Having a child has given Elliott Goldberg a new perspective on Judaism.
Goldberg, 30, grew up in Annapolis and, despite the commute, attended Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School through middle and high school, something that was instrumental in forming his Jewish identity. Afterward, he attended a five-year master’s program at the University of Maryland, graduating with a bachelor’s in government and politics and a master’s in public policy.
He first started working at the Edward A. Myerberg Center in 2015, as director of development. The next year, he moved into a role as a development associate for The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore. Now, Goldberg once again works for the Myerberg Center as director of operations.
Goldberg lives in Owings Mills with his wife Rachel and son Levi Chaim. They belong to Pikesville Jewish Congregation.
Growing up, how would you commute every day to Beth Tfiloh from Annapolis?
We had a bus. Every day, we met at a local mall at 7 in the morning to get to the school in time for davening, and then we’d leave afterward. It was about 45 minutes to an hour, but I guess, comparatively, we had kids coming from Harrisburg at the time, and some of them had to get up even earlier than we did.
How did attending day school shape your Jewish identity?
It did in a lot of ways that I don’t think I realized until recently. About a year ago, my son was born, right before the pandemic. It’s something I’ve had the opportunity to think a lot more about in terms of Jewish identity, and I would say, I’ve come to appreciate it a lot more now that I’m an adult and have a child. It was really an incredible education, and there were a lot of enormous opportunities that I had there at the school. I had a lot of really good friendships and experiences being there. It was definitely very impactful. I can’t imagine my Jewish identity without having been at Beth Tfiloh because Jewish day school education particularly is an integral aspect of helping form identity in the first place.
How did you end up working for the Myerberg Center?
When I was in college, I was more of a political junkie, and I had interned on several political campaigns on fundraising. That morphed into the first full-time job I got, which was working as a deputy finance director for an attorney general race in Maryland back in 2013, May of 2013. … Unfortunately, the candidate I was working for lost the election, and I had to find another job. There was a brief time where I was thinking about going to law school, and I ended up getting a job at a local law firm.
To make a long story short, I realized this wasn’t the path for me, and there was an opportunity I found online to become the director of development for the Edward A. Myerberg Center, which was a local community center in Pikesville. I thought this was an opportunity to leverage my fundraising, development skills in a nonprofit setting.
What has it been like having a baby during the pandemic?
It’s been enormously stressful. Becoming a new parent can be extraordinarily challenging, let alone during a pandemic. I don’t know how I did it sometimes. But my wife is incredible. I have incredible parents and incredible in-laws who were there to help as well. Sometimes it does take a community to help you out.
It was quite scary. In the beginning, there was fear of civil unrest and economic uncertainty, so that, on top of being sleep-deprived, wasn’t so great. But we got through it.
The silver lining of it all for me is that, working from home, I had a much more of a sort of intimate picture. I get to see my son every single day.