CONNECTIONS 2017

Noeleen Cohen

Chair, Leo Baeck College
Noeleen Cohen

Noeleen Cohen

Noeleen Cohen was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. After finishing university, she worked in marketing roles for multinational consumer goods organisations, as well as in Corporate Social Responsibility. Noeleen spent many years lecturing on marketing and brand strategy. In the turbulent 1980’s and ’90s, and as part of a commitment to build a better South Africa, Noeleen helped parents and children in townships develop core skills for school readiness and taught literacy and life skills to domestic workers. In 1998, when Noeleen’s husband was offered a job in London, they made the move with their two young sons. The family joined Alyth (North Western Reform Synagogue), a life enhancing decision that quickly provided a new outlet for Noeleen to continue her social justice and community work. Noeleen is currently Chair of Alyth Synagogue, where she has been involved in communications and social justice, and the transformation of the youth and education provision. Noeleen joined the board of Reform Judaism (UK) in 2011, where she held the Education portfolio. She represented Reform Judaism on the board of Leo Baeck College and in 2014 became the Chair of the College, a position that she holds until today. As part of her ongoing connection to South Africa, Noeleen supports the activities of the UK friends of Ikamva La Bantu, a South African based charity that delivers social support services to disadvantaged communities in Cape Town. Noeleen sits on the board of PaJeS (Partnerships for Jewish Schools), and until recently was a member of the New Israel Fund Human Rights Award Dinner committee.