Doug Mills / The New York Times

Hurwitz worked with both the Obamas during their administration and Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign.

March 3, 2020

Hillel Invites Obamas’ Speech Writer Sarah Hurwitz to Campus

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The now-famous phrase “when they go low, we go high” nationally headlined shortly after Michelle Obama delivered her 2016 Democratic National Convention speech.

On March 23, the Obama-era speech writer who helped craft that very address, Sarah Hurwitz, will give a talk about her time under the former president’s administration and her Jewish identity.

“Hillel decided to bring Sarah Hurwitz to speak because she is an inspiring and influential Jewish woman,” said Leila Gordon, Hillel’s engagement associate. “We are excited to hear her speak about what it was like to work in the White House as well as her Jewish journey.”

A graduate of Harvard College and Law School, Hurwitz worked as head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama and senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017.

Prior to her stint in the White House, she worked as chief speechwriter on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, writing the candidate’s concession speech before being asked to join the Obama team.

After leaving the White House, Barack Obama appointed Hurwitz to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, a commission that oversees the Washington D.C. museum of the same name.

The Forward, a Jewish American news media outlet, named Hurwitz one of their 50 most influential Jewish-Americans in both 2016 and 2019.

In 2019, Hurwitz published “Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life — in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There).”  The book about her rediscovery of Judaism, “offers audiences a behind-the-scenes look at life in the White House working for one of the most inspiring and influential women in the world,” according to the event’s Facebook page.

Hurwitz also offers tips on writing effective narratives throughout the book, while weaving in stories about rediscovering her Jewish identity.

The event is free and tickets will be available starting March 9 through the show date at the Resource Center in Willard Straight Hall. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the talk begins at 6 p.m.