January 19, 1947 – November 25, 2021
Judy Binshtok Greenbaum, mother, soldier and friend, passed away Thursday, November 25, 2021, in Little Rock, surrounded by her children Michael Greenbaum, Sharon Cherepski and Leah Atkins. Judy adored Adam Cherepski and Robbie Atkins who took turns being "the best son-in-law in the world". Beloved grandchildren Kaylee and Jonathan Greenbaum, Hannah and Alex Cherepski and Hunter and Conner Atkins called her "Savta”, Hebrew for Grandmother. Her parents Izaak and Teltzta Binshtok and her nephew Josh Greenbaum pre-deceased her. Born January 19th, 1947, into a post-war Poland, the horrors of Communism surpassed the terror of the Nazis. Great fear loomed for the few Jews who survived the War. Judy's mother, Teltzta , left Poland escaping into Russia with her brother. Returning in 1945, no family remained in Poland. All had been killed. Her father, Izaak returned from the war in the east to find his wife and three children dead. On the train from Russia, the two met and somehow fell in love. Judy, sisters Rochel and Esther and brother Urish were proof that good can come from the deepest sorrows. As a child, Communist Anti-Semitism continued the curse. Taunts of "dirty Jew" rang in the little girl's ears. Yet Judy cherished her family. Unable to flee to Europe or America, they dreamed of Palestine, Israel, home. Visas required years to secure, and if approved, families lost everything: jobs and simple needs. Judy left school at 8. One evening, Teltzta anxiously awaited delivery of their finally approved visa documents. A knock sounded on the door. Rochel, 7, Etti, 5, and Uri, 3, huddled at the kitchen table as Judy ran screaming to block her mother from opening it. "No! NO! Mama!" Stark fear held her captive at the thought of the danger lurking on the other side. The nine-year old sobbed, inconsolable. Outside, a compassionate postman heard the anguish of the little girl. "Mrs. Binshtok, don't worry. I will return in the morning when your husband is back." And he kept his promise. He delivered the papers, the gift of freedom and a future and a hope. Settling in the ancient city of Abraham, Beer Sheva, Judy grew into adolescence, and as young men and women in the Land do, she joined the Israeli Defense Forces. At 18, while others in the world rocked to the Beatles, she camped in Ramalah, on the Sea of Galilee, visited the now-forbidden Dome of the Rock, and entered the Old City as the Six Day War of 1967 came to a short conclusion. The Western Wall was now open to Jews for the first time in years. During this time, she was ordered to the home of the President of Israel where he personally presented her with a special award for Outstanding Service. In 1971, Judy moved to America to begin a family. She worked at Temple Bnai Israel's preschool, Ati Day. Later she served faithfully at Jack Gooding Chapter 13 Bankruptcy until she retired in September of this year. She served the Jewish community in so many ways including creating her famous kugels, falafel and tabuleh for festive celebrations. Judy had carried not only a gun but also a weapon of tenacity. Her loving label became "She's a fighter!". Judy lived that way throughout her life, standing up for friends, ideas and her family. And in the end, she battled disease in the same way, surviving cancer and heart disease far longer than expected. Her finest expression may have been to remind others that nothing happens except for a reason, that all would be well. She is survived by those family above, by sisters Rochel Taig (Moshe), Urish Binshtok (Tikva) and Esther Cohen and several cherished nephews and nieces in Israel, and Abram, Sarah and Jason Greenbaum who grew up so close to their Aunt Judy. She also maintained a circle of 'chevarim', friends who loved her and will miss her so. The journey of this little girl to the wonderful woman she became in spite of dire circumstances is part of the Holocaust Story at the Museum of Jewish Life-Agudath Achim 7901 W. Capitol Avenue, Little Rock. The Museum is open for viewing by calling 501-225-1683.
Services were held Friday, November 26th with internment at Oakland Jewish Cemetery.
Friday, November 26, 2021
November 28, 2021
Growing up in high school we spent a lot of time at Sharon’s house and her mom was always so kind and really took the time to get to know you. She cared about anything you were growing through and she really did make the best food. I saw her throughout the years and she was always the same caring and loving person. I know her family must miss her a lot and I will keep them in my prayers.
November 27, 2021
Judy you will truly be missed. Strong is an understatement for this beautiful woman. We spent many hours together as PTA parents at Terry Elementary where our children attended school. We spent many more hours at the Trusteeship , walking many miles on lunch and breaks. Talking, laughing, crying and trying to figure it all out . Such a loving compassionate person, fisty when needed and the best person a friend and fellow worker could be blessed with. I learned much from you my sweet friend, never will be forgotten.
May you rest now, all is done and you have peace.
Beautiful Lady Beautiful Spirit
Love you until we met again.
November 27, 2021
I opened this obituary thinking it was for a friend from work. What inspiration to read this and realize what this unknown Judy went through and her life could be a movie of survival. Prayers for her family.
November 26, 2021
Growing up with Sharon spent lot of time with Judy she was always very loving and you never went hungry. You need to eat. Loved visiting with her. I know she will be missed she loved her family so much. Keeping her family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.