Meet Linda G. Katz


Although Linda, mother of four and grandmother of six, did not grow up here, involvement in the Jewish community was a priority from the moment she made Baltimore her home. As a development professional in the Jewish community for more than 25 years, Linda’s latest role is the incoming chair of CHANA.

Charity Begins at Home

I grew up in Norfolk, Virginia in a conservative Jewish home with parents and grandparents who were involved in the Jewish community. I remember my parents’ first trip to Israel and there were always conversations about issues in the Jewish community. My upbringing has clearly informed a lot of what I do.

With my own children and grandchildren, we have always discussed the value of giving. At Chanukah each year I ask the grandchildren to decide on a charity that I contribute to on their behalf.  We talk about various social justice causes that interest them – usually something dealing with food insecurity or education.

No Stranger to The Associated and its Agencies

When I settled in Baltimore, I became involved in The Associated’s Young Women’s Leadership Council and served as chair. At the same time, I studied for two master’s degrees, and received an M.Ed. and an MA in Jewish Studies.

I worked as director of volunteer services at what was then called Jewish Family Services.

It was during the era of the massive immigration of Russian Jewish families to the area. With dedicated volunteers, I helped create a 100-page handbook for New Americans, written in English and Russian. I still have a copy.

At The Associated, I held several Women’s Department campaign portfolios and became vice president for education of the Women’s Department.  Always passionate about Jewish education, I spent many years on the board of the Macks Center for Jewish Education and served as president.

Cherished Treasures

In 1999, I was working for the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science and was sent to Israel for an orientation. It was during the Persian Gulf War. There were several SCUD attacks during my stay. One attack occurred while I was at the Laromme Hotel — now known as the Inbal.  I was shopping — determined to do my part to support the economy — when the alarm went off.  Everyone put on gas masks and climbed nine flights of stairs to the safe rooms.  (People were more concerned about chemical and biological warfare than standard bombs.)

When the all-clear sounded, we descended the nine flights — the people from the shop were standing at the bottom of the stairs holding the menorah I was considering — ready to negotiate.

That menorah is among my most meaningful pieces of Judaica.

Daily Habits to Keep a Strong Mindset throughout the Pandemic

During the pandemic, I have used the exercise equipment in my house almost daily. I have had time to read some of the books from my long list of recommendations. Of course, I talked with my mother, daughters and friends. A highlight has been to read to my youngest grandchild via Facetime several times a week. I also was determined to tackle some of those longstanding projects, especially the many boxes of photographs – taken before digital photography became the norm. I am still not finished, but now each daughter will have a box of photographic memories.

My work with CHANA and the Jewish Women’s Giving Foundation has definitely contributed to my sanity — helping me stay connected to the community and involved in a meaningful way.

CHANA

CHANA has evolved so much in the years that I have been on the board – starting with a total focus on domestic violence, the mission has broadened to encompass sexual trauma of children and adults and elder abuse. We have been able to expand our reach and educate the community through programming, education and fundraising events. Unfortunately, the pandemic has created heightened awareness of the issues of domestic violence, not just locally, but globally. In our amazing community, people have responded to this awareness with great generosity, because they really want to help.

Wish for the Baltimore Jewish Community

The Jewish community has done a remarkable job of adapting during this unprecedented time.

My wish is that, as we hopefully emerge from the pandemic, the community will have the resilience and creativity, strength and vision to successfully adapt again to meet the new challenges that will surely face us.


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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.

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