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.

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2 Responses to “A Community of Love after Traumatic Brain Injury”

  1. avatar

    Well, sounds cool that you learn Torah and you find the right place that fits you and makes you more comfortable. Four and a half months is really unexpected and turning to lose hope. But probably the big man upstairs made a reason that why you need to come back to life. 🙂

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