An educator, a librarian and a Jewish communal professional. What do they have in common? All three recently took up the reins of The Associated’s three newest agencies, with a goal of boosting Jewish engagement. 

Now that they’ve had a year under their belt, we spoke to these three new executives. They told us about what they’ve done, where they see their work headed and added a few interesting fun facts about themselves.  

Get to know these three transplants – Addie is from Arkansas, Aaron from Massachusetts and Jessica originally from New York—who are making Baltimore their new home.  

Addie Lewis Klein
Executive Director, Macks Center for Jewish Connections 

What made you want to become a Jewish communal professional? 
I grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas in a small, tight-knit Jewish community. My brother and I were the only Jewish kids in public school. We loved going to synagogue and Hebrew school—there were only six of us in my Hebrew school grade. We had a DIY (do it yourself) Jewish community – if you wanted it, you built it. As a result, we got a lot of hands-on experience in leadership positions and a lot of us ultimately became Jewish communal professionals.

In your first year as head of the Macks Center for Jewish Connections, what are you most proud of? 
We brought disparate teams together and began to create a new way of doing engagement work that is focused more on people than on programs. Chair Lauren Ades and I have had an amazing year, and we are so impressed with the board and the great team from the former Macks CJE and JVC (Jewish Volunteer Connection). 

So where does the agency go next? 
In the fall, we will launch as a new brand that is really focused on engaging those who are currently unengaged. We will be working with young families through empty nesters; inviting them to co-create relational communities. It’s all about people and connections — with your Jewish friends, we want you to explore your own Jewish journey. 

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

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