Melrose B'nai Israel Emanu-El

The Little Shul with the Big Heart

8339 Old York Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027
Phone: 215-635-1505 | Email:

In Memorium – Leonard Cohen

Our beloved congregant and friend, Leonard Cohen (Levy Yitzhak Ben Yehiel Mechiel),
died July 7, 2019 (4 Tammuz 5779) at the age of 96.

Past President (1990-92)
Financial secretary
Editor of the Shofar
Director of the wine Room
Men’s Club President (2000-2007)
Heart and soul of the Minyan

Below are some remembrances of Len by his family, friends, and fellow congregants.
Below are some remembrances by his family, friends, and fellow congregants.

  • After my mother’s death, George and I volunteered to attend MBIEE weekday morning minyan.  Len was in charge, welcomed us, made our presence seem important. Despite rarely making notes, and never using a computer, he kept track flawlessly and modestly managed minyanim. He was a good man.
    Carol Weinbaum
  • Len was a kind, caring, and generous man who loved his synagogue. He will be greatly missed.
    Bill and Miriam Shnycer
  • Len Cohen’s modesty was his most brilliant characteristic of leadership. Len always led by asking us to join with him, never by demanding that we work under him.
    Ariana and Ben Burrows
  •  My father was truly one-of-a-kind. I am so grateful to have had him in my life for so many years. And will always remember the wonderful Father’s Day weekend we had this year on the Cape with his great grandson, Quintin – truly very special.
    Alan Cohen
  • Len Cohen was kind, generous, fun-loving, and a gentleman to the end of his life. One small deed I noticed was that he supplied a container for any sale of wine, whether box or bag. I will miss him.
    Amy Seidman
  • My brother, Len, was the smartest and kindest man I ever knew.  He was always available to answer my questions and give me advice. He would talk about politics and sports. Next to his wonderful family Melrose was his second home.  It was a labor of love for him to be in charge of so many activities at Melrose, especially the morning Minyan.  In the last few years, Len has been coming to my house for lunch  every week, and on other days, we went out for lunch at Ben and Irv’s or to the movies.  I miss him very much. 
    Miriam Necowitz
  • Len liked to tell the story of how he was confused with the well-known singer-songwriter. He would be asked, “Are you the real Leonard Cohen?” Those of us who loved him know the answer: He was the real deal.
    David Berd
  • Len was the personification of a Mensch. He always had a smile and a good word for everyone. I would often listen to him getting his point across at meetings. He never said more then was necessary to convey his thoughts and point of view. He kept his cool and patiently listened to others point of view. I hope to be like him when I grow up!    
    Jay Rigberg
  • In life he was a blessing to all who knew him. May his memory be for a blessing.
    Charlotte Shanblatt
  • We got to know Len late in his life when we first became associated with MBIEE. It became evident almost immediately that he was one of the pillars of the congregation and a gute neshome (good soul). His death is a serious loss to the congregation and to us personally.
    Rabbi Robert and Ruth Layman
  • Rarely, if ever, did he utter a complaint, either about other people or the various roles he performed with grace and pleasure at MBIEE. If I had to use one word to describe Len, it would be MENTOR in English or MENSCH in Yiddish. Len always spoke the King’s English, never raised his voice, and always had an infectious smile; his demeanor rarely changed, not even during the few moments when he was displeased about something.
    Mitchell Pinsly
  • Len was a warm, deep hearted man to whom you couldn’t say no to any request he made. Len was a gentle man.  We will miss him.
    Dr. Burton and Janet Eisenberg
  • What a gem. Always positive. Always charming. Always ready to help. Always a gentleman.
    Sharon Sussman
  • Len was a true mensch. To us he was a friend and counselor who always was there when needed and never said “no” to any need for the Shul. He will be remembered dearly and sorely missed.
    Libby and Ron Goldman