The Rev. David Hai Jacob Cohen, Religious leader
Originally a member of the Penang Jewish community, David Cohen was offered the position of a Hazzan at the Maghen David Synagogue in Calcutta when he had moved to Singapore after the Japanese surrendered to the Allies in September, 1945. Cohen gladly accepted the offer.
On August 4, 1946 Rev. David Cohen and his family boarded a ship for India and after eight days of pitching and rolling they arrived in Calcutta on August 12, 1946. In addition to being the Hazzan of the largest synagogue in Calcutta, he was also appointed to the Beth Din, Jewish Religious or Civil Court of Law (House of Judgment) He solemnized marriages, and visited the sick. He was a certified shochet - a person who was specially trained and licensed to slaughter animals and birds in accordance with the laws of shechita.
An important member of the Calcutta Jewry, the memories of Rev. Cohen lives on in his biography penned by his son Ab Cohen. To know more on his remarkable life, click on ' A Note by Ab Cohen', and read full article, replete with photos.