Gary S. Cohn

Gary brings over thirty years of non-profit and development experience to his work as a trusted advisor. He began his work as a middle market banker from 1977-1992. After being trained in credit, he led a sales and marketing team for several large California banks leaving Union Bank in 1992 to move into the non-profit sector.

Gary became the Executive Director of Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco from 1991-2007. Temple Emanu-El is one of the leading congregations in Reform Judaism with over 2,000 families founded in 1850. There he managed all business aspects of the congregation plus membership services and program. Gary was responsible for an annual budget of $15 million and an endowment equities and real estate of over $40 million.

In 2008 he became the Regional Director of American Technion Society in the Pacific Northwest (Silicon Valley to Seattle) raising funds to support the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. From 20015 until 2020 Gary held Senior Vice President/Major Gift roles at Alzheimer’s Association and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

In 2020, Gary founded Painted Rock Advisors. Painted Rock Advisors provides services to the philanthropic and non-profit communities. His podcast, The Road To Philanthropy debuted in 2021 and now has over 4,500 listeners.

Gary serves on the Board of Directors of Hillel 818 and Safe Parking Los Angeles where he is Chair of Governance at both non-profits. Previously served on the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross-Bay Area, the San Francisco Food Bank and Bentley School. He was on the Advisory Board of City National Bank from 2000-2007.

Gary attended California State University at Long Beach and received his BS from the College of Business. He was honored as Alumnus of the Year for the College of Business in 2009.

Gary lives in Woodland Hills with his partner, Paula and has a daughter, Erica, who works in the entertainment industry.

In the community:

  • Hillel 818, Board Member 2018-present
  • American Red Cross-Bay Area, Board Member, June 2009-2015
  • United Way of the Bay Area, Finance Committee member May 2009-March 2012
  • Bentley School, a co-ed K-12 independent school with campuses in Oakland and Lafayette, Board member and Audit Chair 1999-2006
  • San Francisco Food Bank, Board Member, Development Chair and Treasurer 1998-2005
  • Wilshire Blvd Temple Camps, Board Member 2007-2018,

    Past Activity

    • Union for Reform Judaism, National Board Member
    • National Association for Temple Administration, President and Board Member
    • JVS, (Jewish Vocational Services), San Francisco, Board Member
    • Jewish Family and Children’s Services, various committees
    • Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco
    • City of Hope National Medical Center, fundraising group

Banking and Finance:

  • Senior Vice President and Manager, City National Bank, June 2008-July 2009
  • Advisory Board Member, City National Bank, September 2000-June 2008


  • 2009 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, California State University at Long Beach

    College of Business Administration


BS Degree in Finance, California State University at Long Beach

FTA, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion/URJ/NATA

Graduate of the Wexner Heritage Foundation Leadership program