The Arthur R. Kravitz Award for Community Action and Humanitarian Contributions was established in 2008, for our 75th anniversary, to recognize Members of BPSI who have provided noteworthy psychoanalytically-informed service to our broader community.

The award is named to honor the memory of Arthur R. Kravitz, MD, a former President of BPSI whose outstanding public service gave us a model for the contributions that we wish to recognize and celebrate.


Dr. Kravitz (1928 – 2005), a graduate of Harvard College and of Harvard Medical School, trained at the Massachusetts General Hospital  (internal medicine), The Boston Psychopathic Hospital (now the Massachusetts Mental Health Center) and the Beth Israel Hospital, now the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (psychiatry). He graduated from BPSI in 1964. Always a physician and a teacher, he served also as Chair of the BPSI Board of Trustees from 1973-1975 and as President from 1974-1976. His special interest was in increasing the breadth of connections for BPSI.

Dr. Kravitz became a major advisor to the leaders of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and served as a member of the Board of Overseers of The Boston Symphony Orchestra.  His interest in the Boston Symphony Orchestra and in music (second only to his love of the Boston Red Sox) led to his significant work with Project Step, which aimed at facilitating access to training in classical music for children of color.  In what was perhaps his most important venture, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Dimock Community Health Center (whose illustrious history goes back to the 1860s), and Chair of their Community Service Board.

The universal respect, admiration, and, above all, trust, that Dr. Kravitz inspired, continues to be a model for BPSI.  It is this tradition of personal integrity and public service that we honor with the Arthur R. Kravitz Award.


The Kravitz Award winner is announced and honored at an annual BPSI function.  A contribution of $1000 is also made, in honor of the recipient, to an organization or charity of his/her choice.

Arthur M. Kravitz Awardees


Anna Ornstein, MD, has been named the 2018 Kravitz Award winner in recognition of a lifetime of dedication to teaching about the Holocaust. As a leader of American psychoanalysis, Dr. Ornstein has woven together the roles of scholar, clinician, teacher, and voice of conscience. There is perhaps no one who more fully fits the description of humanitarian psychoanalyst and activist than Dr. Ornstein. Click here to watch Dr. Ornstein’s recent interview to Steven Varga-Golovcsenko recorded in Brookline, MA on August 21, 2019.

She most recently demonstrated this after a series of anti-Semitic events in the Reading schools this fall. Dr. Ornstein felt it was urgent to respond, both to the specific events and to the general political situation in our country. In particular, she felt it was critical to draw attention to the dangers of gradually accepting previously unthinkable repression and of normalizing outrageous intolerance. She met with Reading town officials and teachers and helped organize a group called Reading Embraces Diversity. She also talked to several hundred sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in Reading schools, presenting a piece on Kristallnacht that looked at similarities and differences between the situation in Europe in the 1930s and the current situation in the United States. After her presentation, the students asked questions about what had happened in Europe and whether it could happen here.

Dr. Anna Ornstein was born in Hungary in 1927. She survived deportation, ghetto imprisonment, the Auschwitz concentration camp, and the Parschnitz labor camp. After the war, she was reunited with Paul Ornstein, whom she had known growing up in Hungary, and they were married. Soon after, they fled Communist Hungary and attended medical school in Heidelberg, Germany, where both received their degrees. In 1952, the Ornsteins were able to immigrate to the United States, where Anna Ornstein trained in adult and child psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati. There, the couple became leaders in the self-psychology movement, working closely with Heinz Kohut. The Ornsteins were married for over 70 years, until Paul’s death in 2017 at the age of 92.

Anna Ornstein trained in psychoanalysis at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, graduating in 1971. Currently, she is a Professor Emerita of Child Psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati, a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute, a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Harvard University, and a Supervising Analyst at BPSI.

Dr. Ornstein has been recognized nationally and internationally for her teachings on empathic listening, understanding the impact of trauma, and parenting and child development. She has written extensively, sometimes with her husband, about crucial aspects of theory and clinical practice: self-psychology, the interpretive process in psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, child psychopathology, the treatment of children and families, and the process of recovery after surviving extreme conditions. She is the recipient of multiple awards and honors, including the American Psychiatric Association’s Distinguished Psychiatrist Lecturer Award (1989), the Rosenberry Award for Dedication to the care of children (1991), the University of Cincinnati Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship (1996), and the American Psychiatric Association’s Special Presidential Commendation (2000).

In addition to her psychoanalytic scholarship, teaching, and mentoring, Dr. Ornstein has had a ongoing presence in the wider community, working with organizations such as Facing History and Ourselves and the Terezin Music Foundation, lecturing and conducting workshops in public schools, mentoring academic research on the subject of the Holocaust, and teaching tolerance and the role of art in transforming the memory of catastrophic historical events. Her memoir, My Mother’s Eyes, is a tribute to the memory of her family.

With the Kravitz Award, we celebrate and honor Dr. Ornstein, with gratitude for her vibrant presence at BPSI and her fierce commitment to educating and actively engaging the wider community.


Karen Melikian, PhD, has been dedicated to psychoanalysis and its application in the wider community for many years. This has included working with Physicians for Human Rights in interviewing refugees seeking asylum in the Boston area, the deportation center for women and children in Dilly, Texas, and the past Massachusetts Department of Social Services and providing clinical treatment to children in long term care through the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. She is currently a supervisor for The McLean/Franciscan children’s services programs.


Gil Noam, PhD (Habi.), EdD, is a nationally recognized developmental psychologist, and the founder and director of the PEAR Institute: Partnerships in Education & Resilience, a joint initiative at Harvard University and McLean Hospital. His career exemplifies how a scholar and clinician can innovate, integrate, and apply multidisciplinary knowledge in community settings to benefit and support our children.


Deborah Choate, MD, is a psychiatric/psychoanalytic consultant with the homeless and disadvantaged community. She is currently volunteering at organizations that help women who are homeless or living in poverty to obtain housing, education, and economic independence. In addition, she is being recognized for her outstanding leadership as Chair of the Social Awareness Committee at BPSI.


Dr. Michael Grodin is a nationally recognized expert in medical ethics and human rights.  He is the Director of the Project on Medicine and the Holocaust at the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies at Boston University.  He is also Professor of Bioethics and Human Rights at the Boston University School of Public Health, and Professor of Family Medicine and Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine.


Alexandra Harrison, MD, for her unrelenting generosity of time and expertise to train caregivers in orphanages internationally, to develop models of treatment for children with special needs and infants.


Judith A. Yanof, MD, for her generous and creative efforts to provide psychoanlytically informed programs for early childhood education workers, for consultative work for disadvantaged children and families, for her work in psychoanalysis and film, and many other contributions. Click here to watch Dr. Yanof’s recent interview to Dan Jacobs, MD, recorded in the BPSI library on March 22, 2019.


Judith Arons, LICSW, Sarah Birss MD, and Ann Epstein, MD,  for their creative and committed work applying psychoanalytic and developmental principles in training therapists to do psychotherapy with parents and infants at the Infant Parent Training Institute at JF&CS of Greater Boston.


Gerald Adler, MD,  for his creative and energetic contribution in founding the Boston Psychoanalytic Alliance, which provided BPSI with its first structure to develop community and cultural outreach programs, involving the active participation of BPSI members.  He also co-founded, as a part of the Alliance, the Committee on Gay and Lesbian Issues, now called the Committee on Gender and Sexualities.


Roberta Apfel, MD, and Bennett Simon, MD, for their their influential and committed work with the mental health of children of war, Physicians for Human Rights, and many other local and international initiatives. Click here to watch their interview to Ann Katz about their work with children, recorded in the BPSI library on May 9, 2018.


Maurice Vanderpol, MD,  for his progressive and important contributions over many years in consultations to various school systems, and with Facing History and Ourselves and other charitable organizations.  The school consultation work, which began with the Needham Schools and then spread, was firmly based in psychoanalytic concepts and the idea of a therapeutic milieu.