Channah Cohen is a lead applied researcher for the Center for Communal Research. She enjoys the human side of research, and specializes in the collection and analysis of qualitative data to gain insight into a given topic or issue. She is an educator at heart, and is most passionate about applying the Center’s research findings to improve organizational effectiveness and communal life. Channah deeply believes that the sensitive and intelligent application of research to real-world problems in contemporary Orthodox life can create lasting positive change within our existing systems. She feels a special connection to Carl Rogers’ proverb that “the facts are friendly,” and thinks that curiosity and a willingness to be surprised are key tools to uncover insight in the research process. She acts on the belief that the deepest learning is precipitated by engagement on a personal level, and she therefore enjoys facilitating discussions, leading workshops, giving interactive presentations, and otherwise involving stakeholders and the public in the Center’s initiatives.
Channah originates from the windy Midwestern city of Chicago. After two years of study at Tomer Devorah seminary in Israel, she enjoyed majoring in Psychology at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women. Channah graduated summa cum laude, was a Dean’s Scholar all semesters, and was granted the Murray Adler Leadership and Vision Award. Channah also completed a master’s degree in Adult Learning & Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University, a program that focuses on the principles of adult education, applied social psychology, and organizational learning. She wrote her master’s thesis on the application of Transformative Learning Theory to religious transformations. Previous to joining the Center for Communal Research, Channah was a Torah Educator at the OU’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus at Queens College. She enjoyed (and still enjoys!) a demanding mentorship role with her students; teaching, coaching, and scaffolding students towards the ever-elusive next stage of development. She also organized and managed programming on campus and guided student leadership teams and initiatives. Personally, Channah is interested in the intersection of religious education and psychology, and strives to live and teach means of spiritual living that are resonant with the human experience. Channah lives in Silver Spring with her husband Jeff and their two children.