The Jester's Mom
Barbara Saltzman: The Jester's Mom
Barbara Saltzman is filled with such energy that she is an inspiration to listen to and watch.
The mother of author-illustrator David Saltzman has worked tirelessly to bring her son’s book to children and adults across the country — first publishing the book and now telling the world about it. The guiding light behind The Jester & Pharley Phund, “The Jester’s Mom” has traveled the country inspiring children and helping youngsters realize that it’s up to them to make a difference, it’s up to them to care.
An honor graduate of the University of Southern California School of Journalism, Barbara was an editor at the Los Angeles Times before publishing her son’s book and overseeing the creation of The Phund.
In schools and hospitals, auditoriums and libraries, bookstores and business conference rooms Barbara has been a sought-after inspirational speaker. It doesn’t matter if she’s reading The Jester to students or to children undergoing chemo or to teachers looking for new ways to motivate students. Barbara delivers The Jester’s messages with such passion and enthusiasm that anyone who listens to her becomes a true believer in the power of laughter and the joy of life.
“It’s thrilling for me to hear back from children, parents, teachers and health-care professionals,” she says. “They tell me how much The Jester has been inspiring them for 15, 20 and 25 years. Now, they are introducing The Jester Has Lost His Jingle to a new generation. Nothing makes me happier than to see how David’s story touches and transforms lives — in English, Spanish and Japanese.
“Especially meaningful have been all the calls and emails and social media postings I’ve gotten from teachers who’ve loved and used this book in their classrooms since its release 25 years ago. Seeing them now read the story on Zoom and YouTube and telling their students that David and The Jester & Pharley can help us all get through the COVID-19 pandemic touches my heart.
“David dealt with the prospect of dying throughout his senior year at Yale by believing in himself. He always remained optimistic, determined to live and filled with fun and laughter, just like the characters he created. They helped him get through the day, and now they can help us all get through these days.
“I look forward to hearing back from today’s students, families, teachers and health care workers about how David’s story impacts them.”
To reach The Jester’s Mom, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Jester & Pharley Phund looks forward to sharing your comments.
The Jester's Mom's Journal:
CA Assembly District 66 Woman of Distinction Award
Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi honors Jester & Pharley Phund founder, Barbara Saltzman as a State Assembly District 66 Woman of Distinction
LBUSD Superintendent's Distinguished Community Service Award
Long Beach Superintendent of Schools Christopher J. Steinhauser presents the Superintendent’s Distinguished Community Service Award to Barbara Saltzman.
Everyday Hero: Ribbon of Hope Awardee, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
General Norman Schwarzkopf congratulates Barbara Saltzman at Everyday Hero Award ceremonies in Washington, D.C.
Woman of the Year Finalist, Daily Breeze Women of Distinction Award
Barbara Saltzman honored by Torrance, CA newspaper.
Circle of Life, Circle of Love, Education Award: Pediatric Therapy Network
Terri Nishimura, PTN founder, presents award to Barbara Saltzman.
Heart of Gold Award: The Randal D. Simmons Outreach Foundation
Barbara Saltzman with Lisa Simmons, widow of LAPD SWAT Officer Randy Simmons.
Life Inspiration Award: American Cancer Society, Mid-South Division
Sallie Datnoff Downs presents Life Inspiration award to The Jester’s Mom from the Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society.