Bennie L. Cohen will begin his new role with Ramah Darom on July 1.
We are excited to tell you that Mr. Bennie L. Cohen has joined our team as our new Director of Year-round Programs! He is joining us from The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network where he is the Digital Community Manager, and will begin his new role on July 1.
Bennie has been an active member of the Atlanta Jewish community since he moved here from Florida in 2009, and has 10 years of experience bringing innovative Jewish programs to life. Bennie received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communications from the University of South Florida, where he also completed a student internship in the Disney College Program.
Bennie began his career as a program associate at the Tampa JCC, where he coordinated camp and afterschool activities. He then served as the Program Director of the University of Florida’s Hillel and later as the Director of Jewish Student Life and President of Central Florida’s Hillel. Bennie also has held positions of leadership with Birthright Israel. He served as Birthright’s Director of Development for one year, and later its Southeast Regional Director for Birthright Israel NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation, a new program Bennie helped found that empowers young adults to continue their engagement in the Jewish community after Birthright. In his current role, he is responsible for overseeing digital strategy for the Schusterman Philanthropic Network, which includes managing the organization’s social media efforts and building strategic relationships through digital campaigns.
Bennie lives in Dunwoody with his wife, Cobi. We sat down with him to learn what he likes to do in his free time, talk Miami sports and get to know him a bit better.
Q. Where did you grow up?
I am originally from Miami, Florida, and currently live in Dunwoody with my wife, Cobi, and our two cats, Jack and Chloe, whom I inherited when we got married.
Q. What inspired you to pursue a career in the Jewish community?
My love for Jewish community really developed while I was in college at The University of South Florida. I was President of Hillel and served leadership roles in our AEPi chapter (a Jewish fraternity). I loved connecting people and being a part of something greater than ourselves. Community gives us a chance to laugh together, cry together and experience the whole spectrum of feelings we experience through life, together. I wanted to be able to offer other people the opportunity to experience how powerful Jewish community can be.
Q. What drew you to this role?
When I was in college, I had the opportunity to intern at Disney. Disney is all about creating magical experiences for families and children of all ages, from 3 years old to 90 years old. I am very excited to combine my love of Judaism with my passion for providing people with engaging and magical experiences.
Q. Which organizations are you involved in outside of work?
I am on the steering committee of the American Jewish Committee and am very involved in the Birthright program through Federation. I also am involved with the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival.
Q. Do you like music? What is on your iPod right now?
I love music and listen to everything from Broadway to 90’s and 80’s stations on Pandora. Right now I am training to run in the Peachtree Road Race and the Disney Half Marathon, so my Spotify stations have been filled with workout music.
Q. What are some of your other hobbies?
I am a big Miami sports fan, and enjoy playing and watching sports of all kinds. Cobi and I love cruises, and enjoy cooking and entertaining together.
Q. Where have you and Cobi traveled on your cruises?
Mexico and the Bahamas.
Q. What do you like to cook?
We tend to make a lot of pescetarian- and vegetarian-friendly dishes, and really enjoy any food that is shared with good friends and family.
Q. What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I was on the college edition of the game show Hollywood Squares.
Q. What are three things you can’t live without?
Cobi, my grill and ESPN.
Q. If you could have lunch with any one person, who would it be?
Mel Brooks. I am a huge fan of his movies. I love humor and laughter.