Kogon Follows In-Laws’ Example

Kogon Follows In-Laws’ Example

By Cady Schulman | cschulman@atljewishtimes.com

When Marty Kogon saw how his father- and mother-in-law volunteered in the local Jewish community to make it better for their children and grandchildren, he knew he aspired to be like them. As the newest recipient of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s Lifetime of Achievement Award, he said he has done just that.

It’s not receiving the award that humbles him, though; it’s the thought of having his photo on the same wall as his father-in-law, Gerald Cohen, who was given the same award.

“While I have literally worked with every single person who is on that wall of Lifetime of Achievement Award winners, and I owe a debt to all of them and admire them all greatly, the thought of being on that wall with my father-in-law is very, very special,” Kogon said. “It’s not an honor that you really seek out. It just happens, and I’m really astonished.”

Kogon is being honored during the Fed Talks event Thursday, May 5, for contributions to the Atlanta Jewish community and to Federation. The third annual event will feature three speakers: David Yarus, the founder of Jewish dating app JSwipe and marketing agency mllnnl; Randy Gold, the founder of JScreen, which advocates affordable Jewish genetic testing; and Susan Jackson, the executive director of Women’s Philanthropy, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, and the president and CEO of Focus on a Jewish Tomorrow, a consulting firm whose services shape Jewish engagement and capacity building.

Kogon is a past chairman of Federation and sits on the board of directors. He was the original chair and is a current board member of the student scholarship organization ALEF Fund, was the original chair of the Israel Economic Development Committee, and has received numerous honors and awards for his professional service and philanthropic efforts.

Howard Feinsand, Federation’s current chairman, said Kogon and his family “are the lifeblood of Federation.”

“Marty has been and remains a go-to volunteer who gets things done and done in the right way,” Feinsand said. “Marty could and should write the book on how to model philanthropy to one’s children and grandchildren to ensure a Jewish future. Marty was the standout choice for this year’s award. I’m honored to know him and to work with such a mensch.”

While Kogon has been involved in the community, spending time in the trenches by licking envelopes, making solicitation calls and serving as chairman, the desire comes naturally to create a community his descendants will be proud of.

“What we do today creates the environment that our children are going to grow up and live in,” he said. “If we do that properly, we have something beautiful. If we don’t do it well, our children are the ones who really suffer.”

What: Fed Talks

Where: Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road, Buckhead

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5

Tickets: $36, open only to donors to the 2016 Federation community campaign; www.jewishatlanta.org/fedtalks

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