Queen Esther from the Torah inspired local Esther Rosenfeld to be a queen in her own right.
“Everyone wants to be a princess, but what does it mean to be a queen? How do you carry yourself? It’s not about the external things, it’s about shining outward, grace, dignity and picking yourself up. Every woman falls on her face sometimes, but then she picks herself up again. We are far more resilient than we think we are” Rosenfeld said. “With God’s help.”
Rosenfeld, 37, of Pikesville, is originally from Indianapolis. A single “aunty,” as she calls herself, she is the prospect researcher for the University of Maryland, where she handles a lot of data. She is a member of Netivot Shalom and the JCC and bakes for Jewish Caring Network often. Rosenfeld has often been asked if she will open her own catering service for her baked delights, but she prefers to do it for fun and charity. Recently, she’s been delivering goodies to strangers in Baltimore through the Facebook group, Sisterhood of the Traveling Schnapps.
“The secret to not eat all the cookie dough is to bake on a full stomach!”
How do you fundraise for the University of Maryland?
I was in New York for about ten years before I moved downtown. I wasn’t dealing with donors directly but I liked that. It’s the research part, finding information, that I like.
In today’s world, everything changes so fast. We have to update things like names or addresses quickly. Day to day, [the job is] checking up on small requests, changing titles, confirming Ph.D.s, updating business addresses and then we focus on long-term projects to make new records from certain events and research things.
Why do you like your synagogue?
In Netivot Shalom, it’s a different, smaller shul. I like how closely knit it is. Everybody knows your face. I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about the pandemic, but during the pandemic, we had different congregants share sermons. They were able to draw on professional experiences, and I was able to talk about my passion. It’s fun to put your fresh stamp on the Torah portion.
Let’s talk about that P word.
Yeah. During pandemic I’ve been telecommuting for six months. We are doing a good job, though it takes discipline.
I’m really getting more into all of my passions. The library is open so I’m reading more books and doing more knitting. I try to do a little yoga every day. Just five to 10 minutes doing a child’s pose gets you back to your center. I don’t get myself into a pretzel, I prefer [things like] Yoga with Adriene for neck pain or back pain.
What are you looking forward to?
No matter what I plan, I have a plan B now. But it would be nice to do more activities with people outside.
[Also now] I have a blog, CozyFanCorner.home.blog. I write about anthology and storytelling.
What does your Jewish identity mean to you?
Commitment. Through rain or shine, you do it. Life has challenges, and I have days thinking, “Why, why, why are all these things happening?” but then I do the serenity prayer. You know, “Give me the strength to accept things I cannot, know the difference.” Just focus on what I can control, and what I can’t I let go of.