In Appreciation of Our Friend Rachel Cowan

I was saddened to learn that our friend and author Rachel Cowan died this past Friday, just as Shabbat was coming in.  She was at home, where she wanted to be, and at peace.

For most of my years, I had only heard of Rachel and her work from afar, until she finally decided to write a book, and with Linda Thal created Wise Aging which we had the opportunity to publish.  She had the gentlest of styles combined with a fierce commitment to the work, and to the practices and concepts she wanted to share with others through it. I was repeatedly struck by her ability to exercise huge influence while seeming to have only the lightest touch on the steering wheel.

Rachel was a pathfinder in many ways; her gentle and modest manner belied her impact.  Called the “Mother of Jewish Healing” by The Forward newspaper, her work and her presence has been felt and will continue to be felt throughout our community.  I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with her and to help bring her work into the world.  And I will miss her.

May her memory be for a blessing.

David Behrman

To read the full obituary from The New York Times, click here.