Cornell Hillel’s Board of Trustees announced last week that the 2006 Tanner Prize will be awarded to Abby Joseph Cohen ’73 and her husband, David M. Cohen ’73, for their longstanding dedication to Cornell and its Jewish community.
Cornell Hillel’s Board established the Tanner Prize in 2004 to be given each year to an individual or family who has made important contributions to Jewish life on campus and around the world. The prize was named for chairman emeritus Harold Tanner ’52,
Tanner, currently the president of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and the former president of the American Jewish Committee, will personally present the award to Mr. and Mrs. Cohen during a luncheon on April 26 at the Cornell Club of New York.
Interim President Hunter R. Rawlings III praised the Cohens in a press release: “Abby and David Cohen are exemplary Cornellians who, like Harold Tanner, combine devotion to Cornell with a commitment to the enhancement of Jewish life across multiple dimensions.”
Abby Cohen, a managing director of Goldman Sachs, has served on the Cornell Board of Trustees since 1997, and sits on the Board of Overseers of the Weill-Cornell Medical College. David Cohen recently retired from Columbia University Medical Center, where he served as assistant vice president. He was chairman of Cornell Hillel from 1998 to 2003, and currently serves on both the University Council and the ILR Dean’s Advisory Council.
Tanner praised the Cohens’ commitment to Cornell, calling Abby Cohen “a very positive member” of the Board of Trustees.
“[Hillel] flourished under [David Cohen’s] leadership,” he added.
Abby Cohen praised the tremendous strides Cornell Hillel has made in the past several years.
“Cornell Hillel has been the well-deserving recipient of many awards for campus activities, including joint recognition with the Muslim Educational and Cultural Association for special programming,” she said.
She singled out Rabbi Ed Rosenthal, among other Hillel leaders, for his work with students in building up the organization.
“Hillel activities are amazingly diverse, ranging from scuba and hiking to religious services, and are determined by the students themselves,” she said.
In addition to their involvement with Jewish life at Cornell, the Cohens are deeply committed to the vitality of Jewish life everywhere. Abby Cohen serves on the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, is an active member of the AJC and speaks on behalf of many charitable groups. David Cohen has been an officer in his synagogue for fifteen years, and was recently appointed a vice chair of the board of directors of Hillel International.
Proud of the accomplishments of Cornell Hillel, David Cohen emphasized, “We are thrilled that Cornell Hillel has become one of the leading Hillel chapters in the United States during the last five years. This is a result of talented leadership and a surge in student participation.”
Archived article by Josh Harris