Elliot Cohan, 79, of Bradenton, Fla., died June 24, 2014. Born in Brooklyn, he grew up there and in Miami and also lived in Randolph.
Mr. Cohan began his career as a teacher of honors English at Southwest Miami Senior High School and taught English as a Second Language to new immigrants in Miami. A former executive with the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, he became one of the founders and the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Morris/Sussex Counties (now the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest), where he raised significant funds for the State of Israel and for local social service agencies. He later became the executive director of Jewish Federation of Rhode Island, and after relocating to Florida, became a major gifts fund-raiser for Lifelong Learning at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in English and education from the University of Miami and a master’s degree in social work from Heed University.
A veteran of the Korean War, he served with the U.S. Air Force in the Far East.
A member of the Screen Actors Guild, he acted in theater in New England and on Florida’s Gulf Coast. At age 75, he portrayed the character Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie.
“Elliot Cohan was the consummate Jewish civil servant,” said Sandy Hollander, a past president of the Jewish Federation of Morris/Sussex Counties. “He was the architect and the implementer of the new Federation of Morris and Sussex. Without his creative intellect and work ethic, we would never have succeeded. He was my friend.”
Irwin Roseman, also a past president of the Morris/Sussex federation, recalled, “Elliot was the first full-time executive director at the Morris/Sussex Federation…. He worked very hard with us. He was one of the motivators along with Sandy Hollander, Dan Drench, and Seymour Epstein. We began from nothing and grew to merge with the Essex County Federation and kept on growing from there.”
Mr. Cohan is survived by his wife, Beatty; and three daughters, Rebecca, Alisa, and Laura-Elizabeth Cohan from his first marriage to Eleanor Friedl.
Arrangements were by Jennings Funeral Home & Crematory, Sarasota, Fla. Memorial contributions may be made to Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest’s Israel Emergency Campaign or Eleventh Hour Rescue Emergency Veterinary Fund, P.O. Box 218, Rockaway, NJ 07866.