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Michael T. Cohen
Interim CEO
NYC Basketball Hall of Fame

A military veteran, professional political and security strategist and specialist in quiet international and personal conflict resolution, Mike has served a lifetime of professional & volunteer leadership capacities but is first and foremost an educator and lover of people, baseball (Yankees) and, of course, basketball. 

Among the many entities advised and served have been the National Basketball Association (NBA), the American Sportscasters Association (ASA), the National Pro-Am City Leagues, Israel’s National Holocaust Memorial – Yad Vashem and Yeshiva University

Mike has edited several books on peace and security in both English and Hebrew and is currently working on “Where There Is No Vision, People Die,” (Proverbs 29:18); and a children’s book that tells his mom’s miraculous survival story as a small child in war torn Europe.

He is the Hebrew, Bible and Middle-East history & conflict resolution teacher for a number of global church networks and has translated, reworked and taught local spiritual songs to the children, youth and adult choirs of the same.

A 40+ year veteran reserve officer in an elite special-forces counter-terrorism unit, Mike earned his first basketball coaching certification at the age of 14 from Israel’s Wingate Institute of Physical Education. He is also certified as a personal life & business coach and narrative therapist. He has been active in Israeli & American politics and business in a variety of behind-the-scenes capacities since his teen years and has worked with the entire gamut of news networks, electronic and print.

Called to consult on a range of issues for members of both houses of the United States Congress and the Israeli Knesset, Mike has had the honor of addressing the alphabet soup of Jewish and Christian organizational life while wearing multiple professional hats in sports,  philanthropy, education, business, entrepreneurship, finance and counter-terrorism.

Mike is an expert on Israel-Arab and Israel-USA efforts towards peace and has served as an adviser on U.S., Jewish and Israeli affairs for a wide variety of Jewish and non-Jewish organizations. He was honored with the prestigious “Reserve Shield” award by Israel’s Minister of Defense in 2008, and by the United Chaplains of New York State with a lifetime honorary membership in 2010. He has served as scholar-in-residence, lecturer and strategist on issues regarding Middle East security, the Military Aspects of International Conflict and Peace Making, Israel-Diaspora relations, Israeli Society and Body Politic, Homeland Security, Conflict Resolution, Christian relationships with Israel and the Jewish people, Jews and African-Americans in Sports and the use of technology for community development

A popular teacher and crisis negotiator, Mike was assigned as a veteran in reserve to Israel’s National Emergency Response & Negotiation Team in Bethlehem during Operation Defensive Shield in April/May 2002, and was tasked with handling the multifaceted and potentially explosive crisis surrounding the Church of the Nativity’s hostile takeover by Hamas terrorists.

He has worked with international NGO’s, comprehensively briefing visiting diplomats, politicians, dignitaries, security experts, communal missions and religious leaders in Israel and throughout the world with his first hand experience and perspective.

In 2002 Mike compiled “Ordinary People – Extraordinary Spirit” a 220-page photo essay that illustrated the amazing spirit shown by Israeli, Jewish and Christian Zionist society in the face of the ongoing campaign of global and domestic terror and “The Job of A Jewish Soldier” a children’s book designed to help parents worldwide explain the images their children are seeing on TV in a gentler and empowering context.

Mike is happily married to Elana and is the proud father of Noa (16), Uriel (15) and Natan (10). He enjoys coaching Natan’s little league baseball team – the Beit Shemesh Jackals and leading OTV tours for the Elah Valley Tour Company.

The Cohens regularly welcome dignitaries, friends and groups visiting Israel into their home overlooking the majestic hills of Judea in Israel and look forward to your visit as well.

To book Mike as a guest speaker or Scholar-in-Residence for your community, school, church, synagogue, or Israel tour, or to schedule a visit to the Cohen  home – please do not hesitate to contact us at

More details about Mike on LinkedIn:

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