Photo: Leonard Cohen’s Sister, Esther With Husband Victor & Nephew Jonathan Greenberg – Haifa, Israel, 1993

Esther Cohen with husband Victor and Nephew Jonathan Greenberg1 in Haifa, Israel, 1993. Copyright photo by Jonathan Greenberg, used with permission.

Esther & Victor Cohen

Leonard Cohen’s older sister, Esther, has been featured in several Cohencentric posts, but photos of her with her husband Victor are rare. The posting of this shot, thanks to Esther’s nephew, Jonathan Greenberg, affords an opportunity to provide some background for those fans who are unfamiliar with Esther.

Esther married Victor Cohen. Following a Cuban honeymoon, they traveled extensively, were regulars at plays, concerts, movies, and parties, and lived happily together, Esther did research for McGill and for Colliers in New York. She was unequivocally enthusiastic about life and beloved by everyone who met her. Esther died Sept 7, 2014, 19 years after Victor’s passing.

estherviva

On September 9, 2016, two months before Leonard Cohen died, I posted A Video Commemoration Of The Life Of Esther Cohen (originally published at my 1HeckOfAGuy.com site) to Cohencentric. The entry features the video I constructed marking the Sept 7, 2014 death of Leonard Cohen’s older sister. That same day, I received this email message from Leonard:

Allan,

Very touched (understatement) by the video celebrating my sister’s great spirit.

Thank you.

L

He also attached the above photo of Esther and Viva, Lorca Cohen’s daughter.

For convenience, I’ve copied the original post and video below.

esther-cobEsther Cohen: A Life Of Enthusiasm

Esther Cohen, Leonard Cohen’s older sister, died Sept 7, 2014. Esther married Victor Cohen. Following a Cuban honeymoon, they traveled extensively, were regulars at plays, concerts, movies, and parties, and lived happily together until Victor’s death 19 years ago, Esther did research for McGill and for Colliers in New York. She was unequivocally enthusiastic about life and beloved by everyone who met her.

Four years ago,2 I was privileged to have been invited by Esther’s close friends, Dick and Linda Straub, to participate in commemorating her birthday. At that time and on a a handful of occasions afterward, I had the chance to talk to Esther by phone on; each time I was charmed anew. While a video celebrating Esther’s birthday may seem incongruent with the announcement of her death, this montage of film and photos, supplied by the Straubs, features Esther at her best, in the midst of those who loved her, some of whom may be recognizable to viewers: Leonard Cohen, Emmylou Harris, Lian Lunson, Perla Batalla with husband Claud and daughter Eva, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Lily Lankin, Harry and Arlene Rasky, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Leon Wieseltier, Zack Oberzan, Nick Cave, and Santa Claus. There have been a few additions and deletions but the message is still the same – Esther was a delight.

 

estherslideshow1

She will be greatly missed.

Esther Cohen: A Life Of Enthusiasm
Soundtrack (chosen by Esther): Leonard Cohen’s Take This Waltz
Video By: Allan Showalter

 

Credit Due Department: Almost all the images were supplied by Linda and Dick Straub, who also came up with the concept of the video. Originally posted Sept 9, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. Jonathan Greenberg is an award-winning investigative financial and legal journalist with 35 years of experience with national such publications as Forbes, New York, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Mother Jones, Money, Playboy, Self, Inc., GQ, The New Republic, the Bohemian and Alternet.. Source: HuffPost []
  2. At time of original posting, Sept 9, 2014 []