A Community of Love after Traumatic Brain Injury
by Mitchell Jay Cohen
I’ve always been a Reform Jew, becoming a Bar Mitzvah in Chappaqua, New York, and even having Chinese food as my holiday meal.
I’ve had a traumatic brain injury since 1985, when I was in a coma for four and a half months. I was not expected to live and/or was expected to become a vegetable if I did.
I went to a few different synagogues, trying to find one where I felt a feeling of belonging to broaden my views of the world.
I tried a few places, a Conservative shul in White Plains, a Reform one in Scarsdale, even an Orthodox one in White Plains, until I finally found Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, a place that seemed warm and welcoming.
Rabbi Shira Milgrom welcomed me with open arms and I felt like I finally belonged, studying Torah and sharing views of the world with my friends who took me into a community of love.
People were very patient with me, welcoming my views despite my slurred and odd speech patterns so I felt like I belonged.
I’ve been a member for 20 years and never wanted to be anywhere else; it’s the best decision I think I’ve made in my recovery.
Mitchell Jay Cohen is a member of Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, NY.