02/18/2015

Tags: Women, Blog, Federation

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My Federation Story: A Lasting Federation Flame

By Nan Cohen

My story is actually hundreds of stories. After all, I am midway through my fourth decade of Federation involvement. But this one story is the foundation of my Cleveland experience. It began one morning at the JCC in Toledo. I was sitting between my mother and grandmother for a campaign training session. In walked this burst of energy in her best 70's track suit. Evie Safran may not remember, but that was the day we first met.

Fast forward to ten years later when I walked into my first meeting downtown, not knowing a soul in the room. When I finally had the courage to look around the room, there was Evie heading my way. She introduced herself, put her arm around my shoulder and walked me to a seat right next to her. That simple act may have made the difference between walking out never to return and the years of involvement since.

A few weeks after meeting Evie, I was at my first Young Leadership Division meeting and like her mother, Mindy Davidson walked over and introduced herself and ushered me to the seat next to her. Mindy spent the entire meeting whispering in my ear the names of who was speaking and a bit of local history. It was the beginning of a friendship that was the foundation of Cleveland becoming my home. Mindy helped to build those first links to my working with women who shared a passion for developing strong leadership skills that would allow them to carry their message. However, our relationship was not only one of being volunteers; it blossomed into a true friendship that was built on mutual values, mutual respect, and the fact that we just enjoyed spending time together.

In the past few years as I've followed in Evie's footsteps, Mindy has so effectively and graciously volunteered to reinvigorate our Pomegranates.

Watching her immediate connection with her co-chair Cindy Duber reminded me of that time years ago. My Federation story, at least this one is about changing a life. Thank you Evie and Mindy for changing mine.

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