fbpx
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Yaelle and Nouriel Cohen: Kindness Starts at Home

Enjoying this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

 

When the doorbell rings at the Cohens’ Pico-Robertson home — or more accurately when the door edges open, since it’s almost never locked — the littlest of Yaelle and Nouriel Cohen’s six kids grab their shoes. If it’s someone dropping off donated food or clothing, they start shlepping things in while the older ones begin sorting and organizing. If it’s someone coming to collect those items, the kids take them through the living room and yard to help them pack up the day’s offerings — unserved food salvaged from caterers; groceries donated by local markets; or furniture, clothing, toys and electronics that the area’s wealthy families don’t want, and that one of the 52 families that depend on the Cohens sorely needs.

The Cohens’ cramped three-bedroom home is the headquarters, warehouse and distribution center for Global Kindness/L.A. Chesed, the network the Cohens founded less than three years ago.

With caring brown eyes peeking out of her broad face, Yaelle, in her late 30s, is a pint-sized Moroccan tornado in bright yellow-and-orange sneakers. In a perpetually hoarse voice, she answers about 35 phone calls a day from donors and people desperate for help.

The Cohens understand desperation. Eight years ago, Nouriel’s beauty supply business went under, and the family had to give up their Beverly Hills home. He hasn’t had steady employment since then and has had to rely on his parents and family to get by.

“But now when you look ahead, you can see that was all for the purpose of good, because we had to really feel what was going on in people’s hearts and minds when they are really down,” says Nouriel, whose distinguished gray beard and smiling blue eyes do little to attest to his Persian ancestry.

The Cohens raise money to help families with rent, bills, day-school tuition or transportation. They help with bar mitzvahs, and have sent families housekeepers and gardeners to restore dignity to rundown homes.

Late every Friday afternoon the family gets a load of challah the kosher bakeries didn’t sell, and the kids, ages 1 through 12, wheel strollers and carts through the neighborhood doling out the loaves.

They host huge Shabbos lunches and singles events and help a handful of families in Canada, New York and Israel.

Often, they become de facto social workers, referring families to resources for abuse, addiction or mental health issues.

The Cohen operation shuts down from 5-8:30 p.m., so the family can have dinner, do homework and get through bedtime. But other than that, they’re on.

And on Chanukah, the Cohens sent their clients’ wish lists to Chabad of Malibu, where families purchased and wrapped the gifts. Those packages were set up in a dream-like display on the ornate furniture left over from wealthier times in the Cohen’s living room/dining room.

Recently, Nouriel started a new business and it seems to be taking off. While he looks forward to giving his family more comfortable quarters, he thanks God for the new sensitivity they have.

“We see what people throw away — thousands and thousands of dollars worth of beautiful clothing,” Nouriel says. “Why would someone throw it away? Because it means nothing. Money comes and goes. The main thing is what you are doing in this life.”

For more information call (310) 286-0800.

Yaelle and Nouriel Cohen and family

MORE MENSCHES

Avi Leibovic: Guardian Angel of the Streets

Jack and Katy Saror: Help Knows No Age

Joyce Rabinowitz: A Type Like No Other

Saul Kroll: Healing Hand at Cedars-Sinai

Jennifer Chadorchi: The Hunger to Help

Karen Gilman: What Makes Her Run?

Steven Firestein: Making Magic for Children

Moshe Salem: Giving a Voice to Israelis

David Karp: A Guide for Unity in Scouting

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Latest Articles

Anti-Americanism: The New Anti-Semitism

Just like the Jews, America is hated because it is successful. For over a century, it has been the most successful country in the world

Jewish Federation Says It Won’t Partner With Philadelphia NAACP As Long As Current President Remains in Place

Philadelphia NAACP President Rodney Muhammad had posted an anti-Semitic image to his Facebook page on July 24.

Critics Say Netflix Series ‘The Umbrella Academy’ Promotes Anti-Semitic Stereotype Through Yiddish Scene

The scene shows lizard people controlling the world and their handler speaking Yiddish.

AOC Inspired A New Generation of Strong Women, I Met a Lesser Known AOC at USC

Ocasio-Cortez did not simply put a bully in his place; she demonstrated to a generation of young women that they don’t need to accept such abuse either.

Tel Aviv City Hall Lights Up as Lebanese Flag to Show Solidarity Following Beirut Explosions

"Our hearts and thoughts are with the Lebanese people and all those affected by the terrible disaster in #Beirut."

How ‘Shtisel’ Season 3 Is Filmed in Israel During a Pandemic

The series now filming its 3rd season resumed under strict accordance with health and safety regulations.

The Devaluation of Free Speech in the Land of the Free

Whether we realize it or not, we are being forced to rethink our origins and reorder our priorities — mostly by holding our tongue.

The Dignity of the Individual: An Ode to Radical Heterodoxy

My goal here is to take a step back and understand that many participating in cancel culture were never taught the real essence of liberalism.

Front Window of New Mexico Holocaust Museum, Featuring Photo of Civil Rights March, Smashed by Vandal

The head of the museum says the vandalism shows "why it’s necessary to have this museum."

Culture

Critics Say Netflix Series ‘The Umbrella Academy’ Promotes Anti-Semitic Stereotype Through Yiddish Scene

The scene shows lizard people controlling the world and their handler speaking Yiddish.

How ‘Shtisel’ Season 3 Is Filmed in Israel During a Pandemic

The series now filming its 3rd season resumed under strict accordance with health and safety regulations.

The Devaluation of Free Speech in the Land of the Free

Whether we realize it or not, we are being forced to rethink our origins and reorder our priorities — mostly by holding our tongue.

The Dignity of the Individual: An Ode to Radical Heterodoxy

My goal here is to take a step back and understand that many participating in cancel culture were never taught the real essence of liberalism.

Adam Eli Uses Jewish Roots, Ideology to Stand Up for Queer Community in Debut Book

In “The New Queer Conscience,” published in June, the 29-year-old shares that queer people anywhere are responsible for queer people everywhere.

Latest Articles
Latest

Anti-Americanism: The New Anti-Semitism

Just like the Jews, America is hated because it is successful. For over a century, it has been the most successful country in the world

Jewish Federation Says It Won’t Partner With Philadelphia NAACP As Long As Current President Remains in Place

Philadelphia NAACP President Rodney Muhammad had posted an anti-Semitic image to his Facebook page on July 24.

Critics Say Netflix Series ‘The Umbrella Academy’ Promotes Anti-Semitic Stereotype Through Yiddish Scene

The scene shows lizard people controlling the world and their handler speaking Yiddish.

AOC Inspired A New Generation of Strong Women, I Met a Lesser Known AOC at USC

Ocasio-Cortez did not simply put a bully in his place; she demonstrated to a generation of young women that they don’t need to accept such abuse either.

Tel Aviv City Hall Lights Up as Lebanese Flag to Show Solidarity Following Beirut Explosions

"Our hearts and thoughts are with the Lebanese people and all those affected by the terrible disaster in #Beirut."

Hollywood

Roy Moore’s Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen Over Being Pranked Can Proceed, Judge Rules

By the time the episode aired, it was widely known that Cohen was punking public figures.

‘Expecting Amy’ Highlights a New Comedy Dynamic of Jewish Mothers Making, Not Being, the Jokes

Jewish moms like Amy Schumer, who were once the material, have become the premier comics of this age.

Podcasts

The Mastermind Behind Netanyahu’s New Media (Topaz Luk)

Even prime ministers can’t do everything by themselves. They must surround themselves with dedicated, smart and excellent people who will help them.

Pandemic Times Episode 75: What is the Secret to Jewish Resiliency?

New David Suissa Podcast Every Monday and Friday. Reflections on the worsening times and how the Jewish approach to resiliency can guide us. How do we...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

x