Rena Leni Wander, z'l

Rena Tiferet aka Leni/Lenore Wander, z'l

Baruch Dayan HaEmet  ~  2 Tamuz 5777   June 26, 2017
Rena Tiferet bat Yaacov v'Miriam

May Rena’s memory be for a blesSing.
Rena loved Torah, loved Israel, and she loved her family and friends.
Rena loved serving needy communities.
Rena loved her lovable dog Teddy. 
Rena loved creating papier mache animals (a giraffe) at Braille Institute, loved creating clay creatures, and creating purple gifts as seen in upper right photo, the personalized crocheted scarf for Joy with a JOY button.

Rena loved purple. Enjoyed the purple feather boa I gave to her (in photo). She enjoyed all gifts including goddess garments and unique hand-made jewelry, and gifts especially of friendship. Rena appreciated the people-sized tree in pot and mini-fridge (for goodies) gifts placed in her Assisted Living rooms from friend Richard. Rena was grateful for the constant needed care from her Linda and Don, co-caregivers. Rena loved her weekly lunch outtings with Don and Linda for her burgers or Sushi. Rena loved learning Torah each week with Miriam F. Rena was grateful for the cochlear transplant that allowed her to again hear if her batteries were working and not misplaced under her bed.  Rena loved listening to the stories on Braille recorder.

Rena couldn't stand it and was agitated if her meds were late, or person was late to clean her room, or if dining hall was late in opening, or if her meal was late arriving at her dining room table or if servers forgot to bring her dessert. When I visited I made sure to call saying exactly when I would be there so Rena wouldn't be upset with any late minute. (I couldn't stand it if Rena kept calling several times leaving messages if I didn't answer, and now already I miss her frantic calls.)

Rena loved when Malibu JC&S's Argentinian Cantor Marcelo would sing just to her for her healing and when Malibu's Rabbi Judith visited. For years since 1990's, Rabbi Judith had been our Sarah's Tent co-founder and teacher. Rena loved attending Shabbat services at Malibu JC&S. Rena loved prayer. Rena loved being a Sarah's Tent member. Rena loved Jewish ritual and celebrating with others. Rena so loved the love given to her by Sarah's Tent friends, those, z"l (like Marilyn, no longer with us, or others and you know who you are. Rena loved attending Kallah with Sarah's Tent friends.

Loving and loyal friend Don would pick up Rena and drive her to holiday simchas at Sarah's Tent homes. (Rena loved celebrating at my daughter's wedding.) For Sarah's Tent, Rena kept track of members' birthdays. Rena had a good memory. Rena always asked about our family members; who was ill and who was born and knew babies' names.  Rena loved the babies born to her nephew, her sister's son.

Before Rena needed comforting, she comforted those in need, as a friend and in her social work profession. (When my husband, z"l, was ill, Rena was present for me.)

Only a few months ago when I asked Rena to contribute a thought to the Sarah's Tent Journal page being created for Rabbi Judith's MJC&S retirement gala, Rena clearly said, 
"I wish for Rabbi Judith a hundred times each blesSing that she gave to me."

Rena loved the clothing vendors in Venice, especially for tie-dyed clothes. Rena loved walking Teddy in Venice where she lived in the garden's little back house inside the gate. Joyce from shul finally moved in to be helpful following more of Rena's hospitalizations and rehabs. Rena's medical challenges included not only the cancers, but seizures, and stroke, and worsening vision and hearing as well as additional medical issues.

During one of the cancer challenges in late 1990's, Rena and I were together in an inner energy movement class taught by Ruth G.G., a healer, near her in Venice. We danced.

Rena loved seeing G*d's light from sun shining into her room. Rena would move the chair to sit by the open window to feel the light. Rena had to open and close the window during our daily phone visits and add or remove a sweater or socks. Rena appreciated seeing the dark shadow of any visiting person. Being blind, Rena let me know she couldn't appreciate the great view from her upper room in Hollywood, but she liked the Thai eatery on the corner and walked Teddy on the streets.  The noise on busy LaBrea didn't bother Rena because she couldn't hear. She couldn't appreciate the great window view.

Rena loved visits from Bikkur Cholim friend Chabad Rebbetzin Miriam Fisher who read Torah to Rena each Friday before Shabbat and conversed about personal meaning and relationship with G*d, at her assisted living room on LaBrea. (Took me weeks to get a volunteer from shul across the street.) Miriam brought Rena kosher goodies, Sushi and chocolate chip cookies that Rena loved, and mini battery tea lights to use for Shabbat. Miriam added little 'bumps' to lights so Rena could more easily manage the lights' switches. When Rena moved to Sylmar, Miriam would mail goodies. Because I lived not in city (and had lengthy illness from massive Gas Leak blowout), Miriam became my requested compassionate surrogate friend for Rena and Miriam loved her and was dedicated to Rena. 

During the year Rena lived in Assisted Living on LaBrea. Rena loved for me to daily read to her over phone the Chassidic Breslov book "Healing Leaves". Breslov director chose the book for me as being best. Rena deeply thought about each personal concept of G*d and her own neshama/soul- their relationship. No word went unturned. I guess we were chevruta/partners, purple soul sisters.

Every day we prayed together on the phone chanting morning Hebrew prayers. Rena's Hebrew was good because she had lived in Israel (but slowly language diminished). We both were grateful for sharing of prayer and our Judaism. 

המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים
Hamakom yinachem etchem b'toch sha'ar avlei Tzion v'Yerushalayim
May the Compassionate One comfort Rena's loved ones, family and friends, and 
especially her Sarah’s Tent chevre among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Memorial for RENA TIFERET 
Sunday, July 23, 2017  11AM
Malibu Jewish Center & Synagogue 

officiated by Rabbi Judith HaLevy
with Cantor Marcelo Gindlin
and with her communities of friends.

With great sadness, sharing today’s news of Rena's passing over, and also sharing joy with photo collage of Rena’s earlier happier life.
- Joy Krauthammer  (in sympathy, with condolences and with love and tears.)

Top row:  Upper left photo of Rena attending Aviva & Brett's wedding on this same day June 26 but 12 years earlier than Rena's death in 2017 With Mike & Marilyn, z"l, Zena, Arlene and Shira. Joy, Aviva & Brett. On right, Rena presenting her purple hand made gift to Joy, with a Joy button.
2nd row: Rena and Joy.  Rena and Ruth. Rena and Linda giving timbrel birthday gift. 
3rd row: Rena, Linda and Gerry.  Rena wearing Joy's purple feather boa gift to Rena for birthday.
4th row: Rena and Shira for Rena's 60th birthday.  Rena the YMCA swim program cover girl, following cancer. Rena was proud of this photo. 

Made with love by Rena
© Joy Krauthammer 

Clay art made by Rena for Zena's Bat Mitzvah
© Joy Krauthammer 

Clay art made by Rena for Zena's Bat Mitzvah
© Zena

PRAYER  by Rena

I look into the darkness,
The darkness of my soul.
Where are your gentle eyes?
Your tender sweet smile?
It’s dark in my soul--
I can’t find you.
I know I cannot look upon your face and live.
Please do not hide your face from me.
Please touch me with your gentle hand,
Let me hear your musical voice.
I know that God is in the broken places
And in the darkness.

Please find me.

JOY limerick by Rena
There was a woman named Joy
Who was never ever a goy
Everyone knew she was a Jew
Through and through
She even says 
"Oy oy oy!"

A few shared at Rena's shloshim.

There was a dog named Ananda
Of Linda he was really quite fond-a
He stayed in her home
Decided not to roam
And said “Never more shall I wand-a”.

Sophie was a cute cat,
But unfortunately a little bit fat.
For a boy named Jack
She would roll on her back.
She thought it quite yummy
When he petted her tummy
He’d play with her toes
And she’d tickle his nose...

There was a sweet doggy named Bella
Who decided that Hank was her fella
But she started schmoozin’
With his wife named Susan
When she found she had secrets to tell-a.

There once was a sweet dog named Ted
Who thought he was gonna be dead
Then along came his mommy
He said “Don’t you wan’ me?”
And she took him home instead.

There was a puppy named Tristan
Whose life was really quite int’ristin’.
He belonged to the Jesmoks
And played in the cat box.
He drank water from the hose
Which he got up his nose.
He heard an Invader
And dressed as the Caped Crusader
He ran round and round
Never leaving the ground
And said “I’ll catch the Invader—later.”

There was a doggie named Raisin
Whose name I will always be praisin’
She had fluffy feet
And her hair wasn’t neat
But Raisin was always amazin’.

My name is Sam, Sam-I-am,
I like to eat anything I can.
I’m a little bit chubby
But that’s why they love me
She has little legs (-or- She’s a football with legs)
And sometimes she begs  (-or- And when she begs)
That’s why Sam is a ham.
She does get white eggs and ham.

There was a sweet dog named Mitch
Whose life was sort of the pits
But she started crowin’
When she met Gerry and Linda Owen
Her life became merry
When she met Linda and Gerry
And then she really began growin’.

There once was a doggie named Ayan
Whose life was going just fine
She lived with Matt
And with Sophie the cat
And Tabitha for whom I can’t find a rhyme.

There was a doggie named Zoe
Who always looked a bit showy
She was pure white
You could find her at night
But never on days that were snowy.

There was a little dog Rocky [unfortunately killed by a coyote in 2015]
Who was just a little bit cocky
He knew at a glance
He would live with the Grants
He moved in with Mike and Leah
That became his new career
Angel joined him
They both learned to swim
Instead of to bake
On the shore like a cake

There once was a dog named Lacey
Being alone made her a little bit crazy
Then she saw Asmita
She said “No one’s sweeter”
I hope the Estevana’s will wan’ me.

         ~ ~ ~

RENA's Biography 
compiled by friend Linda Jesmok in 2016
(Thank you Linda)
(shared at Rena's shloshim)

Lenore Bernice Wander (Leni/Rena) was born in New York City on August 22, 1946.  Her father Jack worked in textile manufacturing; her mother Marion was a homemaker
When Lenore was growing up, the family lived in Hicksville on Long Island.  Leni’s sister Leah was born when Leni was nearly three years old.  Leni’s eyes were operated on for cataracts when she was five years old.  After the operation, she quickly learned to read.  She was good in school, at a time when the launch of Sputnik caused a surge in interest in the sciences.  As a child, she wanted to be a veterinarian, and she was delighted when the family got a dog (after much begging).

When Leni was twelve years old, the family moved to Florida.  They stayed a year while her father managed a family restaurant.  For Marion and the children, the time in Florida was like an extended vacation, but Jack was unhappy there, and the family returned to Long Island so he could establish a sweater factory.  In New York, her parents were active in the local synagogue, and Leni received her first instruction in her faith.

Leni was fitted for contact lenses when she was fourteen, and she later said this was the first time she felt she was pretty.  She continued her good school record in high school, and became involved with Jewish youth activities.  She met her first “real” boyfriend on an excursion to Indiana to work on housing for poor families.  She enjoyed working as a camp counselor at youth camps in the summers, through high school and college.

Two events of her high school years were devastating—the death of her mother from a cerebral hemorrhage in March 1964 and the assassination of President Kennedy in November 1963.  In losing her mother, Leni lost an emotional mainstay and the person who mediated and modified Jack’s relationship with his daughters.  The President’s death strengthened her belief that politics was a serious issue which demanded action.

Leni still wanted to be a veterinarian, but her father persuaded her to take courses to be a teacher.  She obtained a BA in teaching at SUNY New Paltz.

Leni’s father gave trips to Israel to Leni and Leah when Leni graduated from college in 1968.  After travelling in Europe and visiting a kibbutz, Leni went back to SUNY to get an MA in education.  Leah stayed in Israel.

In the summer of 1969, Leni joined Leah to work on a kibbutz for about six months.  Leni also took University classes in Israel and investigated the possibility of emigrating to Israel permanently.  When she decided instead to return to the US, she travelled with friends through Europe on the way back.

After returning to New York City, Leni taught GED mathematics to young parolees.  Meanwhile, Leah also left Israel and moved to Santa Monica.  Leni was tired of New York City and wanted to live in San Francisco, but her father persuaded her to visit her sister first.  Leni ended up staying in LA, living a typical 1970’s beach cities life with her sister and new friends and teaching in a school for delinquent boys.  She also worked as a volunteer on McGovern’s presidential campaign and met her dear friend Dennis, who was working to revise marijuana laws.  In 1973, Leni took the Civil Service Entrance Exam and was pleased to be hired at the Crenshaw Social Security office to work as a Claims Representative, finally getting paid enough money to live on!

Leni and Dennis lived together in Venice with their dogs, Sam and Gandalf, and various cats.  They were active in social and artistic activities of Venice’s counter-culture.  However, Leni’s long relationship with Dennis foundered on her desire for permanency and his urge to independence, although they remained friends for the rest of his life.

In the late 1970S, Leni was promoted to Operations Supervisor in the Miracle Mile Social Security office.  At about the same time, she and Dennis split up and she bought a house in Inglewood with a friend.  After a few years, she found she was unhappy with both home ownership and supervising.  She sold her part of the house to her friend and took a job as a Claims Representative in the Hollywood Social Security office.  Before she settled into her new life, she visited Europe again.
Back in Venice (with a roommate and her dog Raisin) and now working in a congenial office, Leni decided she had the energy to take night classes at Antioch University to obtain a degree to become a Marriage and Family Therapist.  She successfully completed the course of study and the very time-consuming internships, and passed the written and oral examination in 1995.  She looked forward to embarking on a career that would enable her to help others make positive changes in their lives.
Unfortunately, Leni’s anticipated move to her new field was hampered by a series of health challenges—cancer, stroke, vertigo, increasing vision and hearing problems—over the next twenty years.  She resolutely faced each new issue with courage and creativity.  As her life changed, she adapted and worked out ways to continue.

Leni renewed her connection with Judaism, reawakening her inner creativity in a Jewish counseling group and rejoicing in her friendships in Sarah’s Tent.  She took “Rena” as her new name, signifying a new life.  Rena became an expert on Venice, Hollywood, and West LA—enjoying and sharing with friends her love of the ocean; restaurants; exercise classes; shopping on the Venice boardwalk, the Santa Monica Promenade and in thrift stores; dog parks; fairs; and musical and art events.  She had many overlapping circles of friends, who enjoyed her persona—intelligent, perceptive, artistic, loyal, spiritual, and hedonistic.  Teddy the dog and Sophie the cat took up residence with her and enriched her life.  

Rena worked for Social Security a few more years, retiring in 2005.  She then became a part-time counselor at the Felicia Mahood Senior Center, where for several years she was able to apply her counseling degree.  When her vision worsened so she could no longer commute and easily visit her clients, she retired from the Senior Center.  She became active at the Braille Institute, taking art and Braille classes.  Later, she took in a roommate for mutual help.

Eventually, Rena could no longer live independently.  Her friends in Sarah’s Tent found her an apartment in assisted living in Hollywood where she could live with Teddy.  In 2014, Teddy died and Rena’s health continued to worsen, necessitating increasingly restrictive assisted living situations.  She was fortunate to have caring friends who kept in contact for weekly lunches, medical appointments,  periodic visits, phone calls, and finding living situations that addressed her changing needs.

Rena bat Yaacov v'Miriam died on Monday morning, June 26, 2017, two months shy of her 71st birthday.
~ ~ ~

I invite all to share their love here.

To all,
Lenore Bernice Wander died at about 11a.m this morning. After a long struggle in life, she is finally at peace.  Linda Hoag, Johanna Burns and I were with (Rena following her death).  We sent along the Teddy Bear that she slept with to be with her.
Leni was two months shy of her 71st birthday.
- Don Bender
Rena's primary co-caregiver

Thanks so much for the beautiful pictures! 
What a fine reminder of Rena's exuberance and style. 
- Linda Hoag
Rena's primary co-caregiver

Dear Sarah’s Tent family
Rena is finally at peace, smiling her beautiful smile and hugging her teddy bear. When I visited with her last Wednesday, she was distraught and agitated, but calmed down when I sang, said the Shema, a vidui, and healing chants. I think that she knew these were the sounds of transition, and she looked peaceful, if only for a moment. 
Those of you who were with me last Shabbat know that we prayed for her to be released in peace.
 Baruch Dayan HaEmet.
 May the Holy Schehinah hold her close. 

I do not know what the  plans will be for a memorial, as I am waiting to hear back from her friend Don Bender, who has been a tzadik of the highest order.
Until then, May we all be blessed with peace
- Rabbi Judith HaLevy

Baruch Dayan HaEmet. May Rena’s soul soar unencumbered. 
I would like to think that Rena was like one of Rebbe Nachman’s Beggars.
Grateful that Sarah's Tent friend Zena and I took opportunity to visit beloved Rena one week before her passing. We sang, and read poems and silently spoke to her neshama and embraced each other with our hands and arms. We watched as Rena peacefully slept under the light streaming in from her Burbank window. We said Vidui for Rena. We tried to gently soothe her dryness. With my fingers I wrote letters on the palm of her hand when she was awake, as I had done before, hoping Rena would know who was visiting her. We stayed away from Rena's head so that angels could hover over. 
May Shechina gently embrace our beloved purple 'sister' Rena and welcome her neshama to Shamayim.
- Joy

Baruch Dayan HaEmet,
So very sad to hear of Rena Wander, Z"L passing.
It is now almost Erev Hilulo of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.  
May he open his arms toward Rena
 and help to welcome her to Hashem.
In Fondest Memory,
- Shira
Thank you for incredible pictures presenting beautiful memories of Rena, z"l.

Rena's sweet Soul is at peace at last & I will surely miss her.  I treasure my many memories of her & many moments we shared with our ST mishpoche.
- Lois

Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful photos of our beloved Rena. 
Baruch Dayan HaEmet.   So sad. Her life was so tragic in so many ways.
May this new journey be one of great peace for Rena.  I am happy for the time she was able to enjoy and feel loved by our incredible Sarah's Tent community.  
Thank you to all of you that were able to be with her in her last few days and to send her off with love and peace 
Blessings to my Sarah's Tent community.  You are all so caring and wonderful 
Love to all
- Shayna

We shared so many ceremonies and celebrations. Thank you Rabbi Judith for making her last moments calmer and connected to the Source.  I'm saddened by this loss to our loving group. 
- Alicia

Miriam and Arlene visited Rena on Fathers Day. What an extraordinary morning.
We were grateful and thanked one another for our partnership and all the gifts we provided for one another, Rena and Linda and Don.
I remain in awe of the peace we witnessed that graced Rena as we stroked her hair, were there for her to reach for us praying chanting and reading Rabbi Sheryl z'l beautiful words. Selenite stones for calm, Rose essential oil for the heart, a white Angel teddy bear, a Guide Dog stuffed animal and the soft cool wind blowing the curtains. We said we were sorry, asked for forgiveness, said our thank you's  and  our I love you's.
She had been so agitated and at our leave she lay there absolutely radiant in repose.
May God Bless Her Forever.

- Love Arlene

Sending you love and prayers.  
- Miriam


I do remember her so well!

I am so grateful to all of you for the loving support you give each other ........ and specially in a moment like this.
LA memorial July 23rd is "Friends Day" in Argentina. 

Much love to all,

- Perla in Argentina

Thank you for the photos and for your words about Rena. I support what you said.

Love & Blessings

- AriellaShira

I hold Rena in my thoughts and prayers!!
- xoxo Karen G

This collage is beautiful! Thank you Joy. 
- Lisa

Beautiful reminders of Rena, and how she looked when she was happy.
Thank you.
Sending love, 
- Ruth

Grateful for rabbi Judith and, many from Sarah's tent community who were able to visit Rena. And pray she had a peaceful transition from this world to the next.
I had an image of Marilyn greeting Rena with open arms and a challah!
- Bonnie

A beautiful soul whose courage and spunk will always live on.  rest in peace 
- love, Helene 

May Rena’s memory be for a blessing. She suffered a great deal in her life and was inspirational in her resilience. Thanks to all who supported her as she moved through her journey from independence to assisted living to her end of life transition.  
Many blessings to all who will be at her memorial and beyond.
- Cheryl

I pray and trust that Rena’s soul is finally at peace.  She endured so much pain in her life.  It was heartbreaking to witness.
     I remember, though, her vibrancy and spiritual ardor at better times.  Also, her magnificent long skirts and shawls! Passion …
     She adored my luscious, from-scratch fudge brownies.  I remember her light-up-the-universe smile when I stuffed her freezer with them.
     Rena gave those of us who whine disconsolately about our “manna”— think of the recent Torah portion—plenty of perspective and insight.
     I so wished I could have helped her more—many of us did—but we do not know the full itinerary of the journey she was making.
     I am grateful for the blessing of having known and learned from her.
     May the Shekhinah’s full embrace now give her all of the warmth, protection, and love that she sought.

— Marilyn Elias

Sarah's Tent was never an organization. Sarah's Tent is a place we gathered, and will continue to gather, for the needs of all who enter. I have not been involved with Rena's journey yet I am most grateful for those of you who were so close to her and brought her such comfort. I too have sweet memories of her and believe those memories will be blessings under our tent. Angels from our community fly above us and watch. May Rena forever be at peace.  
- Love, Linda Z ❤️

Rena and boy friend Dennis Heathcock
© Joy Krauthammer 

Rena and dear friends Linda Hoag and Shira Solomon
© Joy Krauthammer 

Poem FOR RENA thoughts by Sarah's Tent friends in 2003
compilation by Miriam Stein

A steadfast & supportive friend
honoring others for who each is
without judgment.

Moves forward
in spite of temerity.

A warrior who courageously rides
the wings of change
seeking to incorporate her gift of guiding others
as they greet the pharaohs along each journey.

A well of deep inner strength & resilience
emerging from her cocoon
into a rainbowed butterfly
secure, but free on the wings of Shekkinah.

(now she is free on her wings...)

Rena on far left lower row
Sarah's Tent sisters in white
© Joy Krauthammer 

Sarah's Tent recently wrote a page for Rabbi Judith's Retirement Gala Journal, June 2017 
Hearts are around the blesSing on left from RENA to Rabbi Judith
"I wish Rabbi Judith as many blessings tenfold as she brought to all of us."

dear RENA
your eyes could not recently see
your ears could not recently without assistance hear
but your heart did hear and feel our love for you
and we had received your love for us
and somehow in much darkness on your journey
you with your pure soul loved G*d
May all Shechina's angels embrace you in Heaven.
forgive us our shortcomings beloved Rena
whom we first knew as Leni.
with much love forever from your purple soul sister Joy

~ ~ ~

Sharing thoughts here because we are gathering on 
Sunday, June 23, 2017 for Shloshim, in memory of Rena Tiferet Wander, z”l, bat Yaacov v'Miriam.

June 26, 2017  2 Tamuz 5777. Rena died the morning I returned from visiting my dying sister, z’l, in New Mexico. Thankfully I had visited both during their transitions, days before their deaths. Rena was a soul sister, much closer to me with more tears shed, than for my own sister who died one week ago.

When our beloved Rena, z”l, moved to the LaBrea residence June 8 couple years ago, I knew I would have an emotional problem visiting there and I did; My husband Marcel, z”l, had died in the same building. It is where he had spent the end of his 6 months of 'life support’. I dreaded going to that building.

I begged Jewish Learning Exchange/JLE (located directly across street from Rena) to send someone to Rena for Bikur Cholim(JLE was having their own problems so I had to be persistent in Netzach.)
Miriam Fishman, a woman unknown to me, answered my plea. She grew immediately to love Rena. (Turns out that Miriam’s former sister-in-law, a beloved teacher, was very close to Renewal's Reb Zalman, z’l.)

Sharing with you a note below that just came today from Miriam Fishman, a Chabad rebbetzin in LA. 
Even though her husband was ill and died this spring, Miriam visited our Rena for a year EVERY FRIDAY, bringing TORAH in person to Rena each week, and Kosher goodies, non-electric accessible Shabbat tea lights, Kosher sushi, brownies, socks, etc. etc. etc. Friendship...

When Rena moved 8.22.2016 to Sylmar, Miriam continued to MAIL goody packages to Rena. 

"Thank you for giving me "heads up" on this service; I will refrain from attending (yes too painful).  My purpose was served in the visits I was able to make and the small amounts of Torah we shared.  (For her neshama, even tho the Torah was mere drops, it was life-soul-sustaining I think, in the spiritual desert she lived her last number of years, sadly.)   For that, Joy, you are fully responsible to have been the "shaliach".   Truly I think of Rena and there's some kind of knee-jerk reaction when (which is often) I drive on La Brea, remembering my being able to visit her."  - Miriam Fisher

 I sought out and managed to find other religious clergy closer to Sylmar who were willing to visit Rena with Bikur Cholim.

 I did see Rena in LA but it wasn’t easy. (Rarely driving into Los Angeles, I didn't even use my city LACMA membership.)
My younger sister visited Rena with me, for my own emotional support. We brought goodies, food, mini flashlight, and art supplies that were probably never used. Spiritual CDs that couldn’t be used. We walked Rena to her outdoor porch on another floor, where she was afraid to travel the elevator on her own. 

I also was not so well, with different maladies (lungs since 2015, extremely painful sciatica for 9 months during 2016 and I could barely walk/stand, and old painful knees issues), and I never got to LA except to ‘perform’. For those Shabbats I drugged myself and tried to hide painful symptoms.

I had pain and no voice, no lung capacity to speak for many months due to collapsed lung from Porter Ranch Gas Leak Blowout (where I live). It was sad and upsetting to Rena that we could not share as we had been. 

Earlier when I was well and Rena needed human caring company, Rena and I spoke every day on phone sharing morning prayers that she knew well, and shared discussion on teachings, her own deep personal feelings about G*d and her life. I read a Rebbe Nachman Breslov book, "Healing Leaves", to Rena. Breslov director chose book for me for Rena.  Rena was mamash connected to Source, and to Hebrew language that she had spoken while living in Israel. 

Our mornings together were a bit stressed due to Rena’s increasing anxiety levels. Rena loved our sessions and she loved to sit by the open window with sunlight streaming through. During our sessions, Rena would put on or take off sweater and socks. Rena would struggle with the cochlear implant batteries that had given Rena more life. Struggle with the phone on the fritz. Struggle with the ‘late' issues of staff or imaginings of friends, issues that plagued her later years. 

Yet, all the while, LOVING that she had company from US, who visited whether by phone or in person. Rena loved to share how we all were with each other, our happy moments in life. Rena cared!!!! She wanted to remember the names of our little ones and ask about them. Rena was interested in our lives and CARED. In Sarah’s Tent Rena knew when our birthdays were. Rena was a big loving constant support for me when I was a caregiver.  I mamash miss the Rena full of life that was my beloved purple loving friend since the mid 1990’s, my friend who loved her puppy Teddy. We had even studied inner dance together around the time of one of her cancers. I love the ceramic purple heart-shaped earrings from Rena, and the purple scarf that Rena made for me, decorated with a JOY button that she gave to me at Marilyn’s, z”l, 65th birthday party arranged by Mike. Yes, I visited Rena, as many of us did, in many difficult medical places. I heard her cries. I heard her joys and great appreciation for the friends in her life. 
May Rena dance and play with all the angels of all colors. Rena is now free to hear and see beauty once again. 
with love, Joy

A little of Rena:
~ ~ ~

Friends I’m sharing a few excerpts from personal notes to me, to remember now, dear Renala Tiferet. Dozens more for me from over the years to read later.
Rena filled with gratitude and love.

Thank you for reading post. 
I share these RENA letter excerpts (without divulging others’ names) so that our chevre can see/feel the Rena Tiferet that was so LOVING and GIVING, before HER needs became immense.

I was hoping I would find some letters, actually the mamash supportive ones from my spouse’s, z”l, era. No time yet.

9.4.2007  TEN YEARS AGO

Yay!  You really did it.  I so appreciate all the time and effort you put into it.  I love the pictures.  I realized tonight that I had just the sort of party I wished for.  I feel I celebrated my life with dear friends.  It feels like the completion of a certain chapter and the beginning of the new one.
Thanks for being part of it.  The feather boa is great.  It sure made good pictures too.
Blessings and love

Hi, Joyla, does that sound right?  What about Joy a lah.  I think that's better.  I like Renala a lot.

I send you my love and blessings.  How are Aviva and Brett? 
May the light of God's love surround you.  May you feel warmth of Shechinah's wings caressing you and may your new year be as bright and your lovely smile.

I saw Batya too this week.  She took me and my dog so he (dog) could get his pedicure or is it pet-icure?

I am planning to add an additional name, I think.  I will be Rena Tiferet.  That is what has developed from my spiritual direction with T'mimah.
Love to you and many more blessings

Hi, love,
It is a long story and a lifetime of work.  I know Hanna Tiferet only from saying hello at Kallah and listening to her music.  She is beautiful.

Since I have had cancer this last time, I have been working on opening my heartspace.  I am mostly good at being giving and do it a lot.  It is more receiving that I am working on learning.  I am also learning on giving but needing some container.
Right now I am learning to stop struggling and let things flow..  I told T'mimah I was tired of words and wanted only to learn with my soul and my heart, not my brain.  ...

All this leads me to Tiferet. Since it is a sense of needing and wanting to manifest this flow in my life, I have come to Tiferet.  It was T'mimah's suggestion, but it is something I have actually felt for some time.  I have been wanting another name since I began working on making peace with my vision loss. 

I haven't thought of ritual or celebration.  It will come in it's time.  You are really the first person I told other than my friend Barry.  (the study partner)  I told you because I knew you would feel it too.

I want to play and make giraffes and sing and dance and meditate and love life.  I don't want to work so hard to be in this life.  I walk far to bus.  i wait for bus.  I sit with negative energies.  I like my clients but I'm bored with my work.  I don't think this will change so fast, but I want to redirect my energy.

Also a symbol for/with tiferet is water.  I love water.  I love swimming--it is this kind of energy flow I wish to manifest.
Thank you for being so interested and asking so many good  questions.  I will answer more if I can when I can.
No ride to shul tomorrow.  Maybe I will go to gem and jewelry show.
I went to the gym tonight.  I can walk there.

In my life I have always felt like I have had to be better than or more than to be good enough.  No more.  this is the beautiful woman of Rena Tiferet.
Blessings and Shabbat shallove.

Such a beautiful picture, but "gooses?"  Is that like Mouses?  or is it Meeses?


I have heard a lot about him, Bruce Lipton (and epigenetics).  I have resisted because the person who told me about it, was too pushy and did not leave me room for my personal doubts.  I hear it better coming from you.  I will possibly try to purchase one of his tapes.

I love the way you are really grabbing the world and exploring so many new activities and experiences.  You are like someone who has been hungry for a while, just gobbling all sorts of new goodies.  But not just gobbling, chewing and swallowing and taking pleasure in the new treats.

I have a friend at Braille, named May who is 92!  I meet people all ages and many ethnicities there.  It is so exciting.  My new friend, Su-En is 38 originally from Korea.  She was a nurse until she got glaucoma. 

As depressed and lonely as I was last weekend, I am not either one this weekend. 

I found life coach through a friend.  The coach lives in Sacramento and we work by phone.  She is not cheap, $85 a session.  I have great hopes or I wouldn't do it.  I am tired of all the old demons haunting me and keeping me from getting what I want.

I did mean that I think you are a Jewel, maybe purple, maybe multicolor, but you are bright colorful person with a warm intenseness and a  glow always sparkling.

Friend is coming at noon.  I really don't have many friends to hang out with.  That is the  problem.  this friend is from Napa.  With me it means, no friends to go somewhere with then I must take stupid bus.  or trust stupid taxis that don't always show up.

New longer hair needs curlers, Uck!  I don't really like it better longer, but everyone else seems to.  Ah the price of being beautiful.

No, you don't need to magnify for me.  My program magnifies everything.  The problem is that if things are too long I grt discouraged and don't try to read.  It still makes my eyes tired to use computer very long


I am not going to go down the road of self-pity.  We all know this road.

My good friend Patty from the gym even gave me a ride to voting place.
Tra la! Maybe life is good after all!
Blessings and love and peace and laughter.
So this is a birthday blessing.  I hope you will get many.

May the wings of Shechinah surround and protect you.
May you always know the light of G-d's smile
May you find laughter and love throughout your days
If you face grief or pain, may the lessons come easily and the suffering be short.
May you always be the loving caring compassionate friend and may you receive 10 times over the goodness you give to others.

Blessings and love
From your sister-friend.

Another birthday blessing.
"And a Mitzvah connects us all, in and to the Worlds Beyond....
HaShem determines who walks into your life ... It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay and who you refuse to let go."

... more another time... Joy

Shloshim Memorial for RENA TIFERET bat Yaacov v'Miriam 
Sunday, July 23, 2017,  29 Tamuz 5777  11AM
Malibu Jewish Center & Synagogue 

officiated by Rabbi Judith HaLevy
with Cantor Marcelo Gindlin
and with her communities of friends.

Rabbi Judith and Cantor Marcelo
© Joy Krauthammer 

Don Bender
© Joy Krauthammer 

Don Bender and Linda Hoag
They took the best loving care of Rena especially over the last couple years, prior to death.
© Joy Krauthammer 

Sarah't Tent and other friends of Rena/Leni
panorama of friends in Rena's life from Sarah's Tent to her work and play friends over the decades.
Many other friends were out of town this day.
© Joy Krauthammer 

Sarah't Tent and other friends of Rena/Leni
© Joy Krauthammer 

Sarah't Tent and other friends of Rena/Leni
© Joy Krauthammer 

Rabbi Judith HaLevy
Sarah't Tent and other friends of Rena/Leni
© Joy Krauthammer 

Rena Memorial for Shloshim
Traditional hard boiled eggs
and Joy's fresh figs from trees
© Joy Krauthammer 

Platter of purple Figs served in memory of Rena
from Joy's fig tree
© Joy Krauthammer 

Purple fortune cookie served in memory of Rena
You will be blessed with JOY
Rena/Joy was Rena's first name!
gift of © Joy Krauthammer 

Rena and Joy (Gila Rena)
We were soul sisters, Rena used to say.
Visiting for Rena's birthday near outdoor porch on LaBrea in LA
before Rena moved to Sylmar
© Faye

Life was so hard for Rena those last years. Rena kept her relationship with G*d.

Each of Us Has A Name    (read at Rena/Leni's memorial)
by Zelda Schneurson and translated by Marcia Falk

Each of us has a name,
given to us by God,
and given to us by our father
and mother.
Each of us has a name,
given to us by our stature
and our way of smiling,
and given to us by our clothes.
Each of us has a name,
given to us by the mountains,
and given to us by our walls.
Each of us has a name,
given to us by the planets,
and given to us by our neighbors.
Each of us has a name,
given to us by our sins,
and given to us by our longing.
Each of us has a name,
given to us by our enemies,
and given to us by our love.
Each of us has a name,
given to us by our fast days,
and given to us by our craft.
Each of us has a name,
given to us by the seasons of the year,
and given to us by our blindness.
Each of us has a name,
given to us by the sea,
and given to us by our death.

"LECH LEACHA" dear Rena Tiferet/Leni/Lenore, as you go "to a place you do not know". 
You have been a blesSing.

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