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.
Previous Members of the Month
“I am inspired by Hadassah’s efforts to connect healthcare professionals internationally.”
Find out more about Sarah Elgart›
"Rather than just an organization, Hadassah is like family."
Find out more about Sandra Goldman›
Palm Harbor, FL
"I am so moved by all that Hadassah nurses have achieved in Israel in the past 100 years."
Find out more about Sally Laufer›
"I chose Hadassah because its main focus is Israel."
Find out more about Ruth Fein›
Las Vegas, NV
“Board certified pediatrician passionate about Hadassah.”
Find out more about Randi Lampert›
“I owe much to Hadassah, including meeting my husband.”
Find out more about Randi Cohen›
Paula M. Schiff
Walnut Creek, CA
"Along with my wonderful Hadassah members, I have presented three Israel advocacy programs."
Find out more about Paula M. Schiff ›
"Hadassah is an amazing organization!"
Find out more about Marlyn Bradshaw›
"I love being part of a group where I feel a true kinship to the other members."
Find out more about Lori Reszutek›
“I love that Hadassah is this amazing organization for Israel, about Israel, in Israel.”
Find out more about Leslie Gonzalez›
Treasure Island, FL
“I love that Hadassah finds ways for every woman to get involved and get empowered to help others.”
Find out more about Laura Freed›
"I am proudest of the cutting-edge medical research done at Hadassah, including research on treating ALS, cystic fibrosis, heart stents, stem cell therapy and more"
Find out more about Judi Babcock›
“When I hear about new medical advances that have come out of Hadassah, I feel proud to support Hadassah.”
Find out more about Joyce Backman›
“Hadassah supports everything I feel strongly about.”
Find out more about Helene Schilian›
“A licensed interior designer who is honored to be a part of Hadassah.”
Find out more about Gayle Dorio›
“A prior service military engineer officer inspired by Hadassah.”
Find out more about Erin Coleman›
"It is a great honor to say I am a Hadassah nurse."
Find out more about Ellen Audet›
“For over 30 years, Hadassah has been the constant in my life.”
Find out more about Elise Feldscher›
"Nurses are the heart of Hadassah."
Find out more about Dorothy Lasensky›
"I enjoy being surrounded by bright, creative and talented women who share my passion."
Find out more about Carol Konecky›