Profile: Barbra Bleecker
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers’ womb”. Ps 139: 19
Rocky Mount, Virginia:
As a youth I was baptized at age 12. I served in almost every aspect of my family’s church worship. At age 11, I became the pianist at our church, earning a modest salary. During my formative years, I did missionary work with my parents. All those years I was totally dedicated to service and to my G-D as taught by my parents, pastor and elders of the church. However I had some disquieting and lingering feelings of not being fulfilled. I felt that there was something missing. I used to cringe on Easter Sundays when Reverend Stone would say, “They.” He would say that “they” crucified Our Savior. I needed to find out who “They” were. This is how I started to research Judaism. I was seeking for the whole story. My parents talked about G-d as love but yet talked of hatred of Jews. Jesus was a Jew. I was filled with questions that I set out to answer. This questing took me on a journey that shaped my life and has brought me to a place of immeasurable Faith and has solidified my adoration of my dearest friend and united me unconditionally with my Elder Brother, Jesus.
Show me thy way, O Lord teach me thy path. Ps 27:11
Jos. 1:5 Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Through all of my questing for Truth I have always prayed for guidance and direction. What always reverberated in my heart was and still does: “I will lead you and guide you: Fear not for I am with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I will take you by a way you know not of. Be still and know that I am God.”
Virginia to New York:
After high school in Virginia, my only means of getting to college was to move to New York. This move was totally against my fathers wishes but I couldn’t shake the deep burning passion to be successful and follow my bliss. I had a deep deep feeling that “way would open”. I applied and was accepted to Brooklyn College. These would be difficult and struggling years. Psalm 23 became my constant prayer and supplication. During this time I met and married my beloved husband, Ted Bleecker, editor-in-chief of the United Federation of Teachers newspaper. ( I left college for, what I thought would be a year at most, it would be 3+ years before I pursued further studies). That first year we had a beautiful son who dwelt with us for only 10 months. He transited on to be with Jesus in the Heavenly realm. We were subsequently blessed with 2 more sons, Julian and Marcus and chose our daughter Sandi. Ted brought to the marriage 2 sons Thomas and David.
New York to Princeton, NJ:
My husband, Ted, is Jewish. My questions about Judaism began to be answer through studies with the Princeton Jewish Synagogue’s Rabbi Glatt. I also attended Hillel in a two year program and converted to Judaism. We were members of Princeton Jewish Synagogue during this season of my life.
This segment of my life was precious to me but my birth faith was calling to me very strongly and I started on a quest to spend more time within “meditation”, asking and seeking.
“Lord, what wilt Thou have me do”? Acts 9:6
An answer to this question came in the form of intense studies at The Interfaith Seminary in New York city under the tutelage of the late Rabbi Gelberman I was ordained and licensed in 1998 and assigned to The Interfaith Temple, 2672 Broadway a 102nd Street, NY. Following ordination I was called to study for chaplaincy at RWJUH. I became a resident Chaplain and continue to be an on-call Chaplain there to date.
During this entire time I owned and managed three businesses. Barbra’s Studio Hair Design, Barbra’s Studio Gallery and Ebony & Ivory Boutique. Having many people come through my establishments on a constant basis prompted me to begin a home ministry. I set up a place of worship in my newly finished basement. Twice weekly I had services and the presence of my heavenly Father permeated the entire household.
Transition and grief:
On July 6, 2002, my companion, my dearest friend, Ted made his transition. After sitting shiva for 30 days, I was then guided to Holy Cross Monastery, a retreat center, for a vigil of prayer and meditation that lasted 40 days and 40 nights. An incredible journey and I emerged with a stronger relationship than I had ever had with my Inner Light.. I came faced to face with the Christ within me and was reassured in many spontaneous ways that Holy Spirit is omnipresent.
During this grief period I spent time at the Himalayn Institute in Honesdale, Pa.. Pundit Ji and the entire staff there gave me encouragement, strength and confidence to start once again fulfilling my bliss with the realization that life would never be the same again. Pundi ji invited me to join his group on a three week excursion to India and Spirit urged me to accept. It was a truly magnificent and inspirational journey!“Be still and know that I am God”.
I continue to listen for the still small voice for guidance and comfort. Because of the depth of my faith in God and because I have an intimate relationship with Spirit. I know that my passion for service and to be of service is innately ordained in me.
We are all one with God and I embrace my loving family, my church family and all of Divine creation. I hold a vision of Peace, Love and Spiritual Healing for all.
Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd……