S. Robert “Bob” Cohen, humanitarian, civic and business leader, passed away at his home in Chevy Chase on May 17. Born in Washington on April 2, 1927, Bob was the son of the late Aaron and Bessie Cohen, the brother of the late Norman (the late Roberta) Cohen and the brother-in-law of James Weiss. He was the devoted and adoring husband of Joy Weiss Cohen for nearly 65 years; the proud father of Barry (Kamal), Alan, Brian (Madeleine), Douglas (Sheri) and Daniel; the beloved grandfather of Samuel Cohen, Sunitha Cohen Barron (Joshua) and the endearing great-grandfather of Jordan Barron. Additionally, Bob cherished numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and an incalculable number of lifelong friends.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, Bob’s career included senior management positions at Amerita-Hess and Stewart Petroleum. Most recently he was the founder and owner of Cosons, an office supplies business which trained and hired individuals with disabilities.
His most revered legacy is that of being the co-founder of Jewish Foundation for Group Homes (JFGH) in 1982, along with Joy. JFGH’s headquarters was dedicated as The Joy W. and S. Robert Cohen Building, and Bob is celebrated by the coveted S. Robert Cohen Award presented annually.
Bob also played lay leadership roles at the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA), the Bender JCC of Greater Washington, Rotary and the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County. He was the recipient of honors including JSSA’s Joseph Ottenstein Award.
Bob presented testimony before a congressional committee in the mid-1980’s articulating the unmet need for federal funding to support adults living in community-based residencies. In 1990, he was invited to attend the ceremony at which President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law.
Bob was a lifelong member of Adas Israel Congregation and a member of Ohev Sholom-The National Synagogue. Donations may be made to Jewish Foundation for Group Homes (jfgh.org). Arrangements entrusted to Torchinsky Hebrew Funeral Home.