Jay Freier


Barnett Jay Freier
aka Club Mother
02 Dec 1947 - 12 Mar 1991
South Florida Mustangs Memorial Panel 1UR


BARNETT JAY, 43, Miami passed away March 12, 1991. Jay was born in Washington, DC, and came to Miami in 1970. He taught at the Vanguard School, Miami Beach Sr High, Ida M Fisher Jr High and for the past 10 years headed the Special Education Dept at North Miami Beach Sr High. He was a founding member of Etz Chaim Synagogue (North Miami Beach) current board member and a delegate to the UAHC, past president of the South Florida Coral Arts Society and performed in all of their concerts, and a member of the South Florida Mustang Square Dancing Club. He was a member or the ACLU served as the Miami Chapter president and State Secretary, active member of the ADL, and other organizations upholding all aspects of human dignity. Beloved son of Gloria Freier Waldenberg, of Miami and the late Milton Freier; dear brother of Arlene Ray Freier, of Miami, Annette Freier Prine ,of Tallahassee, Jerold Lewis Freier, of Montclair, NJ. Jay's greatest joy was caring and devoting his energy to his students. He will be deeply missed by them, his loving family, close friend Philip and many dear and caring friends. Funeral Services will be held 11 AM, Friday, March 15, 1991, at the Chapel with interment to follow at Mt Nebo/Kendall Memorial Gardens. Donations in memory may be made to the Health Crisis Network. RIVER SIDE-GOROON MEMORIAL CHAPEL 1717 SW 37 Avenue, Miami.[1]

Barnett Freier; teacher, gay rights activist
By LYDIA MARTIN Herald Staff Writer

Barnett Jay Freier head of the special education department at North Miami Beach High School and a founder of Etz Chaim Synagogue a predominantly gay congregation, died Tuesday of AIDS, his mother said he was 43.

Mr Freier, a past president of the Miami chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and secretary of the state ACLU, devoted most of his time to fighting for the civil liberties of the gay community.

“I think his presence and role within the state ACLU helped activists in general understand that lesbians and gays are not one-issue people” said Allan H Terl, a member of the board of directors of the state ACLU.

“He helped people understand the naturalness of being gay and the degree of discrimination that lesbians and gay men face in this world."

Mr Freier was one of seven founders and the first president of Etz Chaim Synagogue in North Dade, which got its start in 1974. Over the years as a member of the World Congress of Gay and Lesbian Jewish Organizations, he traveled the country helping to establish other gay synagogues and Jewish organizations.

He also was a member of the board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and participated in the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida.

“He was very active in so many things. But he was a lot more than just a resume. It is impressive, all the groups he led. But if you didn’t know him personally you didn’t know what a wonderful caring friend he was,” said Jesse Monteagudo president of Etz Chaim.

Before joining North Miami Beach High 10 years ago, Mr Freier worked at Vanguard School, Miami Beach High and Ida M Fisher Junior High. He was born in Washington, DC, and moved to Miami in 1970.

“He always wanted to make things better for everyone," said his mother, Gloria Waldenberg. “He was always so busy, but with all of this he still made time to visit his mother.”

In addition to his mother, Mr Freier is survived by his sisters Arlene Ray Freier and Annette Prine and brother Jerold Lewis Freier.

Services were at the Riverside-Gordon Douglas Road Chapel.

The family suggests donations to the Health Crisis Network 1351 NW 20th St. [2]



  1. The Miami Herald (Miami, FL) Thursday, 14 Mar 1991, p.4B
  2. The Miami Herald (Miami, FL) Saturday, 16 Mar 1991, p.3B