Rival may not be the first word that comes to mind when talking about your spouse. But for Terry and David Golaner, it’s their running joke. Without knowing it, they have been “rivals” their entire lives.
A Baltimore native, Terry, 39, is a fourth-generation Beth Tfiloh congregant who spent her summers at Camp Louise, graduated from Friends School of Baltimore and attended Muhlenberg College. Meanwhile, David, 41, grew up in Baltimore, is a third-generation Beth El member, spent his summers at Camp Airy, graduated from The Park School of Baltimore and attended Franklin & Marshall College.
“It’s beyond me how I didn’t know him,” Terry says, while David adds with a laugh, “It’s a mixed marriage.”
Despite leading parallel lives, the Golaners didn’t meet until five years ago at The Associated’s first annual IMPACT Generosity Gala.
“I remember being with Corinne and Adam Janet, and we saw David across the room,” Terry recalls. “They said, ‘Look, there is the guy with the bowtie who sings at shul.’ Later in the night, he came over and said hi to me. The following week, we went to Starbucks for our first date, and on Thanksgiving morning we went to Quarry Bagel for our second date. Now, every year on Thanksgiving morning, we have breakfast from Quarry Bagel.”
Five years later, the Pikesville couple is building a beautiful life together with 9-year-old Mollie, 2-year-old Charlotte and a baby girl on the way.
“Each generation has to define what it means to have a relevant Judaism,” David says of raising his family in the local Jewish community. “What worked for our parents certainly isn’t relevant to our kids. But at its core, being Jewish is still based on fundamental values like family, community and education. Those things will never change.”
Judaism has always played a central role in David and Terry’s lives. “Growing up, my mom made huge deal about the holidays so we would love them,” Terry remembers. “We always say, ‘You should see her house on Chanukah.’”
Their connection to their faith carried on to their adulthoods, with Terry majoring in psychology and Jewish studies in college and David, who received his bachelor’s degree in orchestra conducting, spending the majority of his professional career in the Jewish community.
“Growing up, I wouldn’t have thought I would spend my entire career working in or around the Baltimore Jewish community,” says David, who worked at The Park School before transitioning to a managerial position at Sol Levinson & Bros. funeral home. Thereafter, David became director of the Edward A. Myerberg Center and now serves as director of The Associated’s Centennial Campaign. “The people I’ve met and the things I’ve learned have made it incredibly rewarding. When someone asks me who I am as a person, I say I’m a Jewish Baltimorean. I’m equal parts Jewish and Baltimorean.”
It’s that pride that has kept Terry and David members at not one but two synagogues — Beth El and Beth Tfiloh.
“I was raised keeping kosher but really only went to shul on the holidays,” says Terry, who works as a Baltimore County Public Schools psychologist. “David was more of a shul-goer and really enjoys it. When we got together, we combined those two things. Now, we go to shul every week and we keep kosher. We have made each other better Jews in the sense that we brought different things to the table.”
Raising their daughters with Jewish values is also of great importance to David and Terry. “David and Charlotte sing Adon Olam together every night before bed. She can’t go to sleep without it,” says Terry.
Adds David: “Both my girls love to sing. I think both of them picked it up early, because as babies when we walked from room to room, we would sing about it. From an early age, everything we did would involve singing.”
David and Terry say it wouldn’t surprise either of them if Charlotte, who goes to Beth Tfiloh for preschool, follows in her father’s footsteps and finds a career in Jewish communal work.
“This kid loves Judaism,” Terry says proudly. “We put it in our house, but she takes it to another level. We think she may be a rabbi when she grows up.”