Monday, September 27, 2021

In commemoration of September 11, 2001, TABC students heard from Mr. Jeff Cohen, father of freshman Gabe Cohen, who shared his riveting account of that fateful day 20 years ago. In addition to his day job as a management and human capital consultant, Mr. Cohen is the host of Saturday to Shabbos: Inspiring Jewish Journeys, a podcast through the OU that explores people’s compelling and meaningful life stories. Mr. Cohen told the students about his life prior to September 11, in which he was a non-observant Jew working for American Express, which operated out of an office building connected by a bridge to the Twin Towers. In 2001, Mr. Cohen was dating his future wife, Mrs. Carol Cohen, and they would meet up every morning and continue to commute to downtown Manhattan together. On that morning, the future Mrs. Cohen asked to stop at a coffee shop (something she had never done before) and there was a long line there, making the pair 15 minutes late in their commute. By the time they arrived by subway to the basement of the Twin Towers, people were already clamoring to get out of the station. The crowd was all headed toward the same exit, but Mr. Cohen remembered there was a second exit on the other side, which got them out of the building fast and saved their lives. Just as the second plane went into the tower, a taxi pulled up and they jumped in and were able to flee the scene. All of these seemingly tiny miracles that occured that morning, which saved their lives, inspired them to dig deeper into their Jewish faith. Mr. Cohen also regaled the students with stories of his journey to a life of Torah u’mitzvot. Mr. Cohen’s message to not wait for a catastrophic event to make changes to lead a fulfilling life left the students inspired.

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