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Bobi Jen's four children

Noami and Sheppy Coodin's son Yoni

Yoni and Eli Coodin, sons of Sheppy and Naomi Coodin

Rory Paul, CEO of Gray Academy opening the Torah scroll with Yoni Coodin


By Naomi Coodin, May 8, 2011

 [ This article was written on February 10, 2011,  after Naomi Coodin's grandmother {Jerry Cohen's mother] died on Dec 21, 2010after celebrating her 100th birthday].

My Bobi Jen turned 100 years old last September! Her children decided to celebrate this very special milestone by having a party at Bobi’s condo. The party began in the living room on a Sunday afternoon while Bobi was sleeping in the bedroom. We were not certain that she would have the energy to participate in the festivities but it felt important to celebrate anyway.

The great grand children were excited to be there and they enjoyed all the treats that accompany a birthday celebration. Little did they know that Bobi Jen would actually get up and join us all in the living room. She was attracted by the idea of seeing all the “young fry” celebrating. Bobi joined us in singing Happy Birthday as well as her favourite Hebrew and Yiddish songs. I will always remember the look of joy on her face as she clapped & sang. There was nothing more dear to her than celebrating with family. It is a testament to the love her children felt for her that she still lived in her own home.

Friends and family wanted to mark this special occasion. Since Jewish education was very important to Bobi, her 4 children thought it would be nice to set up a scholarship at Gray Academy, where her son, Jerry, had been principal for 17 years, where all 3 Winnipeg grandchildren had gone to school,  and where 9 great grandchildren are currently attending. Grandson (in law) Sheppy Coodin suggested that perhaps a piece of Jewish art could commemorate this special occasion.

As luck would have it, a beautifully illustrated Torah scroll was found by Jerry & Susan Cohen on a recent trip to Italy.  Designed by Israeli artist Michal Meron, it was intended to be a hands-on interactive educational tool for teaching Torah to young children. Bobi’s family, together with Rory Paul, decided that this was a terrific way to celebrate Bobi’s love for Israel and her strong support of Jewish education. Arrangements were made to have the scroll shipped from Italy and it now hangs in the hallway next to the Art room where it can be used by teachers and students to study Torah.

Bobi Jen died peacefully in late December, 2010. She is loved and remembered by her children Jerry & Susan Cohen, Em Cohen, Barbara & Robbey Hyman, Saralyn & Jim Greenblatt, brother Abe Simkin and many grandchildren & great grandchildren.


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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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