Eva Kahana is a researcher and professor of sociology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and has taught for almost 50 years. However, her impact on the community extends far beyond the classroom.
Kahana has published more than 200 scholarly articles about Holocaust survivorship, coping with diverse stressors and pathways to successful aging. She designs and implements educational interventions funded by the National Institutes of Health for disadvantaged older adults to improve their advocacy in health communication.
“I’m very interested in the resilience of people,” Kahana said. “Maybe that’s because of my background as a Holocaust survivor and an immigrant.”
She is publishing a paper on ageism in academia, and hopes to reduce negative biases toward the elderly through increased intergenerational interaction. She explained that her activism has grown as she aged, and she uses her own experiences in her research.
Kahana also applies her knowledge to her work with Jewish Family Services Association and the Menorah Park Center for Aging. She said that she has “transmitted (her) commitment to the Jewish people” by raising her children with a strong Jewish identity, supporting Israel and not hiding her religious practices in her work setting.
“I am very proud of being Jewish,” she said. “It’s a wonderful thing that people are paying attention to individuals who are making positive contributions to the Jewish community.”
– Hannah Edelman