habimah theater 88.
(photo credit: )
Short, twinkling, rotund, Ya’akov (Kobi) Hacohen was to be found at every Habima premiere, handing out complimentary tickets and programs to the journalists come to review the production. He had a smile, a greeting and a quip or two for everybody. He was always equable, always cheerful, always amiable, unless, of course, you criticized Habima. He would leap then to his beloved theater’s defense in a spate of indignant words.
Hacohen died in his sleep sometime during the night of April 10. He is survived by two sisters and a brother. A lifelong bachelor, Hacohen lived in Tel Aviv, in the home on Rehov Mendeli he grew up in. He became Habima spokesman 16 years ago after a stint as assistant to Ya’akov Agmon, who rescued Habima from dissolution in the early 1990s. Prior to that he had worked as a journalist at the Hebrew daily Ma’ariv, first as an arts writer and then as editor of its leisure magazine.
Hacohen did not believe in press releases. Journalists wanting to write about Habima could call him and he would smooth their paths to whatever product they purposed.
Sometimes he would call, suggesting this or that subject of interest.
Calls to me always started with “Dear Helen,” in English, after which
the conversation would switch to Hebrew.
Habima co-general manager Odelia Friedman said of him that he was “a
fine journalist, an excellent spokesperson, a man who loved theater and
understood the media.”
So he was, and did. He was a professional in the very best sense of the
word. It is hard to realize “Dear Helen” will never again tell me that
Kobi is on the line. He was an original and I will miss him.