For Martye Cohen, supporting the Jewish Federation's Annual Campaign is necessary. It's necessary because of what he learned from his father. It's necessary because of why Martye contributes and what he carries forward to his own children. As one aspect of this, Martye and his wife Beth have created the "Martin D. Cohen Fund" with the Federation. It is a Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment Fund, also known as a PACE Fund. In the future, additional funds will be added to the Fund through a bequest in their will. When the PACE Fund is fully funded, it will make annual distributions to the Federation's Annual Campaign for generations into the future. As a result of this commitment to the community, Martye and Beth are also members of the Federation's Heritage Society.
Martye's family moved to this area from the Bronx when he was 12, he's been a member of Bnai Abraham Synagogue since the '50s, and he doesn't do things by halves. He and Beth, who is recently retired from a career that included first modeling and then real estate, describe themselves as very active people. Tennis, golf, walking and bicycling are just some of their pursuits. As an attorney with a litigation firm, Martye has, for the past 40 years, helped people deal with personal injury; he has "no interest in retiring."
This drive extends to all facets of life. Not content with his original bar mitzvah, Martye said that, about 10 years ago, he "re-did the whole bar mitzvah start to finish, and even read from the Torah, which I didn't do the first time." He noted that some in attendance were at both bar mitzvahs, but it was a special opportunity to have his family with him. Between them, he and Beth have five children and two grandchildren.
But that second bar mitzvah, Martye said, was really a tribute to his father, of blessed memory, who was "very aware of his Jewishness," as is Martye. Through it and the fund he has set up, Martye comes full circle to his roots. For him, this means supporting funds that ensure a strong Jewish future or that fight prejudice. It means "giving back."