At the end of this month, Kahn will step down and end his 34-year run with JCRC — including 27 as executive director — after which JCRC associate director Abby Porth will take the helm. She will become just the fourth full-time executive director in the 66-year history of the agency devoted to improving relations between Jews and the broader community.
Doug Kahn (on left) with Arthur Slepian and Anita Friedman at A Wider Brunch in 2015
Kahn won’t be able to slip away without some love thrown his way first. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs — the umbrella body for JCRCs around the country — honored him last month at a national gathering in Cleveland. A resolution lauding Kahn called attention to his “even-keel demeanor” and his “ability to exhaust all creative options to find a diplomatic solution to even the most challenging community relations matters.”
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Next, the Bay Area Jewish community will honor Kahn at a June 14 retirement party at Herbst Theater in San Francisco. A 5:45 p.m. program featuring Kahn onstage in conversation with KQED talk show host Michael Krasny will be followed at 6:45 p.m. with a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception.
Attendees also will have the opportunity to contribute to the Doug Kahn Israel Outreach Travel Fund, which will help ensure the continuation of a program Kahn holds dear to his heart — an annual trip that over the years has taken hundreds of influential Bay Area opinion and community leaders to Israel for intensive 10-day study tours.
Kahn, 65, may be leaving JCRC but he is not retiring. He plans to put his problem-solving skills to use in a JCRC-affiliated national consulting service that will offer crisis management, advocacy and what he calls “the lost art” of consensus building.