Dallas Jewish Historical Society is privileged to honor and recognize Michael B. Cohen, who has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2013!

Michael recalls, “In those days, experienced board members included Pauline Graivier, Elya Naxon, and Harriet Gross with Past Presidents Ginger Jacobs and Ruth Andres often in attendance. Stuart Rosenfield was wearing short pants at that time [he says in jest of his life-long friend who also a fledgling board member around that time and later became President of DJHS].

Michael is a native Dallasite and lawyer by trade. His memories and connections, attention to detail, and insight regarding the nuances of law have proved invaluable both for business operations and overall culture of the Board of Directors. Michael originally joined the board because he wanted to be a part of preserving the history of his community: “Although history is being made daily, the knowledge of our local rich Jewish heritage and the lessons from the past should give great pride for generations to come.”

In addition to reviewing legal documents for the agency, and participating on various committees over the years, Michael has participated in many programs and speaking engagements on behalf of DJHS – most recently he was part of panel discussing the notion of L’Dor V’Dor and ethical wills (available for viewing on djhs.org).

Upon reviewing his tenure with DJHS, Michael is most proud of the growth of our oral history project and our archival collections, recent fundraising events that have reached unprecedented heights in revenue growth, increased interest in our annual lecture series, and how the board has been shaped: “Jimmy Schwartz was a great president. Stuart built upon what Jimmy did and increased DJHS to a higher level; and Jeanette has built upon that to the highest level I have seen during my terms of being on the board.” He is also impressed by how DJHS was able to reach a new audience with our very successful Annual Meeting program featuring several local sportscasters – Michael notes that it was “an illustration of history being made in our time.”

In closing, Michael wants us all to know that, to him, DJHS means: “to know where you are going or where you want to go, it is best to know from you came – our roots. The fabric of our history grows daily and should be cherished.”

Testimonials from the Board:

We all know people who have dedicated their lives to helping others.  Michael Cohen is one of those people.

Michael has spent much of his adult life serving on boards, being a radio personality, volunteering his time, and he even became a professional helping those navigate the legal intricacies many of us face in our later years.

For the past decade, we have been fortunate to have Michael serve on our board. His wisdom, humor, and overall sense of caring helped us navigate many issues of the day, whether in a financial, legal, or programming capacity.  We were fortunate in that time to have Michael, as he was also busy serving on several other boards at the same time, but when we needed his advice or counsel, he was always there for us.

This is not surprising, as Michael learned from the master the importance of service. If you were in Dallas in the 1960s, 70s, and early 80s, you knew of Michael’s mom, Bess Cohen, who was just about everywhere on the Dallas Jewish Community service scene. Bess was on many boards and committees at the same time, just like Michael, and her impact on those organizations was felt for decades after she stepped down from those positions.

Michael, in your case, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.  Like your mom, your impact with not only our organization but other organizations will be felt for years.  Thank you for your decade of service to the DJHS, and we hope to see you at future events.

                                                                                                                                                –Stuart Rosenfield