Mystery Surfside Young Jewish Girl Whose Tehillim Caught Mayor’s Attention Meets with Biden


SURFSIDE (VINnews/Sandy Eller) – A young Jewish girl who made international headlines after being mentioned by the mayor of Surfside, Florida met today with President Biden during a visit with family members.

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In a Tuesday press conference, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett spoke of the girl, who appeared to be about 11 or 12, and was praying for a missing parent at the site of last Thursday’s apartment collapse.

Burkett recalled kneeling down beside the girl, who was sitting alone as she read a Jewish prayer from her phone outside of the wreckage of Champlain Towers South. The mayor vowed to make an effort to see the girl again, perhaps at a reunification center, and to remind her that the city is doing everything they can to find her loved ones.

While Burkett never named the girl, he said at a press conference today that he had introduced her to Biden, at her request. A photo of a young girl meeting with the president today was released to CNN by the girl’s mother. CNN identified her as 12 year old Elisheva Cohen, daughter of Dr. Brad Cohen who is among the missing.

NBC News Channel 8 ( reported that Elisheva split her time living with her father, Dr. Brad Cohen, in Champlain Towers, and with her mother, Soroya Cohen, in a nearby building. Both Cohen and his brother, Dr. Gary Cohen, were in an 11th floor apartment when Champlain Towers crumbled to the ground last week.

A photo sent to CNN’s Nick Valencia by Soroya Cohen showed the meeting between her daughter and Biden, with the president clasping Elisheva’s hands in a shared somber moment. Taking to social media, Valencia said that Soroya Cohen had reached out to her husband to share a photo of their daughter just before he went to sleep last Wednesday night. A tweet by Valencia read, “Her face ‘was the last thing Brad saw. I texted it to him right before he went to sleep,’ his wife told me. I texted: look how pretty Elisheva looks. He got the WhatsApp, it’s marked.’”

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