By Liz Rozmaryn
I have lived in several Jewish communities since being married. I started out in Los Angeles, then moved to Washington, D.C., then downtown Silver Spring, and finally, to Baltimore, where I currently reside.
The Baltimore Jewish community has been the most welcoming of all the communities I’ve lived in. Relatedly, this new community is by far my favorite so far. Here are five things I love about Jewish Baltimore:1) The community. I moved to Baltimore after several college friends and family members had moved to the area. Once here, I reconnected with old friends from different stages of my life and was ecstatic to meet many new people and start new friendships.
- Moving to any new community, however, is difficult; the transition into a new daily routine peopled by fresh faces does not happen without effort. In other communities where I lived, at times it took awhile for my husband and I to get to know people well enough to get invited to Shabbat meals.
So, it was very refreshing when my sister-in-law told me about Shalom Baltimore. After getting in contact with them, they quickly set me up with a lovely and friendly volunteer who ensured that we were invited out for Shabbat meals right away. In this and many other ways, Shalom Baltimore helped mitigate the familiar feeling of reaching around in the dark as a member of a new community and systematically worked to help me acclimate myself and familiarize myself with resources available in my new community; Shalom Baltimore showed me the light switch and helped me learn how to keep it on.
- Pikesville Jewish Congregation (PJC). PJC is the shul I attend and it is wonderful. Despite being a new congregation, PJC has hosted fun and successful events for major holidays and has worked to help its members feel welcome and that they are part of a community.
- Kosher Restaurants. There are many delicious options in Baltimore. As someone who keeps kosher, this makes me very happy. True to form, Shalom Baltimore provided me with a comprehensive list of options.
- The JCC. I grew up going to the JCC in Miami on a daily basis, and I look forward to making the JCC in Baltimore an integral part of my life as well. So far, my husband attends weekly yoga classes at the Owings Mills location and we both plan to take advantage of the 30-day trial membership provided by Shalom Baltimore.
- Opportunities to be involved in the community. Shalom Baltimore gave me several handouts from The Associated highlighting different ways to get involved in the community. I hope to either assist seniors at Weinberg Senior Living or volunteer as an elementary school tutor.