by Judie Jacobson
STAMFORD – It seems fitting that the Jewish Family Service First Annual Saul Cohen Lecture scheduled to be held at UConn Stamford on Thursday, Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m. will feature as guest speaker Jerry Silverman, president/CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), who will discuss “Election 2012: The Impact on the Jewish Community – U.S., Israel and Worldwide.” After all, Silverman is a longtime friend of Saul Cohen – without whom the lecture would not have come to be.
Long involved in the Stamford Jewish community, Cohen was executive director of the Stamford JCC in 1976 when it moved from its original location on Prospect Street to its current home on Newfield Avenue. In 1982, Cohen joined a friend in his market-research business, returning to Stamford and making a 20-year second career in the field.
In 2008, after selling his business, Cohen turned his energies anew to the Jewish community. He has served on the executive and governing committees of Jewish Family Service (JFS), and has used his expertise in market research and strategic planning to help Stamford-area synagogues and Jewish organizations.
Cohen’s wife, Mimi, conceived the idea of an annual lecture series, and approached JFS. Cohen invited Silverman as the inaugural speaker.
Cohen, who received the JFS Mitzvah Award in 2005, sees the Nov. 8 lecture as a way to raise awareness of the “great things” JFS does in the area, and to express gratitude to the donors to the agency, which Cohen calls “the best-kept secret of the Jewish community.” He also hopes to further the dialogue among representatives of the region’s many Jewish organizations and agencies about how best to steer the community toward a vibrant Jewish future.
For more information on Jerry Silverman’s lecture visit www.ctjfs.org or call (203) 921-4161.