What’s New for ’22

From a new fertility support initiative to a program to help older adults in our community – here are five ways we are working to support the community in 2022. 

Three senior women taking photos in garden

1. Helping Older Adults Age Well in our Community

Did you know? According to the U.S Census Bureau (CDC), in less than 15 years, older adults will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. The Associated’s 2020 Community Study found that today, 19% of the Jewish community is over 65. And that number is growing. 

That’s why we are making it easy for older adults to access a full range of services so they can live independent and safe lives. 

To that end, we introduced AgeWell Baltimore. This Centennial initiative, supported by Irene and Robert Russel and Family and the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation will make our full range of services easy to access. A dedicated specialist will guide older adults and their caregivers to the resources they need – from mental health supports and financial guidance to community activities and housing options that will help individuals live independent and safe lives. The program is a collaboration between The Associated and its agencies, CHAI, CHANA and Jewish Community Services (JCS). Go to agewellbaltimore.org. And check out our recent In Perspective program, Aging Well in America: Preparing for our Future, to hear from local experts about what’s next.  

2. New Program Supporting Fertility Journeys 

We heard from you! Local individuals and couples shared with The Associated their desire to see the Jewish community offer more services for people navigating the psychological, social, familiar and economic stressors of fertility and family-building.  

From that, Seeds of Hope Was born. This new program provides a Jewish perspective to the fertility journey. In February, Jewish Community Services, which is spearheading this initiative, is partnering with the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation to hold a community-wide virtual education program.  

Pathways to Parenting will feature a professional panel discussing financial, legal, psychological, medical and spiritual aspects of fertility. In addition, as part of this effort, they trained mental health practitioners, Jewish clergy and other communal professionals to deepen their understanding and response to this issue. Learn about Pathways to Parenting here.

young adults having dinner

3. Finding Community Over Dinner

Looking to build a community with other young adults? Why not get together over Shabbat dinner? 

In a collaboration between The Associated and its young adult division, IMPACT, as well as Pearlstone and OneTable, young adults, 22-39, can bond over a meal and meet new people. 

We will help pay for the meal and provide the resources to make the evening special. And exclusively in Baltimore, Pearlstone will provide delicious, Kosher, farm-to-table menus on select dates. Learn how you can sign up to host or join a dinner.

4. Focus on Mental Wellbeing 

Recognizing the incredible toll, the pandemic has had on mental health, The Associated and its agencies are working to provide resources to support mental wellbeing. This past year, JCS provided 20,000 telehealth sessions, in addition to on-site sessions and prevention education. 

Some of those prevention programs were held in local schools and focused on suicide prevention, including: 

  • QPR (question, persuade and refer), an anti-suicide, certified program for middle and high school students. The program helps students understand when they should be concerned about a friend (versus when someone is unhappy because of a one-time incident like a bad grade); ways to encourage a classmate to talk about what’s bothering them and how to refer them to the best resources. Role playing is a critical component of the program. To date, The Park School of Baltimore, Friends School of Baltimore and Krieger Schechter Day School have participated. 
  • Mental Wellness 101.  This two-part program is designed for middle schoolers not comfortable talking about suicide. 

 Ari Israel, executive director of Maryland Hillel, will participate in the University of Maryland’s suicide prevention training — then train his staff this upcoming semester. Maryland Hillel also provides TLC (Tender Loving Care) packages for quarantining and sick students. 

Dr. Aviva Weisbord, A’H

5. New Annual Lecture Series Honors Dr. Aviva Weisbord, A’H

As the founder and executive director of SHEMESH, Dr. Aviva Weisbord, A’H’ left an indelible mark on the community. An advocate for children with learning difficulties, Aviva helped countless students succeed over the years through her leadership of this Associated agency. 

In memory of this dear friend and visionary, SHEMESH is launching The Aviva Weisbord A’H Family First annual lecture series. The inaugural event will be held January 25, featuring Rabbi Dr. Jack Schacter, Aviva’s brother-in-law. Register today at familyfirstlecture.eventbrite.com  

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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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