A new program that promotes healthy aging … a new vision for the Jewish Museum of Maryland … an exciting national announcement. Here are five things to know about The Associated this spring and summer.
This month, The Associated and partner agencies launched a brand-new, innovative network to help older adults live their best life. Supported by Irene and Robert Russel and family and the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation, AgeWell Baltimore, a Centennial initiative, is the place to go for resources and guidance to support independence and promote healthy aging.
AgeWell Baltimore Specialists connect older adults and their caregivers to over 40 coordinated services and programs that include: counseling and family support, housing communities, eldercare consultation social, wellness and volunteer opportunities and more. This free service is open to the entire Baltimore community.
The program is a collaboration between The Associated and its agencies, CHAI, CHANA and Jewish Community Services. To learn more, go to agewellbaltimore.org or contact an AgeWell Specialist at 410-500-5328.
This January, Sol Davis joined the Jewish Museum of Maryland as its new executive director. Now several months into his tenure, this former executive director of the Jewish History Musuem and Holocaust History Center in Tucson, AZ is looking ahead to how the museum will evolve post-pandemic.
Building off the move that accelerated museums’ foray into the digital sphere, Davis sees I see the museum as a hybrid model of digital and in-person programming and exhibits. “I also believe we have this opportunity to create experiences that not only look back at our history but to enrich Jewish life in the present and re-imagine and build our Jewish future. I want to create a participatory museum where everyone is part of creating this future.”
For Davis that means making testimony a centerpiece, using human voice to increase intimacy. “I see the JMM collecting the community’s stories and using them as a springboard for public programs and exhibitions. Everything from family photos, recipes, record collections, documents, videos, ephemera and most importantly voices.”
One of those projects we are working on is 2121 Ancestral Dreaming, where the community can share its hopes and wildest dreams for the Jewish community in 2121. More to come soon.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many community members faced food insecurity. As a result, CHAI, Pearlstone and Jewish Volunteer Connection took the lead in addressing this crisis in Baltimore.
From JVC’s Bunches of Lunches program and the nutritious meals cooked and delivered by Pearlstone to CHAI’s weekly food distributions at Fallstaff Elementary/Middle, a Baltimore City food site, this past year, The Associated system and its volunteers provided more than 126,000 meals and boxes of food to individuals facing food insecurity.
Now that the good weather has arrived, Gordon Outdoors is opening with a second season of programming that includes classic movie nights (think Casablanca), Israeli art house films and recorded performances that include Ballet Theatre of Maryland’s The Little Mermaid, held in conjunction with a Baltimore County Project Grant. A new Teen Drop-Off series will include six evenings of pop culture films with a special gathering space for area teens to connect with the J’s 4 Front team.
In other news, beginning July 1, the JCC will bring its extensive expertise in early childhood learning to the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation’s E.B. Hirsh Early Childhood Center. Through this new initiative, the JCC will offer day-to-day management and professional development to the E.B. Hirsch Early Childhood Center as well as opportunities for collaboration with the JCC Association of North America and its Sheva Center: Innovation in Early Jewish Childhood Education and Engagement.
At the same time, this fall, the JCC will repurpose the Meyerhoff Early Learning Center space at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC into a family engagement hub, with the support of the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds. The space will be used for drop-in play, Jewish programming, enrichment classes, birthday parties and more.
Over the past two decades, Pearlstone has developed a reputation as a leader in Jewish environmental education. It is for that reason that TEVA, an immersive program that connects Jewish youth to nature and tradition, has made the campus its national headquarters.
As the new headquarters, Pearlstone will steward the program, continuing to transform Jewish education through experiential learning that fosters Jewish, ecological and food sustainability.
Currently Teva’s signature program, Shomrei Adamah (Guardians of the Earth), is a four-day overnight experience for fifth and sixth grade Jewish day school students. Educators help students explore nature through such activities as music, crafts, meditation and nature walks, while integrating these experiences with Jewish thought. Over the years, the program has built upon Judaism’s deep roots in ecological wisdom to address environmental justice, climate change and more.
Teva, one of the most significant JOFEE (Jewish Outdoor Food Faming and Environmental Education) programs in North America has reached thousands of Jewish day school students. In the past 15 years since Pearlstone has operated Teva programs, they have impacted eight schools in the Chesapeake region.
The program is held in partnership with Hazon.
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