The Associated Contributors

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The Associated Contributors are writers from The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

Meet Jen Katzen

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Jen Katzen Under Rapid Fire

Here are 10 things you might not have known about Baltimore transplant by way of PA, FL and NJ, Jennifer Katzen, mom, wife, and marketing professional.

1. What is your favorite holiday and why?
Hanukkah! We host at our house (pre-Covid), and I love seeing all the kids open their presents together. It’s pure joy!

2. What is the last book you read? Book or e-Reader?
Educated by Tara Westover (e-Reader)

New Study Measures COVID-19 Impact on Jewish Baltimore and Other Communities

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This spring, as COVID-19 transformed our world, The Associated partnered with The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University to examine the impact of the pandemic on the Jewish community. Baltimore was one of 10 communities that participated in the study, which drew data from more than 1,300 local respondents and 15,000 respondents nationally.

“The Associated embraces the use of data to drive our decision-making, and we are committed to pursuing research opportunities that provide greater access to reliable data. Participating in this study gave us the opportunity to better understand rapidly-changing community needs,” said Marty Himeles, Chair of The Associated’s Research and Grants Workgroup.

Mental Health During a Pandemic

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The struggle is real.

The pandemic has taken a significant toll on the mental health of many in Baltimore’s Jewish community. Fortunately, in these difficult times, The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore’s agencies and programs are equipped to serve the needs of the community safely and effectively.

At Jewish Community Services (JCS), that means delivering therapy, support groups, new client consultations, triage, financial assistance and career coaching — all remotely.

Early on, JCS offered a series of free virtual programs called “Brief Bites” to help members of the community adjust to life during the pandemic. In recent months, the agency has provided interactive discussions on pandemic-related issues, as well as community-wide programs on addiction, and planning for financial, medical and end-of-life matters. JCS support groups for individuals with low vision, dementia caregivers, Parkinson’s patients and their families and those experiencing grief are also running online.

Pull Up A Chair Podcast: One Survivor’s Story

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For this episode of Pull Up A Chair we take a close look at a very delicate topic…domestic violence in our community.

We hear the personal story of survival from *Rachel, a well-known member of our community and learn from CHANA Executive Director Lauren Shaivitz about the work they are doing especially during a pandemic.

Sophie Cohen Talks About Having a Baby During COVID-19

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It was April 2020 and the height of the global pandemic. Cases of COVID-19 were soaring across the state.

Fraught with stress, knowing that information about the virus was changing constantly, Sophie Cohen, who was due with her third child, knew that this time would be different. She talks about the birth of her third daughter, the added anxiety that came from making decisions when no one knew much about the virus and how different it is raising a newborn during a global health crisis.

Meet Eileen Creeger – Silver Wordsmith Writing Contest Winner

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Eileen Creeger, mother of two grown sons and grandmother to four adorable grandchildren, jokingly says that after working part-time for many years in various administrative jobs she had a mid-life crisis.

Through career counseling she discovered that she loved working with words.

So, in her mid-forties, she embarked on a new career path to pursue her love of the English language. As a previous editorial research assistant for Sinai Hospital’s Cancer Institute, former executive director of the Suburban Orthodox Congregation and current blog writer through Myerberg’s Stories from the Soul, Creeger knows a thing or two about writing.

She is this year’s first place winner in her age category of The Associated and the Baltimore Jewish Times writing contest that captured the historical perspective of 2020 and the importance of our community during this time.

We sat down with Eileen to learn a little bit more about this Silver Wordsmith winner.

Baltimore Jewish Community Weighs in on What to Read This Year

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It looks like a long winter is ahead, and you’ve pretty much exhausted Netflix.

Not sure what do in your spare time? Why not hunker down with a good book as the weather gets colder.

We reached out to the Baltimore Jewish community for ideas on what they are reading right now as well as some recent recommendations.

Local Community Tackles Food Insecurity in Baltimore

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It’s first thing on a Monday morning and the kitchen at Pearlstone is already buzzing. The Executive Chef Rebecca Pauvert, along with her culinary team, are hard at work preparing 150 quarts of tasty, nutritious soup. The soup will be picked up tomorrow – Tuesday– by the nonprofit, Baltimore Gift Economy, who will distribute it to individuals facing food insecurity who are living in the Irvington neighborhood of Baltimore City.

This week it looks like carrot soup on the menu.

Meet The Associated’s Teen Writing Contest Winners

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Recently The Associated and the Baltimore Jewish Times partnered together for the My 2020 Journey Writing Contest. This contest honors The Associated’s 100th birthday, capturing the historical perspective of 2020 and the importance of community during this unprecedented time.

Get to know our youngest first place winners.

Jewish Big Brother Big Sister Program Changes Lives

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“He was a part of my life and that was it.”

When Jared Raitzyk was seven years old, his mother reached out to the Jewish Big Brother Big Sister program overseen by Jewish Community Services. Now more than 25 years later, his big brother, Seth Katzen, remains an important member of his family.

On this episode of Pull Up A Chair, we talk with Jared and Seth about how a mentorship program that was supposed to be for two years, has lasted a lifetime.

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