Jeanne W. Kahn

Building on WRJ's Legacy of Supporting Women's Legislation

Jeanne W. Kahn
April 30, 2012

I recently had the opportunity to represent WRJ at two events dealing with social action issues. Living in the greater DC area, both of these meetings were easily accessible in downtown Washington, and I welcomed the opportunity to be part of an impressive network of people coming together for tikkun olam, the repair of our world. The first event that I attended was a senate briefing where a panel of national policy experts presented evidence in support of S. 1925, the Violence Against Women (VAWA) Reauthorization Act of 2011. Originally passed in 1994, VAWA has been hugely instrumental in the fight against intimate partner violence.  Even before the passage of the 1994 act, however, WRJ was involved in the grassroots efforts to bring this issue to the national forefront and helped craft the initial VAWA legislation. It was an honor to sit in the audience in the Senate building in January and to be part of WRJ’s continuing effort to help end domestic and partner violence.

The Support of Sisters

Jeanne W. Kahn
March 16, 2012

Growing up with three sisters all within four years of the same age that I was, I inherently understood and appreciated biological sisterhood at an early age. The strength that comes from having so many females under one roof was evident to me in my youth, and I have always known that my sisters are there for me when I need them. Even though we don’t live in the same house or even the same state anymore, this special bond is still there between all of us, and we relish the time that we get to spend together. It wasn’t until I became an adult and had two teenage sons (and no daughters) of my own that I began to realize the importance – and necessity – of other forms of sisterhood in my daily life. As my sons have became older and their independence has grown, I have become more and more reliant on the friendships that I have forged through Women of Reform Judaism connections in my synagogue and district. These friendships were my first ties to Judaism and synagogue life and have continued to be anchors for me. I have often heard this repeated by many other women; it is our friendships that sustain and nurture us in our everyday lives.