April 18, 2019
CCC Gala Special Honorees: Christine and Susan Wasserstein
The article, with its vivid descriptions of the dire situations the families faced, landed in the hands of Christine Wasserstein and led her to take an active interest in the policy and programs serving children and families.
Susan Wasserstein is well-known in the art community of New York City as a public relations consultant. Through her relationships with art dealers and artists, she helped with auctions to fundraise for Citizens’ Committee for Children and learned about the organization’s impact.
Now Susan and Christine are CCC Board Members playing an important part in making our work possible.
For their dedication to CCC and to other important organizations, CCC will be honoring Christine Wasserstein and Susan Wasserstein and their families as Special Honorees at our 2019 gala CCC Celebrates at the Museum of Modern Art. The event will take place on April 30.
After teaching at a Brooklyn Head Start, Christine started her own pre-school on the Upper West Side until the first of her three children were born. From there, she began her psychoanalytic training at National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis. She practiced psychotherapy for 30 years.
With her expertise in mental health, Christine understood the importance years 0 to 5 are to a child and their life trajectory.
“Infancy, parent-child relationships — it impacts an individual’s whole life,” Christine said. “Having a stable, supportive environment as a child is so critical.”
After reading The New Yorker article, she was introduced to CCC in 2009 and has been involved since, including co-leading our Community Leadership Course and serving as Vice President for Development.
Susan was Public Relations Director for the Art Dealers Association of America for over 20 years, as well as Public Relations Director for the Art Show. In those capacities she directed media relations and organized special events at venues such as the 67th Street Armory, the Guggenheim, the Met, and MoMA.
“Because of my work with art dealers, I initially helped with art auctions to help fundraise for CCC and co-chaired the annual Museum of Modern Art gala for several years,” Susan said. In fact, as we honor Susan and Chris and their families this year, it is not uncommon to have so many Wassersteins at our special events that it’s almost impossible to fit them all in one picture.
Both Susan and Christine are graduates of the Community Leadership Course, CCC’s flagship course giving participants a firsthand look at how programs across New York City help children.
Susan called the course “truly inspirational.”
Christine described the course as eye-opening.
“These children can’t vote, they can’t speak out for themselves,” Christine said. “CCC seems to be so unique in that it does so much to make so many changes for vulnerable families.”
Today, they are both Board Members of CCC and are actively involved in other organizations throughout the city.
Susan is also on the Boards of Congregation Rodeph Sholom, Second Stage Theater, and the New York Academy of Art.
“It’s an honor to give back to the community by working with such worthy non-profit organizations that contribute in so many ways to all of our lives,” Susan said.
Christine is on the national board of the Nurse-Family Partnership. Locally, she and another CLC graduate, Susan Orkin, started the Friends of New York City Nurse-Family Partnership, which provides grants to new mothers. Last year, the organization helped 52 mothers with purchasing MetroCards, laptops, books and other forms of aid.
“If you think of the overall picture and how huge the needs are in the city, you think ‘How can one person make a difference?’” said Christine. “You can’t as one person. If you come together with others — and these wonderful people at CCC will show you how — that’s how you make a difference.”