Sad news: Carla Cohen, co-founder of the legendary Washington, D.C. bookstore-cum-salon Politics & Prose, has died at age 74.
I got to know Carla through her husband, David, who was president of Americans for Peace Now when I was editor of the Washington Jewish Week. We also belonged to the same congregation, Tifereth Israel on 16th Street NW.
Hundreds if not thousands of Washingtonians past and present will be writing and saying similar things today, but for me P&P represented everything that made Washington such a great place to live in the early 1990s. Like the city itself, it had a small town feel, a sense of place, and a devotion to ideas.
The Cohens were also archetypes of that seemingly endangered species: Jewish Liberals. Carla and David were to be honored later this month with the Abraham Joshua Heschel Award from Jews United for Justice — David for his work as organizer and lobbyist and as co-founder of the Advocacy Institute, Carla for establishing a “gathering place for people to discuss the world as it is and as it should be.”