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Cohen, Jacob Raphael

COHEN, JACOB RAPHAEL

COHEN, JACOB RAPHAEL (1738?–1811), U.S. ḥazzan. Cohen was born in North Africa. He served as ḥazzan in England before being sent to Montreal's Congregation Shearith Israel in 1778. Bound again for England, Cohen was detained in New York, and became minister of Congregation Shearith Israel there (1782–85). Later he replaced ḥazzan*Seixas in Philadelphia's Congregation Mikveh Israel, remaining in that office until his death. Cohen was frequently called upon to fulfill all ritual functions. He kept a meticulous record of marriages, circumcisions, deaths, and memorial prayers, an important source of data for Jewish history in Montreal, New York, and Philadelphia. He was assisted by his son, Abraham Hyam Cohen (d. 1841), who succeeded him.

bibliography:

"Record Book of Jacob Raphael Cohen" (in ajhq, 59 (1969), 23ff.); Rosenbloom, Biogr Dict (1960), 24; H.S. Morais, Jews of Philadelphia (1894), 18, 20, 43.

[Malcolm H. Stern]

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