The Associated Contributors

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

Shelley Hendler is Living a Meaningful Life


From the time she was a teenager, Shelley Hendler worked. First making money babysitting and tutoring in high school, then later as an educator in the Baltimore County school system, then for 12 years, she served as a middle school administrator for Krieger Schechter Day School.

Meet Neil Katz


When asked to describe himself, Neil Katz will say that he is a connector — he loves people. High energy. Driven. Good at solving problems. All traits that have served him well during his extensive career in both the commercial real estate business and as an entrepreneurial investor.

Forever Friends: Alyson Friedman and Elise Rubenstein


Welcome back to Pull Up A Chair, our monthly podcast where we explore different themes and what it means to build and be a part of a strong Jewish community.

One Man’s Journey to Giving Back to the Community


David Baron was born in Baltimore, Maryland but in 1983, his family moved to Israel after his father accepted a job opportunity in Israel at the American Embassy.

Pull Up a Chair: BDS on our College Campuses


BDS, which is an acronym for “boycott divestment and sanctions” is a Palestinian-led movement, first launched in 2005. It has caused significant tensions at a number of colleges and universities over the years. What effect does it have on our Jewish student population and what tools can we use to combat it?

2021: A Year of Change and Hope


It was a year filled with challenges, but also a year filled with hope. Although it began with COVID-19 cases surging, January brought an unprecedented vaccine roll-out that solidified our belief that tomorrow would be brighter.

Get to Know Jonathan Strauss


Jonathan is no stranger to The Associated, actively participating in PGRT and IMPACT. As a CPA with Strauss & Associates he’s often busy helping organize financial goals for others while still enjoying his rewarding work. Read more.

Meet Ronnie Footlick


Ronnie Footlick is a life-long volunteer in Baltimore’s Jewish community. A campaign solicitor for over 30 years, she served as the women’s campaign chair for the 2019 campaign. After working on the committee for Baltimore’s Lion of Judah Endowment initiative, she is now serving as chair of Planned Giving and Endowment for The Associated.

Meet Allister Suarez


Allister has been involved with IMPACT for the past two years after initially joining CHAT (Conversations Happening Around Town). He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the ASPIRE program and is a co-instructor of organic chemistry lab at Coppin State University as part of the ASPIRE program. When he’s not working as a postdoc, he can be found volunteering with Repair the World.

Becoming a Bat Mitzvah on Baltimore Onward Israel


Through the Baltimore Onward Israel program, I was able to travel to Israel this summer for the first time in my life. As expected, my summer was filled with beautiful sites, delicious food, sandy beaches and blue skies. But there’s more to Israel than what originally met my eyes, and this trip was more than a typical tourist visit. I was able to discover the complexities of Israeli culture through Jewish traditions, interactions with friendly locals and education every day. I was also able to experience first-hand the most important religious sites of Judaism.

Dignity Grows: A Conversation with Shelly Malis


Shelly Malis is leading Associated Women’s newest effort, Dignity Grows, a national initiative that removes the obstacles to self-esteem and health by providing women with personal hygiene products each month.

Why did we want to get involved?

Lynne Kahn Finds Feeding Baltimore’s Children Fulfilling


Many of you have undoubtedly heard of the Baltimore Hunger Project – a nonprofit that is dedicated to eliminating the growing problem of weekend childhood hunger. But are you familiar with their founder and executive director, Lynne B. Kahn, who is also a staple in the Baltimore Jewish community?

Read about these 13 things to know about Lynne Kahn:

Meet Elissa Ness


When Elissa Ness talks about her Jewish identity, she points to her early years growing up as a young girl in Pikesville. Her father, an immigrant from Poland who arrived in Baltimore when he was five, shared his love of religion, Jewish tradition and Jewish values with his family.

Elissa recalls many Shabbats and holidays attending services with her family at Beth Jacob Synagogue, where she also attended Hebrew school. Seders and their annual Rosh Hashanah lunches were always huge celebrations filled with family and friends and lots of laugher and song.

You Can Help – Making Life Brighter This Holiday Season


With Thanksgiving and Chanukah around the corner, this is the perfect time of year to show our appreciation for what we have and help others who need a little support. The Associated and its network of agencies are continuing to make lives brighter, with the help of the local community.

Here are a few ways you can donate your time or your dollars to make an impact this holiday season.

Seven Books You Should Read This Fall


As the weather turns cooler and the nights grow longer, there is nothing better than curling up with a good book. We asked local community members and several of our professionals what books they are recommending right now. From fiction to memoirs to a book that marries Jewish tradition with meditative practices, check out their suggestions.

And this November, join the community for The Baltimore Festival of Jewish Literature, and enjoy live author conversations on issues important to the Jewish community.