A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

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Andy Cohen honors strong Jewish women, including his St. Louis mom, in heartfelt speech

Andy+Cohen+%28right%29+with+his+parents+Lou+and+Evelyn+Cohen
Andy Cohen (right) with his parents Lou and Evelyn Cohen

Bravo channel host and producer Andy Cohen, a proud St. Louis native and Clayton High grad, has always celebrated both his St. Louis roots and Jewish heritage with pride and joy on his show, “Watch What Happens Live!” Known for keeping a St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap on his set and popularizing the word “mazel,” he even lit a Hanukkah candle live on air last year. Cohen’s Jewish identity has been a significant part of his public persona.

Last week, during the “Voices for Truth: Influencers United Against Antisemitism” event in New York City, Cohen passionately expressed his Jewish pride, pointing to his mother, Evelyn, who lives in St. Louis, as a significant source of inspiration.

“She is a strong Jewish woman,” said Cohen, paying tribute to the strength and resilience of Jewish women.

In his heartfelt speech, Cohen shared his gratitude for growing up in St. Louis, a city with a vibrant Jewish community where he had his bar mitzvah.

“I’ve been very fortunate in my life to not face much antisemitism on a personal level, so being Jewish has always been a real normal experience for me. But this was not true for my mother Evelyn, who grew up as the only Jewish family in a small town in southern Illinois where she faced constant antisemitism,” said Cohen. “Her neighbors and everyone in this town thought that Jews had horns, quite literally.”

Evelyn Cohen’s move to St. Louis allowed her to find a Jewish community of her own, where she eventually led the local chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis from 1989 to 1991.

This environment of strong Jewish women profoundly influenced Cohen, he said.

“Jewish women have always been a dominant force in my life,” he said. “There is nothing Jewish women cannot achieve. And by the way, if it were up to me, they’d be running the world, because they’ve certainly run mine for my whole life and I’m the better for it.”

Cohen’s speech was not without humor, as he shared a story about his mother’s reaction to his coming out as gay. “Nothing keeps you more grounded than a Jewish mother,” he joked.

While Cohen avoided delving into the politics of Israel and Gaza, he emphasized the importance of cultural pride, urging his audience to “be proud of being Jewish,” a lesson instilled in him by his remarkable mother.

Andy Cohen kneeling with his new Star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.
Andy Cohen kneeling with his new Star on the St. Louis Walk of
Fame. Photo by Bill Motchan.

 

 

 

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About the Contributor
Jordan Palmer
Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer
Jordan worked at KSDK from 1995 to 2020. Jordan is a three-time Emmy award winner who produced every kind of show from news to specials during his tenure, creating Show Me St. Louis, The Cardinal Nation Show. He started ksdk.com in 2001 and won three Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalistic and website excellence in 2010, 2014 and 2020. Jordan has been married for 25 years and is the father of two college students. He is an avid biker, snowboarder, and beer lover. He created the blog drink314.com, focusing on the St. Louis beer community in 2015. Jordan has an incredible and vast knowledge of useless information and is the grandson of a Cleveland bootlegger.