Meet Judge Joan Lefkowitz

Judge Lefkowitz with her husband and three of their twelve grandchildren.

Judge Lefkowitz was born in Manhattan and her family moved to Westchester when she was four years old. She attended New Rochelle public schools and graduated from New Rochelle High School. Judge Lefkowitz graduated from New York University in 1970 and Brooklyn Law School in 1973. She was admitted to the New York Bar in 1974, the Southern and Eastern Districts of U.S. District Courts in 1975 and the United States Supreme Court in 1982.

She began her professional career as Law Assistant in the Civil Court of Manhattan. She worked as a sole practitioner for ten years in the area of family law, criminal law and real estate and served as Hearing Examiner in the Westchester Family Court (1985 – 1987) before becoming a judge.

Judge Lefkowitz has had a distinguished career as a jurist for over three decades. She was first appointed a Family Court Judge by Governor Mario M. Cuomo in May 1987 and elected in November of 1988. In 1990, she was elected to her first 14 -term as a New York State Supreme Court Justice for the Ninth Judicial District. In 2004, she was re-elected for a second 14-year term.

She has held various leadership roles for the court system and currently serves as Chair of the Supreme Court Library board and Chair of the Advisory Committee for the 2nd Department for Judicial Hearing Officer Selection. She was on the Subcommittee on Matrimonial Law on Gender Fairness for the Ninth Judicial District and had served as its Co-Chair. Judge Lefkowitz also served on 2nd Department Special Commission on Fiduciary Appointments

Judge Lefkowitz is a member of numerous legal and professional associations and has served on the Board of Directors of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association, Vice President of the Justice Brandeis Law Society, where she served as Vice President. She had been an Adjunct Professor at Pace Law School and Manhattanville College.

She has been involved with many civic and community activities during her career and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Anti-Defamation League, Young Israel of Scarsdale Temple, Westchester Jewish Conference (now Westchester Jewish Council) and Philharmonia Virtuosi. She is currently a member of Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert and the Coalition for Mutual Respect.

Judge Lefkowitz is married to Dr. Norman Kahan, who is the chief of the urology consult service at Montefiore Hospital and a decorated Vietnam Veteran. They have four children and twelve grandchildren. The Judge loves animals and volunteered for seven years at the White Plains Hospital in a program assisting patients through pet therapy.