Meet Jodie Zisow-McClean


Originally from the Pikesville area, Jodie Zisow-McClean moved to Baltimore City in 1998 after graduating from Goucher College. An 8th grade Spanish teacher in the Baltimore City public school system, she has been a committed volunteer, focusing on social justice work.

This year, Jodie became the first LGBTQ Community Connector with The Macks Center for Jewish Education (CJE), an agency of The Associated.

Jodie became a Community Connector this past September, joining other first year connectors at a challenging time, with social distancing policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic severely limiting the opportunity for in-person gatherings. Even so, Jodie has still found ways to build a network of Jewish Families right in her own neighborhood and local community.

Why Did You Decide to Become a Community Connector?

I decided to be a Connector because community building is crucial for building movements towards social justice. Being a part of this network has pushed me to think of creative ways to stay connected with my parent friends and my broader community, especially during a time when it often feels easier to retreat.

During the pandemic, I have been focusing on having one-on-one conversation with other LGBTQ Jewish parents and parents who are committed to anti-racist education and action.

How Have You Helped Families in Your Role?

One simple way that I helped families stay connected in this role is by hosting a kids dance party on Zoom for Purim. For many of us in the LGBTQ community, Purim is an important holiday. Dance parties at home with my daughter, Miriam, have been a bright spot for me, keeping me moving and staying positive this year. It was amazing to have a dress up dance party complete with the amazing DJ Rosie on Zoom.

I have always loved the fact that it is a mitzvah to be happy even, and maybe especially, amidst challenges.

What Are Your Thoughts on Organizations and Communities Being More Vocal about Inclusivity?

For the Jewish community it is crucial for institutions to not just declare in a mission statement that they are “inclusive,” but to do the ongoing work of making that a reality. I’m particularly grateful for our congregation Hinenu – The Baltimore Justice Shtiebl, as a spiritual home, and to CJE’s Community Connector program to have this opportunity. It’s allowed me to focus on intentionally building community, especially with LGBTQ Jewish people and families.

I look forward to planning in-person events as the weather warms up!

What Do You Like To Do For Fun?

I love bicycling, I would say I am an avid bicyclist. I’m into roller-skating as well.

– – – –

Read more about CJE’s Community Connector program

For events in the Downtown Baltimore area, visit Jodie’s Facebook Group Page or email her directly.


Subscribe to our newsletter

The Associated is a home for everyone in the Baltimore Jewish community. We offer several email lists to help people find a community, engage with their peers and support Jewish journeys around the world.

Join Our Mailing List

Join Our Community

Small steps to make big impact in Baltimore, Israel and around the world


Subscribe to our newsletter

The Associated is a home for everyone in the Baltimore Jewish community. We offer several email lists to help people find a community, engage with their peers and support Jewish journeys around the world.

Join Our Mailing List
Skip to content
This Website is committed to ensuring digital accessibility for people with disabilitiesWe are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and applying the relevant accessibility standards.
Conformance status