Former Omahan Jane H. Brooks passed away on May 11 at age 88. Services were held May 22 at Temple Israel.
She is survived by her daughter, Miriam Brooks of Braintree, MA; son and daughter-in-law, Joel and Naomi Brooks of Tampa FL.; grandchildren Joseph and Mayrelis Brooks of Tampa, FL.
She graduated from Wittenberg University with a BA degree in English and Philosophy. She and her husband, Rabbi Sidney H. Brooks, were married for 55 years before he They lived in Omaha for 53 years, while Jane’s husband served at Temple Israel.
Jane was a social activist and community organizer before anyone had developed that label. She came from a family of women activists (her mother and sister were both equally involved in social justice causes), and served on the boards of many community and Jewish organizations.
Jane was known for her quiet and strong organizational skills and her dedication to making life better for all citizens, working for civil rights, and for equal opportunity in housing, education and employment.
Among the many organizations with which Jane had a long history of involvement and leadership were the Eastern Nebraska Mental Health Association, which she founded and remained involved with for over a decade; United Community Services in Omaha for over 12 years; the Volunteer Bureau and the Bureau on Aging.
The work she was most passionate about was reflected in her long involvement with Planned Parenthood of Omaha where she served on the Board of Directors for over a decade; the Nebraska Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights; the National Council of Jewish Women, where she was a Board member for more than thirty years, and from whom she received their highest honor, the Hannah G. Solomon Award, in 1995; the League of Women Voters; the Omaha Fair Employment Commission; and the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, with whom she worked for more than twenty-five years.
In 1971, Jane was honored with the Citizenship Award from B’nai B’rith Women.
Memorials may be made to Planned Parenthood or Temple Israel.