HughE Dillon: Jewish Nat’l Fund Honors David L. Cohen

The Comcast veep receives "Tree of Life" award.

Last Thursday, the Jewish National Fund honored David L. Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast, for his numerous contributions to the Jewish and greater Philadelphia communities at the 2012 Tree of Life Dinner at Vie. The evening began with a cocktail party, and many of his friends came out to congratulate him, including former Governor Ed Rendell, Larry Kane, Mayor Michael Nutter, Amy Gutmann, William Hangley, William Sasso, Nicholas DeBenedictis, Marjorie Honickman, Peter Gistelinck and Norman Zarwin. Below: Alan E. Dabrow, VP of Jewish National Fund (left) and Russell F. Robinson, CEO of Jewish National Fund (right) present Cohen (middle) with the “Tree of Life” award.

Below: Cohen and his wonderful, supportive wife, Rhonda Cohen.

Below: Richard Cohen, president of Jewish National Fund, Marina Furman, and David Dinenberg, COO of Grasso Holdings.

Over the past 109 years, JNF has planted 250 million trees, built more than 210 reservoirs and dams, created more than 1,000 parks, and provided infrastructure for more than 1,000 communities, bringing life to the Negev Desert and educating students around the world about Israel and the environment. Below: Marina Furman (left) presented Charisse Lillie (middle), Kenneth Jarin, Larry Kane, Daniel Fitzpatrick, William Sasso, Fred Shabel, David Deneberg, and David Pudlin with a piggy bank in the name of conserving water and planting trees in Israel.

Below: Robert Zuritsky, Parkway Corp. president, and Caroline Zuritsky. Robert is excited for the Parkway Corporation’s plans to build a $60 million hotel at the corner of 12th and Arch streets, across from the Convention Center. It will be managed by Hilton under the new brand “Home2 Suites.” Groundbreaking is April 17th at 7:30 a.m.

Below: Nataliia Pestell and Richard G. Pestell, director of Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. Beautiful Blooms did a wonderful job with the flowers throughout the venue. Cescaphe is the usual caterer for Vie, but if the meal is kosher you can bring in your own caterer. Foremost Caterers from New York provided all the food, and it was delicious.

Below: What a pleasure it was to meet Gene and Marlene Epstein. Their philanthropy has been vital to the JNF and others. The Gene and Marlene Epstein Humanitarian Fund has been providing Thanksgiving dinners for 26 years, as well as writing checks for active service families in need.

Below: Louise Dabrow, JNF National Women’s Alliance chair and Sapphire member, Evelyn Spritz, national board member, and Diane Scar, national campaign director and Sapphire member. The Sapphire Society is the women’s major gift division of the Jewish National Fund. The society has raised more than $20 million in its 14 years for a wide variety of projects in Israel.

Below: Robert Kitchenoff and Roberta Kitchenoff. Robert is the co-chair of an upcoming trip to Israel in May. It’s part of the 45th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification at Ammunition Hill.

Below: two TV legends, Marciarose Shestack, the first woman in the country to anchor the primetime daily news in a major market, and Larry Kane. Kane has a long history in the media; here in Philly he’s worked for 6 ABC, where he is credited with coming up with the phrase, “the Big Story is … ” He also worked at WCAU from 1980 to 2002, and has written several books. He was the evening’s emcee and did the funniest tribute to David Cohen in 180 seconds.

Several speakers paid tribute to Cohen, including former Governor Ed Rendell, who spoke of David’s dedication to his job and his family. David cares deeply, listens intently, and gets things done, said Rendell, and on very little sleep.