Entering the Next Chapter: Women Find Meaning with Chapter Three

For close to four decades, Nina Rosenzwog admits there was hardly a day that went by when she wasn’t busy juggling her work as a school psychologist while making time for family, friends and her love of singing. Always active, she knew that now that she was retired, she wasn’t going to be able to sit back.

Buoyed by her passion to serve, and inspired by a lifetime of smart, interesting women she had befriended over the years, she wanted to provide a place where they could get together, learn and change the world.

“I felt there was something missing in the community for active women, who had worked all their life and now have free time to give back and make a statement,” says Rosenzwog.

That was when she approached Associated Women, and working with Michele Lax, Associated Women’s immediate past president, and Jessica Bronfein, chair-elect of Associated Women, Chapter Three was born. Geared for women ages 60 plus, Chapter Three provides them with access to interesting topics and speakers where they can engage in intimate settings.

“I’ve heard from women who want to learn more about Jewish customs to help them pass these rituals on to their grandchildren and women who want to understand finances and philanthropy. We want these women to craft the agenda around topics in which they are personally interested,” says Rosenzwog, the current chair of Associated Women.

Associated Women has been at the forefront of women’s programming for years. Its Inspired Women’s Project meets monthly for a year-long program that addresses topics such as Jewish traditions, women’s philanthropy and Israel engagement. Chapter Two is an educational and engagement program for Jewish women looking to grow that allows them to take part in experiential learning and hands-on social action while learning about The Associated and its agencies.

Chapter Three will draw upon the interests of volunteers to frame the topics addressed and empower these participants to organize the programming. Chapter Three recently received a grant from the Jane Krieger Schapiro Family Foundation, a supporting foundation of The Associated, which supports leadership development and programming for women through Associated Women.

In its first gathering held last fall, Chapter Three invited a small group of interested women to Rosenzwog’s home to hear from Dr. Yarden Fanta, the first Ethiopian woman to earn a doctorate in Israel. As part of the Sue Glick Liebman Visiting Israel Scholar program, the 50 attendees heard about the Fanta family’s journey from Ethiopia to Israel.

This spring, they participated in a White Glove Session at the Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University. The White Glove Session is a private viewing of rare books, seized by German soldiers, that were discovered in storehouses in Europe following World War II. The books were distributed to religious, cultural and educational institutions in the U.S. when their owners could not be located.

During the White Glove Session, Chapter Three women will have a chance to learn about the collection before donning white gloves to explore these rare books.

“I want to empower women to take on the burning questions they might have and invite their friends and make an event out of it. I want these amazing women who have such amazing energy to be inspired.”

For more information about Associated Women, go to associated.org/women.

This story originally appeared in the March issue of JMORE, a new publication that tells the vibrant story of Jewish Baltimore. Read today’s issue!

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