Category Archives: Professionals

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: associated.org/givingtuesday.

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Filed under Philanthropy, Professionals, Uncategorized, Volunteering & Advocacy, Women, Young Adults

A Precious Resource

resource library

By Melissa Cordish
As Jews, we understand that the concept of a covenant is central to our tradition. From Abraham and Sarah to our collective experience at Sinai, the theme of Brit appears over and over again. Striving to understand what is expected of us and working to fulfill these expectations is part of the essence of being a Jew. This concept is also key to the relationship between volunteers and the organizations for which they serve; A clear mutual understanding is critical the achievement of a meaningful volunteer experience. Members of boards or committees accept responsibility for their work and, in return, expect a level of respect and enrichment from their experience.

To facilitate this mutually beneficial relationship, The Associated’s Center for Community Engagement and Leadership (CCEL) has developed a Brit Avodah, a covenant of service, between board members and the organizations they serve. CCEL works both within The Associated system and in the general Jewish community to ensure that those who generously give their time and talent come away from the experience feeling good about the work they have done and also enriched by their interaction with the organization.

This is no small feat. To achieve this goal, CCEL has developed the tools organizations need to keep volunteers engaged in their board or committee experience and works with organizations to help them put these best practices into action. A robust resource library covering everything from writing a D’var Torah to ice breakers for meetings to Jewish values is featured on the Associated’s website and is available to the community.

CCEL professionals and ambassadors also work directly with volunteers in The Associated system to ensure that their communal role is well-suited to their wants and needs. By meeting individually with each person and exploring his or her strengths and areas of interest, CCEL is able to match volunteers to the right leadership opportunity. Some people pursue involvement which utilizes their particular talents; others may choose an area of need which resonates with them. No matter what they seek, CCEL can help connect an interested volunteer with the right opportunity.

CCEL’s commitment to this mission reflects important elements in Jewish communal life in Baltimore – the effective use of the time and talent of our volunteers and the cultivation of a cadre of active leaders for tomorrow. These dedicated volunteers are an incredible asset to our community. The decisions made by these boards and committees have the potential to impact countless lives. And the stronger and better trained that cohort of leaders is, the stronger our community will be.

Baltimore is unique among Jewish communities. Many struggle to engage leaders and lack a plan for succession among their boards. The Associated has been training future generations for many years and benefits from a robust cadre of volunteers who are poised and prepared to lead our community for years to come. Every committee or board member working in our community has the ability to lead from any chair. These leaders move our communal agenda forward and take care of our community. Thanks to them and their willingness to learn and grow in their roles, our community truly is in good hands.

Melissa Cordish is chair of The Associated’s Center for Community Engagement and Leadership.

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Filed under Leadership Development, Professionals, Volunteering & Advocacy

A Picture of Maryland/Israel Trade

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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 marylandisrael.org.

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Filed under Israel & Overseas, Professionals, Young Adults

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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Filed under Professionals

Clara and Michael Klein on The Power of Super Sunday

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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: associated.org/supersunday.

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

Let’s Go: Do Business In Israel

by Barry Bogage
Executive Director, Maryland/Israel Development Center

iStock_000001053415Medium

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 MarylandIsrael.org or contact MIDC Director of Business Development Peter Telem at ptelem@marylandisrael.org.

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Filed under Israel & Overseas, Professionals

What To Do In Baltimore This Week

Sunday, March 30
12:00 p.m.
Project Mah Jongg
mah jongg tiles

Join the Jewish Museum of Maryland for the Grand Opening of its latest exhibit Project Mah Jongg, developed by Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York. Play a game of mah jongg while exploring the traditions, history and meaning of the game in Jewish-American culture. Curator Melissa Martens Yaverbaum will trace the evolution of the mysterious Chinese game that became an American sensation in the 1920s and today remains a beloved institution in Jewish communal, personal, and cultural life in a special presentation at 12:30 p.m. Go to jewishmuseummd.org.  

Sunday, March 30
7:30 p.m.
Comedy Night with Modi
Modi image1

Laugh with the highly-rated comedian Modi at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts, 3506 Gwynnbrook Avenue in Owings Mills. Voted one of the “Top 10 Comedians” in New York City by Hollywood Reporter and BackStage, Modi is one of the comedy circuit’s hottest young comedians. Tickets are $18 in advance and $22 at the door. Go to jcc.org/gordon-center/gordon-center/ for more information.

Monday, March 31
7:00 p.m.
GPS for the In-Law Relationship
“In-law” relationships have unique rewards and challenges. Join us at Jewish Community Services at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC to explore the best way to smoothly navigate your way through issues like boundaries, child rearing, communication and more. Learn more.

Tuesday, April 1
7:00 p.m.
Journeys of Professional Jewish Women
CHANA’s second annual three-part speaker series will conclude with Dr. Leigh Vinocur, certified emergency physician and national spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians, who will discuss her professional journey. Vinocur, who has been seen on Dr. Oz, Nancy Grace and CNN, will speak at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, 7401 Park Heights Avenue. Event is $36 and all proceeds directly benefit CHANA clients.
Register Now.

Tuesday, April 1
7:30 p.m.
William and Irene Weinberg Family’s 26th Annual Baltimore Jewish Film Festival: Under The Same Sun
Set in the near future, this film looks back on how peace was made in 2013 between Israel and Palestine. The story centers around two businessmen – one Palestinian and one Israeli – who struggle to set up a solar energy company. How they overcome hostility from within their own families and from the people around them provides the backdrop for this intriguing drama. The film will be shown at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts, 3506 Gwynnbrook Avenue. Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 at the door. Learn more at jcc.org/gordon-center/baltimore-jewish-film-festival/.

Wednesday, April 2
12:00 p.m.
The Associated’s Business and Professionals Spring Event featuring Seth Goldman, President and TeaEO of Honest Tea
Seth Photo

Seth Goldman co-founded Honest Tea out of his home in 1998 with Barry Nalebuff of the Yale School of Management. In 2011, the company was acquired by The Coca-Cola Company and today, Honest Tea is the nation’s top selling organic bottled tea. Meet Seth Goldman as he shares his insights on building and running a mission-driven business.
The program will be held at The Modell Lyric, 140 W. Mount Royal Avenue. Lunch will be provided. Tickets are $25 in advance; $30 at the door. Register at  associated.org/bpspringevent

Thusday, April 3
5:30 p.m.
2014 Maryland/Israel Business Leadership Award Ceremony and Reception
Join the Maryland/Israel Development Center at Woodholme Country Club, 300 Woodholme Avenue to honor Abba David Poliakoff, Esq. with the 2014 Hanan Y. Sibel Maryland/Israel Business Leadership Award. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. 2014 MIDC Members, $100; Non-Members, $150.
Register now!

Future Events
Sunday, April 6
10:00 a.m.
Volunteer at Moveable Feast with JVC Young Adults and IMPACT
Meet up with other young adults and help with food preparation, packaging and cleanup in the Moveable Feast kitchen. Moveable Feast, located at 901 N. Milton Avenue, provides nutritious meals and other services at no cost to people suffering from serious illnesses.
To register, contact Rebecca Weinstock at rweinstock@associated.org.

Sunday, April 6 
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
PJ on the Town at Irvine Nature Center
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Take part in another signature PJ on the Town event. Connect with other families and “Rise to the Challenge of Being a Guardian of the World” at the Irvine Nature Center, 11201 Garrison Forest Road.  Participate in a guided nature walk, make trail mix, enjoy an animal encounter with a trained naturalist and take part in a dramatized PJ Library, among other activities. Event is $5 for children 3-10, $10 for 11 and up. Children under two are free.  Learn more.

Tuesday, April 8
6:30 p.m.
Teen Leadership Summit 2014
High school students are invited to this year’s Teen Leadership Summit at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC where they can enjoy an evening of peer networking, leadership workshops, volunteer opportunities, local and national teen leadership programs and more. A $5 dinner is optional.
Register Now.

Monday, April 14
6:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Second Annual CHAI Chometz Giveaway
Stop by the Pimlico Race Course Clubhouse Parking lot and get rid of your chometz before Passover. Bring new, unopened chometz to donate to a local food pantry and help feed the hungry and/or wrap and burn your opened chometz in our burning barrels. Contact kburnet
Learn more at  chaibaltimore.org.

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Filed under Families, Jewish Learning, Professionals, Teens, Women