Barbara _Bobbie_ Nehman

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					Barbara (Bobbie) Nehman

Thank you Kay and thank you Sue Lichten for nominating me. Thank you my dear
husband Jerry, my biggest supporter for over 42 years, and friends and family who honor
me with your presence.

I grew up in a non-religious family, in the cradle of a large Jewish community in an
idyllic post-WWII New Jersey suburb. I owe my life that I took for granted as a child, to
my grandparents who escaped the pogroms of Russia and to my Dad who survived D-
Day and helped to stop Hitler. I was a third grade religious school drop out but got to
experience the excitement of the birth of Israel and its struggle to grow. We collected
money for trees to make the deserts bloom. We san the Israeli anthem, Ha Tivah,
meaning “hope” after the Pledge of Allegiance at Sunday school assemblies. I watched
documentaries in black and white shoing young holocaust survivors dancing the hora
after a day of labor in the fields. I dreamed of joining their celebration.

Our four-year-old daughter’s big life questions led us to join our first synagogue in Ohio,
and her desire to be a bat mitzvah led us to Temple Emanu-El when we arrived in 1980.

It is here that we grew along with our children in our Jewish education, a process that
has enriched our lives immeasurably.

Thank you, my Rabbis, who are wonderful teachers and friends. I owe an extra measure
of gratitude to Rabbi Shelley Zimmerman, whose enthusiasm and love of Judaism was
contagious. His teaching inspired my art. He supported me to start a small group to
explore Jewish spirituality. I thank dear friends Shirley Fisher for teaching me prayer
book Hebrew, and Simon Sargon who touched my soul with his music and to his
successors, Ralph Stannard and Cantor Richard Cohn. Thank you fellow students and
choir members who share and fuel my love of Judaism in learning and in song.

If the body is the “Temple of the Soul,” mine has been crafted by insightful teachers.
Thanks to Ruth Lurie for adding yoga to my life as a body centered approach to Jewish
Spirituality, to Dr. Milton Trager, who taught me movement re-education as a vehicle to
the mind, and to Alice Ann Dailey at the Oasis BodyMind Conditioning Center whose
classes give me more tools for a comfortable body and an opportunity to teach what I
learn and rehab my broken elbow at the same time.

In my long association with Sisterhood, I have enjoyed chairing projects and helping in
the small tasks that add up to Sisterhood’s major contributions to Temple. Thank you
Sisterhood board for always supporting me personally as well as in my initiatives outside
of the Temple community. Twice you helped bring international peacemaker Hagit
Ra’Anan from Israel to inspire use with her successes in bringing together ordinary
Israelis and Palestinians. The Peace-Pole which stands in our Temple children’s garden
near the north entrance was inspired by Hagit.
I realized my teen-age dream of going to Israel in 1984 as a counselor on my daughter’s
teen tour. Since then, I have been there as a Trager Tutor, with the choir and to exhibit
art. In July, 2007, we attended our son Jacob’s wedding on a Kibbutz on the road to
Jerusalem. While there, Hagit invited us to attend a gathering of a dozen groups of Jews
and Palestinians working for peace. My prayer is that we all support in our own way any
positive efforts to find common denominators for peace in the Middle East despite the
awesome complexity. For me, art, the environment, the Trager approach, and networking
with peacemakers around the world are some was to go.

I owe thanks to people in the Callas Community who helped me expand my efforts and
interests in Peace and Human Rights: Vivian Castleberry, mother of three International
Women’s Peace Conferences in Dallas and Carol Donovan and the board of
Peacemakers, Inc. who carry on the work; State Representative Lon Burnam, director of
Dallas Peace Center and its board, and Isabel Do Campo, convener of the DFW Women’s
Interfaith Dialogue at SMU. All the opportunities and experiences I have had at Temple
and in the community have helped to shape who I am and given purpose to my life. For
this I am deeply grateful.
Thank you Sisterhood for the honor and privilege of being in the Hall of Fame.

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