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Woman in the Beach

Sybil Cohen

Here at Gerald and Sybil Cohen Family Foundation, we like to share the genesis of where our values came from.

We have provided an excerpt from one of our founders on her journey so far.

My Story

Gerald and I grew up in NYC.

We were both students who met as teenagers at Cejwin Camps where he was a waiter and I was a counselor-in-training.

We enjoyed traveling together, music, theatre, museums, reading, and exercise. Gerald was a graduate of Stuyvesant H.S., then City College (now CCNY), where he earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering at Columbia University.

I was a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, then Hunter College where I earned a B.S.Home Economics Education and a M.A.Nutrition Education, then later a M.S.Dietetics at Queens College.

We married while we were graduate students.  I taught Foods and Nutrition, Clothing Construction, Child Care and Home Nursing in N.Y.C. Public Schools.

Gerald ventured into sales of ceramics and billboards in apartment buildings. When Gerald started working as a software developer at Mathematica in Princeton we moved from New York with our two young sons to New Jersey.

I became an active member of the League of Women Voters in Somerset New Jersey, involved in land use, environmental issues, and voter registration. As Vice President, I attended the state convention in Atlantic City where policy issues to lobby were selected.

I taught cooking and sewing classes in the local Junior High School and developed Adult education courses in healthful cooking.


We had two more sons and moved to a larger house in the same neighborhood. After Mathematica refused to give Gerald any profit shares from the software he had developed I encouraged him to develop a new software program which he called Focus.

This grew into Information Builders based in New York City. Gerald and I both enjoyed traveling with our family and to IBI national and worldwide events. We took great pleasure in watching our
sons develop into considerate, conscientious, creative men.


We moved to Great Neck, an easy commute to New York, with good schools, a library, community facilities, and congenial neighbors.

Once again I joined the League of Women Voters where I was elected President and served as delegate to the National convention in Atlanta.

At Queens College, I earned a second Master’s degree in Dietetics. Then I worked as a Public Relations Consultant and educator at the Cornell Cooperative Center and Chase Bank.

As an Adjunct Professor at Adelphi University I taught Nutrition to Nursing students.

For many years I worked for the Nassau County Department of Health as a Dietitian in the WIC program which provides nutrition information and food assistance to pregnant women and young children.

After retiring I became a member of the retired professional group at CUNY called QUEST.  The program requires members to present lectures and lead discussions on topics of interest. I have been a volunteer at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center for the last 25 years

As an avid reader I have belonged to several book discussion groups wherever I am.

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