If you’re feeling classy and in the mood for a tea party, you should meet Emily Goodman, 26. As something of a tea aficionado, she loves going to tea rooms to test new teas.
Goodman is a gerontology graduate from Towson University. She used this degree (the study of aging) to work with Johns Hopkins Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. She called it a fascinating job, but ultimately it became draining. In college she was active with Towson’s Jewish life and she missed having that niche. So, Goodman continued to help others, just in a new avenue. She is now the program coordinator for the Baltimore Jewish Council.
A newlywed, the Owings Mills native lives in Timonium with her husband, Ric.
Congrats on the wedding!
Yes, we had a quarantine wedding. We had to postpone our wedding, and then we ended up just getting married outside on a private property with just our parents and Rabbi Dena Shaffer from the JCC.
How else has the pandemic changed your lifestyle?
It definitely took some getting used to. We [the BJC] are working from home. … It’s been a shift to engage with the community and teams virtually.
I also work half of the time with the Elijah Cummings Youth Program in Israel, and all of that has to be online now. That includes interviews and tonight’s [June 29] graduation ceremony. We’ve been working on the new class for the ECYP. We just admitted our new students, and we’re [planning] the virtual curriculum.
I’m also working on the BJC’s Social Justice Teen Fellowship.
Tell us more about the ECYP and Social Justice Teen Fellowship and their relevance today.
I’ve always had a passion for working with teenagers. The ECYP is an amazing experience because in Baltimore we do have Jewish and black communities. The point is to build bridges between those communities. As a Jew, I do think it’s extremely important for others to learn about our cultures. But it’s also important for us to learn about other cultures where we live. In this area, there are Jewish or African-American communities on the same street but living different lifestyles. It’s important to learn from each other because we share the same place.
The Social Justice Teen Fellowship is meant to teach teenagers about issues like anti-Semitism and racism. Now, more than ever, it’s a very important program. We see more interest because people see this is something we need to learn about and educate about. And the youth are leading a lot of the movement. It’s a great way to learn how to speak up and make a difference.
In what ways could you see the 2020 quarantine changing our future society?
It will be interesting to see how people come to respect others. You learn from this that people have their own personal struggles going on, and everyone is affected differently. Hopefully others will be more understanding about other experiences, coming out of this. A lot of people have never been forced inside by health experiences. I do believe people will become more compassionate.
In what ways do you express your Jewish identity?
I like to celebrate all the holidays with my family. And when we raise our own kids, we want to have a Jewish household. Our wedding was a Jewish ceremony, too. So it is something that is extremely important to me. At this age I realized that it needs to be more relevant in my life if I want it to have a presence in an interfaith household.