Shari Malinow, current member of the Baltimore-Ashkelon Partnership transition and engagement committee, has been involved in the Baltimore Jewish community for many years. We sat down and talked with her about family, staying physically and mentally fit and remaining involved in the community she loves.
It has been two years since we were in Israel -seeing and enjoying Ashkelon. I have been in contact with friends that I met through the Baltimore-Ashkelon Partnership. I feel so helpless and can’t imagine what they and their families are experiencing. My daughter is also in touch with friends from Ashkelon. In fact, one friend from eighth grade (both attended Krieger Schechter Day School) shared a video from Israel of himself and a neighbor, an 80-year old man who was alone in his home when a missile bombed. The video was recorded just minutes later and the man was confused and distressed. This is so heartbreaking. I continue to send wishes and prayers for peace.
I grew up 30 minutes from NYC in a small town called Maplewood, NJ. I met my husband, Lou, at the University of Delaware. We were each in the unique position of being the only Jewish member of our respective fraternity/sorority. On our initial date, he offered to cook me dinner. Though I’d love to say he prepared an incredibly romantic full-course meal, that didn’t happen. He cooked tater tots, burgers on the grill and frozen vegetables, but we connected and this began our lifelong journey together. We now have three wonderful kids, all thriving at different stages of life, and Lou and I will celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary soon.
I had always been involved with my children’s pre-school at the JCC as PTA President and then working as the director of Noah’s Ark, the summer camp program. When my daughter returned from her summer with Baltimore Onward Israel, she inspired me to get more involved in the Jewish community again. I connected with the The Associated through the Baltimore-Ashkelon Partnership. I participated on several boards and ultimately took a position as the Chair of the Baltimore-Ashkelon Partnership (BAP). I continue to be involved in BAP as well as serve on a committee for 4Front. It’s become incredibly meaningful for me to be a part of something bigger and to give back to the community. These committees have introduced me to so many interesting and amazing people from whom I’ve learned new skills and personally grown.
The three words that I would pick to describe me the best are: organized, kind and committed.
This past year, COVID reinforced the importance of family time. Many of us experienced the gift of having older children return home and this time was precious. The pandemic forced us all to reevaluate what is most important and, for us, it’s the relationships we have with each other. Our kids have embedded in them the same sense of family and they are all kind and committed as well. I bake challah most Fridays and have not missed a Shabbat since the lockdown. I also like to exercise hard, hike and watch movies with the family. I love researching new hiking trails to try and since I am a Master Gardener Intern, I have been learning more about native plants, trees, and wildlife.
I enjoy studying with my Partners in Torah mentor who is orthodox and from the Brooklyn area. I have been doing this for the last 3.5 years and we read books in English and have wonderful discussions. Although I am conservative, she does not judge me and behaves more like a teacher than a preacher. She and I discuss Torah stories and their underlying messages in great detail and she brings a deep level of understanding that I appreciate.
Life is not a spectator sport.
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