Cindy Kasner, a native Baltimorean, always knew she wanted to raise her family not far from where she grew up. She and her husband, Harvey, whom she met while attending optometry school in Philadelphia, believe that it is easier to connect to Judaism when living and working in a vibrant Jewish community. That’s why after Harvey completed his residency at GBMC they decided to settle in the Owings Mills area.
Cindy has always had an interest in helping others, both in her role professionally and as a volunteer with The Associated. This year, she is co-chairing The Associated’s Inspired Women’s Project with Amanda Levine. This year-long program seeks to bring together a cohort of 20 women who are at a similar stage of life. Cindy, who participated in the program last year, sees this as an amazing opportunity to provide the same great, life-changing experience to a dynamic group of local women. Let’s get to know Cindy…
What is The Inspired Women’s Project?
The Inspired Women’s Project focuses on Ourselves. Our Community. Our World. It includes a trip to Israel and monthly programs that are interesting, relevant and empowering. The program is designed to inspire women spiritually, connect them to their own Judaism and to our Jewish Community at large. The women’s trip to Israel is a special opportunity to share this experience together and further encourages us to lead, to give and to take action.
How is this trip to Israel different then when you were there previously?
While travelling to Israel with my family was an amazing experience, being there with a group of women affords you different opportunities. You get to just focus on you and immerse yourself completely in the experience, soaking it all in. Being able to share it with a group of women who are interesting, dynamic and smart is really the icing on the cake. We all feed off of one another during group discussions, Jewish learning and touring. Processing everything that we see and do with each other only enriches the experience.
As an optometrist working in Baltimore City how have you managed work/life balance?
I’ve been extremely lucky. Working part time all these years has allowed me the opportunity to arrange my schedule so that I wouldn’t miss my kids’ sporting events. Both my sons were three sport athletes growing up which pretty much guaranteed that there was a game every afternoon.
When did you first get involved with The Associated? Why?
I first became involved with The Associated in 2010 when I participated in Dor Tikvah, a women’s leadership development program. Although I was already contributing monetarily to The Associated, I was looking for a way to become more actively involved in a volunteer role. This program introduced me to all of the agencies that are part of The Associated and I learned how much the organization supports and serves the needs of the local Jewish community and Israel. I was given the opportunity to observe the Jewish Community Services’ board and found my place in serving on the Economic Services Council for several years. I also joined the Israel & Overseas Education & Travel Committee last year.
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
I would like to be Ina Garten’s sous- chef. I enjoy cooking and love her recipes.
What advice did you give your sons when they went off to college?
My sons both attend The University of Maryland…one’s a freshman and the other is a senior. I told them both to be true to yourself. Get a good education, have a good time but always remember our family values and keep them in mind as you venture out into the world.
What’s one thing you like about being an empty nester? One thing that you don’t like about being an empty nester?
I like having less laundry, less cooking and less cleaning. I don’t like coming home at 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon instead of watching my kids’ soccer, basketball or lacrosse games.
What’s your favorite app on your phone that you can’t live without?
Life 360 – shhh – don’t tell my kids!
Do you have a favorite line from a movie or a favorite quote that you like to use?
“What’s meant to be will always find a way”
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