Outstanding Jewish Communal Professional Award
This award recognizes mid-level professionals with exceptional promise and commitment to a career in Jewish communal service with at least five years of experience. The recipient, a Jewish communal professional employed in the field of Jewish communal service at least 20 hours per week at the time of nomination and whose organization serves the greater Baltimore community, will be awarded a $1,500 grant to subsidize his/her participation in a professional development opportunity.
Director, Maryland Chapter of FIDF
Reut Friedman was a new immigrant to America back in 2015. She was working at the CJE with the Shinshinim. From that time on those that work with her could tell that she was warm, caring and really wanted the absolute best for the Israeli emissaries that she was working with. She kept them busy, engaged in the community, acted as their mother while they were in Baltimore for the year and worked hard to make sure that their experience was fulfilling and enjoyable. The Shinshin truly grew to love Reut. They grew attached to her as a caring and open program director who was their boss and so much more.
When Reut left the CJE after the program grew, and Reut with it, she joined FIDF and her caring, energy and passion translated to the type of leader that FIDF desperately.
Reut’s determination and professionalism and drive to serve our community in a larger role and to give back to her home, Israel, in a more direct way, was so needed at FIDF. She worked with her volunteer partners in growth, in innovation, in inspiration and as a former IDF officer herself, she believed in the mission of the organization from her kishkas. Serving as the Director of FIDF Baltimore isn’t just a job for Reut. It is almost like a destiny.
There is no one in all 24 chapters of the FIDF like her. She is strong, she is committed, she is warm, and she is an absolute pleasure to work with and being a former IDF soldier herself, she brings a real touch that just can’t be taught or learned.
Reut worked with her lay partners on a jam-packed calendar of events and initiatives. Together they planned to blow the roof off of FIDF Baltimore’s 11 year history of success and kick it into a whole new level of excitement. Then came Covid and their plans, like everyone else’s had to change. But Reut met the challenge with grace and persistence. FIDF hit 80% of their goal in 2020 despite having no live events and no Gala. In 2021, they decided that 80% just wasn’t enough and would work harder and smarter to make sure that the brave men and women of the IDF, who needed support during these trying times more than ever, would not go underserved.
Through Reut’s professional leadership combined with her attention to details, her true care for the donors, her genuine outreach and interest in the lives of our most generous benefactors, her drive to succeed and of course coupled with an amazing board and fantastic Gala Honorees and committee, the FIDF Baltimore chapter hit 124% of their fundraising goals in 2021. The only chapter to have an in-person Gala and the only one to beat the goal by double digits.
Numbers and goals are often how we measure our Jewish Communal Professionals and by that matrix, Reut is a superstar. But measuring a true leader is way more complicated. From her professionalism to her leadership style, from her commitment to our mission to her commitment to the soldiers of Israel, from her love of the IDF to her love for her community here in Baltimore, Reut Friedman is a gem and one worthy of our recognition and admiration as an Outstanding Jewish Communal Professional.
Past Award Winners
Jewish Family Services, 2005
THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, 2006
Goucher Hillel, 2007
THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, 2008
Mary Drey Haar
THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, 2009
Macks Center for Jewish Education, 2010
Jewish Volunteer Connection, 2011
THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, 2012
Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore, 2013
Jewish Volunteer Connection, 2015
The ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, 2016
Jewish Federation of Howard County, 2017
Baltimore Jewish Council, 2019
Jewish Volunteer Connection, 2021