Jackie Goldschneider: A Proud Jew Whose Family Survived the Holocaust

Jackie Goldschneider's maternal family and her father-in-law survived the Holocaust by traveling from place to place in Europe.

By AtticusPublished on: May 9, 2024 Updated on: May 10, 2024
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Jackie Goldschneider stands out as a woman of many talents, with a life story that weaves grit and grace together effortlessly. Her household buzzes with the energy of two sets of twins, an atmosphere only someone with her multitasking prowess could manage.

This dynamic environment doesn’t slow her down; instead, it fuels her creativity and determination as she navigates motherhood, freelance writing, and the spotlight on The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

But this isn’t just a tale of reality TV stardom. Jackie is driven by a rich legacy of survival and perseverance, passed down from her maternal grandparents who endured the horrors of the Holocaust.

Her husband, Evan, brings a similar strength from his family’s history, creating a household firmly rooted in deep values and unbreakable bonds. Together, they strive to raise their four children with an understanding of the world that balances privilege with purpose.

Jackie’s story is about navigating the intersection of career and family with honesty, humor, and unwavering resolve. Whether she’s advocating for strong family values or sharing insights from her previous legal career, her voice resonates with anyone who’s ever juggled competing passions.

Childhood and Family – Her Mother Is An Israeli Immigrant

Born Jacqueline Eva Mark on October 2, 1976, in Staten Island, New York, Jackie was raised by parents Ann and Barry Mark. Her father, Barry, grew up in Brooklyn’s public housing, while her mother, Ann, immigrated from Israel at 13 without a word of English and not a penny to her name.

They moved in with relatives in Brooklyn, where Ann’s intellect helped her graduate as the valedictorian of her high school before attending Brooklyn College.

In her late 20s or early 30s, Ann launched her own computer software consulting firm, developing software that eventually powered some of the world’s biggest companies. She fondly recalls her mother’s college yearbook, where Ann stood out as the only woman in the entire economics section.

Jackie with her mom, Ann Mark
Jackie with her mom, Ann Mark

Jackie and her siblings, Eric (Eric Benjamin Mark) and Felicia (Felicia Rochelle Mark Damato), grew up in modest conditions. It wasn’t until Jackie was about 13 that her parents began to achieve financial success.

Reflecting on her childhood, she describes herself as a scruffy kid who didn’t have much. “Money, to me, is not what makes you an impressive or admirable person,” she notes. “I buy things; I spend money, but I don’t flash it all over Instagram because I find it tacky.

Relationship With Her Sister

While Jackie is close to her brother, her relationship with her sister Felicia is estranged. Despite being nearly inseparable as children, Jackie felt she and Felicia never truly connected. Once they reached adulthood, they chose to go their separate ways, finding that their lives were happier apart. Jackie tried to reconnect with Felicia for the sake of their parents and children, but their interactions remained too strained to repair the relationship.

A rumor recently surfaced claiming Felicia had dated Jackie’s husband, Evan, before Jackie met him. However, she swiftly shut down the claim, clarifying that her sister had been happily married since 1998, while she didn’t meet Evan until 2003.

Jackie noted that if the rumor were true, she would have been open about it since it’s not something she’d be embarrassed to share.

She Used to Defend Her Special Brother From Bullies

Jackie and her older brother Eric were only 18 months apart and shared a close bond; however, the latter was held back in school so, they were in the same grade. As a special needs child, Eric often became a target for the cruel taunts of a small group of classmates.

Jackie remembers walking down the school corridors to find Eric breakdancing or performing karate atop lunch tables, blissfully unaware that he was being laughed at, not with. She’d often intervene to protect him, but the cruelty persisted. His lunch money was stolen, pencils were thrown at him, and he was told to repeat silly phrases for others’ amusement.

Jackie with her older brother, Eric
Jackie with her older brother, Eric

One incident left a lasting impression on Jackie. Some kids convinced Eric to take off his shoes and tried to flush them down the toilet. They didn’t succeed, but he spent the rest of the day in socks. Hearing what had happened broke Jackie’s heart, and she found herself in the girl’s bathroom, sobbing uncontrollably. She couldn’t fathom how anyone could be so unkind to someone so vulnerable.

She Is A Proud Jew

Jackie, a former real estate attorney, has transitioned into a successful second career in real estate management and freelance journalism. Her columns frequently reflect her deep-rooted Jewish identity and family history, drawing from personal experiences and values.

In her piece, A Jewish American on Thanksgiving, published on Medium, Jackie reflects on her Jewish heritage and her family’s extraordinary Holocaust survival story. Her maternal grandparents fled to Russia to escape the devastation that claimed the lives of many relatives, while her father-in-law, Michel Goldschneider, used false identity papers to reach Switzerland after evading Nazi persecution across France.

These familial narratives reinforce Jackie’s unwavering pride in her Jewish identity. In her writing, she expressed gratitude for American freedoms, appreciation for those who stand up against antisemitism, and allies who speak out against Jewish hate.

Her Battle and Recovery from an Eating Disorder

Jackie struggled with an eating disorder for nearly two decades, engaging in secretive habits and obsessively pursuing thinness. She recalls how dangerous eating patterns and relentless exercise dominated her life. She was ashamed of her behavior and feared others wouldn’t understand, which made finding help difficult as a middle-aged mother of four.

In the depths of her struggle, Jackie would lick ice cubes instead of eating food. Her father, Barry, unwittingly added to her turmoil by praising her weight loss as an inspiration for other girls. She remembers lying in bed, sucking in her stomach until her ribs protruded. Stepping on the scale one day, she realized how dire her condition had become. “That’s it. I’m going to die,” she thought, marking her turning point.

When she finally confronted her father about the insensitivity of his comments, he was taken aback, admitting he didn’t realize what she had gone through. Barry had his own struggles with weight, battling yo-yo dieting and undergoing lap-band surgery.

Jackie realized her father’s preoccupation with weight had influenced her eating disorder, as both of them admitted being distressed over gaining even five pounds.

With unwavering determination, Jackie embarked on her recovery journey and shared her story openly on The Real Housewives of New Jersey in 2022. She broke her silence on camera and found strength in her family and supporters.

One pivotal moment in her journey was when she tried pizza for the first time in 26 years while on a family trip to Rome in 2024. Her children, Jonas, Adin, Alexis, and Hudson, supported her during the moment.

Jackie Regrets Changing Her Last Name Right After Her Marriage

The RHONJ star has been married to Evan Goldschneider since August 27, 2006. They met at a bar in 2003, dated for about a year, and got engaged in 2004. Jackie and Evan share two sets of twins: Jonas and Adin, born on April 3, 2008, and Alexis and Hudson, born on September 16, 2010.

After their wedding, Jackie was eager to step into her role as Mrs. Goldschneider. She stood in line at the Social Security office, marriage certificate in hand, ready to signal her commitment to Evan and their shared future by formally adopting her new name.

Jackie and Evan got married on August 27, 2006
Jackie and Evan got married on August 27, 2006

Yet, in hindsight, she reflects on the ease with which she relinquished her maiden name. Despite her pride in her married name, she sometimes feels a pang of regret for not giving herself a choice in the matter.

This isn’t a matter of feminism for Jackie. As a strong woman, she gladly set aside her legal career to dedicate herself to motherhood and family life. Folding laundry and painting Easter eggs with her children were her chosen priorities. But the decision to change her name wasn’t something she truly chose. Instead, she felt conditioned to believe that a wife should adopt her husband’s last name to uphold tradition and avoid confusion for future children.

Now, over 17 years later, Jackie has built a life under her married name and won’t be changing it back. However, she hopes her daughter will make a choice that she didn’t feel free to make.

Jackie with her husband Evan and their four children
Jackie with her husband Evan and their four children

Jackie wants her daughter to understand that one’s name doesn’t determine their love for a partner or connection to their children. Ultimately, she wishes for her daughter to choose freely and with confidence.

Your writing is clear, and the subheading “She Is A Proud Jew” aligns well with the content, emphasizing Jackie’s pride in her heritage and family history. However, to strengthen the connection between the subheading and the content, consider refining the introduction a bit to directly link her pride to her writing. Here’s a slight adjustment:

About Author: Atticus

Atticus boasts more than seven years of expertise as a writer specializing in the entertainment sector. He possesses a profound knowledge of film, music, and television, crafting compelling stories that engage a wide-ranging audience. His writing is both accessible and enlightening, simplifying intricate subjects for readers from various walks of life.