Brandon Cohen can now say he has literally followed in his father’s footsteps.
Years ago, Cohen’s father celebrated his bar mitzvah with a visit to the Wailing Wall, or Western Wall, in Jerusalem, a remnant of the Jewish Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. The elder Cohen placed a letter to God among the cracks, and in January, his son did the same thing, while on a tour of Israel with other Jewish college students through the Birthright Kesher organization.
To Brandon Cohen, a Keuka sophomore and Marlboro, N.J. resident, that moment was a powerful one.
Recipient of the annual Spiritual Exploration Field Period grant, Brandon Cohen is eager to see, hear, smell, taste and touch everything he can about the diverse offerings of the country of Israel, and the roots tying it to his family.
An occupational science major at Keuka, Cohen will receive $500 towards his January 2011 Field Period trip to Israel with the Birthright Kesher organization. Cohen will travel with approximately 40 other college-age individuals whose mothers are all Jewish – a requirement for participation.
Spiritual Exploration Field Periods can involve work or service in churches, missions, hospitals, or religious organizations that aid the needy, either in the U.S. or overseas; or exploration into a student’s own spirituality. The award is funded by an Institutional Renewal Grant from The Rhodes Consultation on the Future of the Church-Related College.
Beyond just exploring the roots of Judaism, Cohen, of Marlboro, N.J., said he wants to learn about Jews, Muslims, Christians and “how it all connects.”