Ann Hartman Luban, MAJCS, MSW, is an alumna of both the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program and the Wexner Heritage Program.  She is currently at home raising her 3 children, and serves on the boards of the Chicago Jewish Day School and the Jewish Communal Service Association.  She can be reached at

I was 25 years old, still in my first job as a social worker at Council for Jewish Elderly in Chicago.  I had just taken on a new responsibility to provide specialized services to Holocaust survivors and their families.  Many survivors came to our opening event.  As I stood up to describe the services our agency planned to offer in cooperation with the Jewish Family Service agency and the Jewish Federation, some called out:  “where were you when we really needed you?” “it’s too little, too late,” and other similar sentiments.  The barrage continued for a few moments until one survivor stood up, quieted everyone down and said, “look how young she is, she wasn’t even born yet.  Give her a chance.”  I was grateful for his support and encouragement.  I looked forward to getting to know him better and hoped he could help me gain the trust of the survivor community.  He did, but he was also the one who pushed the hardest to get more for the individuals and the community as a whole.  He never stopped asking for more, but did it in such a way that was always congenial and respectful.  The power of his unstinting advocacy for his constituents, coupled with his courteous behavior, very effectively served his community and has stayed with me as a lesson in leadership over the years.