5 Things To Do This Week in Baltimore

Check out these great events for the whole family sponsored by The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore or Associated agencies.

Sunday, November 2
3:00 p.m.
8th Annual CineFest: Harbour of Hope
Gordon Center for Performing Arts
harbor

Join us for the Maryland premier of this heartbreaking but life-affirming documentary about the unbelievable life stories of three Holocaust survivors. Harbour of Hope tells the story of Irene, Ewa and Joe, who were among the nearly 30,000 survivors that were rescued from German concentration camps and sent to the peaceful harbor town of Malmö, Sweden.
Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 at the door, $5 student rush ticket. For information, go to jcc.org/gordon-center/2014-films/.

Tuesday, November 4
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
School’s Out: Make Your Voice Count
Jewish Museum of Maryland
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School’s out for Election Day so bring your children to a special program filled with interactive tours and hands-on activities to inspire a deeper understanding of citizenship. Visitors will enjoy a scavenger hunt in the Museum’s permanent exhibit, “Voices of Lombard Street,” meet Ida Rehr, a Ukrainian immigrant to Baltimore in the early 20th century, through the Leo V. Berger Immigrant’s Trunk Living History Performance (11:00 a.m.) and enjoy story time with PJ Library.For more information, go to jewishmuseummd.org/single/schools-out-make-your-voice-count/.

Wednesday, November 5
8:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Support Group for Parents of Children with Attention Issues
CHAI Conference Room
SHEMESH has partnered with CHADD of Greater Baltimore to present “ADHD and its Impact on the WHOLE Family.” The free program will feature Dr. Jean Hinlicky, a child psychiatrist in private practice who also consults for the Kennedy-Krieger Institute. She will talk about new ideas and approaches for how the family can best navigate this challenging issue. To register, call Gila Haor at ghaor@shemeshbaltimore.org or call 410-843-7588.

Thursday, November 6
10:00 a.m. or 7:00 p.m.
Talk Camp, Drink Coffee & S’more
Dunkin Donuts in Owings Mills Boulevard Shopping Center
camp 2

Second graders to high school seniors – there’s a camp experience for your child. Stop by the Dunkin Donuts in Owings Mills and sit down with Janna Zuckerman of The Center for Jewish Camping for a chance to learn about Jewish camp programs around the country and discuss what options best fit your family’s needs. For information, go to associated.org/talkcamp.

Thursday, November 6
Pre-Reception, 5:30 p.m.; Program, 6:30 p.m.
One Sole Can Make A Difference
Temple Oheb Shalom

Jane Weitzman

Jane Weitzman, former executive vice president of Stuart Weitzman, founding vice president of Stuart Weitzman Retail and author of Art and Sole, will speak about her book, community and philanthropy. Weitzman spearheaded philanthropy for the company by generating funds to support breast and ovarian cancer research and awareness. Cost is $30 per person for program, $50 per person for pre-reception, program and book. For information, go to associated.org/womenfallevent.

 

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12 Things We Learned About Millennials

By Sara Feldman and Jennifer Rudo
JCS Prevention/Education

millenial blog

It’s no surprise that Millennials are known as the generation that’s plugged in, but not connected. They may communicate often, but it’s more via social media than in person. We suspected there is more to them than people think. Because of this, Jewish Community Services (JCS) Prevention Education launched the “Millennial Voices” movement to give members of this generation the opportunity to speak their truths.

We invited Millennials to complete the phrase: “If you really knew me, you would know….”  After collecting thousands of responses through post cards and online, we reflected on what they were telling us.  Here is what we learned – the real secrets from real Millennials.

Millennials are:

1. #Selfconscious
“I hate my body”
”I am ugly … without my hair and make-up done”

2. #Optimistic
“I get depressed often but found that life is beautiful and worth it”
“My situation doesn’t define me”

3. #Infatuated
“I have been in love with you for years and every time I see you, I secretly hope  you will kiss me”
“I would marry you if you would only ask”

4. #PeoplePleasers
“I take on too much because I ‘m afraid to say no”

5. #Survivors
“I was assaulted last week by one of my guy friends. I am sad about the assault but more upset that I can’t hang out with that group of friends anymore. Am I crazy?”
“I am a survivor of mental, physical, & sexual abuse”

6. #Contradictory
“I am insecure and extremely confident”
“When I laugh and smile, part of me wants to hurt you”

7. #Activists
“I am terrified being left with this country’s  debt, political … divisions, international relations with other countries and its treatment of non- white , non-male, non-heterosexual people”
“I have no patience for injustice but I know when to pick my battles”

8. #SexuallyComplex
“Homophobia is complex – way more than people who’ve never felt it can imagine”
“That I am me but I identify as pan-sexual – (I love people, not gender) but my deepest fear is falling in love with a woman because I am afraid my parents would never accept me for who I am”

9. #Regretful
“My dad died when I was 16. I still really miss him but I can’t tell my mom because I think she is glad”
“If I could go back to my 15 year old self, I would remind her how beautiful she is on the inside and the outside. Over these last years, with a lot of therapy, and love for myself I can now appreciate the body that I have.”

10. #Sentimental
“I watch SVU all the time because my grandma introduced me to it and it’s my way of keeping her memory alive”
“My mother’s ashes are still sitting in the box they came in in my room and I don’t know what to do with them. I feel lost without her”

11. #Funny
“Sometimes the dentist’s magazines are delivered to my office instead of his…and I KEEP THEM. #freemagazines #badperson #guilty ”
“I never sleep without socks”

12. #FamilyOriented
“My dad and I look exactly like another and I wouldn’t have it any other way”
“I am ready to start the next phase of my life with the person that I love”

“Every single person has at least one secret that would break your heart. If we could just remember this, I think there would be a lot more compassion and tolerance in the world.”  – Frank Warren, Postsecret

Many of these anonymous secrets were displayed at our Millennial Voices Launch Party in September.   Our hope is after you read this you are more aware how similar we all are to one another and that this often misunderstood group is as complex as the generations that came before them.  Join the Millennial Voices movement by sharing your secret at ifiknew.org/mv.

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Capital Gains and Inversions – Opportunities for Tax-Wise Philanthropic Planning

By Michael Friedman
Senior Vice President
Philanthropic Planning & Services

As the financial markets have risen steadily since 2009 beyond pre-Great Recession highs, capital gains are increasingly on the minds of shareholders and their financial and tax advisors. Many wonder when to cash in on gains before the next market correction; others are looking to trim some winners in their portfolios and reinvest for more diversification and reduction of risk. Add to the latest trends in the financial markets the phenomenon of tax inversions – an increasingly popular maneuver among American companies seeking to merge with foreign corporations and save money by moving their tax domiciles abroad.

Why should clients and donors be concerned about inversions? With more corporations looking for creative strategies to save taxes and grow their businesses, there is growing uncertainty among shareholders and their advisors over whether these inversions might trigger capital gains, generating potential tax liability even though no cash is realized by the shareholders from the transaction. Whether you or a client is contemplating a sale of a highly appreciated asset or you are concerned that your latest investment is about to undergo a tax inversion giving possible rise to the realization of substantial capital gains, now is the time to consult with competent tax counsel on the potential tax liabilities and strategies to minimize the costs.

One way to reduce potential long term capital gains tax liability is to contribute highly appreciated marketable securities to The Associated. Get the same tax deduction as if you had given cash, but use stocks or bonds that cost you less than they are currently worth. Your deduction is based on market value, but you incur no capital gains liability on the transfer to us. It’s one of the best tax incentives left, and we can work with your advisor to make a gift of securities simple. You can thus leverage a larger donation than you could make with cash — and receive a larger tax benefit — by “buying low and giving high.”

You can maximize your tax savings in 2014 by establishing an Associated Donor-Advised Fund with appreciated assets before year-end. Best of all, you can manage your giving with an Associated Donor-Advised Fund for maximum impact to support all of the charitable causes important to you. When you create a fund at The Associated, you will have access to expert charitable planning and personalized support services together in one streamlined, efficient approach.

This year, as you plan all of your charitable giving before December 31, consider the benefits of an Associated Donor-Advised Fund. Click associated.org/philanthropicplanning  to learn how you can save taxes and manage your giving wisely.

This message is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, tax, or financial advice. When considering gift planning strategies, you should always consult with your legal and tax advisors.

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Women: Seventy Years is Just the Start

women 70

By Elizabeth Schuman

If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.
– Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

One rainy fall afternoon, some 20 women gathered at the home of current Associated Women President Rina Janet.  Former presidents and/or campaign chairs, their shared connection inspired a lively conversation about history, experiences and accomplishments under their tenures and beyond.

Though the guests covered the decades between the 1970s and today, all agreed on one compelling takeaway, voiced by Genine Fidler, 1998 Women’s Campaign Chair: “We’ve built a power base to ensure the survival and strength of the Associated and our community. The support and power of Associated Women gives women the ability to achieve the highest possible positions in our community.”

As Associated Women celebrates its 70th Anniversary, it’s no stretch to say that the story of Associated Women mirrors the journey of women in 20th century America to today.  It’s a journey that reflects what women have always done – volunteer their time and money to help others, from family and friends to  people they would never meet. It’s a journey that reflects women’s changing roles – from working in the home to holding leadership positions in business and on nonprofit and corporate boards.

The women’s journey began even before the Associated Jewish Charities (precursor to today’s Associated) 1920 founding. Baltimore’s Jewish women were helping organizations such as the Hebrew Ladies Sewing Circle and Hebrew Ladies Orphans Aid Society. When the Women’s Division of Associated Jewish Charities was founded officially in 1945, just after World War II ended, the move represented the first step to a formal woman’s role within the organization and Jewish Baltimore.

Much has happened in 70 years.

Fortunately, a record of the early history of Associated Women is documented in two carefully-written booklets, chronicling the path from the original Women’s Division to the renamed Women’s Department in 1995. In the nearly 20 years since, there have been more transformational changes – in goals, accomplishments and today’s name: Associated Women.

A new history volume is underway, slated to premiere at the Women’s Annual Meeting in June 2015. The project, chaired by Annette Cooper, Associated Women President 1999-2001 and 1993 Campaign Chair, will pay homage to the early years and focus on what’s happened since 1995. We’ve begun talking with many of the women who were seated around Rina’s table and many others who held leadership roles of every stripe. Already, some themes have emerged:

  • Family
    Many women were inspired by their mothers and other family. Almost to a person, the women talk about the next generation and their hopes of inspiring their daughters, sons and grandchildren.
  • Community
    Community remains a constant. From providing services for those in need to creating outreach efforts to connect women to The Associated, these leaders have never forgotten the importance of Klal Yisroel,  the link between Jewish people in Baltimore, Israel and around the world.
  • Initiatives
    Programs such as CHANA and the Jewish Women’s Giving Foundation were born of vision and hard work, prime examples of how the women behind Associated Women have never been about the status quo and have always been about recognizing problems and creating solutions.

Collectively, the women gathered around Rina’s table that fall afternoon represented decades of experience, commitment and knowledge. As they continued to talk and share, Rina reminded us all:

“We planted seeds for the next generation,” said Rina. “Today, let’s ask: ‘Seventy years from now, what are our aspirations for our daughters?”

Our history continues to be written.

Learn more at associated.org/women

 

 

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4 Reasons Jewish Camps Are Better Than Ever

By Janna Zuckerman
Program Manager, Center for Jewish Camping

janna camp4

Kids today live in a world that is filled with thousands of choices. Extracurricular activities, ranging from sports to dance to computers, are just some of the options filling their time during the school year. In the summer, they can spend two months doing whatever they enjoy most – swimming, traveling, camping and more.

With so many fascinating summer programs to choose from, Jewish summer camps need to be cutting-edge to keep up with the competition. The field of Jewish summer camp has definitely changed from generations ago, and is changing more and more each summer.

Don’t worry – summers at Jewish camp are still filled with friendships, canoe trips, Israeli dancing and color war, but it also so much more than that. Jewish camps are evolving to meet the changing expectations and demands of consumers. Camps now offer a wider range of choices (food, activities and session-length) to accommodate every child.

I spent the summer visiting an array of Jewish day and overnight camps, so I saw first-hand how the field is changing in an innovative and exciting way.

1) Specialty Camps and Programs
Jewish camps are constantly improving to attract kids who might not otherwise consider a Jewish camp. Is your child passionate about sports, arts, theater, film, outdoor adventure or science and technology? Today, many Jewish camps are adding specialty tracks and electives to interest kids who want to spend their summer doing these special activities. Additionally, some new Jewish camps have been built to attract different segments of Jewish youth to strengthen their Jewish identity and contribute to their specialized interests. I had the pleasure of visiting Camp Zeke, a brand-new specialty camp which launched this year in the Poconos. This camp celebrates healthy, active living through, yoga, strength training, dance, sailing and krav maga — all while celebrating Jewish values, culture and tradition.

2) More Choices: Shorter Sessions & Healthier Food
Summers at Jewish camp used to mean you would attend the entire summer, or at least a full month. In the world of Jewish camp today, it is rare to see a child or teen spend a full summer at just one camp. Instead, they are taking advantage of camp sessions that range in length – from just seven days to three or seven weeks! There are even five-day short-stay programs for younger campers to get a taste of camp! We are fortunate that many of our Associated “partner camps” have these rookie programs for campers entering second grade. Additionally, camps are meeting the needs of consumers by changing the menu and providing healthier options. Many camps serve locally-grown fruits and vegetables – no more bug juice — and provide gluten-free options for those with celiac disease.

3) Inclusion
The Jewish community is very diverse and constantly changing so camps are evolving and becoming more inclusive. Children from all backgrounds should feel safe at Jewish camp. The Foundation for Jewish Camp works closely with day and overnight camps across the country to ensure that interfaith families, those with disabilities, children of Russian or Israeli families and those from lower income families feel comfortable at camp. In the next year, The Foundation for Jewish Camp will work to significantly increase camp options for all children and provide staff training and education to ensure all campers feel welcome at camp. Many of our local day and overnight “partner” camps have special inclusion programs that allow campers to participate fully in the camp experience.

4) Affordable options
Last summer, The Foundation for Jewish Camp launched a new pilot program called BunkConnect – a user-friendly online referral platform designed to help moderate- and lower-income families access Jewish camp at special introductory rates between 40 to 60 percent off! This year, BunkConnect will extend to camps throughout the entire country. Other affordable camp options like the One Happy Camper Incentive grant made possible by Foundation for Jewish Camp and many overnight camps help make the cost of camp more reasonable for parents. Additionally, many camps offer scholarships and financial aid so kids from all backgrounds to experience camp’s magic.

The field of Jewish camp is changing constantly and there are many other reasons to choose Jewish camp! Meet with Janna – free community camp expert and learn how to find the perfect day or overnight camp for your child! Janna works closely with local camps, and conducts on-site visits during the summer to see them in action. In addition, Janna works with the National Foundation for Jewish Camp office to keep abreast of the latest trends and cutting-edge camp opportunities.

Stop by a convenient coffee shop location to talk camp, drink coffee, & s’more! Janna will be available to provide you with camp insider information and more. Learn more at associated.org/talkcamp.

 

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Governor’s Day to Serve

So many of us are just busy! It’s a constant struggle to try to get everything done, and we often find ourselves making lists in our heads while driving, during meetings, in the bathroom, making meals and in the brief moments of the day when our mind wanders. Aside from the kid’s lunches, bills to be paid and other critical tasks to be done, this constantly growing “To Do” list includes the desire to volunteer. But WHEN?!

Sometimes, when there is a community-wide day of service, it’s easy to set aside time to do good. Recently, Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC) took part in the Governor’s Day to Serve (#daytoserve) a state-wide interfaith time of service. This was one of JVC’s four community-wide days of service and it’s a great way to get a taste of volunteering in the community.

Here is a look at how our community participated in this year’s Governor’s Day to Serve.

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Beth Tfiloh Congregation’s Brotherhood served dinner and socialized with the residents of Baltimore Station, a therapeutic residential treatment facility treating veterans and others dealing with homelessness, poverty and addiction.

bt kids

Preschool students from Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School collected socks for Healthcare for the Homeless, which provides health related services, education and advocacy to those who are homeless.

diller garden

Diller teens and parents assisted with a community garden, in partnership with Pearlstone Center and Weinberg Village.

 

diller boys

Diller teens planted a garden at Weinberg Village in Owings Mills.

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Protecting our Kids from the Dangers of Technology

kid text

By Rachael Abrams, LCSW-C
Jewish Community Services

Technology is a tricky thing. It is supposed to make our lives easier and in many ways it does. We can easily stay in touch with family who live out of town. We can pay multiple bills with the click of a button.

But with all of the advancement that technology brings us, it can simultaneously create complexity in our lives, generating more demands and even set up the potential for trouble. Adults generally understand that with the good often comes the bad, but for children, this can be a harder lesson to learn.

Richard Guerry, director of the Institute for Responsible Online and Cell-Phone Communication, firmly believes that we need to better educate our children on the importance of digital accountability and responsibility BEFORE they get the latest gadget on the market. Just as we provide drivers’ education and teach children about strangers, we have to help our kids navigate our technologically driven world.

Guerry uses the phrase “Public and Permanent” to demonstrate that anything emailed, texted and posted electronically is available for anyone to see, and it exists FOREVER. He hopes this philosophy will help kids think twice before sending off a hurtful text, inappropriate picture or compromising post. By better preparing our kids, we can help them avoid making digital mistakes that could have a detrimental impact on their lives.

How do we help our kids understand the risks? This can prove difficult, because even if they are willing to discuss this topic, we as parents are two steps behind the latest technology, gadgets, sites and apps. Our kids have already moved on to something else.

Nevertheless, we can still warn them of risks associated with technology use in today’s world.

  • Information Can Go Viral: Harassment and bullying can digitally skyrocket out of control because perpetrators can hide behind emails, texts and alternate screen names. Children should recognize actions that are considered bullying and know who they can talk to if they feel victimized.
  • Anything posted digitally is a reflection of the person who posts it. Once you put something in cyberspace, you may be saying more about yourself than you intended to reveal.
  • Everything that you post is permanent. Negative information can be hard to erase and can affect one’s reputation. Even if you think you’ve deleted unflattering information, it is easily stored, copied or forwarded for anyone else to use.
  • Private information needs to be kept private. Children need to consider what information they provide on line. Passwords, financial data and personal information should be stored carefully and only shared with legitimate parties. Many sites promote up to date privacy settings, and kids must understand how to use them. This is especially important for older kids using social media and younger kids playing online interactive games.
  • There are often legal and financial risks associated with technology use. Children must understand that their actions, particularly when inappropriate, could end up having legal and financial ramifications that could permanently hurt them.

We shouldn’t take for granted that our kids understand these concepts or assume that someone else will teach it to them. It is our responsibility to educate our kids on the pros and cons of technology use. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider the following guidelines:

  • Remind your children to use good judgment. Every action has a consequence that should be weighed beforehand.
  • Explore the consequences of inappropriate technology use. Go online with your kids and explain where dangers are lurking. Just as young kids are taught not to speak to strangers in person, they should follow the same advice online. Additionally, kids should know not to respond to inappropriate or threatening messages/texts and to report them to a trusted adult.
  • Spend some time understanding the technology your kids are using. Ask them to show you how the sites, apps and programs work. Have a conversation about problems that might arise.
  • Explore online parental tools and filters for help managing your child’s technology usage. Consider keeping shared technology in a common area such as the kitchen or family room. In addition, set up rules for technology use and establish consequences for breaking the rules.

As parents, we want the best for our children, and we want to do our part to ensure that we are keeping them safe. While it might seem easier to restrict access to technological advances, we would end up doing a disservice to our kids. The best thing to do is to have age appropriate, educational and candid conversations about not only the beauty of technology but the level of responsibility that goes along with it.

Join us for the JCS Parent Discussion Series, Protecting Our Children in a Technology Driven World, Monday, October 27, 2014. A Baltimore County police detective will share the rules and risks of technology use and tell us how we can keep our children safe. Click here for more information.

 

 

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