EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — “I am the descendant of Holocaust survivors.”
A statement Jonah Goldberg, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Communications at UTRGV tells you a whole lot about him.
“Growing up I came from a very Jewish household. I was a 3 time Hebrew school valedictorian,” commented Goldberg. “Hebrew school was always a priority. Going to synagogue was a priority. We didn’t work on Shabbat or high holidays, took off from school.”
Holidays that many here in the Rio Grande Valley may have never heard of. A learning curve that Goldberg quickly had to adjust to when arriving to be the broadcaster for the RGV Whitewings in 2007.
“It’s different when you come down and realize suddenly just how much of a minority you are,” said Goldberg. “I remember my boss telling me, well you just took a week off. And I said well yeah, but these are the holidays.” But as he grew his career in the RGV, management got better.
“After the (UTRGV baseball) series I went to Chris and I said, hey if I had asked you for this weekend off to go celebrate Passover, could I have had the days off? And he said of course,” said Goldberg commenting on one of his experiences under former UTRGV Athletic Director Chris King.
Now, he has no problem requesting off time for his holidays, even though they differ from most of his colleagues. Yom Kippur starts tomorrow and goes through Thursday. Goldberg will be off spending the days with his family, as he was was last week for Rosh Hashanah.
“My Jewish identity, it helps to keep me positive,” says Goldberg. “And my background as the descendant of a Holocaust survivor helps to keep me grounded, where if something goes wrong, I can step back and recognize that this is not the end of the world.”
Originally from New York, despite the distance from home, Goldberg has managed to make a new one here.
“The Rio Grande Valley is special,” says Goldberg. “There is a Jewish community down here, and look compared to New York, it’s small, but it’s still vibrant.”