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06/05/2017 03:49:53 PM


by Coffee Bourne

I grew up in a different religion. I never felt at home in my beliefs. I always felt a pull to Judaism. When I met my husband, Adam, during my freshman year of college at The University of Texas at Austin, religious beliefs were the last thing on our minds. As we fell in love and decided to marry, we very quickly started populating the world with little Bournes. Immediately after college, we had our first son, Luca. He was so perfect that we decided to have another baby and Dominic joined us just 18 months after Luca. At that point, we knew we wanted to raise our children with a spiritual and moral foundation that is commonly found in religion but we also knew that we did not want to raise our children in our former religions. I started studying Judaism. I read “What do Jews Believe?” by David S. Ariel. It was a very heavy and in-depth discussion despite its introductory-sounding title. I wrote book reports about it so that I could digest the information. I spoke often and at length about it with Adam. My best friend in college happened to be dating a Rabbi’s daughter at the time and I decided to meet with her father. I studied with Rabbi Freedman in Austin, Texas for two years before converting with my husband and two sons and immersing our bodies in the crisp waters of Barton Springs. Shabbat was and still is a holy time in our home. We light our candles and welcome the warmth of the holiday every week. We had our daughter, Elia, in 2013 and she was named in our home by our beloved Rabbi. We moved from Texas to Richmond in 2014 so that I could pursue a Doctorate in Nurse Anesthesia at Virginia Commonwealth. We very quickly joined Congregation Beth Ahabah and have found a home in which to raise our growing family. We welcomed our youngest child, Judah, in December of 2016 and Rabbi Nagel led a beautiful service in our home to give him his Hebrew name. As Jews, we recognize that we are learning and growing daily. We are taking Hebrew classes with Rabbi Randi Nagel so that we can catch up with our little boys – they have learned so much in the CBA religious school! We love the home we have found not only in Judaism but in the pews of the synagogue and around the dinner table in the Goldberg. We feel the love.

Editor’s Note:

This is part of a new series written by and about the members of Beth Ahabah. If you would like to submit an article about a friend or family member at Beth Ahabah, or your own adventures, avocations or interesting career, please contact Lori Allen in the Temple office at

Sun, June 26 2022 27 Sivan 5782