Anna Kaplan was born Anna Monahemi in Tabriz, Iran, to a Jewish family. She
arrived in Brooklyn as part of an international effort to save Iran’s Jewish children
and was sent to live with a foster family in Chicago, where she learned to speak
English and completed high school. Eventually, Anna was granted political asylum
by the United States government. She graduated from Yeshiva University Stern
College for Women, and then Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Anna settled in Great Neck, where she and her husband raised two daughters. After years volunteering at her daughters’ public schools and in her community, she decided to run for the Great Neck Library Board, where she served a four-year term. During that time, she was appointed to the Town of North Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeals. In 2011, Anna was elected Town of North Hempstead councilwoman for the Fourth District, where she helped the town achieve an AAA bond rating for the first time in its history.
Anna first ran for New York State Senate in 2018, calling for the passage of the Reproductive Health Act, sensible gun safety legislation, and increased economic development in Nassau County. Her election victory made her the first political refugee and the first Iranian-American elected to the New York State Senate. In 2020, Anna was re-elected by the people of Nassau County in a resounding victory to serve a second term in the State Senate.
Anna has attended many Interfaith Institute programs. On August 18, 2019, she issued a strong proclamation in support of the activities and accomplishments of the Interfaith Institute.