Meet the newest Teen Page Co-Chair, Caroline Goldenberg

Caroline Goldenberg

BY ELIZABETH BERSON Sophomore, Parkway North High School

Here at Ohr Chadash, we have wonderful advisors who share their knowledge and experience in writing and editing with us. This year we are pleased to welcome Caroline Goldenberg as Teen Page Co-Chair, the newest addition to the staff’s great group of advisors. Goldenberg, who grew up in St. Louis, was not technically Jewish when she was growing up. However, Judaism has guided her direction in life since she made a choice to commit to it. 

“I came from a mixed household, so I have a Jewish father and a Christian mother and I was raised pretty much without a lot of either but a little bit of both,” Goldenberg said. At 22, Goldenberg decided it was time to choose, so she identified with Judaism and branded herself a Reformed Jew. 

Teen Page Co-Chair Peggy Kaplan has been friends with Goldenberg’s family since Goldenberg was in middle school. Kaplan watched Goldenberg transition herself into a fully committed Jew. “She has the combination of a strong, intellectual curiosity and commitment to her religion that it takes to become a Jew by Choice,” said Kaplan.

Goldenberg got her degree in English literature with an emphasis on writing from St. Louis University and was soon faced with a choice about where to go from there. After working in Chicago, Goldenberg returned to St. Louis where she took a job as a secretary at Children’s Hospital. It was there that she met her future husband Etai, an Israeli-American and observant, Conservative Jew. 

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“I did a full conversion for him because that was really important to him and I was happy to do it because in my heart I was already Jewish,” Goldenberg said.

Goldenberg and her husband lived in New York all of last year for his residency. Not only was Goldenberg pregnant during the move to New York, but she also studied Hebrew with a private tutor four days a week while in New York. It is important to her and her husband that they speak Hebrew around their son.

Kaplan picked Goldenberg to be an adviser for Ohr Chadash for a number of reasons. “Her academic and professional credentials were a great fit for the co-chair position of Ohr Chadash, however, I also knew her to be a highly organized person who would motivate the teen page staff,” she said. 

With her infant son, Goldenberg already has a full time job being a mom, so being an advisor for Ohr Chadash is a good way to ease back into the workforce. “I’m interested in being more involved in the Jewish Community here because growing up I wasn’t,” Goldenberg said. “With my degree this is something that’s interesting to me… I’m excited to have a project.”

Goldenberg’s life may have turned out dramatically different had she not chosen the path of Judaism. She may never have met her husband and if she had, there would be a difficult religious barrier between them and she would not be joining the Ohr Chadash advisory board. One of the most fascinating things about Judaism is the power it has to do amazing things; it can even change the course of your life.

Kaplan is sure that Goldenberg will be an excellent advisor who will have a very positive impact on the teen page and its writers. “Caroline has a very strong work ethic and is passionate about her work with the teen page staff,” said Kaplan.

In the words of a true mentor, Goldenberg said, “My expectations at this point are for myself; I’d like to see myself getting really involved and being someone who can really take to this role and be whatever you need me to be.” •