Category Archives: Philanthropy

A Great Way to Help on #GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday Phoneathon

By Anna and Daniel Klein
Co-chairs, #GivingTuesday Community Phone-a-thon

It’s safe to say that giving isn’t new to any of us. From helping at our children’s schools to helping in the larger community, all of us want to make the world a better place, even if that that place is a small corner, especially if that place is Baltimore. So it was with great excitement that we agreed to chair The Associated’s #GivingTuesday phone-a-thon for our community. We wanted to help.

Like the act of giving, an Associated phone-a-thon isn’t new. It’s a time-honored and effective way to reach out to donors, inviting all to help ensure the strength of our community with their gift. As chairs of the #GivingTuesday phone-a-thon, we are excited about leading a group of dedicated volunteers who will call longtime and new donors to ask for a gift to the 2015 Annual Campaign. We’re calling all day, Tuesday, December 2, during three shifts: 10 a.m. to noon, noon to 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Our goal is to raise more than $1 million to help The Associated care for people in need.

We cannot think of a better day than #GivingTuesday to raise these funds. Part of a massive, now-global day of giving, #GivingTuesday exists as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now in its third year, #GivingTuesday has become a day devoted to collective giving … inspiring everyone, everywhere to give to favorite organizations and causes.

Our ask to Jewish Baltimore? Become involved on #GivingTuesday. Here are three ways:

  • Phone-a-thon: Whether you’ve made calls before or are a newbie, help raise funds for our community. We’ll show you how.
  • Book Donation: Bring new or gently-used books for pre-K to eighth graders at Cross Country Elementary Middle School, where the Jewish Volunteer Connection and CHAI: Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc., engage volunteers in the Bookworms reading program and in tutoring opportunities. Drop off your books at either the Weinberg Park Heights JCC or Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC lobbies.
  • Give: Strengthen, nurture and care for others with a gift to The Associated. Your gift – of any amount – matters. Plus, every gift increase and every new gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar through the #100DayChallenge.

Learn more:


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Filed under Philanthropy, Professionals, Uncategorized, Volunteering & Advocacy, 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

Clara and Michael Klein on The Power of Super Sunday


Bigger, bolder and better than ever – that’s the driving force behind this year’s Super Sunday, Jewish Baltimore’s largest, single-day fundraiser. With a goal of raising $1 million dollars for the 2015 Annual Campaign on Sunday, September 14, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC. Super Sunday co-chairs Clara and Michael Klein stand ready to lead the way.

Here’s what the Kleins had to say about that special day, giving and Jewish Baltimore:

175 Michael and Clara color

Why is Super Sunday important?
Clara: Super Sunday is one sure way to guarantee that our community comes together to support The Associated’s Annual Campaign.  On September 14, we kick off 2015 Annual Campaign – providing a tangible starting point for a huge effort. Funds raised support the many needs in our community as well as in Israel and overseas.  Whether one is a caller or a donor that day, it’s an honor to be part of this essential community-wide effort that touches so many lives.
Michael: The Associated is a highly efficient approach to fundraising. Instead of receiving countless calls from many Jewish organizations, our community benefits by having one central organization to support essential programs and agencies.  Every one of us has the responsibility to answer the call on Super Sunday and respond to our community’s needs. When we give on Super Sunday, we show that we care about each individual and each family.

Why must we care about and support our Jewish community?
Clara: I feel strongly that our community’s strength impacts the world’s Jewry and its survival. As we build and care locally, we also work to ensure the safety of Jews around the world. Just as we did generations ago, it is our responsibility to care for people who are struggling. While the years have passed, the needs continue at home, in Israel, and around the Jewish world as all of us contend with growing Anti-Semitism.
Michael: None of us can lose sight of the fact that our families came here with hardly anything. Only through the generosity of those who came before were we able to thrive. Today, it’s essential that we continue that legacy. Baltimore may be a small city, but its issues are large. Many of us are struggling with job loss and caring for aging parents, as well as other social and economic pressures.

When did you make your first gift to The Associated?
Clara: After my freshman year in college, I went on a mission to Israel and Eastern Europe. The experience of seeing Jews in need around the world changed my perspective and impressed upon me the importance of giving. I made my first gift when I returned.
Michael: I grew up near Bel Air, Md., spending most of my life in Harford County. Because of Clara, I learned about The Associated. We made our first gift because we saw the need to help Jews in our hometown. One of my first goals was to connect counseling services through The Associated to Jews living in Harford County.

Why answer the call?
Clara:  Our Annual Campaign depends on the continued generosity of every donor, as well as outreach to new donors. Becoming engaged and involved in our community is our obligation and responsibility. Every gift matters and is important. We encourage the younger generation to become involved and support The Associated.
Michael: Together, we share in responsibility for ensuring the health and vitality of our community. The breadth of work performed by The Associated and its volunteers transforms, enhances and supports lives throughout Baltimore, Israel and overseas. It is our obligation to recognize the foundation – our roots – established by our community’s founders generations ago and build upon that foundation.

More Impact: This year, the day packs even more power with the #100DayChallenge, an exciting dollar-for-dollar match for all new and increased gifts through December 31. Double the impact of your gift with an increase or a new gift!
Learn More:

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Filed under Families, Philanthropy, Professionals, Women, Young Adults

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

Teens Give Back

jvc teen

By Sarah Steinberg
2013-2014 TGI Fellow and Co-Chair of TGI Teen Campaign Phoning

Resist the purchase of an App or two. Donate babysitting money. Teens call teens to ask for money.

It all sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it? But this winter, I, along with my co-chairs of the TGI Teen Campaign Phoning, Logan Flax and Maddie Braman, after weeks of planning, led a room of teens in making calls for the 2013-2014 TGI Teen Campaign.

teens calling

We held the TGI Teen Campaign phoning at the Owings Mills Jewish Community Center’s teen lounge where about 60 teens from JVC teen leadership programs STAC (Students Taking Action for Change), Diller, TEEN and the JCC’s teen program J-CORPS helped TGI in calling teens in the Baltimore Jewish community asking for donations for the TGI campaign. We needed as much money as possible to help the three causes we predetermined. Our money would help benefit people with eating disorder, as well as lung cancer research and Baltimore City education. Many of the TGI fellows have deep connections to these issues so our work is very meaningful to the TGI cohort.

Before we could start the calling, the focused teens went through exceptional training with professionals and lay leaders from The Associated. Next, every teen in the room made generous donations to the TGI campaign. As a role model, I donated $20 that night to the campaign. With the benevolent donations of our teen volunteers, we were well on our way to our goal and only needed $2,000 more!

At first the results were slow. Some teens were frustrated that calls went unanswered and teens said no. But after a while, the momentum built and the pledges started coming. One teen spoke so eloquently to a family about the TGI that they donated $500! While the dedicated team continued to call, the pledges kept pouring in. It was so exciting to see everyone’s faces and cheers each time we raised more and more money!

In the end, we beat our goal, and are continued to get more and more donations. The positive vibes in the room at the end of the night were electrifying! We were all so happy to help people less fortunate than us, and to learn new skills. The TGI Teen Campaign Phoning was a huge success and we are excited to reach our goal this year.

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Family Movie Night


by Lauren Klein
Director of Family Philanthropy
The Center for Funds & Foundations

As a mother, I am always looking for different ways to teach my children the importance of giving back. Of course, there are formal ways to do this, such as putting money in a tzedekah box on Friday nights or participating together in a volunteer project through Jewish Volunteer Connection. But there are also informal ways to share our values. We can read a book together or even watch a movie. Many films have messages that emphasize giving back. By sitting down and watching together, you can initiate conversations that trigger a deeper exploration of family values with your kids.

Remember, however, it is not enough to just watch — the trick is to talk about the movie and share how your beliefs are reflected in the themes. Don’t be shy about sharing from where your values come.

Some movie suggestions include:

Freedom Writers (PG-13): A true story about a teacher in a racially divided school who gives her students what they’ve always needed – a voice.

Discussion Questions: Who are the people in your life that motivate you to succeed? How do we sometimes give in to attitudes and behaviors that we know are not “healthy” just because everyone else is doing it?

Pay it Forward (PG-13): A Social Studies teaches gives his class an assignment: look at the world around you and fix what you don’t like. One student comes up with the notion of “Pay It Forward” — do a needed favor for three different people without being asked, and then ask them to do the same for three others.

Discussion Questions: Does doing a good deed for satisfaction sake, or to feel good, lessen the deed? What motivates our actions? What does Judaism say about the motivation for tikkun olam or responsibility for fixing the world?

The Mighty (PG-13): With his mother, a 13-year-old boy moves in next door to another teen. Though both have problems that label them as outcasts, the boys discover that by uniting as one, they can overcome their individual limitations and triumph over any adversity. As the two set out on a series of courageous adventures, they find that the mightiest treasure of all is friendship.

Discussion Questions: How do we select our friends? How do we embrace or react to people that are different from us?

The Pursuit of Happiness (PG-13): Inspired by a true story, a struggling single father dreams of a better life for his young son. Finding themselves homeless, he risks everything by embarking on an unpaid internship in a highly competitive stockbroker training program.

Discussion Questions: How is the father the same or different from the image of a homeless person in Baltimore? Was the father’s decision to live on the streets while trying to get ahead a good one? Why or why not? What do you think the son learned from the experience?

I do not have all of the answers nor, to be perfectly honest, do I always practice what I preach. In my home, my son loves to have family movie nights. Maybe the next selection will be a movie from the above list. I am confident that the best way to transmit values to the next generation is to act on our values and to talk about what we do and why. Why not give it a try?

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What Really Matters? Values-Based Estate Planning

tom brown

By Thomas M. Brown, CLU
Joseph Klein Associates, LLC

I’ve been thinking a lot about the relationship of philanthropy and estate planning lately. It is not a new topic for me as I’ve felt for years that estate planning should not be solely about taxes and maximal transfers, but should also focus on the question; “What really matters?” Sometimes called ‘Values-Based Estate Planning,’ to me, it ties closely with the concept of an Ethical Will.

Wills today have become technical documents that say little about us as persons. Ethical Wills are personal statements about who we are, how we came to hold the values we do and what values and lessons we want to pass on to our families and the communities that have enriched us through education, support and opportunity.

Nonetheless, recently I started work on a new credential, the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy, and it resonated with me immensely because of its slant towards values-based estate planning. But the course moves on to ask us about our own vision of the world. What would we like to change or preserve in the world. Why? What might be possible, even in a small way, and how would we start? Can we make a plan? Can we see a result during life, or feel we’ll accomplish something at death by a bequest or other technique? In other words, can we operate with conscious intent, seeking out and supporting those entities that are doing the work that WE want done? To restate: What really matters?

Most of us give to the groups to which we have always given, and most of us want to leave our children and grandchildren as much as possible. This is fine. After all, not all of us are Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. But all of us can effect some change even if only at a very basic level and perhaps only for the benefit of one person, for as we learn from our tradition, to save a life is to save the world. Thus, even helping just one person or one family can have lasting consequences for good, like the ripples a stone creates in a pool of water. Some call this passing it forward.

And speaking of children, grandchildren and values, what better means of transmitting and instilling your values in our family than to involve them in our giving? Among the easiest means to do so is to create a donor advised fund. No administration for the family but all the pleasure of teaching our family to think about, and affect, the lives of others in positive ways from generation to generation. They become stewards of a legacy, an inheritance of values that could live on forever.

So, let’s think about ourselves and how we give time and money? Can we think about it pro-actively and not just reactively? Not just how much, but to whom and why?

What really matters?

Only you know.

Think about it.

Learn more about leaving a legacy.

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Filed under Philanthropy, Professionals