Goldie has served Congregation Ahavath Chesed as Executive Director since September 2008. She completed her Masters degree at the University of Chicago after graduating from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. She is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Foundation, having participated in the inaugural class in Chicago.
She relocated from Pittsburgh, PA in 2002 to Jacksonville to take on the role of Assistant Director/Chief Operating Officer at Jewish Family & Community Services of North Florida. She has also served as Associate Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh and as the Assistant General Director of JCC Chicago.
Goldie’s true passion is working with congregants and soon-to-be congregants to create lasting and powerful Jewish memories.
Temple Messenger - August 2012
We are never too young, or too old...
When I was attending junior high school, my mother realized a dream she had held for many years: She became a certified Braillist. After dinner each evening, mother would send us to our rooms to do our homework and she would lay out her materials on the kitchen table and proceed to braille for several hours. I remember her trepidation as she brailled a children’s book which was the final task before she could be certified. Since children’s books repeat many words, she was very nervous that if she brailled just one of those words incorrectly, she would certainly not receive her certification. When she received her certificate, we all celebrated with a trip to the ice cream store.
While mother learned to braille, I learned that she did not know everything and that she could continue to learn new things just as she encouraged me to do. With that life lesson, I have always looked for learning opportunities. Sometimes I have found them as I developed new skills needed to forward my career and sometimes I made the time to learn something new “just because.” I have never had second thoughts about either motivation.
Mother and Dad learned with us. Whatever we learned at Hebrew School which generated the question “why don’t we do this at home like I learned we are supposed to?” My parents were willing to incorporate that practice into our family life. That is how I developed my commitment to tikkun olam, to worship, to learning. They learned right along with me…and it is a powerful memory.
I thrill with each TIR registration we receive. I look forward to the squeals of children and the patter of feet running through the halls. And I look forward to larger groups of adults gathered around the table on Monday morning at Wisdom, discussing the issues of the day. I am hopeful that our Introduction to Judaism class will include many congregants who may not have done much Jewish learning after becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Imagine the impact if B’nei Mitzvah families studied with their children as they were learning their Torah portion. I dream about the day that we have Torah readers in our congregation who vie for the opportunity to read Torah with our clergy. The shofar blast on Rosh Hashanah is awesome (literally). Imagine what a tikiah gedolah we could create at the close of Yom Kippur if members of the congregation committed to learning how to blow shofar this year.
The new year is coming. As we plan for our children, let us plan for ourselves. Create some time to learn. I want more friends to learn with!
Temple Messenger - June / July 2012
Jewish Living is a 12-month Experience
These last few weeks I have often heard “have a great summer” as Temple friends bid farewell to each other. Listening to the details and hearing the excitement, I think, “isn’t it wonderful that Temple families are so connected that their summer plans are important to others.” The disappointment is the final sign-off: “See you in the fall.”
Jewish living is an everyday experience, twelve-months a year. I understand that there are many components of living a Jewish life. There is learning. There is experiencing and appreciating God’s bounty. There is tikkun olam and working in partnership with God to repair the world. There is worship. And there is community.
Rather than wait until fall, how will you be living Jewishly this summer? Many families send children to Jewish summer camp. They have read the data that, for years, has reported that Jewish summer camp is the single most significant experience we can provide to reinforce the Jewish souls we create through religious school and Jewish family experiences.
Whether we have the joy of raising children or not, summer is a different time. Life is a little slower. Days are longer…and hotter! Some of us enjoy the comforts of air-conditioning while others are outside at the beach, or puttering in our gardens. Here at Temple, life is a bit different too. Each week does not begin with TIR and the sounds of hundreds of children. Wednesdays are a much quieter day, as mid-week TIR is “on summer vacation.”
Jewish life is a 12-month experience. Here at Temple, during the summer, we anticipate Shabbat with excitement. Rabbi Lief will continue to lead a discussion of the Torah portion each Shabbat morning. We will worship together each Friday evening and every Shabbat morning. Wisdom class will debate the topics of the day every Monday at 10:30 a.m. The Hear O’Israel havurah will meet in June, July and August, just as it has for the past several months. The women of post B’nei Mitzvah age will meet for Rosh Chodesh to welcome the new months, as they arrive throughout the summer. The Temple Garden will be tended and harvested regularly, so that we can provide food for the communities at the Sulzbacher Center and the City Rescue Mission. We will welcome Rabbi Matt Cohen, his wife, Erin, and their son, Ayden. We will welcome Ronni Ticker, our Religious School Director. We will plan the opening of school and we will plan the High Holy Day season.
Most especially, we hope that you will embrace Jewish life as a 12-month experience. We hope that you will join us for learning and for Shabbat worship throughout the summer. Our Temple family is invigorated in the summer with new members who join us. Some are new to Jacksonville and some have only recently decided they want a Jewish community to nourish their souls. Jewish living is an everyday experience. We look forward to creating new memories with you throughout the summer.