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2018-06-15 digital edition
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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2019 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved. 


June 15, 2018  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Tampa Federation’s first woman president, Hope Cohen Barnett, dies

Hope Cohen Barnett Hope Cohen Barnett Hope Cohen Barnett, the first woman president of the Tampa Jewish Federation, a mentor and philanthropist, died on June 8 at age 69.

Barnett was born in Jacksonville, raised in Tampa, and spent her life devoted to family, community and philanthropy. She gave her time, attention and resources to many causes, but those closest to her heart were Jewish causes, health care and grandparents’ rights.

Her hard work and fortitude were recognized early in her career as a “professional volunteer” when she was elected to serve as the first and youngest woman president of the Tampa Jewish Federation in 1980. She rose through the ranks by serving on many committees and holding leadership positions, including campaign chair, secretary and Tampa’s representative to the National Women’s Board of United Jewish Communities.

Her active leadership inspired the founding of the Federation’s “Hope Cohen Barnett Young Leadership Award” and endowment fund that annually recognizes and supports an outstanding young leader in the Jewish community.

She was an active member on the boards of many other organizations, including the original Tampa Jewish Community Center, Congregation Rodeph Sholom and the State of Israel Bonds Young Leadership Committee. She founded the Tampa chapter of JACS, a Jewish alcohol and drug dependency group, in 2003, and in 2008 received the Kipnis-Wilson Friedland Lion of Judah Award for outstanding communal leadership.

She summed up her lifelong passion for service with the simple mantra, “I just try to do things that are right.”

Outside the Jewish community, she was an informal mentor and resource for those living with multiple sclerosis and lupus. An avid researcher and health advocate, she shared her own personal experiences and knowledge with others.

Survivors include her husband of 47 years Leslie Barnett; two sons, Ben Barnett and Irving Barnett; sister and brother-in-law Cynthia and Stanley Wright; brother and sister-in-law Barry and Barbara Cohen; and three grandchildren.

The family suggests memorials be made to TOP Jewish Foundation, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or the Lupus Research Alliance. (Segal Funeral Home, Beth David Chapel)

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