Barbara B. Appelbaum
Barbara B. Appelbaum was raised by her parents with a strong sense of doing the right thing, being grateful, and being a good person. They taught her tikkun olam, the responsibility to heal and repair the world. She grew up with two older brothers in her hometown of Glencoe, Illinois, which she fondly refers to as “Mayberry.” It was a “safe, loving environment where doors were never locked,” she said.
The Museum has been part of Barb’s life for over 20 years. Her parents, fellow Legacy of Light Guardians Judy and Bob Appelbaum, have been supporters from the beginning. One of Barb’s earliest recollections is of her parents hosting one of the first small group meetings for the Museum in their home. Her mother’s involvement was inspired by the legacy of her father, a rabbi, who was passionate about social justice.
Barb earned a bachelor’s degree in literature and two master’s degrees in business and teaching. She spent over half of her career in the nonprofit healthcare sector. And then about six years ago, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It would change everything.
“Before that, I was on autopilot, living a pleasant but unfulfilling life,” she said. This realization helped her discover her true passion—helping others learn to live a healthy and meaningful life. With a renewed “stop and smell the roses” perspective, she became a certified wellness coach with a growing practice and a life filled with purpose.
After turning 50, Barb decided it was time to inform the Museum that she has included a provision for its benefit in her living trust. “The Museum speaks to many people from all walks of life. It is always evolving in its techniques, methods, and audiences,” she explained. “I see it as the epitome of people coming together, serving as an inspirational example to future generations of the way things could and should be.”
Barb’s legacy gift will benefit the Museum’s permanent unrestricted endowment fund. “This was a simple, gratifying way for me to help secure the Museum’s future and ensure they would receive what I wanted to give them when I could afford to do so,” she added.
However, the most rewarding aspect to her was to write the next chapter in her family’s legacy—passed through the generations from her grandfather to her parents and now to her. And she is justifiably proud to now serve as an example, in her own right, for generations to come.