Humans of Beth Am Blog

Naomi Cohen

Naomi Cohen is originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts; the city where you will find 163 colleges within a 100-mile radius. She was born in Cambridge and spent a couple years in Miami, and then moved on over to the Golden State at the age of 10. She lived in Orange county from 10-18 yrs. old, and then headed to San Diego for both college and law school.

What brought Naomi to Los Angeles? Good question! It was a move that she hadn't expected to make. After law school, Naomi told her boss in San Diego that she was going to quit her job and go on a trip to Israel and wasn't coming back. Following Israel, her plan was to pack her bags and head north to either Portland or Seattle, but she only made it as far as Los Angeles. Naomi's sister, her best friend from college, Gabrielle Kaufman, and her best friend from law school, Nina Golden, all lived in Los Angeles, and were conspiring to keep her there. It was 1996, and she was visiting them before she was to head north. They managed to encourage her to stay for a couple weeks and hang out (while also reminding her that she didn't have anywhere to go). She remembers going to the Promenade and seeing lots of Jewish people, and people from all different and interesting backgrounds. She hadn't felt like she fit in while living in Orange County or San Diego. But in Los Angeles, even with all the traffic and crowds, something clicked, and she felt that sense of belonging she had been looking for.

Naomi started going to Beth Am thanks to TBA members Nina Golden and Gabrielle Kaufman. She lived in the Pico Robertson area, and wanted to be able to hang out with them and bounced between Library Minyan and Beit.

Naomi met Tyson Roberts, currently Beth Am's Social Action Chair, while at a Jewish singles event at B'Nai David Judea about 20 years ago. A few months later he left for Cornell and they did long distance for a while. Tyson had wanted to move to NYC afterwards, but she dug her heels in and wanted to stay in Los Angeles. Rabbi Joel Rembaum married them, and they became members thanks to the free membership they offered to newly married couples. They have two daughters, Edie (who recently had her Bat Mitzvah), and Shoshana.

Naomi is an attorney for LA County and works for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). When she is not being an attorney, a wife, a mother, and so much more, she is tapping into her inner artist. She believes that her biggest accomplishment in law school was having an art show. When she was a kid, she wanted to be an interior designer (and wishes she could be one now). She is slowly redecorating the house and their vacation house. When she retires, she wants to get back to drawing, painting, and crafts.

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