From the first time they met, as part of the JCC Softball League, Fred and Tammy Heyman realized how similar their values were. Proud of their Jewish identity, as a young married couple they were committed to making Judaism a central part of their lives.
Over the years the couple raised two children, Ethan and Adam, in a Jewish home filled with Jewish holiday celebrations and Jewish education. They also committed to Jewish philanthropy, and this year chair The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore’s Super Sunday, the Baltimore Jewish community’s largest fundraiser, on Oct. 29.
What shaped your Jewish identity?
Fred: I grew up in Baltimore in a traditional Jewish home. My family attended Beth El Congregation and I went to Hebrew school where I became a bar mitzvah. However, most of my youth was spent on the baseball field playing with mostly non-Jewish athletes. It was very important for my parents that I maintained my Jewish identity.
Tammy: I grew up in Pittsburgh in a strong Zionist home. Israel was always part of the discussion and my family supported it and made us realize why there needed to be a Jewish homeland. I was the first person in my family to go to Israel – I went when I was 15 – and my world shifted. I fell in love with the country and what it means to us as Jews.
Tell me about Israel?
Tammy: I love Israel and have been there five times. We went as a family and our children have also been there many times. We also hosted shinshinim (Israeli emissaries) as part of the [Macks] CJE program.
You’ve been involved with The Associated for many years. When you talk to your friends, what surprised them most?
Tammy: I don’t think everyone realizes how much The Associated touches our community. From the kid on the Maccabi team to the teen involved in leadership programs to the adult who needs help with vocational counseling, The Associated is there.
Fred: It’s an organization that literally works 24/7, not just 9 to 5. Every day, The Associated and its agencies are providing lifelines to so many of our most vulnerable community members not just here in Baltimore, but around the world.
You are co-chairs of this year’s Super Sunday.
Tammy: This is such an important day for Jewish Baltimore. It’s the jump-start to The Associated’s Annual Campaign. I want people to realize that in today’s world of robo-calls and telemarketing calls that are easy to ignore, this call is important to take. Click to read entire article.