Hannah Cohen

Hannah Cohen
Escondido, CA

Career and Family
I grew up in a small village on Long Island, where Judaism and Hadassah were an integral part of my family life. My father was a founder of the Malverne Jewish Center, and my mother a dedicated Hadassah member, who proudly wore her beautiful pins. 

After receiving my bachelor of arts degree in political science, I immediately went to graduate school for a master’s of science degree in library and information sciences and then an advanced diploma in educational administration. Early in my career, I worked in the public library system in New York and was then director of communications and media for a large public school where I was responsible for the development of library media centers in 13 schools.

After moving to San Diego in 1977, I established my company, The Cohen Group, and worked as a public affairs consultant and campaign manager for numerous candidates throughout the county. I transitioned into nonprofit work assisting organizations in capacity building, fund development, and advocating for policy changes for the underserved. I worked closely with business and government officials to develop policy and legislation to end homelessness and provide for affordable housing and environmental sustainability. I wrote the Plan to End Chronic Homelessness for the City of San Diego.

How did you get involved with Hadassah?
I grew up witnessing my mother’s deep commitment to Hadassah and watched in awe as her collections of pins grew with her dedication. When I married, I wanted to join a Hadassah chapter, but not my mother’s and her friends’ group. I thought it would be best to meet women of my age. Therefore, I started a young women’s chapter on Long Island and encouraged my friends to join. This was 53 years ago.

We moved to San Diego 45 years ago, during which time I worked and raised our three daughters. Upon retirement, I realized there was a need to rejoin Hadassah. I missed it and everything Hadassah embodies. I joined Bat Harim and have been involved ever since, first as bulletin editor and now as advocacy chair of the San Diego Area. My oldest daughter recently joined a new chapter in Los Angeles, which gives me great joy.

What is it about Hadassah that resonates with you?
The Hadassah mission statement is what drew me to Hadassah so many years ago. Our commitment to Israel and medical research and our concern for improving the lives of people worldwide. I am proud we work to empower women and youth through education and advocacy.
Share something you would like people to know about you.
Proudly, I am the author of two books, Women Trailblazers of California: Pioneers to the Present and Remarkable Women of San Diego: Pioneers, Visionaries and Innovators.

My husband and I have been members of Adat Shalom since its inception and have three lovely daughters, wonderful sons-in-law and six beautiful grandchildren.

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