Nancy Kutler, president of the Jewish Museum of Maryland’s (JMM) Board of Trustees and active community member, talks about finding a ‘second career’ as a volunteer, post-retirement.

How many years must you live here before you can actually say you are “from” the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area?
Nancy grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and moved to the area for her husband’s job back in 1982. Yea, we think that counts.

A career path in Jewish communal service
As a former middle/high school English teacher during the time of a recession, Nancy was considering a career change as she and her husband were planning their move to the DMV area. “I had always been very active on a volunteer basis, as a teen and a young adult, in Jewish causes. I had just never realized that it would be a career for me. So, when I came to this area, I went right to graduate school for a double master’s in social work and Jewish history.

First job post-graduate school?
“I graduated in 1984 and started my career at The Associated where I retired from in 2016. For half of my time at The Associated I worked in community planning and allocations and the other half was spent in a newly created department at the time, called the Center for Funds and Foundations, which was designed to provide direction and advice to donors with supporting foundations and donor-advised funds at The Associated.”

How have the priorities shifted over the years?
“We definitely look more at embracing diversity and outreach to different populations and causes today. We are really seeing a much larger tent in terms of our efforts to be more inclusive. Also, social justice is a big piece now…repairing the world more broadly. By way of example, I sit on the Blaustein Fund Selection Committee and so many proposals that we are considering this year integrate care for the environment, something that would not have been proposed many years ago.”

Volunteer work at the JMM
“After retirement, I got involved with the JMM sort of organically and it turned out to be a really good match. I started there volunteering as a docent where I drew upon my teaching background. Eventually, I was part of the development committee and then sat on the board where I became president in 2020.

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