“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.”
A native of Baltimore, Mike and his wife Samantha moved back here from New York a little over four years ago to be closer to home. According to Mike, YLC does a thorough job of giving participants a deep understanding of the different agencies, how they impact the Jewish and greater Baltimore community, and the way in which lay and pros interact to make the system work. Mike still interacts with many of his classmates, a high percentage of whom now sit on various boards within The Associated system like the JCC, JVC, and JCS. “At YLC, 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…and setting them up for success to be able to contribute in ways that are meaningful. It’s cool that YLC is a real feeder for lay leaders and lay engagement…It’s nice to be part of that kind of lineage and tradition and I am excited to help push that through.”
Mike thinks his age group is uniquely positioned to use their voices to make a real difference in sharing their perspective and why they feel the way they do about the importance of causes like Black Lives Matter, issues around racial equity and inclusion, other forms of diversity like disability, LGBTQ issues, etc. Mike believes each generation tends to view things from a different lens. He continues by stating it has been an interesting challenge to share one’s perspective in a way that is heard and to push without pushing too hard, especially when one can unintentionally say, “your generation didn’t do well enough and that’s why we’re here…”. Mike goes on to stress that we need to create and grow both Jewish and non-Jewish Baltimore together because Jewish Baltimore is better if the entire Baltimore community is better.
In working together, members of the IMPACT board were able to build consensus and bring others to the table. Lots of young Jews care about community and want to be involved, but they want to do so with meaning and value. This is where Mike explains people need to adapt and change to a different framework to meet others
Lately, Mike and his wife have been finding some release watching Schitt’s Creek