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Texas University Breaks 75-year-old Rule to Confer Degree Upon Rabbi “in Absentia”

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For the first time in the 75 years of its existence, Texas Christian University will break its rule against conferring honorary degrees “in absentia,” in order to honor Rabbi Henry Cohen, of Temple B’nai Israel, Galveston, Texas, who because of his age is unable to travel beyond the Galveston area.

By a special vote of the board of trustees, Texas Christian University will present on Sept. 20 an honorary LL.D. degree to Rabbi Cohen “by proxy.” The Galveston rabbi will be represented by Judge Theodore Make of Fort Worth.

Still active and the sole spiritual leader of his congregation, Rabbi Cohen was the first president of the Galveston chapter of the American Red Cross; member of the executive committee of the Jewish Agency for Agency for Palestine; and a member of numerous Jewish agencies for relief and civic causes. His biography, “The Man Who Stayed in Texas,” was written to commemorate his 60th anniversary with his congregation. The Henry Cohen Community House was built in Galveston in 1928 in honor of his first 40 years of service with Temple B’nai Israel.

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