Ahavas Sholom – an Historic Landmark and Sacred Space

Newark's Last Remaining Synagogue born of the Great European Migration at the turn of the 20th Century

145 Broadway, Newark, NJ 07104
Phone: 973-485-2609 | Email: cahavassholom@optimum.net


Ahavas Sholom Member Barbara Joyce Freyer nee Levenberg passed away April 14, 2022 at the age of 88

Barbara Joyce Freyer nee Levenberg passed away April 14, 2022 at the age of 88.  Barbara was born at the Beth Israel Hospital Newark. She grew up in Elizabeth, graduated from Batten High School along with her twin sister Elaine.  Barbara attended Fashion Institute Technology and began her career in Newark working at Hayne and Company on Broad Street.  She married Stanley Freyer, a Prince Street Newark Grocery Store Merchant and moved to 636 High Street, Newark. Her first child, Caren Freyer was born on April 30, 1957 at Beth Israel.  Barbara was  active in the Greater Newark Jewish Community and served as a Lifetime member of Hadassah and National Council of Jewish Women.  Barbara served as President of a Chapter, National Council Jewish Women.  Her second Child, Joel Freyer was the apple of her eye.

Barbara was a Congregant of Temple Ahavas Shalom on Broadway, Newark and had the pleasure of seeing her Grandchildren Joseph and Julianna Bibbo have their “Bnai” Mitzvah together in the Historic Temple followed by a reception with entertainment provided by the Newark Boys and Girls Club.  Barbara enjoyed her active retirement at Surrey Downs Adult Community Freehold where she participated in the Yiddish Club, Social Club and served her community at volunteer events. At the B’Nai Mitzvah a School Bus brought all of Barbara’s friends from Freehold to Newark and she “hijacked” the bus to tour her old beloved Newark  neighborhood with her friends arriving late for the ceremony with much laughter.   

Barbara grew up in a family of civically minded leaders in the Elmora Section of Elizabeth where her Great Grandmother helped to Found Gomel Chesed Cemetery. Her family the Levenberg’s actively supported the Jewish YMHA in Elizabeth.  Her Mother, Anna Levenberg served as President of the Jewish War Veterans.  Barbara served as President of the School 14 Elizabeth PTA and maintained friendships with her Classmates over the years who visited her at the Jewish Home for the Aged, Freehold. 

Barbara proudly volunteered for the Democratic Party at events including Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama.  She hosted Calvin West—a lifetime friend and Governor James McGreevey at her Passover Seder  Table and they enjoyed her world famous Stuffed Cabbage and Matzah Ball Soup.  She went “door to door” campaigning for Mayor Chris Bollwage in Elizabeth and maintained a close friendship with Senator Raymond Lesniak who often visited Barbara in later years at her home with her daughter Caren Freyer.  She supported the North West Essex “get out the vote” from her home at Roseland Green, Roseland for the Essex County Executive and Board of Chosen Freeholders making phone calls with pride.  Her last memorable event in Newark prior to illness was her Daughter’s surprise 60th birthday  party at the Robert Treat Hotel hosted by Calvin West where she proudly showed her friends the amazing views from the rooftop and reminisced about her days in Newark. 

Barbara had a kind heart and during the Pandemic encouraged her Caregivers to bring their young children to her home so that they would not have to worry about childcare.  She often “danced” from her wheel chair to Motown Music with them and looked forward to the visits.

Barbara was a Breast Cancer Survivor, Alzheimer’s, hip replacement, heart attack survivor and fought every day for health.   She remained Covid Free until January, 2022 when she succumbed and fought a good fight trying to recover.  Barbara was blessed with Six Grandchildren, Rebeccah Bibbo, who serves Essex County in the County Counsel Office, Joseph and Julianna Bibbo—her twins and Aaron, Justin and Joshua Freyer.  Life is amazing and even at her Funeral the family was blessed with good news as Nicole Freyer, wife of Aaron Freyer began Labor delivering a healthy first Great Grandson on April 15, Benjamin Robert Freyer, named after Granny Barb within hours of the funeral.  Her grace will live on in Essex, Union and Monmouth County with the lives she touched as a Woman of Valor.  At her Funeral Rabbi Langen of the Freehold Jewish Center sang the Impossible Dream in her honor and a Eulogy was presented by her loving daughter, Caren Freyer, her son Joel Freyer and her Grandsons Joseph Bibbo and Justin Freyer who spoke about Granny Barb’s escapades to the Jersey Shore and Jersey Diners always ending with ice cream on the Point Pleasant Boardwalk.