Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton receives Woman of Distinction Award

22 Sep 2020

Jewish Care is delighted to present the Woman of Distinction Award this year to Chief Fire Officer, Psychologist and Writer, Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton. The award ceremony was held as an online event with Dr Cohen-Hatton in conversation with CNN journalist Caroline Richenberg.

The event, attended virtually by over 125 guests, raised over £21,500, which will go directly to Sidney Corob House, one of Jewish Care’s residential homes supporting adults with enduring mental health needs. 

Jewish Care’s Woman of Distinction Award luncheon was launched in 1986 as a forum for women in business in the Jewish community to celebrate true Women of Distinction. The honours are given each year to distinguished women from the Jewish community in the UK who have excelled in their chosen field and have made a significant contribution both within and outside the community. Since its inception, the Women of Distinction committee has raised close to £1.5milllion for Jewish Care’s services.

Amongst those honoured have been scientists, politicians and ground-breaking contributors to the country and our community.

In a pre-recorded video message, former Woman of Distinction Award winners sent their very best wishes and said “Mazel Tov” to this year’s winner.

Messages were sent from Deborah Greenspan, the first winner of the Woman of Distinction Award in 1986, who said “it was really moving to be recognised for my work” and thanked the “amazing staff and volunteers for all they have done for our community during this challenging time”.

Dame Esther Ranzen, who won the award in 2017, also sent her regards and said that it is “always important to celebrate the good news of people’s achievements”. More recent winners of the award, Lady Nicola Mendelsohn CBE (2018), Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE (2019) and former MP and mental health campaigner, Luciana Berger (2019) also all sent their very best wishes and support for the event.

Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton is the 29th woman to have won the prestigious award.

During the interview with CNN journalist, Caroline Richenberg, Cohen-Hatton told guests that she joined the Fire Service to help other people in their lowest moments, and talked about some of her lowest moments and personal challenges with homelessness as a teenager whilst continuing to go to school and selling the Big Issue. Doing so allowed her to eventually save up and secure accommodation, giving her the confidence to join the Fire Service at 18 years old, whilst doing several other jobs.

Cohen-Hatton offered words of wisdom for women in the workplace and challenging stereotypes that can hold people back from going for that they want to do, and told the audience to remember, “you are stronger and more capable than you think you are”.

She also spoke about hopes for her daughter, and said she wants her to be “the child that cares about others and a tough sense of what’s just,” and is “prouder of her for being that person than any kind of exam result.”

Caroline Richenberg congratulated Cohen-Hatton by saying, “You are a hero for many of us and a true inspiration.”

On winning the award, Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, said:

“Thank you so much for this award, it means a great deal to me. When I look at all the remarkable women who have received the award in the past, I am completely humbled. I feel very honoured to have been considered, let alone awarded.”

Danielle Hess and Danielle Lipton, Co-chairs of the Women of Distinction committee, said:

“We were delighted to present Sabrina with the Woman of Distinction Award this year. She is such an inspirational figure to so many, and the contributions she has made to her field and the wider community are formidable. We were thrilled to still be able to hold the event virtually this year and to be joined by so many wonderful supporters. We are incredibly grateful to all those who made a donation, raising funds to go towards Jewish Care’s Sidney Corob House.”

Adam Overlander-Kaye, Director of Fundraising and Community Engagement, said:

“The Woman of Distinction Award is a highlight of the Jewish Care calendar and we were so pleased that we were able to hold the award ceremony online this year. The award winners have made such significant contributions to and society and our community and we are hugely proud of their achievements. To our supporters, I would like to say thank you. This is a challenging time for the organisation and so we are greatly appreciative of and thankful to our donors.”