All of our 50 Faces of Justice have dedicated their lives to tikkun olam, but these five in particular have collectively spent years working under the roof of 2027 Kivie Kaplan Way. All of these leaders have given their time to mission of the RAC, either as an intern, an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant, or a leader on the Commission on Social Action. One even met her husband at 2027 Kivie Kaplan Way!
Continue to check back on Friday afternoons to read about each of our 50 Faces of Justice!
On June 7, 1961, then-Senator Jacob Javits of New York made a mistake. Senator Javits, along with the Sergeant-at-Arms of the U.S. Senate, sent a letter to a young woman named Liz Dunst, informing her that she could not be a page in the Senate; “Girls would not enjoy” serving as pages because of the “heavy lifting” involved in the position.
The summer before her senior year of college, Jill Zimmerman was an intern at the National Council of Jewish Women. While looking towards her final year as a student at Tulane University in New Orleans, Zimmerman wanted to gain a better understanding of advocacy, and discovered the NCJW: “Jewish women – I thought – I could work for them!”
Judaism and social justice were always integral components of Debra Perlin’s upbringing, but working as a 2006-2007 Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center reinforced for her the symbiotic relationship between tikkun olam and Jewish identity.
In the fall of 1974, Fred Lawrence was a sophomore at Williams College when, through his rabbi, he was introduced to a young man who had just been ordained and was about to take on the task of running the Religious Action Center in Washington, D.C. Three months later, Fred became Rabbi David Saperstein’s first intern at the RAC.
Deena Fox credits her commitment to pursuing social justice in her own life to her parents’ longstanding commitment to tikkun olam. “My parents had hosted a Vietnamese refugee family before I was born and maintained a relationship with them [after they left],” she explained.