To guide the Foundation's work, directors and staff turn to Sam Cohen's life to discern the priorities and values that are his continuing legacy: 

  • Quiet generosity
  • Supporting his community
  • Helping the underprivileged
  • Promoting human rights and understanding among all peoples

Although grant-making priorities and programs may vary over time, the touchstone to guide the Foundation's direction is Sam's life and the enduring value it reveals.    

"If he got up in the morning and went to bed that night and felt he didn't help someone, he didn't sleep." ~ Lester Cohen, brother

"He had a heart that was full of giving." ~ Peter Lunder, friend

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Everybody's Uncle Sam captures the life and legacy of Sam Cohen.

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The video is comprised of six chapters. You may view the chapters sequentially by letting the video run (47 minutes), or view each one separately by clicking on the photos in the menu bar below the video. The chapters appear in this order:

  1. Biddeford, Maine (6:10): Sam’s family history and early life in Biddeford.
  2. The Shul on Bacon Street (6:32): Sam’s commitment to Jewish religious traditions, his devotion to Biddeford’s Congregation Etz Chaim, and his openness to other cultures.
  3. Part Mitzvah, Part Chutzpah (6:02): Sam the businessman, Sam the humanitarian.
  4. Zest for Life (7:23): Thriving on friends, family, politics, sports, jokes, and romance.
  5. Tzedakah for Tikum Olam (6:50): A family tradition of charitable giving, “a genuinely charitable man.”
  6. The Sam L. Cohen Foundation (14:52): The enduring quality of Sam’s values and priorities as evidenced in current Foundation practices. Sample grants featured.

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