Joseph (Yossi) Cohen passed away due to cancer with his family by his side in his home in Carmel, Indiana, on October 18, 2020. At 78, he never stopped teaching. With gentle humor and patient encouragement, he shared his love of the Hebrew language, culture, and music of Israel, delighting countless high school students and adult learners with lessons, stories, legendary falafel, and his trademark phrase “Shalom to all of us” – shalom, meaning hello, goodbye, and peace.
Before emigrating to the U.S. in 1980, Yossi served as a paratrooper in the Israeli army, where he was wounded in Jerusalem in the Six-Day War. A student of geography in addition to languages, he was part of a team that helped draw the border between Israel and neighboring Jordan as a teenager using a map, a sextant, and a gun that he did not yet know how to use. But he found his true purpose and passion when meeting his wife Hanna, who was a young educator at the time at Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva.
Fifty-four years of devoted marriage followed, including adventures and stories with three children Yaneav (Michele), Eafat (Adam), and Raneat (Jaume) and eight adored and adoring grandchildren. His family was his true north, leading to epic cross-country car trips and overseas adventures. After a lifetime of rich memories exploring the world he loved with the people he loved, he knew only contentment. Hanna and the whole family celebrate Yossi’s life and wish his many students, friends, and others who learned so much from his kind, wise example: Shalom to all of us.
Due to COVID-19, a private graveside service was held in Scottsdale, Arizona with a celebration of his life to be held at a later date in Indianapolis.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Birth Right Israel.
Local arrangements entrusted to Aaron-Ruben-Nelson Mortuary
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