Empowering Women in Philanthropy: A Conversation with
Harriette Wienner

Harriette Weinner

Harriette Wienner is a volunteer extraordinaire, music enthusiast and lifelong animal lover.

As the new chair of women’s engagement and philanthropy for The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, Harriette sat down with us to talk about her Baltimore roots, high school musicals, love of Israel and long obsession with American singer, songwriter Stevie Nicks. 

A Proud “Baltimorean”

I’m proud to be one of those “born and bred Baltimore girls.” I attended Pikesville High School and I wear that badge of honor proudly. Meeting my husband during our high school years while working at Mike’s Pizza, a popular hangout in the ’80s, was a bonus. 

I grew up at Beth Israel, where I was named, had my bat mitzvah and eventually got married. However, when my kids started attending Beth Tfiloh (Dahan Community School) and wanted to join their friends at synagogue, we transitioned to Beth Tfiloh Congregation.

But my involvement with The Associated truly began when I wanted to connect with people my age and life stage. Someone suggested Dor Tikvah, a program at The Associated, as a way to achieve this.
The class was filled with young moms juggling life, just like me. That’s when I realized I had found my place within The Associated system.

Building Playgrounds and Family Bonds in Israel 

Israel has a special place in my heart. I first visited when I was just eight years old, and it was a restorative experience for my family, as we were still recovering from the loss of my father. I vividly remember planting a tree in his memory in the forest through the Jewish National Fund (JNF). I was wearing a yellow tube top and a floppy Coca-Cola hat. Did I mention it was the seventies?

It was a land that felt like home from the moment I stepped off the plane. When I think of Israel I’m reminded of the song by Diana Ross from the show The Wiz“When I think of home, I think of a place where there’s love overflowing. I wish I was home. I wish I was back there.” (Music plays a big role in my life by the way.)

Harriette Weinner and her husband Steve

We took our first family mission in 2008 with The Associated. Seeing Israel through the eyes of my children, who were young at the time, was truly magical. They were excited to learn about history and witness it come alive. Together, we helped build a park and playground in Ashkelon, known locally as Baltimore Park.

After becoming involved with the Baltimore-Ashkelon Partnership, now celebrating its 20th year, I can certainly say, without a doubt, there are people in Ashkelon who are part of my everyday life and my everyday thoughts, which is kind of cool. 

That being said, I know that most people have a complicated relationship with Israel and it’s obvious why. But, putting politics aside, you have to marvel at the accomplishment of this 75-year-old nation that has just built such success through innovation and resilience out of literal dust. 

All Things Musical

I love musicals. I love Broadway. I adore Stevie Nicks. If I ever were to meet her I would descend into a puddle of tears..In high school, I was in all the plays and choirs. I was Mabel in the Pirates of Penzance. I was Laurie in Oklahoma and I was Lucy in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown. I also attended the Peabody Conservatory where I learned to sing. 

Harriette Weinner as a child with her mom

Shaping Future Generations

My mother has been actively involved in philanthropic activities throughout her life. She was part of B’nai B’rith Women (now Jewish Women International) and continues to be engaged with Covenant Guild and Israel Connect through The Associated. Growing up, my siblings and I witnessed her dedication to giving back to the community. We learned that helping others is a meaningful way to live.

Empowering Women: The Vision for the Future

It’s really an exciting time to be a philanthropic influencer here in the Baltimore Jewish community. We did a strategic visioning process back in 2021 and learned that we really need to engage women and give them authentic opportunities to create real relationships with us and with each other.

My vision is to empower women as role models and advocates in our community. Women have always played influential roles. After all, their voices carry power. I want to provide women with a platform to share their experiences, contributions and the reasons they give and volunteer. 

Harriette Weinner bracelets

The Great American Philosopher, Taylor Swift

I took a page from Taylor Swift. She created a community around something so sweet and so simple as these little plastic bracelets with meaningful words and sayings on them. So, we decided to do something similar and chose four Jewish values: Shalom (peace), Ahavah (love), Chesed (kindness) and Tzedakah (charity). These values reflect the essence of what we do every day as women within The Associated. So, when women wear these bracelets, they can show them off and explain to others why they are passionate about giving back.

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The Associated is a home for everyone in the Baltimore Jewish community. We offer several email lists to help people find a community, engage with their peers and support Jewish journeys around the world.

Join Our Mailing List