-edge civil and criminal litigation practice with a groundbreaking commitment to using the courts to serve the public interest.
Audrey Strauss,senior counsel, Fried Frank, represents clients in white-collar criminal defense and regulatory matters. Prior to rejoining Fried Frank in 2022, Audrey served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where she oversaw all criminal and civil cases brought on behalf of the U.S.
“Audrey and Robbie are both distinguished, talented and inspirational lawyers and true leaders in their field,” says Joshua Rednik, AFHU chief executive officer. “They have given back to the community and have a long history of supporting the Torch of Learning Awards, which provides funding for the prestigious Hebrew University Faculty of Law.”
Hebrew University’s Faculty of Law is a dynamic institution where traditional legal research is conducted along with trailblazing programs in international law, multidisciplinary studies, and human rights research. HU law alumni include the majority of Israel’s former Supreme Court justices (many now faculty members), legislators, attorneys-general, social activists and heads of NGOs.
Celebrating its 53rd year, the award has an illustrious history and raises awareness and important support for the HU Faculty of Law and the mission of its American Friends. Presented annually to distinguished members of the New York legal community, the TOL Award recognizes an honoree’s leadership, scholarship, and dedication to the betterment of humanity which was embodied in the high ideals and philanthropic commitment of the late George A. Katz (z”l), co-founder of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and dear friend of AFHU.
Prof. Tomer Broude, dean of the Hebrew University Faculty of Law, will give a special presentation, “Constitutional Reforms and the Future of Israel’s Democracy.”
Dahlia Lithwick, lawyer, New York Times bestselling author, journalist and senior editor at Slate, will present the award to Robbie Kaplan. Geoffrey S. Berman, partner, Fried Frank, and former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, will present the award to Audrey Strauss.