Barbara Streisand – This Week’s Jewish American Heritage Profile

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1942, her mother was a soprano singer and her father a high school teacher who was a highly respected educator with a focus on helping underprivileged and delinquent youth. Barbara Streisand is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with more than 72.5 million albums in the United States and with a total of 245 million records sold worldwide. She would become known to film going audiences staring in a number of comedic roles in the 1970’s. She would take on a memorable dramatic role in ‘The Way We Were’ (1973) in which she played a campus activist who falls for a college athlete. Later she would go on to produce, direct and star in such films as ‘Yentl’ (1983), ‘The Prince of Tides’ (1991) and ‘The Mirror Has Two Faces’ (1996). Streisand has personally raised $25 million for organizations through her live performances. The Streisand Foundation, established in 1986, has contributed over $16 million through nearly 1,000 grants to “national organizations working on preservation of the environment, voter education, the protection of civil liberties and civil rights, women’s issues and nuclear disarmament”.