Anna Kaplan was born Anna Monahemi in Tabriz, Iran to a Jewish family. When the Islamic Revolution swept the country, Anna's parents made the difficult decision to send her on her own to the United States for safety. She arrived in Brooklyn as part of an international effort to save Iran's Jewish and was sent to live with a foster family in Chicago, where she learned to speak English and completed high school.Anna was eventually granted political asylum by the United States government.
After her family was finally reunited, they moved to Queens, New York where Anna graduated from Yeshiva University Stern College for Women and then Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Anna settled in Great Neck, New York where she and her husband raised two daughters, but felt a strong desire to give back to the country that opened its arms to her as a child in need. 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 passed groundbreaking legislation such as a town-wide ban of gender identity discrimination and Anti-BDS. She advocated and helped secure affordable housing for district seniors and rehabilitated parkland.
Anna sought the Senate seat for District 7 in 2018, calling for passage of the Reproductive Health Act, sensible gun safety and economic development in Nassau County. Her election victory made her the first political refugee and the first Iranian immigrant elected to the New York State Senate.