Meet Jen Katzen


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)

COVID app may help contact-tracing challenges this holiday

Maryland businesses prepare for the holiday season in the midst of a pandemic surge in November 2020. Photo by Philip Van Slooten, Capital News Service.

Capital News Service – “Answer the call” and “download the COVID Alert app” have joined the growing list of pandemic precautions, such as wearing a mask and social distancing, as the Maryland Health Department battles a pandemic surge during this holiday season.

“Of course everyone wants to be with family and loved ones, but we are in the midst of a pandemic and cases are skyrocketing,” Dr. Katherine Feldman, director of the Maryland Department of Health’s contact tracing unit, told Capital News Service on Thursday.

Three Black leaders seek to break fundraising barriers for Black-led organizations with Baltimore Legacy Builders Collective

Participants in B360, a program founded by Brittany Young, one of the founders of The Collective. Photo by Javon Roye.

Three Black-led Baltimore nonprofit organizations — B360, I am MENtality and The — launched last week the Baltimore Legacy Builders Collective to fundraise and share a joint development team to increase organizational capacity, sustainability, and better serve the Baltimore community.

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


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


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.

John Waters will be a presenter at the Pornhub Awards, Dec. 15

Image via Baltimore Soundstage’s Facebook.

After donating the bulk of his fine art collection to the Baltimore Museum of Art last week, Baltimore writer and filmmaker John Waters is turning his attention to a different art form.

Homelessness in Maryland worsens during the pandemic


Capital News Service – The coronavirus pandemic has increased the strain on groups that work to prevent homelessness in Maryland, with experts saying single mothers and people of color are being hurt the most.

Pull Up A Chair Podcast: One Survivor’s Story


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.

Giving Thanks for Our Baltimore Sauerkraut Tradition

When November rolls around the holiday hullabaloo is already well underway. While the majority of folks are planning Thanksgiving feasts, decorating, scheduling holiday parties, making gift-giving lists, and have sugar plum fairies on their minds, my attention is focused on tubs of simmering, bubbling, brining sauerkraut. Bundling up, I make my way over to my friend’s Charles Village row house that is the repository for the annual batch of kraut. I pull off the weights, cloths and coverings that protect and encourage the brining process that gently transforms the lowly cabbage into fresh tangy kraut.

Although homemade sauerkraut brewing may seem a thing of the past, the practice is still going strong around much of the world. In most of the cold northern climates the tradition of curing cabbage goes back to ancient times. There are few regular sources of nourishment to be had during the cold months and cabbage fashioned into sauerkraut provides a reliable source of Vitamins A and C and Potassium as well. Cabbage and kraut have even higher levels of lactobacilli, a probiotic, than yogurt and help in the digestive process. People living in remote eastern European villages may not know the exact nutritional components of kraut, but history has shown that by eating it during the winter they stay healthy. Their home brewed kraut is still used for medicinal purposes, virility, and even hangover relief. Wow – that’s some powerful stuff!

Sophie Cohen Talks About Having a Baby During COVID-19


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.