A Long, Rich History in Baltimore

Since 1920, great things have happened in Jewish Baltimore. For the past 100 years, The Associated, alongside our family of supportive agencies, has been the cornerstone of building a dynamic community that cares for one another and inspires our neighbors to work together to create a world of good.

The beginning of our story…
As the story of Jewish Baltimore unfolds, so does the story of The Associated. It’s the story of us: our family, our friends, our neighbors, all who have come before us and all who will come after us.

In 1920, the two separate organizations serving the needs of German Jews and Jews of Eastern Europe realized that merging together would give them greater strength to meet the needs of the community.

The Federated Jewish Charities and the United Hebrew Charities joined to form the Associated Jewish Charities (AJC). In its inaugural year, the AJC launched a fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $500,000.

A little more than 20 years later, The Jewish Welfare Fund (JWF) was formed to effectively respond to appeals made by national and overseas organizations, largely due to the Nazi atrocities. Although housed in the same facility and led by the same executive director, the two organizations did not fundraise together; in fact, they held their campaigns on alternating years to avoid competition.

In 1969, the AJC and JWF merged into a single entity with one board of directors and one mission: to provide for Baltimore, Israel and other Jews around the world. The Associated Jewish Charities of Baltimore became the corporate body tasked with overseeing legacy gifts, endowments, investments and real estate. The merger was tangible proof of the Baltimore community’s desire for unity and dedication to a singular goal: the betterment and enhancement of Jewish life at home and abroad.

In 1980, the Associated Jewish Charities and Welfare Fund moved its headquarters from the Straus Building at 319 W. Monument Street to the Krieger Building on W. Mount Royal Avenue where it still stands today.

In 1990, Associated Jewish Charities officially became known as The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore. The new name reflected The Associated’s role in the national Jewish federation movement. The Associated is one of 153 federations across North America under the umbrella of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Together, these organizations raise and distribute more than $3 billion annually.

The Federation movement protects and enhances the well-being of Jews worldwide through the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedakah (charity and social justice) and Torah (Jewish learning).

What started as a group of caring individuals looking to make a difference for their neighbors transformed into a bona fide organization that’s recognized as one of the top giving Jewish communities in North America. Throughout our journey, we have kept our promise of serving our constituents with urgency, compassion and a commitment to Jewish values. 

Our Mission
The Associated strengthens and nurtures Jewish life by engaging and supporting community partners in Greater Baltimore, Israel and around the world.

Our Vision
The Associated will secure the resources necessary to address the evolving landscape of Jewish life, ensuring a vibrant community for future generations.

We accomplish our mission and vision by transforming our values into action:

  • One People/Am Echad – A commitment to Klal Yisrael, the link between Jewish people in Baltimore, Israel and around the world
  • Repair the World/ Tikkun Olam – Making a positive difference in the world through the pursuit of social justice
  • Respect – A diverse Jewish community that is respectful, accessible and welcoming
  • Education – Life-long Jewish learning and experiences
  • Engagement – Active participation of people in the many facets of Jewish life
  • Innovation – Creative approaches to solving community issues
  • Collaboration – A network of strong local and overseas partners that provide for the social service, cultural, health and educational needs of Jews in Baltimore, Israel and throughout the world.

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