Maury Garten and Katie Applefeld On Associated Campaign


As two new Associated Campaign Chairs, Maury Garten (Chair, Annual Campaign Strategies) and Katie Applefeld (Chair, Keynote Gifts) have a lot to say about The Associated.

The two new leaders have a long history of being involved, yet it is their passion for the work of the organization that truly inspires them.

We recently caught up with the two to see how they first became involved, why they took the position and what motivates them.

How did you first get involved with The Associated?

Maury: Long before anyone dreamed up Birthright, the BJC (Baltimore Jewish Council) had a vision to help create the next generation of Jewish leaders in Baltimore. They provided partial scholarships for a six-week trip to Israel, and I went there in 1983.

I was 16 and had an amazing experience. It was the first time I felt like I actualized my Judaism. It wasn’t just about studying in Hebrew school. This trip took Judaism out of the classroom and made it real. From the archeology to touching the Kotel to visiting Kiryat Gat – our sister city at the time – and seeing the impact we had on that community, I was personally touched. I became committed to becoming a leader in the Jewish community.

Katie: I didn’t grow up in an Associated family – my family always supported the organization but weren’t involved. So, I came to The Associated a little later in my life than Maury. It was when my first child was born. I was taking a hiatus from work. With a young child, I was beginning to feel that I wanted to have a role in perpetuating the Jewish future.

I became involved with Associated Women, Israel and Overseas Committee, traveled on missions to Israel, Berlin and Ethiopia and learned how The Associated cares about the community in so many ways.

Why this role?

Katie: I love that The Associated cares about so many facets of the community. In addition to being a safety net to so many people, they support areas we sometimes take for granted, like ensuring our children and teens are engaged Jewishly.

Maury: The Associated helps Jews regardless of need and age – from preschools to supporting Weinberg housing for older adults.

I recently sat on the Board of the JCC, and in partnership with The Associated, we developed a strategic plan to determine what the JCC will look like over the next five to 10 years. By having this partner, who helps fund the JCC, we could determine what is best for our community.

I’ve been to the international JCC conference. We are the only JCC that receives this kind of allocation. And we are considered the gold standard of the entire JCC movement in how we engage our members.

Katie: The Associated protects Jews, locally and internationally. For example, I was in Berlin for a Cabinet mission and I got to see and understand what has happened to the Jewish community since World War II. Seeing how we helped them revitalize the Jewish community, through our overseas partners, was so exciting.

Maury: How true. I had the opportunity to visit Camp Szarvas in Hungary, where Jews from over 30 countries rediscovered their Jewish identity. I was so moved by the experience and thrilled that we are supporting them through our overseas partners in order to ensure Jewish future around the world.

How has Associated involvement personally affected you?

Maury: I got involved when I was young in Young Leadership. The group was filled with single and recently married young adults. We began to celebrate Shabbat together; we were invited to each other’s weddings. I remember Thursday nights, bowling at the leagues at the Pikesville Fair Lanes. It was so much fun and became part of my wife’s and my social life.

Katie: The organization enriched me and my family and helped me connect with people. It helped me develop my leadership skills. I had the chance to co-chair with people I admired. The Associated paired up-and-coming leaders with established ones, and I always felt there was a partnership.

Maury: I would add that, thanks to my involvement, I had the opportunity to study Torah with Shoshana Cardin and co-chair a legacy event with Carole Sibel. I learned from the great Jewish leaders, and it is amazing to connect with these great pillars of the community.

What are your goals?

Katie: In this role, I want to make sure that every donor, regardless of their giving level, feels appreciated and valued. Every person in the community has a choice and I want people to know how grateful we are.

Maury: In keeping with the Torah value of helping others, by giving to The Associated, you are allowing us to fund our agencies’ work and to truly make a difference in someone’s life. That person could be a neighbor or a friend who needs assistance or a family member who wishes to access ways to engage in Jewish life. Your dollars are being put to good use.

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