Kerry Bar-Cohn, AKA Rebbetzin Tap. Photo courtesy Kerry Bar-Cohn
Kerry Bar-Cohn, AKA Rebbetzin Tap.

faces_of_israelKerry Bar-Cohn, also known as “Rebbetzin Tap” for her tap-dancing skills, is a fixture in many Jewish homes. In addition to singing and performing for women’s productions, she produced several children’s DVDs with the goal of instilling in them deep Jewish pride and joy.

She is also a licensed chiropractor.

United with Israel caught up with Bar-Cohn to ask her a few questions.

UWI: Where were you born and when did you come to Israel?

KB: I was born in Hollywood, Florida, and made aliyah in 1996. In 2000, I went back to the States to get a degree [Doctor of Chiropractic] and returned to Israel in 2006.

UWI: What is the one thing you have always wished you could do?

KB: I have always wanted to make a difference in the world. I always wanted to meet my prince, move to Israel and have a family – and I feel so blessed to have those things. My musical DVDs encourage a love of Judaism, love of life and self-esteem, bringing together songs from Jewish women artists around the world. I try to spread joy wherever I go.

UWI: Why do you get out of bed every morning?

KB: In addition to my wonderful family and my commitment to my health, I’m passionate about my performing work and about spreading love, unity and simcha [joy] to the Jewish world through song and dance. I love reading, dancing and Broadway music. I also take care of my mother, who became paralyzed three years ago and lives with me.

Rebbetzin tap in action

Rebbetzin tap in action. (Courtesy Kerry Bar-Cohn)

UWI: What do you do for exercise?

KB: I exercise an average of one hour a day. Mostly running and spinning, but also swimming, elliptical and yoga. I ran a marathon a year ago. Our life experience is through our body. I respect my body and my life. I want to be healthy and strong and vibrant, and I feel that needs to be addressed not only mentally and emotionally, but also physically.

UWI: What is your favorite thing about life in Israel?

KB: I LOVE LIVING IN ISRAEL!!!! I love everything about it. I love the very grounding feeling that I’m part of something bigger…a bigger history of the Jewish people. A bigger project of building the State of Israel. I love feeling connected to people. I often say as Rebbetzin Tap that the Jewish people are one big family and I feel so connected to it in Israel. It’s not about me and my success. It’s about my extended family and our home. I love that Israel is a place where people are happy living more simply.

UWI: What is one thing most people do not know about you?

KB: I think that many people think that if someone has an upbeat, peppy personality, they must have an easy life, but people don’t realize that I’ve had my fair share of tough times and I’ve worked hard and made a commitment to being happy.

UWI: Do you have a personal catchphrase or guiding principle?

KB: I would have to say, have high hopes and low expectations. Accept what is and see the humor in a situation. Love yourself and forgive others.

By Penina Taylor, United with Israel