Agudath Israel of America is pleased to congratulate Rabbi Abba Cohen, Washington director and counsel and long-standing vice president for federal affairs, on being named to the broader position of vice president for government affairs.
Appointed to the Agudah’s fledgling office in Washington D.C. thirty years ago by Rabbi Moshe Sherer z’l, Rabbi Cohen has distinguished himself as an exemplary and respected advocate for the Jewish community in our nation’s capital. Knowledgeable, experienced and a true public servant who has represented the Agudah on a variety of matters both to the federal and to foreign governments, Rabbi Cohen’s efforts have paved the way for many successful initiatives that have brought significant benefits to the klal.
During his tenure he has worked with successive congresses and administrations in crafting and promoting numerous laws and regulations enhancing the religious rights of individuals and institutions in the Jewish community and strengthening the interests of, and benefits provided to, its faith-based schools and social programs.
In addition to his responsibilities at Agudath Israel, Rabbi Cohen was appointed to the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad by then-President Obama in June 2015. The Commission is entrusted with protecting and restoring foreign sites of cultural and religious heritage, which may include shuls, cemeteries, yeshivas and other Jewish landmarks. Among other notable achievements, he was the recipient of an award from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for assisting the Transportation Security Administration in enhancing protection of the civil and religious rights of Jewish travelers.
Rabbi Cohen’s new title reflects the Agudah’s ever-growing foreign and domestic agenda in Washington, and its efforts that have led to accomplishments benefiting the Jewish community on the federal, state and local levels. Describing Rabbi Cohen as an essential member of the organization’s executive leadership team, Agudah executive vice president Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel hailed Rabbi Cohen for his decades of dedication and achievement.
“This new title, bestowed upon Rabbi Cohen as he approaches his 30th anniversary of service to Agudas Yisroel, reflects his enhanced stature in carrying out the historic advocacy mission of the Agudah,” said Rabbi Zwiebel.
Rabbi Cohen said that he was gratified by the new title which better conveys the Agudah’s continuously evolving scope of activities.
“To see our Washington agenda grow is inspiring and will encourage further engagement with more people on more fronts,” said Rabbi Cohen. “With government and other officials gaining a better appreciation of our dynamic involvement in an even wider array of areas, we will iyH see enhanced opportunities to assist our community in meaningful ways.”