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Women of WHC Present Nina Totenberg on the Power of Friendships

A Conversation and Luncheon

Thursday April 20, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm


"Dinners with Ruth" book cover side-byu-side with headshot of Nina Totenberg
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Registration for this event is now closed, but a livestream of the program will be available. Please visit our streaming page at the scheduled start time for the event.

The Women of WHC are thrilled to welcome NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg to Temple on Thursday, April 20 for a Q&A with Rabbi Shankman, followed by a luncheon.

Ticket Options

WWHC MemberNon-member
LUNCH + BOOK$90$95

Ms. Totenberg will not be signing any books during the event, but those purchased through WHC will include a signed bookplate.

About the Book

Four years before Nina Totenberg was hired at NPR, where she cemented her legacy as a prizewinning reporter, and nearly 22 years before Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court, Nina called Ruth. A reporter for The National Observer, Nina was curious about Ruth’s legal brief, asking the Supreme Court to do something revolutionary: declare a law that discriminated “on the basis of sex” to be unconstitutional. In a time when women were fired for becoming pregnant, often could not apply for credit cards or get a mortgage in their own names, Ruth patiently explained her argument. That call launched a remarkable, nearly 50-year friendship.

Dinners with Ruth is an extraordinary account of two women who paved the way for future generations by tearing down professional and legal barriers. It is also an intimate memoir of the power of friendships as women began to pry open career doors and transform the workplace. The book also charts the history and current moment in regard to Roe v Wade. At the story’s heart is one, special relationship: Ruth and Nina saw each other not only through personal joys, but also illness, loss, and widowhood. During the devastating illness and eventual death of Nina’s first husband, Ruth drew her out of grief; 12 years later, Nina would reciprocate when Ruth’s beloved husband died. They shared not only a love of opera, but also of shopping, as they instinctively understood that clothes were armor for women who wanted to be taken seriously in a workplace dominated by men. During Ruth’s last year, they shared so many small dinners that Saturdays were “reserved for Ruth” in Nina’s house.

Dinners with Ruth also weaves together compelling, personal portraits of other fascinating women and men from Nina’s life, including her cherished NPR colleagues Cokie Roberts and Linda Wertheimer; her beloved husbands; her friendships with multiple Supreme Court Justices, including Lewis Powell, William Brennan, and Antonin Scalia, and Nina’s own family — her father, the legendary violinist Roman Totenberg, and her “best friends,” her sisters. Inspiring and revelatory, Dinners with Ruth is a moving story of the joy and true meaning of friendship.

About the Author

Nina Totenberg is NPR’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent. She appears on NPR’s critically acclaimed news magazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition, and on NPR podcasts, including The NPR Politics Podcast and its series, The Docket. Totenberg’s Supreme Court and legal coverage has won her every major journalism award in broadcasting. Recognized seven times by the American Bar Association for continued excellence in legal reporting, she has received more than two dozen honorary degrees. A frequent TV contributor, she writes for major newspapers, magazines, and law reviews.

Nina Totenberg on the Power of Friendships

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Thursday, April 20


12:00 pm - 2:00 pm




Women of WHC


Lori Wise