NBC’s Hoda Kotb and Stephanie Ruhle visit Sid Jacobson JCC

NBC’s Hoda Kotb and Stephanie Ruhle visit Sid Jacobson JCC
Hoda Kotb with a fan at the SJJCC event. (Courtesy of Sid Jacobson JCC)

On March 8, Sid Jacobson JCC (SJJCC) – the only full-service JCC on Long Island’s North Shore – welcomed NBC’s Hoda Kotb, co-anchor of Today and Stephanie Ruhle, the anchor of MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle, for a chat about Kotb’s new book, “Hope is a Rainbow.”

The event, moderated by Ruhle, was part of SJJCC’s Irene and Ronald Cohen Spotlight Speaker Series in partnership with Theodore’s Books, an independent Oyster Bay bookshop owned by former US Representative Steve Israel.

Kotb, the Emmy award-winning co-host, along with Savannah Guthrie and Jenna Bush Hager (who appeared at SJJCC’s Friendship Circle Luncheon in 2022), spoke to the 250 attendees about the adoption of her two children, family, and the opportunities and challenges of being a woman in television journalism.

She spoke openly and honestly about doors that were shut in her face early on in her career and the benefits of perseverance, telling the crowd that “things happen when they should.”

Kotb’s first job in journalism was at WXVT in Greenville, Mississippi in 1988. Working her way through several news stations over the next decade, joining NBC News in 1998. She took over as a co-host of Today with Guthrie in 2018.

Ruhle, who took over as host of The Eleventh Hour in 2022 after six years at the network, spoke about her recent viral Instagram post and subsequent Today interview about dyslexia.

At the event with Kotb, Ruhle recounted how she was on a flight in February – having difficulty reading a self-help book – when she thought about her school-age son. She wrote a text-only Instagram post, which read in part: “… I promise, school eventually ends & when it does, calculus & physics need not be in your next chapter. And the real world can’t wait for you to unleash your awesomeness …”

The post almost immediately earned praise for its honesty and straightforwardness about her struggles with learning, according to Ruhle. At the event, she humorously recounted the text message she received days later from Gwyneth Paltrow.

“We were so honored to have Hoda and Stephanie join us for an open, honest conversation about women’s issues and Hoda’s wonderful new book,” said Elyse Ingber, Director, Cultural Arts. “While we fully expected an engaging conversation with these two icons of journalism, we were so pleasantly surprised by the level of conversation which transpired between them and all of our audience about the issues faced by females in the industry and the lessons we hope were learned from them about empowerment and hard work. We thank Ms. Kotb and Ms. Ruhle for their time and attention and for being a part of the Irene and Ronald Cohen Spotlight Series.”

For more information on upcoming events like this, please visit our website here.

Sid Jacobson JCC, the only full-service JCC on Long Island’s North Shore, provides a full range of cutting-edge recreational, health, fitness, educational, cultural arts, and social services programs to East Hills and the surrounding community. Sid Jacobson JCC promotes Jewish identity and provides a comprehensive program based on Jewish values, traditions, heritage, and culture and is committed to enriching the lives of all individuals and families in its community.

Sid Jacobson JCC is a beneficiary agency of the UJA Federation of New York.

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