Contact Information

Chicago Region
4411 N. Ravenswood
Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60640

Phone:
(847) 291-0475
chicago@ortamerica.org


 

Our Honoree: Bobbi Teitelbaum


Bobbi Teitelbaum (center)

Roberta “Bobbi” Teitelbaum was born in 1930 and lived on both the west side and the south side of Chicago as a child. She attended the University of Illinois in Champaign/ Urbana where she met Harvey Teitelbaum, her husband of more than 70 years. Bobbi  graduated with a degree in education and taught first grade in the Chicago Public Schools until she began her family.  Harvey and Bobbi raised two children on the north side of Chicago. She is the proud grandmother of three grandsons and their lovely wives as well as four great- grandchildren. She enjoys teaching her great-grandchildren the songs she used to teach her students many years ago.

Roberta has always been involved in her community.  She is guided by the Hebrew words "tikun olam”. She states that "Although I am not able to do that all by myself, I can do my part to make someone a little happier  or  a situation a little better. I can do that by volunteering." Her volunteer days started with the PTA at her children's school where she was often called upon to chair committees, and she led her daughter's Girl Scout troop for several years. She observes the birthdays and memorial days of her loved ones who have passed by volunteering to serve meals to the homeless, making food packets that are shipped overseas, and by going to senior centers to play bingo and visit with the residents. She loves to crochet and has made hats for everyone from babies in the NICU to senior citizens. Bobbi's most recent volunteer experience has been with AmeriCorps Seniors as a pen pal. She enjoys hearing things from the point of view of a 10-year-old, because even though she and her pen pals are far apart in their ages, she has found that they have a great deal in common.

Bobbi joined ORT in 1976. She remembers that when she moved to Highland Park, her house was one of the first on the  cul-de-sac, and the rest was empty prairie. One day, an ORTist named Gail Goldstein came walking across the field in her apron, welcomed her to the neighborhood, and then asked “do you belong to ORT?” When Bobbi said no, Gail said “Well, I would like to take you to a meeting”, and the rest is history. Bobbi was a member of Women’s American ORT and the Eden Shore Chapter for many years and remained involved after the formation of the Lake County Region by serving as Vice-President in the late 80s and early 90s. She was an integral participant in Design House, serving as chair of the Boutique for 6 years, chair of staffing for 3 years and chairperson for two years. Most know for her indispensable roll in the ORT Value Center and ORT Alley Bookstore, Bobbi served for 14 years as an enthusiastic and vital part of the Retail Enterprises team.

She also was involved with the ORT Schools in Chicago and has enjoyed visits to ORT Schools across the globe, including those in Argentina and Uruguay as part of an ORT Mission. Bobbi continues to be an active member of ORT Chicago today, always serving on the Lunch With A View host committee, offering her home for small events, and as a member of the ORT Chicago Advisory Council.

Bobbi’s daughter Merle describes her as “the sweetest, kindest, most caring individual I know. She will do anything to help a family member, a friend or someone she doesn’t’ even know.  She has lived more than nine decades and has the energy, determination and drive of people half her age. Nothing is too difficult for her”.  Her optimism shows in her famous words “it’s going to clear up”. Bobbi and Harvey, and their daughter Merle, continue to offer their generous support for ORT making meaningful contributions each year to support ORT students around the world.

Bobbi believes that if somehow her volunteering, especially all her years with ORT, has made a person smile or feel a little safer, warmer or happier or has given a student an opportunity to learn and achieve, then she truly is helping to “repair the world”.