Mrs. Strauss has been Executive Director of the Leo Baeck Institute in New York since 1994. The Institute is a research library and archive that documents the history and culture of German-speaking Jewry, primarily in the 19th and 20th century, but includes documents dating back to the middle ages. It was founded in 1955 as a repository for the books, papers, photos and documents that could be salvaged from a decimated Central Europe. Without the Leo Baeck Institute to collect and catalogue these holdings, many of these priceless treasures would have been lost to history.
Mrs. Strauss holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Columbia University and a Master’s degree in International Relations from Hunter College. Before her position with the Leo Baeck Institute, she worked as a Senior Editor at the 20th Century Fund in New York, a public policy organization, as well as Senior Editor at the Hudson Institute, a think tank headed by Herman Kahn. For many years she was assistant book editor at the renowned Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
In addition to her professional career, Mrs. Strauss commits time to charity and volunteer work. She was Vice President of the American Federation of Jews from Central Europe and past President of the Congregation Habonim in New York City, a former Trustee of Self-Help and a Trustee of Leo Baeck Institute.
In June 2005, Mrs. Strauss was honored with the Order of Merit, The Cross of Merit, First Class, of the Federal Republic of Germany, issued by Federal President Horst Köhler which was awarded to her by Germany’s Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Joschka Fischer in a ceremony in Berlin. In 2009 she received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Mrs. Strauss has been featured in a number of biographies such as the “Who’s Who in American Women” and the “Who’s Who in the East”.