A pivotal moment in her childhood helped Guttman define her Jewish identity.
Amy Gutmann: I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and I grew up in a small town – Monroe, New York. I’m very proud of my roots in Brooklyn. And I grew up in a small town that, even though it was only an hour north of New York City, seemed like middle America. I think it shaped me. Well first of all, I think it’s made me understand a cross-section of people and their problems that it’s very hard to get out of books. And the fact that my parents were not native to Monroe – my father wasn’t a native American, he was born in Germany – has made me particularly sensitive to the whole project of integration in the United States, and also to just generally the issue of social justice.