Rabbi Daniel Cohen
Rabbi Daniel Cohen is a native of New Jersey. He came to TSTI in 1992 while still a student at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York. Ordained by HUC-JIR in 1993, he remained at TSTI as Assistant, then Associate Rabbi and has served as the congregation’s Senior Rabbi since 1999.
A graduate of Duke University, Rabbi Cohen holds a Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters and Rabbinic Ordination from HUC-JIR. He earned a DMin in Pastoral Counseling from HUC-JIR and the Post Graduate Center for Mental Health in 2001. He was a participant in a Spirituality Specialist Program at HUC while a student and is a Certified Bereavement Facilitator.
Rabbi Cohen has brought the Torah commandment of Bal Taschit (“Do not destroy”) to bear through Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel’s Green initiatives and its participation in GreenFaith’s Congregational Certification Program. Thanks to Rabbi Cohen, TSTI was also part of the first Reform Movement Synagogue 2000 cohort.
Thanks to the Bershad Family Rabbinic Endowment, created by TSTI leader David Bershad in Rabbi Cohen’s honor, Rabbi Cohen is able to embark upon a variety of new and innovative initiatives that enhance the life of the congregation.
Rabbi Cohen is active in efforts to promote a democratic and religiously tolerant society in the State of Israel. He is a member of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA) and also actively participates in the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference. Since spring of 2014 he has served on its National Council. Rabbi Cohen formerly served as President of the South Orange-Maplewood Clergy Association and is currently a chaplain for the Maplewood Police Department. Since early 2021 he serves on the Steering Committee for the Community Relationship Council of MetroWest Federation.
Rabbi Cohen was on faculty for the Reform Movement’s “Hava Nashira” song leader conference in 2021. He lives in South Orange with his wife Raina Goldberg and their goldendoodle, Nava.
Rabbi Cohen has written several articles of interest and is featured or quoted in numerous local and national publications. He authored a chapter in The Hope: American Jewish Voices in Support of Israel and two essays in Fault Lines: Exploring the Complicated Place of Progressive American Jewish Zionism by Menachem Creditor and also co-authored a chapter on the Ethics of Animal Experimentation in Dr. Eugene Borowitz’s book Exploring Jewish Ethics: Papers on Covenant Responsibility. (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1990.)
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