James D. Cohn is the Rabbi of Temple Israel in Charleston, West Virginia, where he has served since 2009. Rabbi Cohn has over three decades of experience in Reform Jewish pulpits in the Southeast. His major priorities within the congregation are responding to pastoral needs, and enhancing the congregation’s opportunities for Jewish education.
In the wider community, Rabbi Cohn is a frequent presenter and panelist at congregations and colleges. He is a member of the Diversity Visiting Committee of West Virginia University. He has served as President of the Kanawha Pastoral Counseling Center; as a member of the FestivALL Board; on the Steering Committee of OneKanawha (committed to pluralism and inclusiveness for all citizens); and as Adjunct Faculty at Marshall University.
Rabbi Cohn’s leadership in education and community enrichment are illustrated in projects hosted at Temple Israel and benefiting the public, such as singer/songwriter Jill Sobule’s concert, physicist Brian Greene’s visit, and the Julian Jaynes Society Conference on Consciousness. Rabbi Cohn has taught classes open to the public on Jewish subjects, as well as on multidisciplinary views of the points of contact between religion and law, philosophy, psychology and medicine.
Rabbi Cohn enjoys presenting workshops and seminars on Jewish beliefs and practices, conducting Institutes on Judaism, and joining with others in creative thought and dialogue on interfaith relations, social justice, and community visioning.
Rabbi Cohn received his B.A. in Humanities at New College of Sarasota, and his Master’s Degree and Ordination at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. He is a graduate of the Diversity Leadership Academy and offers diversity training programs for congregations, schools, businesses and communities.
Rabbi Cohn’s major published work is The Minds of the Bible: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Consciousness, available as a Kindle ebook from Amazon.