I joined CBI the summer before my son Eli began kindergarten. As it turned out, a few years later Eli was integral to my first impression of Rabbi Cohen.

The rabbi was in the process of applying for the job at CBI, and we were all having dinner at the home of a member of the congregation. It was a chance for several of us to spend time with this stranger who wanted to lead us—to make sure he was a good fit for us, and we for him.

Eli was eight years old, and Rabbi Cohen paid attention to him from the moment we walked through the door. During dinner, we went around the table telling the rabbi a little bit about ourselves. When it was Eli’s turn, the rabbi really listened, and did the same for the teenage son of our host.

It said a lot to me that this man cared as much about the opinions of these younger members as he did those of the adults. As I’ve gotten to know Rabbi Cohen over the ensuing years, I’ve seen that this is a function of how much he cares about all the members of CBI. He works so hard to help foster connections between people, which is an important reason I am so devoted to this community.