Elaine Cohen


As Interviewed by Lena Birkholz, March 9, 2016
"If I am an artist, then I am an activist"
Elaine Cohen

Introductory Profile: About Elaine Cohen

My interviewee is Elaine Cohen. She is in a group called Jewish Voice for Peace, which my mom is also in. She has been an activist for many years, including several theaters she opened in New York. Four years ago, she began visiting detention centers, which is what I talked to her about.

She had just come back from a time in Spain where she had learned Spanish, and upon getting back to Austin, she asked a friend what volunteer work she could use her Spanish for. When he told her about the detention centers, she was so surprised she hadn’t heard anything about it and soon, after attending an orientation, she was visiting detention centers.

She has written several articles and blog posts about the issue, encouraging people to help. Throughout our entire interview she emphasized how much work there is to do and how it will never be finished until there are no detention centers left. She has formed good friendships with some refugees and for about eight months, she would visit every Saturday. She hasn’t visited since last summer now, but she would like to.