Jewish teacher offers alternative persceptive

Leila Aboussir, staff writer

For some, the holiday season doesn’t consist of just presents, lights, and candy canes, but rather a stress-free season incorporating latkes, dreidels, and the occasional Chinese take-out order. Ms. Rosalie Goldberg is unlike most in the community of Benilde-St. Margaret’s––she’s a Jewish teacher at a Catholic school.

Ever since Ms. Goldberg was young, she’s been surrounded by the over-powering exuberance that the Christmas holiday entails. “I’m used to Christmas being right there in front of me; it’s always been there my whole life,” said Ms. Goldberg.

This year, from December 1st through December 8th, Ms. Goldberg honored her own religious celebration––Hanukkah; a holiday that memorializes the Maccabees defeating the evil king Antiochus and saving the Jewish Temple using an ineffective amount of oil, only supposing to keep a flame for one day, to keep a lantern lit for an unsuspecting eight days. “What many people don’t know is that Hanukkah celebrates the overthrowing of all evil-doers, not just the miracle of the oil lasting for eight days,” said Ms. Goldberg.

Every year, Ms. Goldberg and her family get together to celebrate Hanukkah, but she and her husband commemorate the holiday through quiet traditions. “My husband and I light one candle [out of eight] every night, say a blessing, sit and talk, and eat a lot of food. Good food is a big part of the Jewish holiday; sweet potato pancakes are my favorite,” said Ms. Goldberg.

Fun traditions can be found at the Goldberg household as well. She enjoys playing dreidel with her husband, and alongside her traditional Menorah, an electric Menorah can also be found in her front window.

Many practicing Jewish people in the country like to create their own fun Christmas traditions during the season. “Every year, its a running joke that Jews go out to a movie and eat Chinese food on Christmas Eve,” said Ms. Goldberg.

Ms. Goldberg enjoys teaching at Benilde-St. Margaret’s despite the difference in religious practice, for the mutual respect for others of a different religion is apparent within the community. “It’s really no different than teaching in any other school,” said Ms. Goldberg.

Aware of the curiosity of her students and faculty members, Ms. Goldberg openly loves to answer any and all questions regarding her religious practice. “If people ask me questions…I love to answer them!” said Ms. Goldberg.