Reuven Cohn Teaching Website
About the Teaching of Rabbi Reuven Cohn

Rabbi Reuven Z. Cohn, z"l, was a teacher extraordinaire. In both his earlier and later career, he taught Jewish subjects, including Prophets, Talmud, and especially Jewish History, to high school students at Maimonides School in Brookline, Massachusetts. But throughout his life, he taught adult Jewish education classes to students of all ages and in a great variety of settings, including professional settings, throughout the greater Boston area. Many of his regular adult ed classes were taught through Ma'ayan ( and the Meah program, a joint project of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies ( and Hebrew College ( Many of these classes were recorded, and the Cohn and Novich families will be sharing his teachings on this website.

Reuven, as he was known to his adult education students and friends, or Rabbi Cohn, as he was known to his Maimonides students, loved delving deeply into the interpretation of texts from which he derived many insights. In his teaching, he drew on his extensive knowledge of scholarship on Judaism, Jewish history, and Jewish texts. He also had a sharp wit, evident in many moments throughout the recordings (including some good-natured ribbing), which still bring a smile—or even a laugh out loud—when listening to them. His classes were all quite participatory; he would ask important interpretive questions and elicit student responses. Most importantly, he believed in bringing out the contemporary relevance of the ancient texts to our everyday lives. Not only our Jewish religious or cultural lives, but to our lives living as human beings interacting with other people and our environment.

This website is a testament to the great teacher, great scholar, and great person that Reuven Cohn was. Its purpose is to share and perpetuate his teaching. It is a tribute to his memory.

The Cohn and Novich families intend to post new content to this site annually in his memory, including recordings and some of his unpublished written material. Click to sign up to be notified when new content is posted.

Those who enjoy these recordings are encouraged to make a donation to Ma'ayan, an organization he championed and taught at for many years. Ma'ayan has provided Reuven's family with numerous recordings of his teaching. See

For a biography of Reuven Cohn, see About Rabbi Reuven Cohn.

About this Website

This website originated as a project by Dan Bricklin, an adult education student and admirer of Reuven Cohn. Reuven rarely published his work, placing most of his emphasis on the live interpersonal interaction of the teaching encounter. Dan convinced Reuven to record his class on the Haggadah and make his teachings available to a wider audience. The Cohn and Novich families are grateful to Dan for first helping to preserve Reuven's teachings and make them more widely available, and for helping to expand the site after Reuven's passing. The Cohn and Novich families would also like to give a special thank you to Michael Bentley, a longtime student and friend of Reuven, for digitizing the recordings originally made on cassette tapes. And thank you to Ma'ayan for giving all of their recordings to Reuven's family.