Meet Our Officers: Allan Kahan, Vice President

Allan Kahan was born in Bethesda, MD, and raised in Silver Spring, MD, both suburbs of Washington, DC. These days he lives in Silver Spring with Helene, his wife of 34 years. They have three children: a daughter, Ariel, who lives in Washington, DC; another daughter, Shira; and a son, Jared.

Allan was graduated from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 1973, and served as a Senior Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Agriculture until 1990. After spending the next nine years in private practice, he returned to the federal government in 2000. Since June 2002 he has been an analyst in the Transportation Security Administration.

Although he went to a Jewish camp and was a member of AZA, Allan didn’t become actively involved in Jewish organizations immediately after college. After receiving his law degree, he got involved in the United Jewish Appeal Federation, partially as a result of a recommendation of his godfather (and his father’s first cousin) who urged him to stay connected with his Jewish faith. It was there, while involved in its Young Leadership program, that he met Helene, who urged him to get involved with the synagogue where he had grown up, Ohr Kodesh Congregation. The Men’s Club at Ohr Kodesh had been dormant for more than a dozen years, but Allan helped resuscitate it by finding men willing to serve in every position except one. That one position, the presidency, ended up in his lap.

Mark Berlin, Seaboard Regional President, offered to send Allan to the upcoming FJMC International Convention, and Allan accepted. A few months later, Mark asked if Allan would be willing to be First Vice President of the region, and he declined. After some additional conversations, Allan was regional treasurer... and before he even had time to learn the role of Club President, he ended up serving as Regional President from 1996 to 1999. In addition to creating a newsletter for the region, he was most proud of making the region’s Men of the Year dinner a successful fundraising event bringing $12-15k to the region each year. For six years he organized all facets of the dinner in the northern portion of the region (the Tidewater area has a separate breakfast). Then, taking a (temporary) break from Men’s Club and the FJMC, Allan became an officer of his synagogue, serving ten years – with a total of twenty years on its Board of Directors.

In 2005, Allan was selected by the Seaboard Region to be its Ma’asim Tovim honoree, in what he believed would be the high point of his involvement with FJMC. But in the spring of 2007, Mark Berlin (now incoming First Vice President of the FJMC) asked Allan to be editor of the FJMC Advantage, the newsletter for club presidents... and Allan accepted. After a short respite, Mark asked if Allan would be the FJMC’s webmaster... and he once again accepted the job, despite having had NO prior experience in either html or web development (P.S. – it really isn’t that hard, and you’re welcome to contact him at akahan@fjmc.org if you’re willing to learn a new skill). In 2011, he was elected Secretary of the FJMC, and in 2013, he was elected Vice President in charge of communications both internal and external. Additionally, since 2012, he has been honored to assist Burt (“Captain Ruach”) Fischman and Peter Gotlieb in Executive Committee Leadership Development training.

In his civilian life, Allan’s a program analyst with the Transportation Security Administration, doing database analysis; and he practices law part-time.  At home he’s a creative cook, works with stained glass and mosaic when time allows, is a part-time genealogist, and has become proficient at desktop publishing and design.

Allan believes that he has received more from the FJMC than he has given (and as a vice president, he gives plenty of time!). He therefore urges all men to volunteer for new and exciting challenges, as you never know where they’ll take you!