The Barnaj Family: A story of love, success, and community

barnaj 1

Nestled within the secure confines of Calabasas Park Estates, Shirly and Raymond Barnaj have crafted their ideal sanctuary, sharing it with their daughters Chloe, 19, and Kylee, 17, and son Ilan, 14. Their neighborhood not only offers round-the-clock security and breathtaking mountain views but also fosters a tight-knit community where bonds between neighbors flourish, embodying a sense of tranquility and support.

“We feel very connected to our neighbors,” shares Shirly. “We all take care of each other, creating a real sense of community. When my husband, Raymond, who’d always wanted to move to Calabasas, suggested relocating from another part of the city nearly two decades ago, I was very reluctant until we spent the day at a friend’s house for their child’s birthday party. The minute we drove into Calabasas Hills, with its beautiful private park, I fell in love. Coincidently, a house was for sale next to the park, and we purchased it right away.”

barnaj 2

The Barnajs have since relocated from Calabasas Hills to their new residence in Calabasas Park Estates. Kylee and Ilan are enrolled at Calabasas High School. Kylee is the life and arts editor of the journalism team at the student-led Calabasas Courier, where she pursued her passion for storytelling, reporting, and keeping fellow students informed about campus events and issues. Beyond her journalistic endeavors, she is an avid bookworm, immersing herself in the latest novels and timeless classics alike.

Ilan excels in both physical and virtual realms, finding his passion in sports and gaming. Whether on the field, court, or in the ring, he showcases his agility, skill, and determination in soccer, basketball, and boxing. Off the field, his competitive spirit extends into the virtual world, where he engages in strategic battles within video games.

barnaj 3

Chloe is currently studying accounting at Chapman University in Orange County, with a focus on business administration and a minor in leadership. Acknowledged as a scholarship recipient by the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce, she has earned several accolades, including the 2022 Education Award for Academic Excellence.

barnaj 5

The couple first crossed paths on a blind date arranged by their cousins at a very young age. They have been inseparable ever since. Shirly has been the office manager at NeuroSense Psychology in Calabasas for over a decade, where she assists board-certified pediatric neuropsychologist Dr. Jonine Nazar-Biesman. The practice specializes in pediatric neuropsychology, aiding families in understanding the intricate relationship between the brain and behavior in children.

Raymond has dedicated the past 24 years to his role as an eyewear consultant. Now the co-owner of VeyeP Optometry in Studio City, alongside Dr. Narbae Avedian, O.D., Raymond utilizes his expertise to help patients find the ideal glasses and sunglasses that not only suit their face but also complement their unique personality.

barnaj 6

When not working, this fun-loving family enjoys vacationing in sun-sational Cabo San Lucas. “Nothing beats lounging by the sea sipping a cool drink,” remarks Shirly. “In Cabo, everywhere you turn, you see these beautiful glass-blown hearts, representing love and affection. They’re actually recycled from Tequila bottles. We carried a bit of this Cabo vibe home as glass hearts transform our backyard into a relaxing oasis for family and friends.” She adds, “Between Raymond’s renowned Tequila drinks and incredible bartending skills and my love for hosting, we make a great team.”

During their downtime, the family’s weekends include a blend of activities. They enjoy dining out at local favorites such as King’s Fish House, Rosti Tuscan Kitchen, Porta Via, and Shibuya. Leisurely walks by the lake and meals at the Commons are also a family favorite. Shirly indulges in her love for fresh flowers, skillfully arranging colorful bouquets to brighten their lovely home.

barnaj 7

Chloe, when home from college, carries on the tradition of baking Challah bread, a cherished part of their Sabbath and holiday rituals. Her perfected eggless recipe yields two loaves every Friday evening. Raymond, an avid Lakers fan, shares his love of sports with Ilan. And they all enjoy spending time with their three beloved pups, Coby, Yogi, and Teddy. You’ll always find Coby by Kylee’s side as they curl up in a quiet reading nook by the fireplace or in her room.

The Barnaj family also loves sharing hearth and home with friends and family, including hosting weekly Shabbat dinners, special Mother’s Day brunches, and lively summer pool parties and barbeques.

“It’s really wonder ful to see families whose children have grown and moved away, later return to start their own families in Calabasas. We’d love it if someday our kids raise their families here,” the couple agrees. For now, they count their blessings to be able to live in this beautiful, clean, safe community surrounded by natural beauty, beloved family, and friends.