Giving Thanks


As the 2018 women’s campaign chair for The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, I have the privilege of having meaningful Jewish conversations with many members of our community. I hear the reasons why they support the local agencies serving needs in Baltimore; and I learn why our work in Israel, the former Soviet Union and other global Jewish communities resonates with so many.

In all these conversations, there is a common thread. Associated donors share beliefs that are integral to our Jewish heritage, and their philanthropic decisions are inspired by those core values. We are a community that embraces different streams of Judaism; but when it comes to supporting the needs of the vulnerable and building for tomorrow, we are truly one people. Kol Yisrael arevim zeh la-zeh — all Jews are responsible for one another.

As the mother of three children educated at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School, I know firsthand how important it is to discuss these values as a family and ensure that our children and grandchildren follow in our footsteps as leaders in, and supporters of, Jewish life in Baltimore.

We are approaching a time of year when the themes of gratitude and giving thanks are both timely and pervasive. As Jews, these values are constants in our tradition. They were always part of the Jewish conversations my husband and I had with our children; I hope that all of you are drawing upon our tradition to teach these lessons too.

The Associated and its agencies offer a variety of opportunities for families to come together to support a great cause, whether it’s working on a hands-on project with Jewish Volunteer Connection, winterizing the homes of seniors with CHAI, serving a holiday meal to an adult with a disability at the JCC or making calls at Super Sunday to raise the dollars that make all of this possible.

Last month, our community answered the call on Super Sunday, and we raised $1.2 million in one day of calling. This month, we will gather again for Giving Tuesday, a day of generosity that comes the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

The Associated has successfully used this national day of giving for the last four years to reach out to members of our community, to thank them for their past support and to give them the opportunity to make our community even better by giving again this year.

If you would like to be part of The Associated’s Giving Tuesday efforts, visit and volunteer to help make calls. And if you receive a call on Giving Tuesday, please think about the people in our community whose lives are saved and enriched by your support and give generously.

Wendy Miller is chair of the 2018 Women’s Campaign for The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

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