When I moved to Baltimore ten years ago for graduate school, I never imagined that I would stay and raise my family here. But I met my husband, found a great professional community, and we started to build our life. Four and a half years ago, we moved to Towson from Baltimore City and quickly realized how difficult it was to find a Jewish community in Towson.
About two years ago, I was approached about taking on the role as the first Macks CJE Community Connector in the Towson area. The timing was not ideal as I was 9 months pregnant with my son Asher and had just started a new job at Beth El Congregation. However, on maternity leave, I made the decision to take the position as I knew that it would benefit my family’s Jewish identity as much as my own.
As a Connector my role is to build relationships with families who identify as Jewish and connect them to Jewish family programs. In addition, I often create my own community programs in the Towson area. I recently created a book club, Beyond the Cover, in collaboration with Beth El to bring together parents of young children to discuss relevant books and have a related hands-on experience. As a Jewish educator professionally, it is always my number one goal to make sure each program is not only engaging and community building but also elevates each person Judaically.
Personally, my own family’s Jewish connections have grown tremendously during my time as a Connector. We have built relationships with new Jewish families who we otherwise would have not known. What usually starts out as a “coffee date” with a mom and sometimes with children in tow, has often turned into holiday dinners and informal play days. Many families that I connect with in Towson are also transplants to Baltimore and do not have family in the area.