Cohen, Abraham

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COHEN, ABRAHAM (1887–1957), Anglo-Jewish clergyman, scholar, and communal leader. Cohen, who was born in Reading and grew up in the East End of London, was educated at London and Cambridge Universities. He became a minister in Manchester in 1909 and in 1913 minister to the Birmingham Hebrew Congregation, where he remained for 36 years. Cohen was active in the World Jewish Congress and in the Zionist movement. He was the first minister to preside over the *Board of Deputies of British Jews (from 1949 to 1955), which he greatly strengthened by a combination of firmness and diplomacy. Cohen edited the Soncino Books of the Bible, himself translating the Psalms, and participated in the Soncino translation of the Talmud and Midrash. His writings include Everyman's Talmud (19492), An Anglo-Jewish Scrap-Book (19682), and Teachings of Maimonides (1927). Cohen assisted Chief Rabbi Joseph *Hertz with his Pentateuch Commentary, the first English commentary written by Jews. His Everyman's Talmud was republished as a paperback in 1995.


The Times (London, May 30, 1957); jc (May 30, 1957); Roth, Mag Bibl, 172; Lehmann, Nova Bibl, 12, 20.

[Vivian David Lipman]