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Shirley Barish papers

Identifier: MS 0755
Finding aid note: Forms part of the Houston Jewish History Archive. Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Scope and Contents

3.50 linear feet of correspondence, certificates, educational catalogs, event materials, speeches and sermons, news clippings, newsletters, conference materials, photographs, reports, a book draft, and organizational materials document Shirley Barish's community involvement, her time as an educator at Congregation Emanu El Religious School and as an advisor for the Congregation's Temple youth groups, spanning the years 1965 to 2011. Of particular interest are articles focusing on Barish's activities in the community, photographs from events she participated in, and a rough draft of her book, "Six Kallot: Retreats for Jewish Settings."


  • Creation: 1965 - 2011


Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

Stored offsite at the Library Service Center and require 24-hour notice for retrieval. Please contact the Woodson Research Center at 713-348-2586 or for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the Shirley Barish Papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

The Woodson Research Center use policy is that researchers assume sole responsibility for any infringement of privacy, literary rights, copyrights, or other rights arising from their use of the archival materials. In addition to any restrictions placed by donors, certain kinds of archival materials are restricted for the life of the creator plus 50 years. These materials include, but are not limited to, student grades, transcripts, and any job applications or recommendations.

Biographical / Historical

Shirley Fenberg was born June 22, 1926, in Detroit, Michigan and raised by her aunt and uncle, Elenor and Bennett Fenberg. She moved to Houston with her family in 1945 where her family purchased Nolen Jewelry in Downtown Houston.

Shirley met Marvin Barish on a blind date and the two married in 1949. The couple had three children, Jacquelyn, David, and Leon.

Shirley was certified as an educator and became an instructor at Congregation Emanu El Religious School. She and Marvin were also advisors to the Congregation's Temple youth groups, and she took many groups of teenagers on six week pilgrimages to Israel. Following her retirement from teaching children she began teaching teachers innovative methods to educate the youth. She published two volumes of her programs in The Big Book of Great Teaching Ideas and The Big Book of Terrific Teaching Ideas. She was a founding member of the Conference on Alternatives in Jewish Education and received many awards and recognitions, including the American Jewish Committee Max Nathan Award for her and Marvin's dedicated service to the community. She founded Yom Limmud which brings together all facets of the Houston Jewish community annually when over a thousand meet each year for a day of learning.

Shirley Barish died December 26, 2011, and is buried at Emanu El Memorial Park in Houston.


3.5 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection contains correspondence, certificates, event materials, speeches and sermons, news clippings, newsletters, conference materials, photographs, a book draft and educational materials catalog, reports, and organizational materials that document Shirley Barish's time as an educator at Congregation Emanu El Religious School and as a youth group advisor for the Congregation's Temple youth groups.


The materials in this collection have been arranged in twelve series as follows:

Series I: Certificates; Series II: Correspondence; Series III: Educational Materials; Series IV: Event Materials; Series V: News Clippings; Series VI: Newsletters; Series VII: Organizations; Series VIII: Published Materials; Series IX: Photographs; Series X: Reports; Series XI: Sermons; Series XII: Speeches

Immediate Source of Acquisition

David Barish donated the papers in 2018.

Guide to the Shirley Barish Papers, 1965-2011
Traci Patterson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA