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Rose P. Cohen

“Our Hebrew school was supervised by a gentleman named Mr. Ellison. He said to me, ‘Our first-grade teacher quit yesterday and we don't have a teacher. You read very well, and we want you to take the class until we get a teacher.’ Now I was either 15 or 16 years old at that time with no experience in teaching, but I was a good reader and I knew my Hebrew. P.S.—I started teaching Hebrew.” – Rose P. Cohen

Born in 1911 into a family with deep rabbinic roots, Rose Pines Cohen was raised, after the early death of her mother, by her grandparents in Lithuania. She and her siblings were reunited with their father in Baltimore in 1922, where Rose continued her Hebrew and Judaic studies in the Talmud Torah schools of South Baltimore. By her early teens, Rose began teaching Hebrew school and received her teaching diploma from Baltimore Hebrew College, embarking upon a long and dedicated teaching career. Originally interested in accounting, Rose turned to teaching when she learned that accounting classes met on Saturdays—Shabbat - making it impossible for her as an Orthodox Jew to attend school. Rose married Moses J. Cohen in 1937 and took a hiatus from teaching after the birth of their three children, Rachel, Sylvia, and Louis. She later served as principal of Beth Yehuda's Hebrew School and taught at Beth Israel Congregation before retiring from Jewish education in 1970. Rose worked as a secretary for the Baltimore City Public Schools and continues to be active in numerous communal organizations, including the Jewish Museum of Maryland and B'nai Jacob Shaarei Zion Congregation.

Rose Pines Cohen
Full image

Rose Pines Cohen
Photo courtesy of Joan Roth.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rose P. Cohen." (Viewed on July 24, 2014) <http://jwa.org/communitystories/baltimore/narrators/cohen-rose>.

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