Category Archives: Israel & Overseas

A Picture of Maryland/Israel Trade


By Barry Bogage

There has been a flurry of comings and goings between Maryland and Israeli businesses recently. Next Tuesday, November 18, the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) is hosting its fourth annual Showcase of Maryland/Israel Business. The Showcase, taking place at the Silver Spring Civic Center, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m., provides an opportunity for the over 20 Israeli companies that have offices in Maryland to show their products and technologies to the Maryland business and Jewish communities. Jeremy Bash, former Chief of Staff at both the Department of Defense and the CIA will give the keynote.

Two weeks ago the MIDC hosted a delegation of Israeli cyber security companies for the CyberMaryland conference — Safe-T, RadiFlow, NextNine and Portnox – as well as Israel’s leading cyber security venture capital investor, Yoav Tzruya of Jerusalem Venture Partners. Yoav gave an amazing talk about Israel’s emergence as a cyber-security leader, using the country as a case study Maryland can emulate. He described Israel’s confluence of market need and customer base, innovators, investors and supportive government policy, such as incubators, that provide over a half million dollars in startup capital to entrepreneurs.

This week the MIDC’s Director of Business Development, Peter Telem, is participating in the Israel Homeland Security 2014 Conference to meet companies with the potential to do business in Maryland. Accompanying him is Nate Lesser, Deputy Director of the U.S. National Cyber Security Center of Excellence (NCCOE), a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg. NCCOE brings together consortia of entrepreneurs, corporations and government agency to address emerging cyber security threats. Israeli innovations can solve many of these problems. RadiFlow (mentioned above) is participating in an NCCOE “use case” project.

The MIDC is partnering with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMMS) to recruit and host a delegation of Israeli companies to participate in the mHealth Summit the week of December 8 at National Harbor, the new Gaylord development across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. mHealth is the new word for mobile medical devices and smart phone applications, “apps,” that provide mobile healthcare, medical treatments and monitoring.

In business, you know you’re doing a good job when you have repeat customers. Telesofia Medical of Tel Aviv is returning again this year. Founded by a team of medical doctors and Internet industry veterans, Telesofia is answering the challenge of healthcare literacy and patient engagement by making medical information and instructions clear with interactive, personalized patient education videos. For example, the platform describes the proper use of medication, post-surgical procedures, discharge instructions and more. The fully branded videos are sent to patients via text or email or embedded in patient portals and apps.

There will be more exchanges during the first half of 2015. The MIDC is recruiting a delegation of Maryland companies to attend the Israel CyberTech Conference in March and Mixiii, a biomed and IT innovation conference, in May. We’ll host another delegation for an Israel Institute of Security Studies cyber security policy conference to be held at George Washington University in Washington, DC, in April. For information on any of these activities, please see


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Filed under Israel & Overseas, Professionals, Young Adults

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 9
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Lloyd Street Synagogue 50th Anniversary
Jewish Museum of Maryland

lloyd street 2
Celebrate the rededication of the Lloyd Street Synagogue with several special programs. Take the synagogue’s newest tour, “Technology in the Temple,” which delves into how technological revelations in the 19th century led to the development of this historic landmark. The Baltimore Museum of Industries will also present “Mendes’ Baltimore: The Industries that Build a City,” which explores the importance of technology in the development of Baltimore.

Because the anniversary coincides with Kristallnacht, Martin Levin Artistic Creations will showcase his Kristallnacht series of miniature synagogue facades, including the Lloyd Street Synagogue and B’nai Israel. Programs free with museum admission. Learn more.

Tuesday, November 11
6:30 p.m.
Open Mic Nights
Gordon Center for Performing Arts
open mic

Local musicians are invited to showcase their talents at the Gordon Center’s Open Mic night. Bring your family and friends to cheer you on. Many evenings also feature special appearances by professional singers and musicians. Sign up is at 6:30 p.m.; show begins at 7:00 p.m. Refreshments are available. Learn more.

Tuesday, November 11
7:00 p.m.
Israel, the 114th Congress and the Obama Administration: Looking Ahead
Chizuk Amuno Congregation
Will there be changes in Israel policy now that a new Congress has been elected?  Join Art Abramson, Ph.D., executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC), as he  takes a look ahead on the situation in Israel. This is the final program in Baltimore Israel Coalition’s Israel series. Go to to learn more.

Wednesday, November 12
10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Talk Camp, Drink Coffee & S’more
Dunkin Donuts in Owings Mills Boulevard Shopping Center
camp 2

Looking for the perfect camp experience for your child? Janna Zuckerman, program manager of The Associated’s Center for Jewish Camping, has the inside scoop on Jewish day and overnight camp programs around the country. Join this expert over donuts and coffee to help you navigate programs, budget, locations and schedules for your child. Service is free and is designed for second graders to high school seniors. Learn more at

Thursday, November 13
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
JCC Camp Open House and Registration Night
Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC
Future and returning camp families are invited to join us for an evening of camp festivities, including Gaga, music, sports, arts and crafts AND the JCC’s newest group fitness program for children, “Born to Move.TM” Don’t miss this great opportunity to meet our camp directors and learn about the many camp offerings, and don’t forget to wear your JCC camp t-shirt!
Sign up the same night and reap the rewards, including a raffle for free week of camp. Call Stacy at 410.559.3513 or visit our website  to learn more.

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Filed under Camping, Families, Israel & Overseas, Women, Young Adults

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, September 14
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Super Sunday

Join us at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC (5700 Park Heights Avenue) for the 2015 Super Sunday Community Phone-a-thon in support of The Associated’s Annual Campaign. Volunteers are invited to work together to help raise $1 million to care for the vulnerable, strengthen Jewish community and advocate on behalf of Israel. This year’s Super Sunday will feature the launch of The Associated’s #100DayChallenge, an initiative encouraging the community to make their pledges by December 31. A matching grant has been secured for all new and increased pledges during this time period.
There will also be a children’s area, where youngsters can color cards for Israeli soldiers and listen to PJ Library books.

Sunday, September 14
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Public Opening: The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen

mendes cohen exhibit
Explore the story of Baltimore’s Mendes Cohen – part Forrest Gump, part Indiana Jones and probably the most remarkable Baltimorean about whom you’ve never heard. Travel through an interactive maze on his life, enjoy interactive activities like recording an argument on a modern day issue and see how Mendes fit into the historical events of the 19th century. This exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Maryland (15 Lloyd Street) will run through June 14.

Sunday, September 14
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Family Farm Day

Stop by the Pearlstone Center (5425 Mt. Gilead Avenue) and learn about where your Rosh Hashanah honey comes from. Make beeswax candles to take home, learn about bees and their hives and hear a PJ Library story.

Sunday, September 14
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Rise Above Bullying:  A Program for Children & Their Parents
Join Jewish Community Services at their Owings Mills location in this workshop about bullying aimed at both children and parents. In age appropriate groups, children, six to 13, will discuss bullying, practice CSA-inspired confidence building exercises and learn useful techniques for helping themselves and others.  In a separate group, parents will discuss who, what, when, where and why of bullying and learn how to help children whether they are the victim, a bystander or the bully.

This free program, held at the Owings Mills JCC (3506 Gwynnbrook Avenue) will feature presenters Susan Kurlander, M. Ed., Health Educator, JCS and Jen Lake, Director, Comprehensive Survival Arts (CSA)

Monday, September 15
7:00 p.m.
Israel After Gaza – Media Implosion: Failures in Gaza News Coverage Eric Rozenman, Washington Director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), will discuss the media and its role during this past summer’s Gaza news coverage. Held at the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation (7401 Park Heights Avenue), the event is sponsored by Baltimore Israel Coalition.

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Filed under Families, Israel & Overseas, Jewish Learning, Philanthropy, Women

Talking to Your Children About the Situation in Israel

boy israel

By Amalia Phillips
Director, Israel and Overseas Education at the Macks Center for Jewish Education

As we read and watch the news coming out of Israel and Gaza, some of us who are parents are wondering how to talk to our children about the situation and what we should tell them. The first thing to be aware of is that while our youngest children may not be allowed to watch the news at home, they may have heard something while out of our care.

Even very young children listen to and understand adult conversations. They may also listen to their older siblings – or their peers = and they may absorb information from social media. Many of us remember our surprise at hearing our children’s first inappropriate words picked up at recess, or their proud boasting that they know about the “birds and the bees.” We might be surprised by what our children have heard about Israel and the current conflict.

It is important to find out what our children already know. As parents, we should ask questions, listen carefully to the thoughts and feelings our children express and then validate those feelings as normal and proper. Furthermore, we should observe our children for non-verbal cues such as loss of appetite, sleeplessness, extended periods of anxiety and other physical symptoms. If a child has experienced personal trauma or loss in the past, s/he may respond more severely to current events and will need extra support and reassurance.

Discussing violent acts appropriately does not increase children’s fear as much as the burden of having to keep their fears to themselves. So while we, as parents, want to shield our children from scary or upsetting news, having a conversation is always better than having our kids keep their worries to themselves. Fear does not go away just because it is ignored.

It is normal for children to see their parents sad, anxious or angry about the events in Israel. We should share these feelings with our children so they are not left wondering whether it is their fault that their parents are upset/sad/worried. A simple explanation such as “I’m sad because some people were hurt in Israel today” may be all that is needed. However, burdening children with a litany of concerns and/or seeking your child’s support for your anxieties should be avoided. Parents should use simple and concrete language that is easily understood by their children, and should keep in mind that children may not fully understand the situation, even after it has been explained.


israel pj
Keep children’s routines as predictable and normal as possible. This signals that while rockets are falling in Israel, their own families remain intact.

Limit and control media exposure. At this age, children may not fully comprehend what they see. Scenes of destruction may seem like a cartoon or computer game to some but may be terrifying to others. If children are terrified, their fears usually manifest themselves in contexts that are familiar to them. At this age, for example, they may be worried about not being picked up from school or camp on time. Reassure them repeatedly. You may find that you need to repeat information because preschoolers have the tendency to ask the same questions over and over.

Help preschoolers find ways to express their feelings. Preschoolers may not have the language and vocabulary with which to express their feelings. Allow them to draw a picture or play with dolls instead, and use their drawings or play as a springboard for discussion.

Keep it simple. Kids may listen for a few minutes and then want to go and play. This is normal. They may have questions later, or they may not want to discuss current events at all.

Elementary School

Create a quiet place to have a conversation. Use words that are appropriate and accurate.

Share specific information that helps the child feel safe. The need to feel safe is important at this age, so you may want to discuss new technologies that better protect people in planes and buildings (e.g. special reinforced rooms and shelters). If your child is interested in electronics, you may want to find a simple article on the Iron Dome defense system.  It is important to reassure children if they have fears about their parents flying off on a business trip, or the family’s upcoming visit to Grandma’s house for the holidays.

Suggest practical ways your child can access support and information. If your child has questions you cannot answer, acknowledge that things are complicated and confusing and that you do not have all the answers. Suggest some ways you can discover them together. (e.g.. talking to a spiritual leader; finding out information about safety procedures when hearing a siren;  or learning about measures Israel is taking to protect its citizens).

Look for ways your children can be helpful. If they want to do something practical, suggest that they write cards or make something for children in Ashkelon who are sitting in shelters, gather supplies to send to  Israeli soldiers or pray for the safety of Israel and its people. For additional suggestions, check our the Center of Jewish Education website.

Middle and High School

Turn off the television and/or the computer. With 24/7 news coverage, the same news is regurgitated over and over. Your children may not realize it is the same information and may find the repetition of information and images disturbing.

Share a range of opinions. Middle and high school children are more focused on testing boundaries, exploring their newly found independence and asserting the concept of fairness than younger children. Some even have sophisticated knowledge about politics. Help them appreciate the complexity of the issues involved. For instance, show them how to access Israeli media online; have a conversation about bias and how to detect it; reinforce their critical thinking skills by suggesting they read reputable sources with whom they are likely to agree and also those with whom they are likely to disagree. If your children are active on social media, you may want to help them post appropriate comments and monitor their activities.

In conclusion

In addition to thinking through the way we communicate with our children, we can consider some particularly Jewish responses. For example, for generations Jews have turned to the giving of tzedakah and the reciting of prayer as ways to connect with each other and find strength in ourselves. Check the CJE resource page for sources. When you are a role model of compassion and introspection, your child will watch you and learn these skills.

Whatever you feel about the current situation in Israel, remember that it is important for our children to be engaged with Israel, to dream of a peaceful world and, most of all, to know that they can bring their questions and concerns to you.


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Filed under Families, Israel & Overseas, Jewish Learning, Women

One Gift Reaches Thousands

By Michael Hoffman
Chief Planning and Strategy Officer

We may not agree on everything, but we can all agree on this: We are part of a special community, and The Associated is the gateway to supporting the needs of the entire community – from baby to bubbie. The Associated is committed to being as efficient and effective as possible, maximizing the limited human and financial resources for the overall benefit of our community. We bring together Jews from across the spectrum – Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, secular and everyone in between – to help one another live better lives in Baltimore, in Israel and around the world.

This year, with the help of our donors, The Associated distributed $47.2 million in total resources to support efforts that strengthen Jewish life here in Baltimore and overseas. These resources are anchored by the power of the unrestricted Annual Campaign which raised $30 million. Thanks to the stability of these resources, we will once again to be able to provide our local and overseas agencies with 100 percent funding so that they can continue to provide meaningful services to our fellow community members in need. Here in Baltimore, we have much to be proud of. This year’s accomplishments ensured that next year’s funding plan continues to be a safety net for everyone in our community. And it was.

We pioneered care for the vulnerable

senior nnc
CHAI’s Northwest Neighbors Connecting (NNC) continued to develop a diverse, interdependent community in northwest Baltimore City and is now one of the fastest-growing villages in the country with over 175 members in its first year.

We invested in our youth

Jewish summer camps are an immersive way to ignite positive Jewish memory and lasting Jewish living for our children. Understanding the powerful potential of summer experiences, we launched the Center for Jewish Camping to build excitement and participation in Jewish day and overnight camps.

We deepened Jewish life

The active participation of Baby Boomers in Jewish life became a priority. Baby Boomers have the time, resources and drive for meaningful, active life that can benefit the community and themselves. We convened the Baby Boomer Task Force which identified volunteer service as an opportunity for significant engagement. Looking forward, Jewish Volunteer Connection will develop strategies to connect these skilled Baby Boomers with specific community needs.

We developed a global peoplehood

global peoplehood
For more than 20 years, the Baltimore-Odessa Partnership has advanced the revitalization of Jewish life in Odessa and built personal connections between our two communities. This year, our support was critical as we rushed to the aid of the Jewish community in our sister city. By making funds immediately available to our overseas partners and raising additional funds from our community, we were able to add heightened security measures for Jewish institutions across Ukraine and provide a much needed life line to the vulnerable in Odessa.

These are just a small sampling of all of the wonderful projects, initiatives and efforts that happened right here in Jewish Baltimore. The need is real and so is your power to make a difference. Together we are creating a stronger, more vibrant Jewish community – day by day and from generation to generation. Whether it’s providing care for the vulnerable, investing in our youth, enriching the quality of Jewish live or deepening our sense of global peoplehood, The Associated exists so you can give – and receive – meaningfully.

To read our 2013-2014 Report to the Community that includes the full FY14 Funding Plan, click here.

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Filed under Families, Israel & Overseas, Philanthropy, Seniors, Social Services, Special Needs, Uncategorized, Volunteering & Advocacy, Women, Young Adults

Let’s Go: Do Business In Israel

by Barry Bogage
Executive Director, Maryland/Israel Development Center


Get ready to go to The Start Up Nation. Israel has been recognized for its expertise in a wide variety of advanced technologies from computer chip design to homeland security to medical devices. You probably don’t know it, but you use Israeli technology every day in your computer, cell phone and medicine cabinet. Over the past few years, the country has organized several specialized trade shows to feature its companies, entrepreneurs and innovations; conferences which are now on the international circuit in their industries and attract participants from dozens of countries.

Just a few weeks ago, the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) led a trade mission to Mixiii-Israel Innovation 2014, originally Israel’s BioMed conference. The MIDC has participated since the conference’s inception, more than a dozen years ago, frequently providing Maryland biomedical industry experts as speakers. Among the dozens of other international delegations participating in Mixiii this year were a huge Chinese delegation with over 300 business and government leaders, who learned what Israel’s creative entrepreneurs are working on.

The MIDC has selected three major Israeli trade shows to attend over the next 12 months in industries that are particularly strong in Maryland. These include Israel Homeland Security (HLS) 2014 from November 9 to 12, 2014; CyberTech Israel from March 17 to 18, 2015; and Mixiii-Israel Innovation 2015 (now combining both biomedical and info tech innovations) from May 18 to 20, 2015.

If you or your company is active in any of these fields, you should join an MIDC trade delegation. MIDC missions are usually a week long and offer exciting opportunities to see groundbreaking technologies and meet dynamic Israeli entrepreneurs, both at the conference as well as at their headquarters, for private meetings to pursue individual business opportunities. We also tour Israel’s most modern labs as well as its ancient historic and religious sites. It’s an exciting and unique way to experience the Israel of the future, while rejoicing in the Israel of the past.

The MIDC also regularly hosts Israeli business delegations to introduce them to business opportunities among Maryland companies. Last month, the MIDC hosted a delegation of Israeli homeland security entrepreneurs.In February, an “mHealth” (mobile healthcare apps for smart phones) delegation visited. We also had Israeli cyber security companies participate in both the CyberMaryland and CyberMontgomery County conferences.

As an agency of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, MIDC trade missions and delegations are another way The Associated keeps you connected to all aspects of Israeli society. For more information, please go to or contact MIDC Director of Business Development Peter Telem at

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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, March 9
Times vary
Good Deeds Day
Volunteer with Jewish Volunteer Connection on Good Deeds Day, the annual worldwide celebration of good deeds. As part of the day, families with school-aged children can stop by the Weinberg Park Heights JCC, 5700 Park Heights Avenue, and stuff Purim bags for patents at Sinai Hospital.

Sunday, March 9
3:00 p.m.
Ideal for all ages, ETHEL offers fun, hip, engaging musical selections ranging from Brazilian Forró to South African Jazz. You’ll hear contemporary compositions from composers influenced by popular and folk traditions from around the world like Hollis Taylor (USA/Eastern Europe), Timo Alakotila (Finland), John King (Mississippi Delta/USA), Rodney Yazzie (Navajo Nation) and more. This is unique concert experience where the audience is absorbed in a sense of community and warmth in an inspired – and inspiring – intimate musical setting.
Performance held at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts, 3506 Gwynnbrook Avenue in Owings Mills. Learn more and buy advanced tickets at

Wednesday, March 12
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
An Inside Look: Associated Women Campaign Series – What Keeps You Up At Night?
It’s 3:00 a.m. and you’re awake – again. From health to finances and children to aging parents, there’s plenty to worry about. Share strategies and hope during this insightful, practical Inside Look. Participate in breakout sessions based on your response to what keeps you up at night, led by Jewish Community Services professionals. Featured presentation will be by Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA, author of Taking Care of Others While Taking Care of Ourselves. Program will be held at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC, 3506 Gwynnbrook Avenue. Contact to learn more.

Wednesday, March 12
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
The Associated’s Real Estate Industry Group (REIG) Lunch & Learn
Get the inside scoop on Marketplace at Fells Point, 607 S. Broadway, a planned urban redevelopment that will transform this historic neighborhood in downtown Baltimore. A place where both locals and visitors can gather to eat, shop, relax and call home, this project will feature 159 luxury apartments, and 28,000 square feet of retail space. Lunch will be served. Cost: $20. Register at

Wednesday, March 12
7:30 p.m.
A Story of Hope: An Israeli Bedouin Woman’s Determination for Peace and Coexistence

Join the Baltimore Israel Coalition to hear Amal Elsana Alh’jooj, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and one of the Bedouin community’s most knowledgeable and dedicated leaders. Amal will take us through her personal journey as a leader, and explain how challenges and opportunities have shaped her identity as an orator for women’s rights and Jewish-Arab relations in Israel. Program will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Baltimore North-Pikesville, 1726 Reisterstown Road. Free, but registration is required at

Future Events

Friday, March 14
7:00 p.m.
Unplugged Shabbat
Come together with friends and community this Shabbat at the Bolton Street Synagogue, 212 W. Cold Spring Lane, for an uplifting musical service led by Charm City Tribe’s Rabbi Jessy Gross and Rabbi John Franken. Contact to learn more.

Thursday, March 20
5:00–7:00 p.m
Family Happy Hour at the DBJCC
Downtown JCC

Stop by the Downtown Baltimore JCC for a relaxing evening out. Bring your children to enjoy open play in all DBJCC playrooms while you feast on tasty appetizers and drinks. Cost: $7 member families; $12 guest families.
Learn More!

Thursday, March 20
7:30 p.m.
Baltimore Jewish Film Festival Opens with The Jewish Cardinal
Jewish Cardinal 5 (2)

The 26th annual William and Irene Weinberg Family Baltimore Jewish Film Festival opens with the Baltimore premiere of The Jewish Cardinal, which tells the amazing true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants. Lustiger maintained his cultural identity as a Jew even after converting to Catholicism at a young age, and later joining the priesthood.

This year’s film festival runs through April 10. All movies will be held at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts, 3506 Gwynnbrook Avenue, in Owings Mills. Learn more and purchase tickets at

Sunday, March 23
10:00 a.m.
The Associated’s Doctors’ Brunch
Join Jewish healthcare professionals to network and learn together. Jon Entine, author of Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People, will talk about ancestry, genetics, Jewish history and Jewish identity. Event will be held at Beth El Congregation, 8101 Park Heights Avenue. Brunch will be served and tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Register at

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Filed under Families, Israel & Overseas, Professionals, Volunteering & Advocacy, Women