The Associated Contributors

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

Talking to Our Children about Coronavirus


In a modern age of constant contact and sensationalized news broadcasting, we, as parents, not only have to find ways to deal with our own feelings about scary news stories, but also the inevitability of our children’s encounters with them. The recent outbreak of COVID-19 (also known as the Coronavirus), is no exception.

COVID-19 is quickly threatening to significantly impact our day-to-day routines and decisions within our families and homes. So, how do we prepare our families and our children for these real and potential changes?

The answer to this question is complicated. If you are like me, you find yourself involuntarily inundated with news headlines that toggle between hysteria and dissociation. You will feel torn between the choice of becoming a “doomsday prepper” and taking a “worry when there’s reason to worry” approach.

COVID-19 Updates From The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore


Caring for one another and helping to keep our community safe are The Associated’s top priorities.

The Associated and its family of agencies continues to actively monitor the evolving updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are working closely with our beneficiary agencies – and in concert with public health officials and other organizations – to ensure the critical needs and services continue to be provided in a manner that maintains the health of our community members.

Monitoring COVID-19 with The Associated


Kol yisrael arevim zeh b’zeh

Caring for one another and helping to keep our community safe are The Associated’s top priorities.

The Associated and its network of agencies continues to actively monitoring the evolving updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are working closely with our beneficiary agencies – and in concert with public health officials and other organizations – to ensure the critical needs and services continue to be provided in a manner that maintains the health of our community members.

As of March 16, 2020

Volunteer at Home

As we follow the directive to create social distancing, Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC) has identified volunteer projects that can be done at home – please take a look at the project list and other urgent direct and indirect volunteer needs related to community response to this crisis.

This list is being continually updated as the situation continues to develop. To learn more and register or order supplies, go to

JVC is also working with partner organizations to identify ongoing and new ways that they will address the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community. Please fill out this form if you want to be notified as new opportunities to serve the community during this challenging time are identified.

Community Closings

As of Monday, March 16, The Associated building at 101 Mount Royal Avenue will be closed to visitors. We will continue to operate as normal.

The Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC, the Gordon Center for Performing Arts, the Weinberg Park Heights JCC and the DBJCC is closed through March 22. Look here for further updates.

Here are the latest community closings:

Click here for full article.

A Yankee Fan and a Red Sox Fan Find Love


You never know where you’ll find your beshert. Elise and David Saltzberg discover what they have in common through The Associated. Read (and listen) to their love story:

On this episode of Pull Up A Chair, we have love and romance. Elise and David Saltzberg actually found each other thanks to The Associated. They talk about how it was actually diamonds and deception that ultimately drew them together, but it’s not what you think. Pull Up a Chair to have a listen and find out how they met their beshert.

Baltimore’s Terry Willner is Doing Good in Baltimore


As a native Baltimorean, Terry Willner has always felt connected to her hometown. Like many of her friends, she never ventured far for too long – attending Emory University in Atlanta and then moving back to Baltimore after graduation.

It is this love for Baltimore and the conviction to make a difference that inspired this mother of two sons, Alex and Evan, to give back. She began volunteering through The Associated’s Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC), and now serves as chair. This year, she’s particularly excited about JVC’s newest project which she believes will inspire thousands to do good. She talks about this effort and reveals why Baltimore is so dear to her heart.

Investing in Park Heights


With the recent unveiling of the Pimlico redevelopment project, the future of Park Heights is looking brighter. Coupled with the revitalization efforts in Central Park Heights – work that is supported by CHAI – it could lift up the neighborhood, positively impacting the entire community.

The plan, which provides for keeping the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, turns over 50 acres of land to private developers to build housing and commercial buildings. It calls for flexible spaces that could be customized, with the idea that the infield could be used for athletic fields, book fairs and farmer’s markets.

It also includes a new clubhouse, which will be utilized for Preakness. And, it brings in the potential for new jobs, with an estimated 1,500 permanent job opportunities when the site is built out.

Finding Her Niche – Meet Rachel Samakow



Coming to a new city is never easy but discovering a community that gives you a sense of purpose can connect you to your new home. Originally from Pittsburgh, Rachel moved to Baltimore after receiving her bachelors’ degree in 2009 and then beginning law school at the University of Baltimore.

After permanently relocating to Baltimore, she soon found her niche in the Jewish community. It all started with one event, that has since grown into an active life in Jewish Baltimore.

Volunteering Through the Eyes of a Retiree


Today I popped into the main office of Miguel’s high school to request an early dismissal for him. I was bringing him to his sixth and final appointment with an angel… a pro-bono dentist who treated and saved this 16 year old, his teeth and his smile.

My experience helping newly arrived individuals and families began when I was the assistant director of volunteer services with Jewish Family Services (now Jewish Community Services). At the time we were setting up households and arranging transportation through Mitzvah Mobility for Russian refugees.

Now, 35 years later, as a retiree, I volunteer to provide a more direct service to a family from Guatemala seeking asylum. I became involved after receiving an email from the team at Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC), who had been asked to solicit Spanish speaking volunteers to assist with the many tasks of welcoming and offering support to families fleeing from the horrors of their native homes and their experiences at the border.

Zack Garber: Busy Helping Baltimore


To pin down Zack Garber’s involvement in the Baltimore Jewish community, and the greater Baltimore community, would be difficult. From his professional career as a financial advisor on the Garber Wealth Management team, to his time spent on various boards, task forces and volunteer organizations (not to mention a personal project or two), Zack’s day is filled with one goal – how to help others. Zack sat down with us earlier this month to give us a glimpse into his day-to-day, what inspires him and what advice he has for those looking to change the narrative.

Did you grow up in the area?

I did. I grew up in the Owings Mills area, went to Beth Tfiloh for elementary school and then went to McDonogh for middle and high school. After that I took a training program in London for four months before moving to New York and then ultimately earned my MBA at Penn.

Meet Brad and Melissa Hecht


On November 20, The Associated will present its signature Keynote event, “After Pittsburgh: Pride, People & Power.” Held at Woodholme Country Club, the evening will feature a conversation with Bari Weiss, New York Times staff writer and editor and author of How to Fight Anti-Semitism.

Baltimore natives Bradley and Melissa Hecht are co-chairing the event with Morry and Lisa Zolet. We spoke to the Hechts about Keynote, Weiss and their involvement in the community.