Baruch Cohon didn’t have to go very far to get a good Jewish education or excellent cantorial training. His early foundation in Jewish music came from Abraham Zevi Idelsohn, an icon of Jewish musicology and friend of the family. Baruch’s father, Rabbi Samuel S. Cohon, a well-known Judaic scholar, supervised his other studies. (KTAV has recently published Faithfully Yours, a book of writings by Rabbi Samuel S. Cohon about the religious, political and social lives of Jews during the first half of the 20th century.)
Baruch Cohon’s early music education included cantorial training from Jacob Beimel, a widely respected teacher of cantors, as well as studies in piano and harmony. Cohon’s cantorial talents co-existed with his desire to become a rabbi. It is, perhaps, no surprise, then, that he has managed successful careers in both fields.
A veteran of the US Navy during WWII, Cohon and his wife, Claire, have raised four children: Rachel, Deborah, Samuel and Jonathan; and have six grandchildren.
Baruch Cohon sums up his feelings about being a Jewish musician by telling about an incident that occurred while he was performing at a Hadassah dance at the Hollywood Palladium. At the end of the evening, as he was wrapping up the gear and chatting with the band’s guitar player, he noticed a young couple. Most of the audience that night was somewhat older than these two so he was curious about why they were hanging around to talk to him.
The girl said "You don't know what you did to me tonight."
"What do you mean?" he replied, not quite sure what she was talking about.
"Well," she said, "I've been interested in Zen, Yoga, and other philosophies, but tonight, your music made me glad to be Jewish!"
"Better than that, no Jewish performer can wish for," he replied.
The JSA does not sell CDs. This performer's music is available for purchase at: www.cantorabbi.com
Music in this collection courtesy of Baruch Cohon.