Josef Isaac Goodman was born in Manhattan, New York, on July 1st, 1985, the 12th day of Sivan 5746. Josef was the second son of Mordechai and Hanna Goodman, younger brother to Shimon who was born 16 months before him and older brother of Yehuda, Naftali, Benyamin, Asher, Miri, Racheli and Danny.
In March 1986, when Josef was nine months old, the Goodman family – Mordechai, Hanna, Shimon and Josef – immigrated to Israel. They first went to an absorption center in Mevaseret Zion, and Josef went to kindergarten there. In December 1986, the Goodmans moved to Efrat, becoming one of its founding families.
Josef began his schooling at the local school Aseh Chayil, where he stayed from the first to sixth grade; PE was his favorite subject. Josef was extraordinarily successful and was on the running team, participating in a number of Jerusalem races. In addition, Josef was on a swimming team, as well as a local soccer team from third to eighth grade. Josef studied at the Ohr Torah Stone junior high school in Efrat and proceeded to attend the high school at the Religious Learning Center in Jerusalem.
With all his involvement in sports and cooperation with his friends, he still had time to help at the family pizzeria in Efrat at the end of each day, always finding the time to help his parents and their employees preparing thousands of pizzas, working under pressure, always adapting to the immediacy and complexity of customers’ demands. He was quick to learn, knew all aspects of pizza making, thereby assisting his family immensely. He loved working and suggested ways of improving the processes at the pizzeria.
Josef Goodman z”l
Eliezer’s mother shares: Eliezer was born on the 29th of Tamuz 5743 (July 10th, 1983), the second son following an older sister. We lived in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. When Eliezer was 17, we moved to Gush Etzion. Eliezer went to elementary school in the quarter, and later to the Himmelfarb High School.
G-d blessed Eliezer with a great love of life, sharp intellect and intelligence, an infectious sense of humor, courage, curiosity, and interest in the world and in people. Thanks to these qualities, Eliezer was able to overcome the physical differences he had accumulated in his early years. He always challenged himself to take on tasks and pursue ambitions that were hard for him.
His years in the neighborhood were especially joyous and happy. He had great social and leadership skills that allowed him to initiate many business enterprises. For example, he imported candies from abroad and offered them to the neighborhood children, sold products to pilgrims who visited over the holidays, sometimes even changing the color and type of his kippah and learning a few words in various languages in order to communicate better with his customers. He also organized friends to work with him. Eliezer later worked at a bagel store in the neighborhood; he enjoyed serving customers and joking with the employees, offering freebees to beggars who passed by the store and developed a special connection with him.
These powerful qualities of Eliezer accompany us and strengthen our joy of life, with a strong connection to the Almighty who has provided us with help and mercy through difficult times.