Skip Navigation
Browse: Collections Digital Content Subjects Creators
Log In | Contact Us| View Cart (0)

Rabbi Morton J. Cohn Collection, 1925-1990 | Special Collections & University Archives

By Bonnie M. Harris, Laurel Schwartz, and Helene Idels

Printer-friendly Printer-friendly | Email Us Contact Us About This Collection

Collection Overview

Title: Rabbi Morton J. Cohn Collection, 1925-1990Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Cohn, Morton J. (1910-1991)

Extent: 26.76 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 08/28/2017. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Congregation Beth Israel (San Diego, Calif.), Jews--California--San Diego

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The collection consists of materials collected from Cohn's school days until his death. Included are correspondence; over 2000 sermons; plays; personal documents; photographs and materials relating the various congregations he served.  There are scrapbooks and newspaper clippings regarding both Cohn and his wife Sally and current events, index cards, pamphlets, research notes and plaques.

Biographical Note

Rabbi Morton Jacob Cohn was born January 12, 1910 in Detroit, Michigan and was ordained as a reform rabbi in 1934. After serving pulpits in various cities, he enlisted as a Navy Chaplain during World War II with the Southern Pacific Fleet and continued in the Naval Reserve for many years. In 1946 he settled in San Diego where he became rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel and remained there until 1964 when he left to found Temple Emanu-El, whose religious school bears his name.

Rabbi Cohn was meticulous in preserving anything relating to his career, the San Diego Jewish community, Judaism and currents events involving Jews, making his collection a comprehensive picture of San Diego Jewish life during his almost 50 years here. As rabbi of the largest Jewish congregation in San Diego, he was a formidable leader in the Jewish and secular communities. He was one of three rabbis, (Cohn, Levens, Stern) who lead the San Diego Jewish community from the years after WWII until the 1970’s.  He was very involved in interfaith activities, gave a weekly radio sermon, created and participated in musical parodies for holidays, rabbinical conventions and special occasions. He maintained a card catalog of life cycle events at which he officiated and a bibliographical file of research materials. Part of this collection is material regarding his wife, Sally Cohn, who was very involved in women’s groups and the sisterhoods of the congregations Cohn served. She started the San Diego Women's Association for the Salk Institute. They had two children Jane and Morton Cohn Jr. Rabbi Cohn died in 1991; Sally Cohn died in 1994.

Subject/Index Terms

Congregation Beth Israel (San Diego, Calif.)
Jews--California--San Diego

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Accruals: 2017-043

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Acquisition Source: Jewish Historical Society of San Diego

Related Materials:

Adat Ami Synagogue Collection

Lou Dunst Collection

Mark Freeman Papers

Deborah Horwitz and Paul Nierman Collection

Rose Neumann Collection

Elena Saad Collection

Irving Salomon Collection

Tifereth Israel Synagogue Collection

Abbe Wolfsheimer-Stutz Collection

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Rabbi Morton J. Cohn Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],
[Box 5],
[Box 6],
[Box 7],
[Box 8],
[Box 9],
[Box 10],
[Box 11],
[Box 12],
[Box 13],
[Box 14],
[Box 15],
[Box 16],
[Box 17],
[Box 18],
[Box 19],
[Box 20],
[Box 21],
[All]

Box 8Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Speeches - Hadassah, JNF, Sisterhood, Salk Institute, Women's Guild, 1941-1965Add to your cart.
Handwritten and typed transcrips of speeches. Titles and/or content: - Mother's Day Tree Certificate Ceremony Speech - Junior Hadassah Transfer to Senior Hadassah Ceremony Speech - Intro. to Mrs. Henry Monsky - "Cultural Contributions of the Jewish People" - Intro. to Ralph J. Bunche - "Why is a Rebbitzen?" (2) -Program intro - "What is Sisterhood?" - Remarks to Executive Committee of Salk Institute - "Only the Beginning" 1st Women's Guild Sabbath Temple Eanu-El.
Folder 2: Personal Correspondence 1953/54 & 1968/69, 1953, 1954Add to your cart.
Correspondence to Sally - personal and regarding Gentlemen of Distinction Committee From: Mrs. Herman Kretzer (Eleanor) Louise Fletcher The Fierman's (Morton and Isabel) Werner Janssen Between Sally and Gus
Folder 3: El Cortez Hotel Correspondence re: Gentlemen of Distinction Banquets by the Women's Guild of Temple Emanu-El, 1968, 1969Add to your cart.
El Cortez Hotel correspondence re: Women's Guild of Temple Emanu-El's Man [Gentlemen] of Distinction banquets; menu selections; party prospectus 1969.
Folder 4: Fundraising Raffles and Auction: Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood and Women's Guild of Temple Emanu-El, 1959-1968Add to your cart.
Fundraising correspondence and programs: American Express Company Temple Emanu-El dinner and raffle at Kona Kai Club Correspondence of donations; raffles; prize lists; auctions, letters Temple Emanu-El Auction (list of items) Raffle tickets
Folder 5: Women's Guild of Temple Emanu-El and Sisterhood of Temple Beth Israel, 1958-1976Add to your cart.
Assorted items relating to Women's Guild of Temple Emanu-El and Sisterhood of Temple Beth Israel functions: raffle tickets, note cards, luncheon programs, honorary dinner programs, correspondence, invitations, musical programs, travel invitations, book review announcements, mailing lists, executive board rosters
Folder 6: Women's Guild of Temple Emanu-El and Sisterhood of Temple Beth Israel, 1954-1970Add to your cart.
Assorted papers relating to Women's Guild of Temple Emanu-El and Sisterhood of Temple Beth Israel functions: planning notes, program notes, committee notes, correspondence, and event programs.
Folder 7: Gentlemen of Distinction Banquets presented by the Women's Guild of Temple Emanu-El, 1966-1968Add to your cart.
Items relating to the Women's Guild of Temple Emanu-El's Gentlemen of Distinction Banquets held at the El Cortez Hotel: invitations, table reservations, programs.
Folder 8: Gentlemen of Distinction Banquets presented by the Women's Guild of Temple Emanu-El, 1969-1972Add to your cart.
Items relating to the Women's Guild of Temple Emanu-El's Gentlemen of Distinction Banquets held at the El Cortez Hotel: invitations, table reservations, honoree lists, table arrangements, programs.
Folder 9: Gentlemen of Distinction Banquet Planning Material Women's Guild of Temple Emanu-El, 1967-1970Add to your cart.
Personal notes by Sally Cohn regarding planning of the Women's Guild of Temple Emanu-El's Gentlemen of Distinction Banquets: committee lists, honoree lists, form letters, biographies, work sheets, candidates, correspondence and biography from Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph N. Trivisonno.
Folder 9.1: Program: Testimonial Banquet honoring The Right Reverend Monsignor Joseph N. Trivisonno, 1959Add to your cart.
Program for Testimonial Banquet honoring The Right Reverend Monsignor Joseph N. Trivisonno, On The Occasion of the Fortieth Anniversary of His Priesthood. Sunday, May 31, 1959. Reverend Trivisonno was a candidate for the Women's Guild of Temple Emanu-El's Gentlemen of Distinction Banquet (1969?).
Folder 10: Gentlemen of Distinction Honorees - Correspondence, 1957-1968Add to your cart.
Letters from Gentlemen of Distinction honorees to Sally Cohn and the Women's Guild of Temple Emanu-El.
Folder 11: Gentlemen of Distinction - Newspaper Articles, 1968-1969Add to your cart.
Copies of San Diego Union and San Diego Evening Tribune newspaper articles regarding the Gentlemen of Distinction awards.
Folder 12: Brotherhoods: National Federation, SoCal Council, Temple Emanu-El Brotherhood & Men's Club, 1968-1973Add to your cart.
Items pertaining to the Temple Emanu-El Men's Club, The Southern California Council of Temple Brotherhoods, The National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods (NFTB), and Temple Emanu-El Brotherhood. Includes: meeting agendas, announcements, correspondence letters, banquet arrangements, minutes, programs, member lists, NFTB catalog.
Folder 13: Sisterhoods Scripts and Programs, 1940'sAdd to your cart.
Scripts and programs for plays and from musical comedy revues for Sisterhoods in New York; Women of Valour - Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood; Sisterhood Salutes Sally; Southern Area Western Federation of Temple Sisterhoods. Song lists. List of costume or fashion show attire and prices.
Folder 14: Program: Follies of 1970 presented by Temple Emanu-El Women's Guild, April, 1970Add to your cart.
Program (souvenir book): Temple Emanu-El Women's Guild presents "Follies of 1970" in the International Room of the El Cortez Hotel. Directed by Michael Pober.
Folder 15: Program: Las Vegas Night presented by Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood, 3/8/1975Add to your cart.
Program: Las Vegas Night fundraising event presented by Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood. Held at the Vacation Village Convention Center.
Folder 16: Program: B'nai B'rith 36th Annual Convention, July 13-17, 1958Add to your cart.
Program: B'nai B'rith - Women's District Number Four - 36th Annual Convention July 13-17, 1958 held at the El Cortez Hotel.
Folder 16.1: Booklet: Biographical Sketch of Irving E. Friedman, 7/1/1965Add to your cart.
Biographical sketch booklet as presented by the Members of the California Committee of Boys Incorporated of America honoring and recognizing Irving E. Friedman in appreciation for his leadership and service to many worthy causes. Includes letter from Boys Incorporated of America.
Folder 17: San Diego State College Leadership Courses Descriptions, 1970 and 1971Add to your cart.
San Diego State College Leadership Courses Descriptions: *New Dimensions of Leadership (Educational Services to the Community course through SDSU Extension Services program) *New Leadership Development Institute: Effective Black and Brown Leadership in a White Dominated Community
Folder 18: Points Four World Travel Service Financial Ephemera, 1984-1987Add to your cart.
Points Four World Travel Service financial ephemera: receipts, reimbursements, commission stubs. Agent : Sally Cohn.
Folder 18.1: Financials: Invoices and Real Estate Listing, 1984-1987Add to your cart.
Receipts, invoices and statements: -Evening Tribune -Pacific Insurance Agency -Coles of La Jolla -Panel Lock Fencing -Chick Runyon Wallpaper Unlimited -San Diego Realty Board Services Exclusive Residential Listing Agreement for the Cohn's 4705 Barbarossa Drive residence
Folder 19: Vendors Brochures, unknownAdd to your cart.
Catalogue listing Publications of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) - Institute of Human Relations (September 1967) Fine Arts for the Synagogue and Jewish Home Biography of actor Reuben Singer
Folder 20: Rabbinic Alumni Directory: Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, 1971Add to your cart.
Rabbinic Alumni Directory 1971 Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Folder 21: Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Descriptive Booklets, Includes 1968-1976Add to your cart.
Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Descriptive Booklets and Brochures with letter from J.E. Slater, President
Folder 22: Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Literature, Includes 1962 and dates unknownAdd to your cart.
Items pertaining to Salk Institute for Biological Studies: *Rabbi Cohn's Address of Consecration Dedicating the Site of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (4 copies) *"Man's Potential" booklet created by the Institute *The San Diego Woman's Association for the Salk Institute fact sheet *Faculty Roster (2 copies)
Folder 23: Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Statement and Presentation Packets, 1963Add to your cart.
Statement and Presentation Packets for Salk Institute: *Statement by Warren Weaver, Chairman, May 6, 1963 *Packet: Intro, Facutly, Facilities, Financial Needs; includes letter to Sally Cohn from Beatrice Fuerst, Director of Women's Association Activities *Bound presentation packet seeking support for the Institute, includes list of Trustees, Officers, and Advisory Council
Folder 23.1: Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Rabbi Cohn Consecration Address, 1962Add to your cart.
Consecration Address given by Rabbi Cohn at site of Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Saturday, June 2, 1962
Folder 24: Salk Institute - San Diego Women's Association PART 1, 1963Add to your cart.
San Diego Women's Association for the Salk Institute (WASI) items: rosters, committees, statement of purpose, board, agendas, workshops, calendars, 1st membership luncheon, Sally's planning notes for board meetings.
Folder 24.1: Salk Institute - San Diego Women's Association PART 2, 1963Add to your cart.
San Diego Women's Association for the Salk Institute (WASI) items: rosters, committees, statement of purpose, board, agendas, workshops, calendars, 1st membership luncheon, Sally's planning notes for board meetings.
Folder 25: Salk Institute - San Diego Women's Association PART 1, 1964Add to your cart.
San Diego Women's Association for the Salk Institute (WASI) items: agendas, workshops, calendars, minutes, 2nd membership luncheon, Sally's planning notes for board meetings, 1st annual report, membership questionnaire.
Folder 25.1: Salk Institute - San Diego Women's Association PART 2, 1964Add to your cart.
San Diego Women's Association for the Salk Institute (WASI) items: agendas, workshops, calendars, minutes, 2nd membership luncheon, Sally's planning notes for board meetings, 1st annual report, membership questionnaire.
Folder 26: Salk Institute - San Diego Women's Association, 1965-1976Add to your cart.
San Diego Women's Association for the Salk Institute (WASI) items: agendas, workshops, calendars, membership luncheons, membership directory 1966-1967 & 1970-1971, resume of history, April 1976 Newsletter.
Folder 26.1: Salk Institute - San Diego Women's Association (WASI) Membership Directories, 1966-1967 and 1970-1971Add to your cart.
Membership Directories for the Women's Association for the Salk Institute (WASI) for Biological Studies. 1966-1967 and 1970-1971
Folder 27: Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Correspondence re San Diego Women's Association, 1963-1966Add to your cart.
Correspondence notes and letters to Sally and to Sally and Mort from friends, associates, and businesses mostly in regard to the San Diego Women's Association for the Salk Institute.
Folder 28: Salk Institute for Biological Studies - San Diego Women's Association Correspondence/Minutes, unknownAdd to your cart.
San Diego Women's Association for the Salk Institute: correspondence, minutes, papers, notes, brochures, speeches, membership welcome letters, floor plan for event at Del Webb's OceanHouse.
Folder 29: Correspondence - Notes and Letters to Sally and Mort, 1958-1969Add to your cart.
Notes and letters to Sally and to Sally and Mort from friends, associates, and businesses.
Folder 30: Sally Cohn's Handwritten Planning Notes and Speech Draft, unknownAdd to your cart.
Miscellaneous notes and papers written by Sally Cohn regarding women's organizations, Salk Institute, and committees. Assorted miscellaneous items include: business cards, hand written notes, draft of speech, correspondence, empty mailed and opened envelopes, RSVP return envelopes.
Folder 31: Brochures and Pamphlets: Interreligious and Hebrew Union College, 1960's-1970'sAdd to your cart.
Brochures and Pamphlets - Interreligious and Hebrew Union College: *Report from the School of Jewish Communal Service (HUC) *Confluent Education in the Jewish Setting (HUC) *Interreligious Institute program agenda *President's Report from National Conference of Christians and Jews *Booklet - Crisis in America: Hope Through Action
Folder 32: Newsletters and Bulletins (includes Congregation Beth Israel and Temple Emanu-El), 1958-1978Add to your cart.
Newsletters and Bulletins: -Congregation Beth Israel - "Tidings", June 1981 -National Council of Jewish Women San Diego Section - "The Bulletin", October 1959 -Temple Emanu-El - "Torah Center", 1975-1976, 1976-1977, 1977-1978 -National Business Woman, December 1958
Folder 33: Telegrams - Western Union (to Sally and to Rabbi Cohn), 1951 and 1963Add to your cart.
Western Union Telegrams: *To Sally Cohn regarding the San Diego Women's Association for the Salk Institute from Gerard Piel, President of the Salk Institute (1963) *To Sally Cohn from Bea Fuerst, Women's Assoc. for Salk Inst. (1963) *To Rabbi Cohn from Louise and Charles (1951)
Folder 34: Sally Cohn Photographs including Salk Institute, no datesAdd to your cart.
Sally Cohn Photographs including Salk Institute
Folder 35: Obituaries and Newspaper Clippings for Sally Cohn, 1994Add to your cart.
Obituaries for Sally Cohn (DOD: July 19, 1994): San Diego Jewish Press Heritage, July 1994 San Diego Jewish Times, August 1994

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],
[Box 5],
[Box 6],
[Box 7],
[Box 8],
[Box 9],
[Box 10],
[Box 11],
[Box 12],
[Box 13],
[Box 14],
[Box 15],
[Box 16],
[Box 17],
[Box 18],
[Box 19],
[Box 20],
[Box 21],
[All]


Page Generated in: 0.114 seconds (using 202 queries).
Using 8.64MB of memory. (Peak of 8.95MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-3
Copyright ©2017 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign