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In Loving Memory of

Rabbi Burton I Cohen

May 17th, 2024


Rabbi Burton Irwin Cohen, beloved husband of 57 years to the late Roberta (nee Cheskis); loving father of Yehuda (Ellen) Cohen, Ilana Cohen, and Ayala Cohen (John) Podhoretz; cherished Saba of Joe Cohen, Shayna, Shiri, and Isaac Podhoretz; dear brother of Bethaviva Cohen (Harry Silver), the late Toby (the late Sherwin) Litin, and the late Janet (the late Donald) Fischer; many loving nieces and nephews, passed away on May 17. He was 93 years old.

A native Chicagoan, he graduated from Roosevelt University and earned a master's and a Ph.D. in the philosophy of education from the University of Chicago. In 1957 he was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he later became a professor of education and chair of the JTS's education department.

Rabbi Cohen served as the director of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin from 1959 to 1974, and from 1974 to 1989 as national director of the Ramah Camps and Israel Programs. He received the 1999 Lifetime Award for Achievement in the field of Jewish education from the Jewish Educators Assembly and Behrman House Publishers.

In 1997, the National Ramah Commission presented Dr. Cohen with the Ramah Award for his outstanding contributions to the Ramah camping movement. He was also a recipient of the National Community Service Award from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Rabbi Burton I. Cohen Scholarship Fund at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, Chapel service, Sunday 12:15 PM at Shalom Memorial Funeral Home, 1700 W. Rand Road, Arlington Heights. Interment at Shalom Memorial Park. For information, including a link to view the service, attend shiva or to leave condolences: Shalom Memorial Funeral Home, or (847) 255-3520.

Memorial Events

Shalom Chapel Service

Date & Time Sunday 05/19/2024 at 12:15 PM

Address Shalom Memorial Funeral Home
1700 West Rand Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60004


Address Shalom Memorial Park
1700 W. Rand Road
Arlington Heights


Yehuda and Ellen Cohen Residence
2216 West Pratt Boulevard
Chicago, Illinois 60645

Traditional Shiva
Sunday 7-9:30 pm, Maariv 7:30 pm
Monday Shacharit 645am, 3-5 pm, 7-9 pm (Maariv 7:30 pm)
Tuesday Shacharit 7am, 3-5 pm, 7-9 pm (Maariv 7:30pm)
Wednesday Shacharit 7am, 3-5pm, 7-9pm (Maariv 7:30pm)
Thursday Shacharit 6:45am, 3-5pm, 7-9pm (Maariv 7:30pm)
Friday Shacharit 7am, 12-2pm

Shiva Coordinators:
Naomi Wexler, 312-894-7694
[email protected]
Marci Dickman, 224-406-5025
[email protected]

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Understanding Shiva

Shiva, meaning seven, is the structured Jewish mourning practice where family, friends, and the community come together to create an environment of comfort and support for mourners.

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Making a Shiva Call

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