Barbara Infeld, one of Kula’s greatest supporters and mother of our founder, Geri Topfer, passed away today after a three year battle with breast and ovarian cancer.
To honor her incredible life, we want to share a bit about her and all that she’s done for Kula over the years:
First and foremost, Barbara was a dedicated and loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and aunt. Each member of her family was deeply touched by Barbara’s presence in their lives, and her presence will be deeply missed.
From the start, Barbara’s unending support played an invaluable role in Kula’s development and growth. Always proud of her daughter’s unwavering passion to do good in the world, Barbara did everything she could to help push the organization’s work forward.
When her grandchildren, Geri’s kids, got involved with Kula as high schoolers, Barbara became the Director of Teen Kula. In 2010, she coordinated a huge Teen Kula wellness event in Franklin Lakes, NJ, in partnership with the mayor. The event was a huge success, and included an outdoor yoga practice, a 5K walk/run, and food and beverage vendors. The town was sparkling with teens doing yoga, which was a first for the area, in large part because so many of the teens in Barbara’s group came out to support. It truly was amazing to see.
Barbara was also a major support in running Kula’s annual gala. She was known to be up for any task, wherever she was most needed. From soliciting restaurants, to addressing envelopes, to spreading the word to all of her friends, to being a strong presence at the event itself, she truly did it all. She and her husband, Steve Greenberg, have been generous sponsors of Kula’s work as well. Our Executive Director Penni Feiner put it perfectly when she said, “The question should be what didn’t Barbara do to support our work, and the answer would be nothing! She was in it with us up to her elbows.”
Barbara practiced yin yoga and kundalini yoga, and was a children’s yoga teacher. She believed in the healing power of yoga, and was a regular in Kula’s classes at the John Theurer Cancer Center during her cancer journey. She absolutely loved her teacher there, Nancy Manket, and encouraged Geri and Penni to meet with her. Two months later, Nancy became one of our Executive Board members and to this day, she remains in that position in addition to her role as a volunteer yoga instructor.
A positive and inspiring light to everyone who knew her, Barbara’s presence will be missed by many, including Penni, who shared the following:
“Barbara’s unconditional love for Kula and, soon after, for me personally, means the world to me. I felt her support in every single thing I did, from writing grants, to managing teachers, to helping me find the strength and confidence to push myself to be the very best version of myself that I could ever imagine. I love her with every fiber of my being.”
In lieu of flowers or other gifts, the family requests that you make a donation in Barbara’s honor to Kula’s program for cancer patients. Throughout the course of her treatment, practicing yoga helped Barbara to manage her symptoms and improve her overall well-being. She wanted to ensure that even more people who are battling cancer have access to the practice and experience the same benefits. If you’d like to make a donation to our cancer program in Barbara’s honor, you can do so here. We’re so grateful, as always, for your generous support of Kula’s programs and the Kula family.
Thank you for all of the good that you contributed to the world, Barbara. You will be missed dearly.