Meet Elizabeth Green

As a mother of four, Elizabeth Green cares passionately for her community at all levels.

That concern is reflected in the breadth of her volunteer activities, especially through her work with the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC). As a member of BJC's executive committee and former vice chair of the government relations committee, she has helped focus the Jewish community's attention on that cut across multiple layers of society – issues related to social justice, the environment and education.

“As a result of being involved with the BJC, I have been able to develop connections with the Archdioceses, and with advocates in the African American community,” she says. “We all live together, we all work together, and these issues touch us all.”

While Green was co-chair of the government relations committee, the committee arranged for Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger to educate the group about proposed changes to the state's “expungement” laws – the rules that say how long a criminal record stays on the books. Green explained that the purpose was beyond simply clearing a person’s record. “It has to do with employment and housing: People were being denied these opportunities based on convictions and even just charges from when they were much younger,” she says. BJC eventually took a stand in favor of relaxing the laws. “As a rule, we want people employed, we want people to have good housing.”

In another instance, Green's advocacy helped the Jewish community to understand the potential economic impact of proposed renewable energy standards. While favoring environmental protections, the organization expressed concern that poorer consumers should not have to bear the brunt of higher costs. “It might seem like a simple issue, but it is actually very complex, and so we tried to become educators on all sides of the issue,” she says.

Education also has been priority for Green. To that end, she recently brought her daughter Yakira to Annapolis to testify in a State Senate hearing on school funding. Though only in tenth grade at the time, “she was very poised as she spoke about the fact that many of her classmates cannot afford their education,” Green said. “I was really proud of her.” She also had the support of the Baltimore Jewish Council, and their partners, in receiving the Governor’s nomination to serve on the BOOST (Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today) Advisory Committee.

That experience aligns with Green's other work with The Associated's Jewish Professional Women group. “I am all about empowering women, empowering our girls and breaking down stereotypes about what Orthodox Jewish women can and can't do,” she says.

While these diverse issues have long held a central place for Green, it wasn't until she discovered BJC that she was able to effectively give voice to her concerns.

“It was through the Baltimore Jewish Council that I learned I could have a platform,” she says. “They work tirelessly on behalf of the greater Baltimore Jewish community, and that's what allows me to make these connections with our legislators, so that our voices can be heard.”

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