Marina Pinto Kaufman

Human Rights Activist

Marina Pinto Kaufman was born in Morocco and finished high school in England.  She then went to the University of Geneva in Switzerland and became a conference interpreter. She worked in Switzerland and then in the U.S. as a freelance interpreter for over 25 years, mainly for the United Nations.  In 1978, she became involved with an organization called the University for Peace in Costa Rica, where she was one of the “producers” of a benefit concert organized in Japan for the University, with musicians like Peter Gabriel, Youssou N’dour, Howard Jones, Nona Hendrix and Lou Reed.  In 1986, she went to her first Americas Watch meeting and she never left.  From the beginning, with Cynthia Brown and others, she was hoping that one day HRW would have a women’s rights division. It happened, and she finds it extraordinary to see how much the organization has accomplished, how it has really helped to put women’s rights on the map, and how much more needs to be done.  Ms. Kaufman is an Emerita Member of the Board of Human Rights Watch. She has helped with fundraising, particularly for the two yearly New York benefits.  She was also one of the founders of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.  She has been on the Board of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun for a few years and has been involved in development and human and social rights. She is also the Chair of a very small organization called “Storahtelling,” which endeavors to reclaim the art and rituals of sacred Jewish storytelling both inside and outside of the synagogue.