Meet Our Board

FY17 Officers


Linda A. Hurwitz

Chair of the Board

Linda A. Hurwitz is the immediate past National Campaign chair of The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). She is a former president and past chair of National Women’s Philanthropy (NWP), and recently served as JFNA’s National Training chair. She also served as the 2009 Campaign Chair for The Associated and was the federation’s Young Women’s Leadership chair, Women’s Department Campaign chair, Major Gifts, New Gifts and Upgrade chair. Linda is a former chair of Planning and Allocations for The Associated. A founding co-chair of the Ashkelon Partnership with Baltimore, she has served as chair of The Associated’s Commission on Israel and Overseas. She is also a past president of the Board of Trustees of the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community Day School. Linda has received all three of The Associated Young Leadership Awards. She is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Foundation and the ACHARAI: Shoshana S. Cardin Leadership Development Institute. 

She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Duke University in Education, and earned a Master’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University in Administration and Supervision of Education. Linda and Steven have been married for 34 years, are the proud parents of Lauren (David), Michael and Andrew and new grandparents to Max.

Debra S. Weinberg

Chair-Elect; Chair, Integrated Financial Resource Development

Presently, Debra S. Weinber is chair-elect of the Board of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation and chairs the Integrated Financial Resource Development Department. Debra served as the Executive Director of ACHARAI: The Shoshana S. Cardin Leadership Development Institute from 2005-2015. Prior to ACHARAI, “Debs” served for 10 years as the Director of The Darrell D. Friedman Institute for Professional Development (DFI) at the Weinberg Center. Debra is a graduate of the Georgetown University Leadership Coaching certificate program, with particular interest in board development for not-for-profit organizations, and leadership development for volunteers and executives. In addition to serving as chair of The Associated’s Annual Campaign and vice chair of Community Planning and Allocations, Debra has chaired the Israel and Overseas Committee and the Resource Development Cabinet at The Associated. She has also served as the international Chair of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI), and, most recently, agreed to serve on the Advisory Board of the University of Michigan Hillel. She earned an M.A. in Modern Jewish History from the Baltimore Hebrew University and an M.S.W. from the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work, with a certificate in Jewish Communal Service from the Baltimore Institute for Jewish Communal Service (BIJCS), now separated into DFI and the Baltimore Hebrew Institute (BHI) at Towson. She is the 2015 recipient of the Daniel Thursz Distinguished Jewish Communal Service Award.

She is happily married to Joe Weinberg, her high school sweetheart, and they have successfully raised three children, Jenna, Daniella and Ben, to be "upstanders."

John Shmerler

Chair, Annual Campaign

John Shmerler is a leader in the luxury jewelry, watch and diamond retail industry. John owns retail stores in Baltimore that operate under the name of Radcliffe Jewelers. In addition to the retail jewelry stores, John is a partner and active participant in Fine Life Media, the publisher of Iw Magazine. Iw is the only monthly publication dedicated to the watch enthusiast. He is one of five retailers representing the United States on the board of Foundation de la Haute Horology, an international organization focused on the promotion of high watchmaking. John most recently served as chair of marketing for The Associated, John helped lead the task force responsible for the redesign of The Associated’s award-winning website. He also served as co-chair of Men’s Night Out in May 2015. In addition to working with The Associated, John serves on the board of Sinai Hospital, where he co-chaired the 2010 Gala that raised in excess of $3 million for the organization. He is Vice Chair of Port Discovery Children’s Museum, serves in the board of The First Tee of Baltimore, and sits on the regional board of BB&T Bank.

Personally, John graduated from Bucknell University. He and his wife, Laura, have three children: Ben, Sarah and Natalie.

Beth H. Goldsmith

Chair, Community Planning and Allocations

Beth H. Goldsmith was born in Philadelphia, raised in Baltimore, and is a cum laude graduate of Goucher College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Education. She also holds a Certificate of Advanced Study in Education from the Johns Hopkins University. Beth’s involvement with The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore began in 1978 when she joined Young Women’s Leadership, and continued as she took on a series of campaign roles, from Worker Training to Super Phone Day Chair. She served as Women’s Campaign Chair for the 1986 Campaign. Beth, and her late husband, Harold Goldsmith, moved to Aspen, Colorado, in 1987 where she continued her community involvement as a member of the boards of The United Jewish Appeal Aspen Valley Campaign, and the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation. She also served as Chair of the Board of The Aspen Country Day School, and as President of Les Dames d’Aspen, and the Aspen Youth Center. Returning to Baltimore in 2006, she became reengaged with The Associated through her work with the Center for Community Engagement & Leadership (CCEL), serving on its Executive Committee and Co-Chairing Chapter Two. After graduating from ACHARAI: The Shoshana S. Cardin Leadership Development Institute, Beth served as General Campaign Chair for The Associated's 2012 Annual Campaign. She is a member of The Associated's Board of Governors and Board of Directors, and, after completing three years as Co-Chair for Israel and Overseas, she served as Philanthropic Planning and Services Chair. She is a member of the Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency for Israel, and the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America, where she serves on the Development Cabinet. A member of the Board of the Chizuk Amuno Congregation, she chairs the Development Committee, and serves on the Board of the Chizuk Amuno Foundation. Beth is Chair of the Board of Eastern Savings Bank and President of The Goldsmith Family Foundation.

Philip E. Sachs

Chair, Philanthropic Planning and Services

Philip E. Sachs is a Partner of WMS Partners, LLC. Prior to joining WMS Partners, he was Senior Vice President at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Pete has more than 48 years of investment management experience, including 29 years with Legg Mason Inc., where he worked as a senior executive in the asset management division. He also served as President and CEO of Legg Mason Capital Management, which he founded. He led the firm’s growth to $5.3 billion in assets under management, serving both individual and institutional investors. He received his B.S. degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance and Marketing, from Washington University in St. Louis. Pete serves on the boards of five endowments and foundations in the Baltimore area. Previous Pete served as the Treasurer of the Board of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore and is immediate past Chair of the Associated Jewish Charities of Baltimore, which is responsible for managing the real estate on which Associated agencies operate, investing the endowment and other funds of The Associated and establishing policies and procedures to ensure more efficient management.

Morry Zolet

Chair, Marketing

Morry Zolet is a Senior Vice President at Morgan Stanley’s Lutherville, MD branch. Morry Zolet has appeared nationally as a panelist on PBS’s Wall Street Week and as a Wall Street commentator on Baltimore’s WBAL. Morry’s insights and market analysis have been frequently quoted in the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Business Journal and various other publications. He has taught investments at the Johns Hopkins University Odyssey program and in 2009, Morry was recognized by Barron’s as one of the Top 1,000 Financial Advisors in the country, one of only twenty advisors chosen from the state of Maryland. Morry began his career in 1986 with Ferris, Baker Watts, Inc., rising to become a member of the firm’s Retail Advisory Board and a Senior Vice President. In 1997, Morry was honored by the Baltimore Business Journal as one of Greater Baltimore’s “40 Under 40” most influential business leaders. He joined Morgan Stanley in their Lutherville office in April 2000. Morry graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park as a Dean’s List member with a BS degree in Finance. He earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™(tm) designation from the College of Financial Planning in Denver, CO. Morry also holds the title of Family Wealth Director and is recognized by the NFLPA (National Football League Players Association) as a Registered Players Financial Advisor.

Morry resides in Owings Mills, MD with his wife Lisa and their three daughters: Alyson, Lindsay and Cara.

Michele Lax

President, Associated Women

Michele Lax has been involved at the Associated since she moved here 30 years ago. Most recently, she served as the Women’s Campaign Chair in 2013-14, and serves on the Associated Women’s Executive Committee and The Associated’s Board of Directors. She is a past president and a Board member of the Pearlstone Center. She was the founding co-chair of the Hadassah Brandeis Book Club and continues to play an active role. Ms. Lax is a past board member for the Baltimore Jewish Council, a past board member for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and is involved with AIPAC. She and her husband have chaired numerous fundraisers together for such organizations as LifeBridge Health, Beth Tfiloh Congregation and the Jewish National Fund. For 22 years, she was part owner and board member of Autronic Plastics, Inc. In a former life, Ms. Lax worked as a corporate attorney in New York City at Willkie, Farr and Gallagher, in Baltimore at Whiteford, Taylor and Preston and as the managing partner of Mehlman and Lax.

She is the mother of three – Ariel, who currently lives in NYC, works for Google and is getting married this coming year; Zack, who just moved back to Baltimore after graduating from Wharton and is joining his father's investment advisory team at Deutche Bank; and Julia who is a rising junior in high school at Roland Park Country School this fall and is participating in the Diller teen leadership program this year. Her husband, best friend and underwriter is Barry Garber. Her hobbies include yoga, cooking, reading and golf.

Linda S. Elman

Chair, Women’s Campaign

Linda S. Elman has been a noted community activist and entrepreneur in Baltimore for over 30 years. Much of her communal work is focused on the Jewish community. She has served on the boards of AMIT Women, The Talmudical Academy PTA, the Federation of Jewish Women’s Organizations of Maryland, and as President of the Levindale Auxiliary. Linda has held a number of positions at The Associated, serving as Chair of Baltimore Shalom, Purim Event Chair, Programming Chair for The Associated’s Young Leadership Council and a member of the board of Associated Women. She has also served as a board member of Acharai. Linda has worked on a number of events for her synagogue, Shomrei Emunah, and Baltimore Bikur Cholim. For over 10 years, Linda has dedicated her volunteer efforts toward enhancing women’s Jewish education as president of Women’s Institute of Torah. She is Deputy Chair of the Women’s Division of Israel Bonds of Baltimore and next year will become the Chair. She is also a board member at Menucha.

Born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey, Linda simultaneously received her B.S. from Stern College and M.S. in Jewish Education from Ferkauf College of Yeshiva University in New York. Her first career was as a Jewish educator. She was also a fellow of the Acharai: The Shoshana Cardin Jewish Leadership Institute. Linda and her husband, Michael, maintain homes in Baltimore and in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. They are the devoted parents of four children, Ari, Aliza, Dov and Rena, proud in-laws to Inbal, Nina, and Moshe, and doting grandparents of 10 grandchildren. Linda and her business partner, Sima Goldstein, own two local businesses: Hats to Hose, a premier woman’s fashion boutique, and The Candy Store, Baltimore’s only kosher candy store.

Robert Russel

Chair, Audit

Robert Russel has recently retired as President of R & H Motor Cars. Robert has chaired numerous committees at The Associated and currently serves as Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of both the Board of Governors and Board of Directors. In addition to his work at the Associated, Robert is a board member of LifeBridge Health.

A long-time member of Beth Tfiloh Congregation, Robert and his wife, Irene, have two children, Becky Brenner and David Russel, and are proud grandparents of five grandchildren.

P. Justin (P.J.) Pearlstone


P. Justin (P.J.) Pearlstone is a Financial Advisor with UBS Financial Services Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland with over 10 years of experience as an investment professional in the financial services industry. A native of Baltimore and graduate of The Park School, P.J. earned his B.S. in finance from The University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business. P.J. is a devoted philanthropist and leader who is involved with many organizations in the Baltimore community. Most recently, he was appointed Secretary of the Board of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore after many years of involvement on The Associated Board of Directors. He also serves as a member of JFNA’s Delegate Assembly. In 2016, P.J. completed his two year term as President of The Pearlstone Center Board. Currently, P.J. also serves on the Board of Directors at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School. He also is a Director of the Pearlstone Family Fund and is a member of the AIPAC National Council. In addition his involvement at a board level he also serves on various committees for the Associated and other organizations including, as a member of the Investment Management Committee of the JCIF, the AJC Real Estate Committee, and The Park School Investment Committee. In 2012, P.J. was awarded the Harry Greenstein Young Leadership Award by The Associated, and he recently completed his six year term as a member of the Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) Young Leadership Cabinet. P.J. lives in Pikesville with his wife Karen, their sons Zach and Jordan.

Fritzi K. Hallock


Fritzi K. Hallock serves as Vice President of The Associated Jewish Charities of Baltimore, Treasurer of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, chair of the Finance Committee of The Associated, and member of the Investment Management Committee of the Jewish Community Investment Fund.

Prior to these current roles, Fritzi has been active in most every part of The Associated. Highlights of her involvement began in 1984 as a Big Sister through the Jewish Big Brother Big Sister League, and include being a recipient of the Harry Greenstein Young Leadership Award in 1998 and serving as a president of CHAI - Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc. 2006-2008.

In addition to her volunteer positions with The Associated, Fritzi currently serves as a Director and Vice President of the Kolker-Saxon-Hallock Family Foundation, Inc.; is a member of the Cardiovascular Advisory Board for the Johns Hopkins University Heart and Vascular Institute; and is a member of the Board of Overseers for the School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania. Professionally, Fritzi serves as co-head and Chief Investment Officer of The Greenland Corporation.

Fritzi is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. degree from The Wharton School and a B.A. in Urban Studies. She and her husband of 25 years, Bob, are proud residents of Baltimore City. Together they have three children and one grandson.

Nancy Hackerman

President, Associated Jewish Charities

Nancy Hackerman is the Managing General partner of Hackerman Holdings, LLC, President of NHP, Inc., and a Director of the Hackerman Foundation. Nancy presently serves on the National Board of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, as a Director of the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, and as a board member of Sinai Hospital. She has served as first Vice President of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Secretary of the Board of Sinai Hospital, board member of the Peabody Conservatory of Music, the Maryland Zoological Society, Central Scholarship Bureau, and the American Jewish Committee. She was a founding member of the Baltimore Women’s Giving Circle and a Trustee of the Harry Weinberg Family Foundation. Nancy is an award-winning filmmaker and the author of Feature Film Location Management: a Manual.

Mark D. Neumann

Immediate Past Chair of the Board

Mark D. Neumann is Chairman of 510 Ventures, LLC. He has served as chair of The Associated’s Community Planning & Allocations Committee and as campaign chair. Mark, who is a past chair of Jewish Volunteer Connection and a past president of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, is also currently involved in several other organizations, including Bridges, AIPAC, Beth Tfiloh and Gilman School. He resides in Owings Mills with his wife, Robin, and three children: Paul, Andy and Chloe.

Rina Janet

Immediate Past President, Associated Women

Rina Janet devotes much of her volunteer time to The Associated, where she most recently served as the President of Associated Women. She was Women’s 2012 Annual Campaign Chair. She was the founding Chair of Chapter Two and was instrumental in the development of the program, concept and curriculum. Rina has also served in a variety of positions within the organized Jewish community, including Chairman of Women’s Division of Israel Bonds of Maryland, President of Levindale Auxiliary, and Co-chairman of Mitzvah 613, a year-long project of learning and activities centered around the writing of the first Torah written specifically for Beth El Congregation. Currently, Rina is Deputy General Chairman of Israel Bonds, Maryland. Rina and her husband, Howard, have wonderful children, Andrew, 28, and Adam, 26, who are both attorneys, and a lovely daughter-in-law, Corinne Janet. Rina was active at Gilman School when her sons were there having served as a member of the Board of Trustees and President of the Parents’ Association.

Rina graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Journalism, concentrating in Public Relations. She enjoyed a career in advertising before starting a family. Rina values the time she spends volunteering and feels that the friendships she gains along the way make the “work” doubly rewarding.

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