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A ‘rose’ in January: Shoshana Gortenburg is the community’s first Jewish baby of 2018

Shoshana Marie Gortenburg, born Jan. 3, 2018, is the first child of Carah and Isaac Gortenburg.

This year’s first Jewish baby was born at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3, to Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy graduate Isaac Gortenburg and his wife Carah at Shawnee Mission Medical Center. The couple’s first child, Shoshana Marie Gortenburg, entered the world with a full head of brown hair, weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces and measuring 21 inches long. Her father described her eyes as grayish-blue “for now.”

The Gortenburgs named their daughter Shoshana because mom Carah thinks it’s “a very pretty name.” Her parents also like the nicknames that go along with it, and may call her Shosh, Shosha and Shoshie. In Hebrew, Shoshana means rose. Shoshana appears in the Bible in Song of Songs 2:2, as “standing out like a rose amongst the thorns.” In kabbalah, Shoshana has the same numeric value (661) as Esther, the hero of the Purim story who lived in the city of Shushan (related to “Shoshana”).

The baby’s middle name, Marie, was chosen in honor of Isaac’s grandmother, Mary.

Isaac and Carah attend programs at Chabad on the Plaza. Isaac grew up in the Kansas City Jewish community and graduated from HBHA in 2004. He moved away for several years — during which time he met Carah. At the time they didn’t live in the same city, but began living in the same city when they both moved to Denver in 2014. He moved to back to Kansas City in May 2015 and Carah, who is from South Florida, soon followed and “loves it here.” Together as a couple for five years, they were married Nov. 28, 2017. He is currently president of multifamily at Eighteen Capital Group, a private equity firm and family office focusing on real estate, specifically value-added multifamily housing investments. Carah describes herself “as a full-time stay-at-home mom now.”

Carah is not Jewish, but plans on converting in the future. 

“Absolutely the baby will be raised Jewish,” the Gortenburgs said.

As for being parents, Isaac said that even though he’s only been a father for a short time, “it’s even more amazing than I anticipated.”

“It still doesn’t feel real sometimes,” Carah added. “I look at her and I just can’t believe she’s mine. It’s a really cool feeling.”

The baby is the granddaughter of Karen and Michael Gortenburg, and Rob and Rhona Mancuso of Jupiter, Florida. She is the great-granddaughter of Roberta Fallon of Franklin, North Carolina.

Shoshana and her parents will receive a free one-year subscription to The Chronicle and gifts from the following advertisers in honor of being the First Jewish Baby of 2018:

Engraved crown ring from Brookside Jewelry BKS

$25 gift certificate from Cosentino’s Price Chopper 

Bouquet from Craig Sole Designs

An overnight stay and breakfast for two in the Trofi Restaurant from the Doubletree by Hilton Kansas City-Overland Park

$25 gift certificate from Gates Bar-B-Q

$500 gift certificate toward kindergarten tuition at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy and a Future Ram bib

Two tickets to any Spring 2018 show at Carlsen Center of the Johnson County Community College and $50 at Garozzo’s Ristorante

Two tickets to a performance of your choice in the 2017-2018 season at KC Actors Theatre

$25 gift certificate from Rileys Phillips 66

To tickets to a performance of your choice during the 2017-2018 season at the Unicorn Theatre

$25 gift card from Urban Table