Our true success is to be found in the aspirations and achievements of those leaders whom we had the privilege to help nourish. We hope to have nurtured their compassion, encouraged their curiosity, strengthened their courage, fostered their gratitude, deepened their humility, sustained their integrity, and cultivated their wisdom. Yet, it is they and their stories that inspire us each morning to rise up and continue this sacred work.
Ohr Chadash Academy
"...I really felt that joining the AFP was a lifeline. It gave me the opportunity to think about how I wanted to lead, to fine-tune and develop leadership skills, and gave me seasoned mentors to help me work through challenges."
Sarah Machlis, Development Associate for the Young Adult Division (YAD) at The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore
"Everyone has a place."
Alaine Jolicoeur, Passionate Community Advocate, Synagogue Board Member
"As long as tikkun olam and tzedakah continue to be my spiritual tenets, I will always continue to evolve. It’s about all of the aspects of my intersectional identity and making sure they are all cared for.”
Rabbi Elliot Kaplowitz, Rabbi, Netivot Shalom Congregation
“It’s not all about growth. It is about staying centered on core identity, when facing lots of options."
Julie Wohl, Jewish Educator, Artist, Author, Mom, Wife
"I think that people are hungry for coming together, and I think they want to do it in their Jewish world. The more we can look out, talk with people and really listen to what they are asking for, I think the more creative we can get in building opportunities for connection."
Marla Friedman, Career Jewish Agency Professional and Life-Long Community Lay Leader
"Family is very important to me. I enjoy my down time with my family. We like to sing together. Shabbos is always a treat, with the ability simply to be able to be together."
Caren Leven, Executive Director, Baltimore Zionist District
“As the person in charge, I am up for taking charge. Also, I have compassion for the people who are struggling to find the answers to these challenges and are not finding them elsewhere.”
Reut Friedman, Director, Maryland Chapter, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF)
“There is so much to learn from people here and around each of us…that is something that has profoundly changed me. The Mishna tells you that silence is essential, and in coming to America, I could experience this for the first time.”
Matan Zeimer, Passionate Community Organizer for Racial, Economic and Social Justice
"Feel the passion and direct it into curiosity, then build those trusting relationships that can allow you to ask the questions, to be a learner, to be a person who can then step into roles of leadership and be OK making mistakes and being challenged.”
Marc Wernick, Builder of the Baltimore LGBTQ+ Community
“The remarkable part of the Baltimore queer Jewish community is the collaboration between all the Jewish organizations. It is not uncommon to have eight to twelve organizations co-sponsoring an event,” observes Marc.
Sol Davis, Executive Director, Jewish Museum of Maryland
"Working together, focusing on programs like this that foster discourse, build empathy within communities and encourage participation."
Vicki Spira, Community Leader
"You need to walk before you can run, and you need to know where you are and what you can get done."
Dr. Harriette Wimms, Community Leader
“Never give up! Although life may seem hopeless right now, there will be a time when there is joy and community.”
Michael Sapperstein, Cohort 1, ACCELERATE
"My feeling is (that) I’m not a finished product, which means (one) can improve and here’s an opportunity for me to get involved in a leadership program…why not?"
Mike Fuld, Community Leader
“It’s all about relationship building and connection. We are identifying young lay leaders, providing them with tools and skills to be great lay leaders at our various agencies.”
Molly Amster, Baltimore Director, Jews United for Justice
“I knew I wanted to be doing racial justice work, and as a white Jewish woman in Baltimore, I wasn't sure what role I would be able to find where I wasn't like being a white savior and like going into communities of color and trying to solve their problems.”
Dr. Rabbi Moshe Shualy, Ritual Director at Chizuk Amuno Congregation
There is no greater reward than working with the community, to refocus from most selfish self to gain the best rewards to listen to the stillness, especially as uttered by the still small voice of those we encounter.
Diana Goldsmith, Program Manager, Repair the World Baltimore
"Being a leader isn’t about being up front all the time and being visible all the time…it’s so much more about who follows and how you get them to follow…"
NEW THIS YEAR – This award recognizes a professional who supports their organization with Heart, Excellence, Reliability and Optimism. The winner of the HERO award demonstrates their commitment to go above and beyond in their work to build relationships and ensure the essential success of their organization. This is not an award based on experience; it’s not for a new professional nor a seasoned professional —This award honors a person who is the backbone of your organization, who goes above and beyond their job role to care about the overall functioning of the organization and the people that surround them.
Neely Tal Snyder Community Impact Award
This award honors the memory of Neely Tal Snyder z”l by recognizing a professional with strong commitment and passion for Jewish community. The winner of this award demonstrates creativity, openness and inclusion and helps to build immersive and hands-on experiences/programs that have community impact.
The Daniel Thursz Distinguished Jewish Communal Service Award
This award was created in 2000 to honor and recognize Dr. Daniel Thursz for his achievements as former Dean of the University of Maryland School of Social Work and co-founder of the Darrell D. Friedman Institute for Professional Development (formerly BIJCS). He also had served as former Executive Vice President of B’nai B’rith International.
This award pays tribute to the invaluable contributions individual who has worked in the field of Jewish communal service for at least 20 years and is currently serving the greater Baltimore community. The individual has demonstrated leadership, exemplary professional skills, and a lifelong commitment to the field.
Outstanding Jewish Communal Professional Award
This award recognizes mid-level career 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. Please let Cindy Goldstein know of your nomination and complete this form.