Cornell Hillel's Board of Trustees has announced that the 2006 Tanner Prize will be awarded to Cornell alumni Abby Joseph Cohen '73 and her husband, David M. Cohen '73, for their significant contributions to the Jewish people and to Cornell. The prize will be given to the couple at a luncheon April 26 at the Cornell Club in New York City.
Harold Tanner, Cornell Class of 1952, will present the prize bearing his name to the Cohens. "Abby and David Cohen are exemplary Cornellians who, like Harold Tanner, combine devotion to Cornell with a commitment to the enhancement of Jewish life across multiple dimensions," said Cornell's Interim President Hunter R. Rawlings. Abby Cohen is managing director of Goldman Sachs. Her husband recently retired from his position as assistant vice president of the Columbia University Medical Center.
The Tanner Prize, established by Cornell Hillel's Board of Trustees in 2004, is awarded annually to a person, couple or family making significant contributions to Jewish life anywhere in the world and to Cornell, including, but not necessarily limited to, service to Cornell Hillel.
"The Cohens exceed the requirements for this award with flying colors. Their extraordinary leadership, involvement and support of Cornell Hillel, as well as their incredible service to Cornell and the Jewish people, demonstrate that they are truly an exceptional match for the Tanner Prize," said Seth M. Siegel '74, JD '78, chair of the Cornell Hillel Board of Trustees.
The Cohens' involvement in Cornell Hillel stems from David Cohen's chairmanship of the organization's board of trustees from 1998 to 2003; his service continues as chair emeritus. Abby Cohen has served on the Cornell Board of Trustees since 1997 and sits on the Board of Overseers of the Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York City. David Cohen serves on the University Council as well as on the School of Industrial and Labor Relations Dean's Advisory Council. The couple also are the parents of two Cornellians.
Both Cohens are also committed to the Jewish people outside of Cornell Hillel. Abby Cohen serves on the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and is active with the American Jewish Committee, Israel Bonds and other groups. David Cohen was recently appointed a vice chair of the board of directors of Hillel International, based in Washington, D.C. He previously served as a member of the International's executive committee and was awarded the Exemplar of Excellence Award for his work with Cornell Hillel. He also served as an officer in his synagogue for 15 years.