Friedman’s family responds

Friedman’s family responds

“Her own voice” (April 4), a well-written and interesting account of Neshama Carlebach’s musical journey, was a lovely story until nearly the end. We were appalled at seeing inaccurate information of a highly personal nature about our family – people we know, love, and are in contact with on a regular basis – being shared by a stranger to a stranger for consumption by other strangers. That was bad enough. It is not, however, the most upsetting thing about this article.

Carlebach and Josh Nelson (Nelson is an enormously talented musician; some of us have never heard Carlebach and cannot speak about her musical gifts) claim they want to carry forth the work and mantle of our niece and cousin Debbie Friedman, z”l, who died on January 9, 2011, three years ago. In mentioning by name anyone she may or may not have helped in her lifetime and spreading misinformation while violating her family’s privacy, they demonstrate that they have no real concept of what Debbie’s work was about.

Debbie helped countless numbers of people, many who have come forward since her death to share their stories with Aunt Freda, Barbara, and Cheryl. Debbie never talked about these acts of g’milut hasadim, either publicly or privately. Further, her two surviving sisters are in their 60s, and Debbie wasn’t supporting anyone but herself while she was alive.