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What You May Not Know About…


From NBA Dreams to the Rabbinate

By Brother Steve Levine

It sure seems like if you are Jewish and live in Houston, you are familiar with Rabbi Dovid Goldstein aka “Rabbi Red”. But, what you may not know, is that his original dream was not to be a Rabbi but to play professional basketball. It’s true! Later, he wanted to be a sportscaster and then after that, a stock broker. Fortunately for us, he chose the path to the rabbinate instead, which eventually led him to becoming the spiritual leader of Chabad West Houston and H.O.D. Tikvah Lodge.

Born in McAllen, Texas, Dovid grew up with his older brother Phillip (also an H.O.D. Brother) and both his parents until they decided to get a divorce when Dovid was eight-years-old. Because Dovid's mother, Martha Mandelbaum, was from Tampico, Mexico, Dovid learned to speak Spanish from infancy. After Dovid's parents divorced, his father, Ervin Goldstein, chose to become more observant in Judaism. In 1986, he took Dovid to meet the Lubavitcher Rebbe for the first time which inspired them both to connect with Judaism even more. The divorce didn't change the close relationship Dovid had with his father, so when his father became part of Chabad, Dovid chose to follow the same path. Later, Dovid's father remarried and from that union, Dovid has a half-brother named Rueven and a half-sister named Chavi.   

Dovid loved to play basketball and dreamed of being an NBA player. One day, he came to the realization that his basketball skills weren't that good, so he started dreaming about being a sportscaster. While he was in college, he started dabbling in the stock market and thought about being a stock broker. Ultimately, Dovid's passion for Judaism and Chabad led him to become a Rabbi. From 10th grade through 12th grade, Dovid was educated at the Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Los Angeles. He then did a two-year study from 1992 through 1994 at the Rabbinical College of Canada in Montreal. Next, he attended the Central Yeshiva in Brooklyn from November of 1994 through September of 1995. Right after, he attended Yeshiva Guedola de Venezuela in Caracas, followed by Central Lubavitch Yeshiva in Kfar Chabad, Israel, where he received his rabbinical ordination in 1996. 

Being able to call so many cities “home”, in addition to McAllen, Rabbi Red has lived in Corpus Christi, Dallas, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Caracas. Dovid's outgoing personality and friendly nature have helped him quickly connect with people from all walks of life and multi-cultures. It also helps that he is fluent in Spanish! Rabbi Goldstein has met a lot of people in those places as well as others in Mexico, South America, and Europe before settling in Houston!


In 1996, while a Rabbinical student in Venezuela, Dovid was proposed a “shidduch” in Toronto through mutual friends and left to meet Elisa Erdvin. After just six dates, Dovid knew he had met the love of his life, his “bershert”, and proposed. They were married on March 10th, 1997. After they were married and and still living in Toronto, Rabbi Goldstein served as the administrator for two different Jewish Schools. Presently, the Goldsteins have five children ranging in age from 6-years-old to 23-years-old. They are Sima (23), Avrami (20), Chaya (17), Calmi (13), and Rosie (6). Alisa is more than just a wife and mother, she is also the Co-Director of Chabad West Houston and Dovid's partner in everything he is involved with!

Besides being the CEO of Chabad West Houston and the spiritual leader of H.O.D. Tikvah Lodge, Rabbi Dovid is the Associate Director at Chabad Outreach, the Chief Executive Officer at the Friendship Circle of Houston, Director General at Camp Gan Israel of Houston, Director at the CHAI Learning Center of West Houston, and TDCJ Consulting Head Rabbi for the Chabad Outreach Jewish Inmate Program. No matter where Rabbi Goldstein is serving others in the community and beyond, you know that Elisa is not far away!

Unfortunately, Elisa cannot join Rabbi Red at our Hebrew Order of David Tikvah Lodge meetings, but she is always in attendance when spouses and guests are invited for special events. The only times Elisa isn't able to be at Dovid's side is when their children need her or it is a “divide and conquer” situation where they need to be serving the Jewish community in two different places at exactly the same time! They really are a team in life and in serving the Jewish Community.

Rabbi Red's down-to-Earth, easy-going, and caring spirit have generated a lot of fans in the Hebrew Order of David Tikvah Lodge. One of those fans is Brother Brad Dennen who shared, What Rabbi Goldstein brings to Judaism is an upbeat and fresh take to the faith that makes you really want to engage!” Speaking of our H.O.D Tikvah Lodge, what Rabbi Goldstein appreciates the most is the brotherhood, the connections, and the true “chavershaft” that he finds with us!  We are so glad that he does and even more pleased that this amazing Rabbi and true Brother, who works tirelessly to ensure that “No Jew is left behind”, has chosen the Rabbinate and not the basketball court to fulfill the needs of others!

(c) 2020 Hebrew Order of David

Lodge Tikvah, Houston, TX

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