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A change for the better

The Maris Grove lifestyle: ‘It’s easier,’ says Ruth Goodman

Created date

April 23rd, 2014
Al and Ruth Goodman’s beautiful apartment home includes a home office where Ruth works on Yiddish translations.
Al and Ruth Goodman’s beautiful apartment home inc

Ruth and Al Goodman moved to Maris Grove from Wilmington, Del., partly because the Erickson Living community was nearby. Located in Delaware County, Pa., Grove is just 20 minutes from Wilmington. 

Al had spent his career with DuPont, and they both have deep ties in the area.

They also moved “because we couldn’t keep up our house on our own,” says Ruth. 

Now they enjoy one-level, maintenance-free living. 

Keeping up with commitments

Thanks to Maris Grove’s grounds crew, which clears campus roadways and sidewalks, Al no longer shovels. Because its maintenance crew handles appliance and plumbing problems quickly, courteously, and at no charge, he’s shed those responsibilities, too. Finally, because maintenance even changes ceiling lights, Al has stopped climbing ladders. And that makes Ruth very happy. 

In fact, everything about Maris Grove delights her. 

She’s easily made new friends, and living close to Wilmington makes it easy to maintain her Delaware friendships, attend Hadassah meetings, and continue her professional commitments. 

A Judaic scholar and lecturer, Ruth teaches Judaic subjects at the University of Delaware’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and has taught Yiddish at Maris Grove.

She has a reputation throughout the English-speaking world as a translator of Yiddish to English and vice versa. Her translation from Yiddish of the book Yeshiva Boy has won awards. 

She also translates for the U.S. government. Because Yiddish speakers along the Eastern Seaboard were among the victims of Hurricane Sandy, she translated official government guidelines for filing damage reports. 

And she’s written four books of her own, including Pen Pals, which is available on

Ruth works from her home office in the spacious master bedroom of the Goodmans’ beautiful apartment home. “Because we closed off some rooms [in our house], we have as much space here as we did in our house,” she says. “And had we still been in Wilmington, we would have been housebound this winter. Every time we looked out the windows, we felt so glad to be here.”

New ways to serve

Ruth’s current focus is her two-year term as president of the Maris Grove Jewish community. Because of her background, she feels she has much to offer in terms of enrichment. 

As with Maris Grove’s other religious communities, the Jewish community’s official services, such as its last-Friday services, Seder dinner, and Hanukkah ceremonies, are open to all residents. Many take the opportunity to attend.

“I can’t say enough good things about dining services,” says Ruth. “For this year’s Seder dinner, they prepared a wonderful traditional Passover meal.” 

Last December, one of the Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremonies featured a klezmer band and much singing and dancing. People enjoyed the festive evening so much that the band will return this year.

A smaller, private Purim party took place this March. Wearing customary costumes and masks, attendees observed the 2,500-year-old commemoration that celebrates the story of Queen Esther. Refreshments, wine, gift giving, and a play that Ruth wrote about Purim highlighted the evening.

When she has time, she also knits. Ruth says that moving to Maris Grove hasn’t altered her lifestyle one bit, “except it’s easier.”