Alumna (’12) Haley Cohen works as correspondent and breaking news editor for the Jerusalem Post


Photo by Talia Cohen

Haley Cohen interviewing former Consul General to Israel in New York Dani Dayan

Lena Nadaner, Incoming Features Editor

After a long day of running around the city because her editor told her to “go find a story,” Haley Cohen (‘12), New York Correspondent and Breaking News Editor for the Jerusalem Post, waited until 11 p.m. for a source to be available for an interview. She was excited to speak to someone that could aid her in writing what she calls the “first draft of history.”  

Cohen is based in Manhattan and reports on New York, Judaism and Israel. This leads her to visit places such as the Consulate of Israel in New York to interview critical figures. 

Cohen began her journalism career when she joined the Lion’s Tale as a freshman reporter and eventually features editor. There, she discovered her passion for writing and giving people a voice. She continued as features editor of the Jewish newspaper at the University of Maryland. 

“It’s really important to tell people’s stories that wouldn’t otherwise necessarily get told. As a journalist, you make other people’s voices heard…those stories can have the power to change the world,” Cohen said. 

Despite receiving a degree in Public Health, Cohen worked as a reporter for The Forward, a Jewish newspaper in New York shortly after finishing college and realized that journalism was her passion. However, she feels that she learned more about journalism by working in the field than in a classroom; thus, not studying journalism in college did not significantly impact her. 

A few years later, Cohen moved to the Jerusalem Post. There, she recently covered Naftali Bennett’s visit to New York, for his first United Nations General Assembly speech. 

“I think it’s really important, especially now, to report about Judaism and Israel because a lot of media isn’t doing that. The fact that she [reports on that] is pretty important,” Cohen’s sister sophomore Olivia Cohen said. 

Every journalist should report on something they have knowledge and passion for, especially for Israel and Judaism because of the rise of anti-Semitism in mainstream media and the spread of misinformation about Israel, Cohen explained. For example, she pointed out that the mainstream media doesn’t cover events such as Jews getting assaulted in New York City for wearing a kippah. 

According to Cohen, many Jewish reporters at mainstream media outlets receive backlash for their stories, even within their work environments. 

“I’m fortunate that the audience I write for, people are for the most part pro-Israel, but I definitely feel that if I do branch out into more mainstream media like the New York Times, I definitely would consider that there probably would be a lot of backlash,” Cohen said. 

Cohen said that the Jewish education she received from CESJDS gave her the knowledge and passion for authentically reporting on Israel and Judaism. 

“We do have a lot of alums who, because of their experience and time and education at JDS, go into different fields where they’re able to use the knowledge that they obtained at JDS for themselves and their careers,” Director of Alumni Relations Wendi Kaplan said. 

Kaplan also explained that many alumni work for Jewish organizations such as AIPAC and Hillel, which the school is proud of. 

“My time at JDS, especially my senior Israel trip, really provided me with such great background to be able to write about Israel and Judaism,” Cohen said. “I’m fortunate for the education I got, and it definitely helps in my career.” 

Kaplan said that the Daniel and Irene Simpkins Israel Capstone Trip gives seniors a complete first experience of the country, allowing them to use that experience in their futures. 

“Since the trip allows our seniors to be there for an extended period of time, they’re really able to be immersed in all parts of Israel; the country, the language and everything, so I think for many of our seniors it gives them that first taste of Israel,” Kaplan said. 

Likewise, Cohen’s time at JDS and on Lion’s Tale gave her cherished memories and inspiration to pursue journalism after college. 

“I don’t even know if had I not joined Lion’s Tale if I ever really would’ve come across journalism or know how much interested I am in it… my Jewish education at JDS definitely played a huge role in the fact that I work at Jewish media,” Cohen said. “It’s really important for reporters for whatever beat they’re on, for it to be something interesting and to be very knowledgeable and very passionate about.”