Robert J. Cohen, philanthropist

Robert J. Cohen, philanthropist

Robert J. Cohen, 82, of West Orange and East Orleans, Mass., died June 19, 2011. He was born in Philadelphia.

Mr. Cohen was advertising director of Hat Corporation of America, a former president of the Philadelphia Men’s Apparel Association, and was CFO and partner of Waterman Advertising of New York City. He founded and was president of Video Monitoring Services of America.

He attended Temple University, Philadelphia, and earned his CPA designation. At age 50, returned to college and earned a BA with Honors in Humanities from New York University.

He served in the Army Counter Intelligence Corps during the Korean war.

He maintained a beach home on Cape Cod, and was honorary “mayor” of Pochet Beach.

Mr. Cohen was involved in many philanthropic and communal efforts.

“Bob was a generous Platinum Circle donor to the UJA annual campaign,” said Michael Katz, United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ’s director of donor development. “After a trip to Israel, Bob also supported our sister city of Ofakim (specifically the Igloo Arts Project) for which he and his wife Anne had a great love. Their home was filled with art from around the world and Bob knew that art was one key way to promoting self-confidence and that it would be a tremendous asset in Ofakim.

“Bob and Anne also supported Birthright Israel, among many other philanthropic endeavors. Bob was not only generous with his money but with his time. He loved to tell his wonderful stories of world travel, he mentored me, and never ran out of time to lend a word of support and even optimistic encouragement after the economic downturn of 2008.”

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Anne Silberstein Cohen; his daughter, Laura; his son, Michael; two sisters, Sylvia Gangursky and Ruth Newman; and four grandchildren.

Services were held June 21 with arrangements by Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, Livingston. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Kidney Foundation or to a charitable organization of one’s choice.

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