"Barbara _Bobbie_ Nehman"
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.