Posted on December 5, 2022 · Posted in Roosevelt House General News

There is no way to measure this staggering loss—to Hunter or Roosevelt House. Had it not been for the visionary, inexhaustible Jennifer Raab, the Roosevelt family home on East 65thStreet might have become an oligarch’s mansion, or even a ruin. Almost 20 years ago, she defied the odds, raised the funds, and developed the brilliant architectural plan to rescue this building, re-design it, and repurpose it. Under her guidance, it became a college institute providing undergraduate education in public policy and human rights, and serving the community as a center for civic engagement. Both of Hunter’s Rhodes scholars were enrolled in our programs and extraordinary public speakers have graced the auditorium she dug from the rocks beneath the building’s old kitchens.

For the past seven years, I have had the pleasure and privilege of serving as Director of Roosevelt House under Jennifer’s strong and inspiring leadership. I will forever count myself blessed that she turned to me for this assignment, and supported our work with keen interest and manifest generosity.

To say she will be missed is of course an understatement. This house has been graced by three extraordinary, impactful women: Sara Delano Roosevelt, who built it; Eleanor Roosevelt, who ennobled it; and Jennifer Raab, who saved, re-envisioned, and reinvigorated it.

Generations of directors, educators, students, and neighbors will be forever in Jennifer Raab’s debt.