Cantor Hans Cohn was born in Berlin, Germany. In 1939, with the outbreak of the Second World War, his family fled to Shanghai where he remained until 1946. After coming to America in 1947, he attended the School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, where he received his cantorial investiture. He also studied voice with Alexander Kipnis at the Manhattan School of Music, and went on to earn his masters in education from Stanford University.
Hans Cohn served as the cantor at Beth Jacob for 31 years until his retirement in 1994. In 2002, he received an honorary doctorate of music from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. In 2006 his memoir, Risen From The Ashes: Tales of a Musical Messenger, was published. It is a story of survival, hope and spiritual renewal. Cantor Cohn currently resides in Palo Alto and is still an active member of CBJ and his community.