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Karen T. Cohen

JNF Makor Member Emeritus

Travels from Boca Raton, Florida

Availability: Contact JNF Speakers Bureau for availability.


Positively Israel, JNF's Work in Israel


Karen’s first association with Jewish National Fund came in 1992 when she attended a JNF Tribute Dinner with her new family. Born and raised Irish Catholic, she married a Jewish single parent and took seriously the task of "raising two young men to know who they are and to be the best of what they could be; and a big part of who and what they are is Jewish." The dinner led to a 1993 family mission with the honorees and it was on that trip that she began to understand the concept of "roots" and "Zionism" and what those words meant to her family.

Upon returning to the U.S., the entire family changed from merely labeling themselves Zionists to actively participating and supporting their beliefs. While her sons went on to become college campus leaders and to head up Future Leadership groups, both Karen and her husband became involved in Tribute Dinners and Walks for Water.

Karen is the former National Chair of Jewish National Fund's Sapphire Society, an organization of women who are spearheading the establishment of Zuqim, the first non-agricultural community in the Negev Desert. Today, she is Midwest Zone Chair of the Women's Campaign for Israel.

Karen is also a long-standing active member of the Cincinnati Region’s Executive Board. When asked, "Why? Why all this effort when you are still Catholic?" Karen will tell you that when she stands in a room with other Jewish National Fund supporters, she is no different. "My grandchildren will be Jewish just like yours."

A life-long resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, Karen is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati. She resides with her husband Harvey in both Cincinnati and Boca Raton, Florida.

Download a prepared introduction for Karen T. Cohen


Makor (Hebrew for “source”) is a specially-trained cadre of highly-involved Jewish National Fund volunteers. Our primary role is to support the core functions of JNF by direct fundraising. Thus, we identify prospective donors, conduct direct solicitations in our own communities and around the United States and assist in educating the public about the JNF and its projects.

Makor also serves as a source for lay leadership. We are leaders in our own communities, and provide training and inspiration for other community leaders on solicitation techniques, board development and outreach and on the work of the JNF. Makor members also assume JNF leadership positions on a national level.

We are proud leaders who are committed to the mission of the JNF, the caretaker of the land of Israel forever. In addition, Makor is a source of innovation within the JNF. Our diverse backgrounds, coupled with our common commitment, foster a free-flow of ideas to keep JNF as relevant and productive as possible.

Makor members travel to Israel each year to study JNF projects and programs in depth, and bring their insights and experiences to you. Members speak at no charge.


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