Pescovitz and daughter Naomi to speak on women’s enrichment in Indiana

Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz and her daughter Naomi Pescovitz will be speaking to the women of Indiana about enrichment on Oct. 19. A year ago, both women lived in Indiana. Funnily enough, life has brought them to different places — Ora Pescovitz to Michigan and Naomi Pescovitz to Minnesota.

But they’re looking forward to going home.

“It’s always nice to go back,” Naomi Pescovitz said. “People always ask me where home is, and I feel like the two of us have become nomads over the years… So it’s always nice to go back to Indianapolis because I feel like that is my hometown.”

The women were invited to be speakers at the series, taking place over several months. Called the Marilyn K. Glick Women’s Enrichment Series, it’s meant to inspire young women to be leaders in whatever they choose to do. The Pescovitz’ are kicking off this years series and are the only duo on the lineup.

Though they don’t have the details figured out just yet, they said they’ll draw from their professional experiences for inspiration. Before coming to Oakland, Ora Pescovitz worked as a pediatrician and Naomi Pescovitz currently works as a television journalist.

“Both of us have interesting career paths,” Naomi Pescovitz said. “I think we’ll talk a lot about what it’s like to be a woman in our perspective fields and, for me, what it was like growing up with a highly motivated and career-oriented mom. We’ve done a lot of talks together in the past, and a lot of it centers around how we bounce ideas off of each other and how we rely on each other.”

Ora Pescovitz says that, most nights, she watches her daughter on television and thinks there couldn’t be a better example of a successful woman.

“I look at Naomi and I’m super impressed with how she has managed to pursue a very rigorous and challenging career and at the same time give back to her community and be an amazing friend and family member,” Ora Pescovitz said. “I can’t believe she’s really my daughter, I’m very proud of her. She is an extraordinary human being.”

After experiencing success in personal and family life, they hope to encourage women that they really can “have it all.”

“As young girls, we’re kind of taught that we can’t have it all,” Naomi Pescovitz said. “But you can have it all if you set your goals for things that will really enrich your life. For me, that meant having a close relationship with my family and friends while also having a successful career… For women, it’s important to remember that there’s nothing you can’t do.”

Ora Pescovitz agrees with her daughter’s outlook.

“It’s a question of prioritizing,” she said. “I recently spoke to Oakland’s employee resource group, and I told them about how, when my kids were growing up, it was very important that we had every meal together. So I had a lot of tricks that I used to make them think that I was cooking from scratch… Those things allowed me to have it all and my kids got to have something that I made.”

She said this message is important for students to remember as they enter the working world.

“I think every woman and man has to find our own method of prioritizing our lives to be good partners, family members, friends and colleagues,” Ora Pescovitz said. “And if I’m going to tell students to do something, it would be to text your mom every once in a while to let her know you’re okay.”