Jewish Community Relations Council
Robert Cohen joined the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit in 2005 as the Executive Director after serving as Assistant Executive Director and Director, Community Relations of the Jewish Federation of Tulsa. Prior to that, he worked for three decades in television news, public relations and advertising.
As the director of the JCRC, Cohen works closely with a broad range of religious, ethnic, and civic organizations and educational institutions to enhance understanding and cooperation for socially just and compassionate public policies consistent with traditional Jewish values and ethics. Through a variety of projects, JCRC provides needed services to communities in need in the City of Detroit and southeast Michigan including the Detroit Jewish Coalition for Literacy, an umbrella organization that works to increase the Jewish community’s involvement in the fight against illiteracy by mobilizing volunteer readers, tutors and book drive organizers. DJCL serves 2,000 students in programs that have been established in Detroit Public Schools and public schools throughout Oakland County. For a decade, the JCRC has joined with several community organizations to sponsor The Friends of Literacy’s “Bookstock Used Book and Media Sale.”
After earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and completing advanced studies in international relations from American University, he worked as anchor, reporter and news manager for TV stations in Savannah, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Wichita, New Haven, Cleveland and Tulsa. During his broadcast journalism career, he won numerous professional honors including the National Headliners Award, the National Association of Broadcasters Service to Children Award, and the Gabriel Award of Unda-USA (National Catholic Association for Communicators). He also worked as an international public relations consultant for the New York public relations firm Hill and Knowlton, and was executive vice president of Schmelzer and Associates public relations and advertising in Cleveland.
Cohen has been Secretary and member of the Board of Trustees of Temple Israel in Tulsa, and chaired the Social Action Committee and Black-Jewish Dialogue Committee of Temple Emanu-El in Cleveland. He is also active in the mental health movement, serving as Vice Chair of the National Mental Health Association and on the board of directors of the Mental Health Association in Tulsa. He presently is a member of the board of directors of the Mental Health Association of Michigan.