Valerie Cohen

Senior Rabbi, Temple Emanuel Sinai

I am, in a one-liner my friend wrote an article about, which is the best line I ever heard, “I am, it is an honor and it is humbling to be invited into people’s lives at the highest moments, the most joyful moments, and the lowest moments.” And I get to do that. People invite me in because of my position and it’s really an honor and humbling.


Valerie Cohen was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1971 and currently lives in Holden Ma with her husband, daughter and son. In this interview she reflects on being a rabbi at the Temple Emanuel Sinai as well as a mother and wife. Valerie explains moving from state to state due to the extreme demands of her job as a rabbi. Valerie is the Senior Rabbi overseeing much of what the synagogue does. She explains working 60-80 hours a week just to cover the demands of the job. Valerie elaborates on her education at the University of Florida and the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion. She also shares the challenges of balancing her personal life and work life. Valerie is a strong woman who serves as an inspiration to women and Jews across the greater Worcester area.

Interview Date: 
October 5, 2018
Interview Focus: