Rabbi Leah Cohen

Rabbi Leah Cohen's picture
Executive Director and Senior Jewish Chaplain, Slifka Center


Rabbi Leah Cohen serves as the Executive Director and Senior Jewish Chaplain at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale.  She oversees the general operation of the center and works with students, faculty and staff to build the Jewish community at Yale.  She joins Slifka Center from Ridgefield, CT where she served as the rabbi of Temple B’nai Chaim, in Georgetown, CT for 13 years leading her congregation through a transformative period of growth and the construction of a new facility. Prior to becoming a rabbi, she worked in the healthcare industry in product management, marketing and strategic planning for companies such as W.L. Gore, Becton Dickinson and FHP Healthcare in the US and Asia for over a decade.

She received her Bachelors of Arts in International Studies, cum laude, from American University in 1982, and earned a Masters in International Management from American Graduate School of International Management in 1984. She completed her Masters in Hebrew Letters in 1998 and was ordained from the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2000.  In April 2015 she completed her studies in pastoral counseling and earned a Doctorate in Ministry from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City.  Currently, she serves on the Board of Trustees of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

Born in Neptune, NJ, Rabbi Cohen has lived in Arizona, Guam, Honduras, Israel, the Ivory Coast, Japan, Manhattan, Missouri, Washington (the state and DC) and enjoys traveling extensively. She has one daughter, Eliana, who attends Swarthmore College.  She loves meeting with students, training for triathlons and dreaming about her next scuba trip.