The Rosen family balances raising their children with community activism and participation.
In this new section, Jmore profiles a local young family that is doing interesting things in our community.
Every summer, Laurie Rosen sets up a bounce house, swings and inflatable pool in her backyard. She calls it “Camp Rosen.” Every night, she and her husband, Dr. Michael Rosen, head outside for some family fun with their kids, Ruby, 3, and Spencer, 1.
“Having my own dental practice allows for a wonderful family, work-life balance,” says Michael, owner of the Center of Dentistry in Lutherville.
And on any given summer night, if you drive by the Rosens’ home, you are sure to see a yard filled with family, friends and lots of love.
“I always knew I was going to live in this area because it’s where my family is,” Laurie says. “Pikesville is a big melting pot of Jews, and I couldn’t imagine raising my children anywhere else.”
A New York native, Michael chimes in, “I realized early on [when dating Laurie] that it was just a question as to whether I would be alright staying here, because I knew she wasn’t leaving.”
Now, the couple, who recently celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary, is completely immersed in the community and has woven Jewish traditions into the fabric of their lives.
“We love that Ruby and Spencer our growing up with Jewish customs,” says Michael. “Ruby [who attends Beth Tfiloh’s preschool] looks forward to Shabbat every week. We joke she’ll be reminding us to light Shabbat candles on Friday night.”
In addition to giving their children a Jewish education, Laurie has volunteered for the past two years as a connector for the Macks Center for Jewish Education.
“Despite living here forever, I never had any leadership role within the Jewish community before the CJE,” says Laurie. “My friend Carly Greenberg, a former CJE connector, pushed me to do this and I’m definitely passionate about it. I’ve made some of my strongest relationships through being a connecter.”
Laurie has planned various programs such as “Shabbat in the Park” and parents’ nights out to engage young Jewish families and help bring Judaism into their lives.
“We live in a close-knit community where everyone knows someone,” says Laurie, who’s built a network of almost 500 Jewish families with children 5 and under. “I’m just connecting those dots and bringing people together who probably already have a mutual friend.”
Both Michael, 32, and Laurie, 35, graduated from the University of Delaware, but it wasn’t until they lived in Federal Hill that their paths crossed, thanks to JDate. At the time, Michael was attending the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and Laurie was a teacher in Baltimore County Public Schools. In 2013, they moved to Florida for Michael’s yearlong residency before planting roots here.
“I’ve never felt like an outsider in Baltimore,” Michael says. “But I will say it’s the only place I’ve ever been that when asked where I went to school, people mean high school and not college.”
Michael and Laurie know what it’s like to have a lot on their plates, but working together as a team makes their journey one filled with true happiness. The couple smile when discussing Michael’s idea to start a dental practice while Laurie was pregnant with their son.
“The Center for Dentistry opened three days before Spencer was born,” says Michael, who teaches part-time at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and is part of the Maryland State Dental Association. “It was a race against the clock to see which would happen first, but it was good motivation to get the practice up and running.”
In April, Michael celebrated a year in business and is living his dream. “The ultimate goal in dental school was to have my own practice,” he says. “The kids love visiting me at work, and it’s amazing for me to be able to show them hard work pays off.”
For Laurie, the goal of raising her children in her childhood community is especially meaningful.
“Whenever I walk into Starbucks or Target, I run into someone who recognizes my kids,” she says. “That gives me a warm feeling. I always say there is nothing like best friends having best friends.”