For nearly 75 years, Associated Women has been a stalwart in our community, bringing together Jewish women of all ages to make Baltimore a better place to live. Along the way, we’ve empowered each of them to explore their Jewish identities, to participate in hands-on social action and to engage in women’s philanthropy that makes a real difference.
Two years ago, I was fortunate to take over as chair of Associated Women. In an age when women are increasingly playing a significant role in shaping public discourse and impacting philanthropy, I wanted to create a place where women in all stages of life would find a home.
I immediately sat down to speak with women in our community. I heard from individuals who wanted to learn more about Jewish customs so they could pass these rituals on to their grandchildren. I listened to women who wanted to understand finances and philanthropy. And, I talked with those who wanted to hear from engaging speakers who would inspire them on their Jewish journeys.
And, as these conversations took place, I realized that what was missing was a place for active women who had worked all their lives and now had time to make a statement
That’s how Chapter Three was born. Working with Michele Lax, immediate past president of Associated Women, we created a place for women, ages 60 plus. My goal was to empower them to take on the burning questions they have and to provide them with opportunities to engage in meaningful discussions about interesting topics in intimate settings.
This fall, we launched this program. Already, we’ve seen extraordinary response for speakers like Dr. Yarden Fanta, the first Ethiopian woman to earn a doctorate in Israel. Our White Glove Session, a private viewing of rare books seized by German soldiers that were discovered in storehouses in Europe following World War II, and held at Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University, was a sell-out.
My goal is for Chapter Three to expand its reach, becoming an integral part of The Associated Women family of programs. My wish is that the women in our community who choose to participate will learn, grow and build personnel connections on their continuing thirst for knowledge. I want these amazing women with such amazing energy to be inspired as they travel their newest phase of life.
As Melinda Gates once said, “All women, everywhere, have the same hopes; we want to be self-sufficient and create better lives for ourselves and our loved ones.”
I am proud that we are continuing that tradition.
Nina Rosenzwog is chair of Associated Women.