Names in English and in Hebrew (phonetic).
Shiri Friedman (Shiri Elana bat haRav Shmuel Efraim v'Ester Leah)
Josh Friedman (Gidon Ben Tzion ben Mordechai Shimon Baruch v'Chaya Rivka)
Niv (Zelig ben Gidon Ben Tzion v' Shiri Elana)
Lital (Perel bat Gidon Ben Tzion v' Shiri Elana)
Arbel (Wolf ben Gidon Ben Tzion v' Shiri Elana)

Where were you born and which places have you lived in?
Shiri: Born in Pittsburgh. Lived in Queens, Philadelphia, Manhattan, Karmiel, New Haven and Brookline, Massachusetts.
Josh: Born in The Bronx. Lived in Ossining, Binghamton, Manhattan, Karmiel, New Haven, Brookline and Pittsburgh
Niv: Born in New Haven, lived in Brookline and Pittsburgh.
Lital and Arbel: Born in Boston. Lived in Brookline and Pittsburgh.
We're all yinzers now.

How long have you been members of Congregation Beth Shalom?
We've been members of Beth Shalom since we moved to Pittsburgh in June of 2013 — 10 years ago! Shiri was also a member of Beth Shalom as a child, when her father was the Rabbi. She became a Bat Mitzvah at Beth Shalom in March 1992. She and Josh were married at Beth Shalom in April 2007.

What are some of the ways you maintained a sense of community during COVID?
During COVID we tried to keep busy with outdoor activities, including playing Squirrel Hill baseball, running and biking in Frick Park and hanging out with friends in our front yard "lawn salon."

Where were your Grandparents born and how have those cultures influenced your traditions?
Josh's paternal grandparents survived the war — his grandfather, Ziggy, spent most of World War II in a PoW camp in Siberia while his grandmother, Bela, survived multiple camps in Poland. They met in France after the war and had a baby in Paris, in Israel, and then in Brazil before finally settling in New York. They lived as refugees and then immigrants and finally New Yorkers, and all of those experiences inform our values and lifestyle.

What books or films do you always find yourself recommending to people and from which period of your life did you first become familiar with them?
When Josh and I got married, we moved to Israel for a honeymoon year. Living in Karmiel we had plenty of time to cook and ride bikes, travel and read. We made frequent use of the library in Karmiel, which had lots of English books to choose from. I read a few classics that year, and very fondly associate them with that special year, which started our marriage, in Israel. Some of those books? Roots by Alex Haley, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk, East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

If you could be a fly on the wall in Jewish history where would you want to land and why?
Niv: The founding of the State of Israel. I wouldn't necessarily want to be in the room with Ben Gurion, but maybe in a house where normal people learned of the independence and celebrated.
Lital: I'd like to see the 10 plagues actually happen, and figure out how much could be explained by science and weather, and how much was inexplicable miracle.
Arbel: I want to see the Maccabees take on the Syrians. They were out-numbered 10 to 1 and up against elephants — but still won!