Helen Regina Kaufman Ackermann died Friday February 27, 2015 in Dallas, Texas, after a brief illness. Helen was born January 28, 1914 in New Orleans, Louisiana, the daughter of Percy Simon Kaufman and Melanie Mayer Kaufman. She is survived by her only son Steven and his wife Meg Ackermann, grandchildren Daniel Ackermann and Elizabeth Sanders along with their spouses Melissa Engimann and Chris Sanders. She is also survived by great grandchildren Jameson Rowland, Tolliver Ackermann, Walter and Kaitlin Sanders. Helen is also survived by her nephews Carl Kaufman, Jr., Irwin Kaufman and Perry Kaufman along with their extended families. Helen graduated from Isidore Newman School in New Orleans and attended Sophie Newcomb College at Tulane University. She pursued a professional career in merchandising and human resources in New Orleans, New York City and Birmingham, Alabama, before returning to New Orleans where she married Kurt Ackermann. Kurt and Helen moved to New Iberia, Louisiana where Steven was born and raised. Helen became active in various community organizations including the Women’s Club where she regularly volunteered in the public school tutoring program. Helen and Kurt were both active members of Congregation Gates of Prayer in New Iberia. Helen served as President of the Jewish congregation from 1984-1986 after also serving several leadership roles in the Temple Sisterhood. Helen nurtured a lifelong love of classical Reform Jewish music and liturgy organizing the High Holy Day music for Congregation Gates of Prayer until she moved away. Helen epitomized southern hospitality and charm and touched the lives of the dozens of student rabbis who served the New Iberia congregation through the years. In 1989, Helen was elected to the Second Wind Hall of Fame in New Iberia recognizing her years of service to the community. At age 90 Helen embarked on her next adventure, moving first to Dallas, Texas, and later moving to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she became an active member of K.K. Bene Israel, Cincinnati’s Rockdale Temple. Helen taught Mah Jongg to a new generation of players and was a regular at various Cincinnati Mah Jongg events. Throughout her life, Helen was an avid traveler across multiple continents particularly enjoying road trips well into her 100th year. In 2013, Helen returned to Dallas to be closer to her great grandchildren. A memorial service will take place on Monday, March 2, at 9:30 a.m. at Town Village North in Dallas. The funeral service will take place at Congregation Gates of Prayer in New Iberia on Tuesday, March 3, at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund at K.K. Bene Israel/Rockdale Temple in Cincinnati or the High Holy Day Music fund at Congregation Gates of Prayer in New Iberia.
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