We love calling New York City home but we all found our way to CASA, an organization based in beautiful San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. We believe the important work that CASA does will help improve our world. We hope you join us in common cause.
Abigail Agranat was a teenager in Israel after World War II where she was exposed daily to the destitution and misery of refugees from the holocaust and homeless immigrants from Arab countries as she worked with diverse groups of people attending to a wide range of desperate needs. Abigail’s life passion to help was imbedded at an early age. After graduate school in England, she continued her studies in Comparative Literature at Columbia University while working on the board of volunteer group designed to help inner city kids in their daily struggles while also introducing them to creative programs and excursions beyond the city. Professionally Abigail became a licensed NYC real estate agent in 1991 and continued to pursue her love of travel which drew her often to Mexico where she was struck by the resilience and determination of women coming down from the mountains with their babies on their backs to sell their goods in the market place. Working to support CASA has been an inspiring journey because CASA has provided tools for local women to address their needs and provide hope for their future.
Anne Newman Bacal visited CASA in San Miguel de Allende after meeting Nadine Goodman, the founder of Casa, in New York City. “I was struck by the energy and beauty of CASA and became an immediate enthusiast. Casa is a unique and essential part of family health, especially women’s health, in Mexico and deserves our support.” Anne is a native Californian. The Mexican culture of California was an important part of her native heritage and being part of New Yorkers for Casa has provided a satisfying link to those roots. She attended Pomona College and graduated from UCLA. An Actress and television producer, she has been a social activist all her life.
Esther Cohen is a writer and cultural activist. Former executive director of Bread and Roses 1199/SEIU, she’s now cultural director for the New York State Workforce Development Institute, and Executive Director of the National Writers Union non-profit, Workers Write.
Pamela Grace is an enthusiastic supporter of CASA. She has been involved with women’s issues for many years, working with “delinquent” teenage girls, doing research studies for foundations, and serving on boards of numerous organizations, including the Ms Foundation for Women. She was fortunate to be part of the Ms delegation to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. In late middle age, Grace entered the Cinema Studies Department at NYU, receiving a PhD at the age of sixty. She taught for many years at Brooklyn College, and is now a judge at the Guanajuato Film Festival. She feels privileged to be part of New Yorkers for CASA.
Maria McBride is an event planner, author and former style director at BRIDES magazine. Additionally McBride was founder of AfterSchool KidcClubs, a not for profit program servicing NYC public elementary school, established in 1997. McBride, the daughter of a resilient, activist Guatemalan mom was raised with eleven siblings in Delaware, has lived in NYC since graduating from Barnard College, 1981.
Lee Riffaterre lives in New York City and works as a lawyer for a media company. She has been friends with Nadine Goodman, founder of CASA, since childhood. From the moment Lee visited CASA with her husband and two young children, and witnessed the education and support system that CASA provides to mothers, fathers, babies to young adults, and families as a whole, she has been an enthusiastic supporter of CASA. Being part of New Yorkers for CASA has given her the opportunity to build support to sustain and expand CASA’s impressive accomplishments.
Dr. Elizabeth Starcevic is retired from City College where she taught Spanish Language and Literature for more than 40 years. In San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Elizabeth has worked to support the various activities of the CASA staff . For more than 23 years she has also worked in Mexico as a weaver and has shown her work in both Mexico and the United States. Elizabeth is currently the president of PEN San Miguel, in Mexico, one of the many PEN centers that works for freedom expression for writers throughout the world.