The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore is hosting a virtual celebration for all their supporters, no matter the size of their contribution.
The Associated’s Community Event, on April 21 at 7:30 p.m., is open to the community. Those who haven’t contributed but want to attend are encouraged to donate.
The event will feature a performance by Oz Pearlman, a mentalist and illusionist who won third place on the 10th season of “America’s Got Talent.” There will also be a Make Your Own Magic Pre-Glow event, for donors of at least $1,000 and monthly donors, and an IMPACT After-Glow, which is targeted to young adults 22-39.
Owings Mills resident Amanda Levine, who, along with her husband, Stu, chairs the Community Event, described the program as a “friend-raising event, not a fundraising event.”
“The Associated has decided to create a program to honor the community,” said Amanda Levine, who belongs to Chizuk Amuno Congregation and works as a teacher at Krieger Schechter Day School. “Often, [when] The Associated has their benefit events, there’s a fee to go and you have to be at a certain giving level in order to be invited. … [This] is open to the whole community, whether you’re an Associated supporter or not. This is really just a community event to bring us together.”
Levine said they are expecting a large turnout. They have already had 300 people sign up to attend.
“We’re tired of COVID; we’ve been cooped up,” Levine said. “The community has answered the call to support The Associated at this time — the requests for Associated funding have skyrocketed during COVID — and this is really just a thank you to the community for stepping up.”
Levine said she is most looking forward to seeing Pearlman perform.
“Oz Pearlman is everywhere,” she said. “He’s been on all the big night TV shows. He’s unbelievable, and even on Zoom, he’s fascinating to watch.”
The idea for a program honoring all supporters, including donors who contribute smaller amounts, has been in the works for almost two years, said Maury Garten, who chairs the community campaign with Katie Applefeld.
“We had been working on a strategic plan for this donor category,” said Garten, who belongs to Chizuk Amuno. “We wanted to find a way to engage those donors and also find a way to tell them how much we appreciate what they’re doing.”
According to Garten, there will be more events like this in the future.
“All organizations have had to reassess how you do donor engagement, particularly when you can’t have community-building events due to COVID,” he said. “We wanted to be sure, in a troubling time, that as we are continuing to raise money for our community, that we also find ways to keep engagement going. This is one of many things we’re going to be doing over the next few years to continue to connect with donors, who are anywhere from making a contribution of $1 to $10,000, because those are all incredibly meaningful gifts.”