Leiba Geft worked for years as a financial reported for the financial news network but had never studied economics before taking the job 


Leiba Geft profiled in Lifestyle magazine

KW:   What has been your most difficult challenge as a Kosher woman?

LG:    My first job was as an English Teacher & when my husband & I started our family, I became a tutor.  When we moved to Los Angeles, I couldn't find a job in the local Jewish day schools. So I took a workshop offered by KIIS Radio. That led to working for a company that recorded children’s records. 

As they say in Hollywood, that’s when my ‘break’ came. One of my co-workers was leaving to become an anchor on a new national cable TV program called Financial News Network.  When the powers that be realized that they needed a woman anchor to balance their image, my co-worker suggested my name. 

I was hesitant to go for the interview & even more hesitant to accept the job.  My background wasn’t strong in economics & I would be expected to be on the air from 7am -  3pm reporting on the international futures market every 10 minutes. 

I was also concerned how my family would fare since I would have to leave home at 4:30 am each weekday morning & not return until dinner time.  My husband was a physician not a homemaker.  Then there was Shabbat & holidays to contend with.  How would I handle all of this?

KW:  How have you overcome this challenge?

LG:   My husband turned out to be a terrific organizer.  He figured out how to maintain his professional career & still get the kids off to school in the morning. 

Meanwhile I was becoming an expert in a field in which I had scant knowledge before my ‘break.’  At my desk on stage, I worked in between reports on my computer & telephone seeking information for the expert financial analysis my viewers had come to expect of me. 

15 million Americans watched the Wall St. Final show on the Financial News Network on cableTV but none of them had any idea that I was an orthodox Jewish woman.  So when  I was invited to a Futures & Options Symposium in Chicago, I was surprised to learn that the organizers of the symposium arranged for me to spend Shabbat in the local Jewish community.  On Friday afternoon, a limo arrived to drive me to home of a prominent family in the orthodox Jewish community.  After havdalah when Shabbat was over, the limo returned to pick me up & take me to the Saturday evening session of the symposium. 

Leba Geft now is the Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, California  Leiba Geft with her husband & grandchildren

Leiba Geft is currently the
Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance

in Los Angeles, California.


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