Rima Goodman (1929-2021)

Rima was a living treasure:  an artist literally and an artist at life.  Being an artist was where she lived.  Rima started painting when she was 3 years old and kept painting for 89 years…decided that she was done painting and cleaned up her studio 5 days before she died.  In her lifetime, she completed over 1,000 pieces: mostly oil paintings as well as woodcuts, pastels, gouache, watercolors, charcoal and graphite; plus steel, alabaster, stone, assemblage and other types of sculpture.

My spouse, Rima, was born in New York (1929) into a family of Communist Jews (everything was decided by vote and she had 1…to her mother’s, aunt’s, uncle’s and grandmothers 7). Graduating high school early, she lived on her own from age 15 when she went to Queens College, continuing to get scholarships and fellowships, she went on to University of Miami and The University of Texas at Austin.

Rima drove cross country and lived in Los Angeles for about 70 years.  She was a political and social activist, avid fly fisher, child psychologist, art therapist and teacher and veritable kid magnet…kept “her” kids for over 50 years.  In addition, Rima was a fencer and scuba diver internationally, fabulous raconteur with a sensational sense of humor, AND, a consummate friend to many: some for over 75 years.  She was a true giver, a sharer of ideas and chances:  a truly life generating force.

In the 38 years of living with Rima, she was a real piece of work…a veritable delight.  People often told us that they thought of us as one word:  RimaLyn.  For 35 years, we were in the same 1,650 square feet (plus the garden) for 6 months a year…Rima creating art, painting mostly; Lyn cooking, gardening, framing Rima’s paintings, each of us constantly suggesting, in lively discussions with each other and any others present…living a wonderously entertaining and fulfilling salon of a life.

For those same 35 years, we spent 2 months a year fly fishing/camping, 2 months a year in New York with family and friends (mostly at the Dakota), 2 months a year travelling internationally.  Rima had traveled all over the world before we met.  And we continued a journey:  Hong Kong (1997), France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Israel, Egypt and finally deciding that our heart was Italy…ultimately meeting our  “marvelous Italian family”, we “adopted” them and they all “adopted” us.

Rima is truly one of those unforgettable keepers…a person with whom to be reckoned and with whom to contend, argue and whose excitement for life was unparalleled, a supreme force of nature always giving to and helping others.  Before she died, Rima said “I am going to die…I want you, Lyn, to continue to enjoy and live a wonderful, enjoyable, productive, healthy life”.

She was always fighting the good fight.

There was a documentary made about Rima: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B57mGekNxTA

Rima and I were most fortunate to have Rabbi Carla in our lives…she was just what LIFE ordered!  I continue to enjoy her encouragement, generosity of spirit, warmth, friendship, knowledge and hugs.  Because of my extraordinary experience with Rabbi Carla and JHCLA, I have volunteered to participate with the first fundraiser for Jewish Healing Center Los Angeles and want to be part of the continuation of JHCLA for my lifetime.



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