When it comes to Judaism, Laurie Goodwin has always known she wanted more. The granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Laurie grew up with a strong Jewish identity. She attended Hebrew school, had her Bat Mitzvah and confirmation at aReform synagogue, and met her husband, Dan, on JDate.
However, Laurie felt she had more to learn. As she and Dan built their Jewish home—they have two preschool-age boys and recently welcomed a baby daughter—they were also looking for opportunities to meet other Jewish families.
Three years ago, Laurie found what she was looking for when she met Elana Pomeranz at the annual Howard County Challah Bake. Elana immediately noticed Laurie’s curiosity, and became a friend and mentor. Right away, Laurie felt comfortable asking questions and was thrilled to learn more about Jewish traditions.
Laurie began attending events with J-WoHoCo (Jewish Women of Howard County), and even hosted a Sukkot celebration at her home in 2019. “There’s always room to grow,” says Laurie, who plans to learn Hebrew and go on a Momentum trip to Israel once the pandemic comes to an end.
Of Elana and Rabbi Pomeranz, she says: “I feel so lucky to have met them, and I’m grateful for the opportunities they provide. Etz Chaim is a great opportunity for young families like ours.”