Rae Goodman, who was the rebbetzin of Ahavath Achim Synagogue from 1982 to 2002, died peacefully in Jerusalem on Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, the second day of Kislev, surrounded by her husband of 67 years, Rabbi Arnold Goodman, and her children and grandchildren.
Rae loved being a rebbetzin, loved shul life and loved Ahavath Achim. Her specialty was making latkes in bulk, which she served to young couples, expectant parents and new members each December. She regularly invited congregation members to her family’s Shabbat and holiday table. She was a true helper and partner to Rabbi Goodman in critiquing his sermons and in walking with him throughout members’ lifecycle events, from britot to b’nai mitzvah to weddings to funerals and shivas.
Her abiding passion was Jewish family life and the spiritual and physical beauty of home and hearth. Before the spread of the Internet, she ran a matchmaking service in Atlanta with Sherry Maziar that resulted in many Jewish couples standing under the chuppah.
After Rabbi Goodman’s retirement, the couple made aliyah, joining their son Ari, who made aliyah out of high school at 17, and his wife, Ciporit, and their six children. They also spent time with Daniel and Judy Goodman and their children in Atlanta and with Shira Goodman and Rabbi Wes Gardenswartz and their children in Newton, Mass. Rae was blessed to dance at the weddings of four of her grandchildren and to hold two great-grandchildren.
Rae was a perennial learner, always improving her Hebrew, taking classes, and enjoying time with friends new and old in Jerusalem.
Her funeral is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 4, at 2 p.m. in Beit Shemesh. Rabbi Goodman and his family will sit shiva at his home in Jerusalem. Plans for shiva in Atlanta will be announced next week.