By Dean Cohen
I have been a JBBBS volunteer for 37 years starting in 1986 in Los Angeles. I have had three matches, my latest and longest match has been with Dan as part of the Friend 2 Friend program for the past 28 years. After Dan and I first met with our social worker, we had our first outing at the Natick Mall at Johnny Rockets. We learned early that we both enjoyed food and eating together. Over the past 28 years Dan and I have shared many enjoyable activities and outings together including Yom Sport, Passover Seders, Hanukkah Parties, car shows, museums and, of course, eating out.
Dan became a Bar Mitzvah as an adult and I had the honor of performing an Aliyah at his service. Years later, Dan had the ability to return to honor and perform an Aliyah at my sons’ B’nai Mitzvah. My friendship with Dan has grown as my life has grown – meeting my wife, having my kids, getting my dog – and Dan has become a part of all of our lives. Dan and I now meet every other Sunday and walk to get bagels together and catch up on the last two weeks – he visits with my wife, Leslie, the dog and whichever kids are awake at the time.
I’m grateful for my match with Dan. While I know Dan looks forward to our time together every other week and this program has provided a valuable social outlet for him, I have learned so much from my friendship with Dan. Dan is a great guy- he has a heart of gold and I look forward to many more years of friendship with Dan.
My name is Dr. Dean Cohen and I have been a JBBBS volunteer since 1986 starting in Los Angeles and then in 1995 in Massachusetts. I have had three matches during that time, my latest and longest match being 28 years. In addition to being a JBBBS volunteer, I am also on the Board of Jewish Big Brothers/Big Sisters. I live in Brookline with my wife and two teenage boys. After 35 years practicing dentistry, I am currently retired. In addition to volunteering for JBBBS, I am also a Make a Wish volunteer. I also enjoy spending time with my teenage boys, reading, exercising, and playing table tennis.