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Naoma Zimmerman (1914-2004) Biography

OBITUARY NOTICE—

See index for SATA sketch: Born August 2, 1914, in St. Louis, MO; died of heart failure October 21, 2004, in Chicago, IL. Social worker, therapist, and author. Zimmerman was a leading family therapist who also published several children's books. A graduate of the University of Chicago, where she earned a B.A. in 1935 and an M.A. in social service in 1940, her first job as a social worker was at the Jewish Children's Bureau in Chicago during the late 1930s. Settling down to raise a family, she helped found the Congregation Solel synagogue in Highland Park and also began publishing children's books. Her first, Sleepy Forest (1944) grew out of a bedtime story she told her children. It was followed by many more, including Sleepy Village (1945), Little Deer (1956), and Farm Animals (1966). In 1958, with her children in school, she began working at the Family Service South Lake County in Highland Park, Illinois. Here she gained great respect as a family therapist. Zimmerman was innovative in her holistic approach, looking at all aspects of a family's life—home environment, parents' jobs, education, and so on—before counseling her clients. Because of the theories she developed, she was invited to teach at the University of Chicago during the summer, which she did from 1967 to 1971. Beginning in 1969, she also worked as a freelance consultant and lecturer. Zimmerman retired in 1990.

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Chicago Tribune, November 6, 2004, Section 2, p. 10.

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