Associated Women Year in Review

The following programs and initiatives represent the breadth and depth of Associated Women. These updates reflect the achievements of the past fiscal year, July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

Chapter Two

Chair: Karen Singer
Professional Partner: Michelle Ostroff
Participants: Lisa Abrams; Liora Brunn; Jill Eidelman; Pam Friedman; Paula Himeles; Bonnie Katz ; Karen Oppenheimer; Paula Pearl; Jill Sapperstein; Jessica Silverman; Vered Taylor; Terri Weisbord; Ilene Wise

Chapter Two concluded its year, which ran from September 2021 to May 2022, with 13 women completing the program.

  • Participants learned about agencies and programs from the executives and lay leadership at the Pearlstone Center, JCC, JVC, Myerberg Senior Center (which was an incredibly impactful visit), CHANA, Israel & Overseas, and the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
  • Michelle Gordon, The Associated’s Chief of Staff, shared the work of the Antisemitism Task Force.

Along with learning about Associated agencies and programs, the women benefited from topics on personal growth, such as:

  • How to create sacred space
  •  What “masks” we wear
  •  How to be your authentic self
  • How to tap into your own special gifts to help grow community.

Karen and Michelle met with each of the participants individually to gauge their interest for further involvement in The Associated system and look forward to working with them in the future. Some of the agencies where women will be placed included:

  • Hillel
  • The Associated
  • Jewish Community Services
  •  Pearlstone

Michelle and Karen are still working with others to find the right fit for them.

In terms of fundraising:

  • The cohort produced one new Keynote donor ($1,000 or more)
  • Household donations from this group have grown by just over eight percent since last year.
  • We have 100 percent participation from the cohort, with everyone making pledges to the 2022 Annual Campaign.

Two of the members initiated a Book Club which we believe (and hope) will last beyond the program year.  The group formed tight bonds and were very supportive of each other during the year as various life events and challenges occurred.  If you see any of the members of this cohort, please ask how they enjoyed the program and getting to know new friends!

Dignity Grows

Chair: Shelly Malis
Professional Partner: Melinda Michel
Committee:  Amy Blavatt; Arlynne Brown; Rebecca Fruman; Joy Katzenberg; Laurie Rosen and Berry Sachs.

This hands-on volunteer initiative launched in Baltimore in fall 2021.

The project, which started at the Jewish Federation of Hartford (CT), provides totes of feminine and hygiene products for distribution to partner organizations in the Jewish and general communities.

This program began in response to the issue of period poverty: one in five American women cannot afford monthly menstrual and comprehensive hygiene supplies. This lack of supplies creates barriers to education, employment and social and religious connections.

Our chapter hosted four packing parties in the first year, compiling 700 totes that were distributed among non-profit organizations in the Jewish and general Baltimore community:

  • Beans and Bread
  • Cavanagh House
  • Helping Up Mission
  • Jewish Community Services
  • Shalom Tikvah

Participants at the events included:

  • Chapter Two alumni and current class members
  • Sisterhood members at Chizuk Amuno Congregation
  • Sisterhood members at Har Sinai-Oheb Shalom Congregation
  • Moms on a Mission Volunteam members

The committee will meet over the summer to add new members and plan programs for the coming year.

Inspired Women’s Project (IWP)

Chairs: Talya Knable and Mindy Silverman
Professional Partners: Daniela Levine and Jennifer Millman
Participants: Allison McFaul; Amy Uddeme; Elyse Schraeder; Emily Taylor; Jayne Havens; Joanna Rogers; Julie Levi; Julie Cohen; Kimberly Maglin; Kimberly Wynn; Lauren Ades; Mindi Levin; Rachel Cohn; Rachael Abrams; Randi Turkel; Sharon Resnick; Stacey Verstandig; Terry Golaner; Wendy Bronfein; Wendy McChesney

The third cohort of the Inspired Women’s Project started its journey in January 2022 with 20 participants.

The women of IWP will be in community, learning, dreaming and growing together for a full year with topics that include personal growth, spirituality, Israel engagement and philanthropy, all through a female lens.

In addition to monthly meetings, the women will travel together to Israel in October 2022. The unifying trait of the women in the cohort is that they are all Jewish mothers who have children under the age of 18. Aside from that, the women vary in terms of their prior knowledge of and giving to The Associated. Participants are asked to give at a leadership level to The Associated’s annual campaign.

Jewish Professional Women (JPW)

Chairs: Dori Chait and Tracee Fruman
Professional partner: Daniela Levine
Committee: Cheryl F. Abrams; Hindy Abramson; Robin S. Belsky; Kohli Flick; Regan La Testa; Deborah A. Lubliner; Devorah Miller; Jana Ponczak; Melanie D. Shapiro; Ilana Subar; Monica H. Susel; Claire M. Tesh; Heidi Topaz       

JPW’s Kickoff event with businesswoman Lisa Friedman Clark was a great success:

  • Over 100 attendees gathered for the daytime virtual program.
  • Lisa inspired the group with her story of strength, resilience and “dancing through the raindrops.”

Letters to My Younger Self was another outstanding offering, chaired by Robin Belsky, Dori Chait and Heidi Topaz:

  • Robin also moderated the program and masterfully encouraged meaningful stories and deeply personal details from our two guests: Brenda Brown Rever and Beth Blauer. They were two powerhouse female leaders with touching and heartfelt stories.

JPW Happy Hour on May 24 was a wonderful in-person event that attracted many new attendees. Lots of great conversation and networking took place. We are so thrilled that we were able to have an in-person event and are looking forward to the next one, hopefully in the fall.

Jewish Women’s Giving Foundation

Chair: Amy Sloane
Professional Partner: Jennifer Millman

The Jewish Women’s Giving Foundation, 125-women strong, concluded its 18th year of grant making, by awarding over $150,000 to organizations in Baltimore and Israel that support and empower women and girls.

The foundation was pleased to tackle issues such as:

  • Access to breast cancer diagnostic appointments,
  • The protection of Israeli women exiting abusive marriages
  • and immigrant survivors of gender-based violence.

The foundation is proud to be funding a new initiative at Jewish Community Services, Seeds of Hope, that supports Jewish women experiencing infertility.

Thanks to the work of Education Chairs, Barb Miller Siegel and Leslie Lichtenberg, the membership learned through a series of inspiring Wonder Women programs. From the Baltimore City Health Commissioner to local nonprofit executives, from the parallels between racism and Anti-Semitism to learning about how artists depict the experience of poverty at The Walters Art Gallery, the education helped the members to be better grantmakers and philanthropists.

If you are interested in learning about becoming a member of the Giving Foundation, please reach out to Jennifer Millman at

Lion of Judah Endowments

Chairs: Ronnie Glaser and Loryn Lesser
Professional partner: Donna Kasoff
Committee members: Elissa Ness, Clara Klein and Dixie Leikach

The Lion of Judah Endowment (LOJE) Committee wrapped up its third year with three new Letters of Intent for LOJE and six formalized LOJE agreements. 

Since the launch of the LOJE effort in 2020, our generous Lions have committed to approximately $7.8 million dollars in endowment toward the annual campaign. 

Their legacy to our community will live on in perpetuity and ensure a strong and vibrant future for the next generation.

If you would like to learn more about endowing your Lion gift, please contact Donna Kasoff at

National Women’s Philanthropy – Jewish Federations of North America

Baltimore members on the board: Wendy Miller, Amy F. Pollokoff, Nina Rosenzwog, Elise Rubenstein and Debbi Weinberg. Linda A. Hurwitz (life term) and Brenda Brown Rever (life term)

Associated Women holds several spots on the board of National Women’s Philanthropy (NWP) where our local leaders have the chance to shine on a national level. Wendy, Amy, Elise and Debbi attended a recent retreat in New York with their fellow board members.

Our board members will be instrumental in the fall as we recruit women to attend the International Lion of Judah Conference in Phoenix, AZ, in December.

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