Beth Goldsmith says that she is often told that she is great at giving parties.
Perhaps that’s why she didn’t shy away from the chance to serve as chair for the celebratory phase for The Associated’s Centennial and a chance to be its cheerleader.
Yet if you dig deeper, you will soon realize that being chair goes way beyond the fluff. For Beth, who has been involved with the organization for more than 40 years, The Associated, because of its life-changing work, has been a driving force in her philanthropic efforts.
“Over the past 100 years, The Associated has changed the face of the community,” says Beth. “That’s why, in my position, I want to raise the consciousness of who we are and invite everyone to celebrate these amazing accomplishments with us.”
To that end, Beth is leading the efforts to create opportunities for the community to come together. Whether it’s a giant Birthday Bash, an expanded block party, a community service project or simply a chance for generations of leaders and their families to return to Baltimore to celebrate where they came from and the difference they made, then Beth is at the forefront, working to get it done.
From Schoolteacher to Chair of the Board
In some ways, Beth has been involved in every leadership role offered throughout the organization. Yet, when she first became involved as a young schoolteacher in 1978, she never dreamed of where her journey would take her.
Her first volunteer opportunity began through the Young Women’s Leadership Council.
“I remember all the meetings were held during the day. I would call in sick one day a month because I really wanted to attend,” she recalls.
As Beth’s involvement and commitment to The Associated grew, she took on more and more challenges. She became Super Phone Chair (now Super Sunday) and in 1986 served as Women’s Campaign Chair.
In 1987, she moved to Aspen with her husband, Harold. Although she was not able to continue her volunteer efforts in Baltimore, she maintained her financial commitment to our campaign and joined the Board of UJA Aspen Valley. Harold died tragically in 1991.
Beth continued to live in Aspen for 15 years; then returned to Baltimore in 2006. She immediately jumped in, volunteering with The Associated, traveling on missions (she served as co-chair of the Israel and Overseas Committee) and serving as Annual Campaign Chair in 2012.
But in some ways, she says, it was seeing the headline on her husband’s obituary in The Baltimore Sun – “Philanthropist Goldsmith Dies…” that solidified her tireless efforts to give back.
“When I saw that headline in The Sun after Harold died, I knew he would be so proud to know that out of all the things he had done, ‘philanthropist’ would be his legacy,” she says. “We all won’t have a headline, but we all want to be proud of the legacy we leave.”
In the past few years, Beth has served as chair of Philanthropic Planning and Services and the Chair of The Associated’s Community and Planning department, which plans for the community’s future and makes funding decisions that will propel the community forward. She became The Associated’s Chair of the Board in July 2020.
Yet as she looks toward this Centennial year, Beth proudly talks about how The Associated makes all this good happen. She relishes the idea of speaking out about The Associated’s work and bringing people together over its great mission.
“I love to perform, yet I don’t have a singing voice,” she admits. “So, if I can use my platform to talk and inspire others … when I can bring people to tears with how we’ve made a difference in someone’s life, I feel that I am doing my job.”
But most importantly, she is looking forward to the community events. She jokingly adds, “After all, it takes a big party to celebrate. And I want you to know that everyone is invited.”
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