Growing up in the Owings Mills area, Erika Rief Hornstein left Baltimore after high school but returned for graduate school where she earned an MBA/MA in Design Leadership at Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Today, she is a Design Strategy Manager at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, working on research projects and programs that improve quality of life and independence for older adults.

During her time in graduate school, Erika served as a volunteer docent at the Jewish Museum of Maryland (JMM) and now sits on the Board. We spoke to Erika to discuss her involvement with the JMM, what the future of the museum holds, and how young adults can meaningfully get involved in agencies of The Associated.

Why the JMM?

I’ve always been interested in Jewish history, stemming from my days at Beth Tfiloh. During college, I interned at the Jewish Museum and enjoyed it so much that when I found extra time during graduate school, I decided to return and volunteer as a docent.

Following graduation, my husband and I were living in Harbor East and very active in B’nai Israel Congregation, which is located right next to the museum. Therefore, I had a vested interest in helping the neighborhood thrive. I met with Marvin Pinkert, the former executive director of the museum, and he explained the vision of the museum and its future presence in Jonestown. As the JMM looks to become more inclusive in various ways, the board was eager to add a new member from a less represented age group.  And that’s when I joined the board.

Shortly after joining, I became a member of the Visioning Committee, which was formed to guide the museum’s physical expansion. Our goals were ambitious for a tight timeline, including hiring an architecture firm, formulating stakeholder conversations, and providing feedback on initial plans. It was such a privilege to be a part of this process, which at its core was trying to define how the JMM’s footprint could shape Baltimore Jewish Community and Jonestown Community. Unfortunately, the project was put on hold because of COVID-19, but I hope to continue to be involved when it resumes.

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The Associated Contributors

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