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2014-06-13 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


June 13, 2014  RSS feed

Text: T T T

After 70 years, a second Bar Mitzvah for Dr. Paul Cohen

Dr. Paul Cohen at his first Bar Mitzvah, 70 years ago, and today at age 83 Dr. Paul Cohen at his first Bar Mitzvah, 70 years ago, and today at age 83 Seventy years after his first, Dr. Paul Cohen will celebrate his second Bar Mitzvah.

Cohen will be called to the Torah at Congregation Beth Sholom of Gulfport on Saturday July 5, chanting the Haftorah in celebration of his Bar Mitzvah at age 13, some 70 years ago. The community is invited to share in this simcha.

While there is no basis in Jewish law, the idea of having a second Bar Mitzvah at age 83 apparently stems from Psalms (90:10) that says, “The measure of our life is seventy years; and, if through strength, it may be eighty years, its pride is only trouble and sorrow, for it comes to an end and we are quickly gone.” Therefore if a person is supposed to live for 70 years, by 83 they have started again and reached Bar Mitzvah.

To help Cohen celebrate this ritual, he will be joined by his wife, Harriet, as well as family, many friends, associates and congregants.

Rabbi Gabriel Ben-Or of Beth Sholom called Cohen “a seasoned, successful sailor of the seas of life,” and said he is a “person with deeds as well as learning who continues to guide the congregation … We thank Paul for his years of service to his congregation, to his continual role as teacher and role model, to his indomitable spirit and faith that we are an eternal people, that we are God’s people.”

The Cohens came to this area 42 years ago when Cohen opened his medical office in Gulfport. The family became quite active and a vital component of Congregation Beth Sholom and the Jewish community of Gulfport. He has served in many capacities in the synagogue, most notably, as gabbi, board member and as a main stay of the organization. He has also been recognized by his peers and awarded many honors, such as the Pinellas County Osteopathic Medical Society’s Physician of the Year award in1997 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

Cohen also was recognized by the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties as the recipient of the Distinguished Community Service Yitzhak Rabin Award on May 8, 2012.

Services will begin at 9:15 a.m. at the synagogue 1844 54th St. S, Gulfport. There will be a kiddush in Cohen’s honor immediately following Shabbat services.

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