Inbal ‘Innie’ Neun Builds Community for Seniors


Inbal “Innie” Neun is dedicated to helping seniors live their best lives. As the director of the Edward A. Myerberg Center in Baltimore, she works to create engaging and inclusive programs for seniors, offering social and educational opportunities and important resources.

Inbal “Innie” Neun (Courtesy)

Neun, 54, lives with her husband in Timonium. They have two children, both adults with one attending college. She does not belong to any synagogues, but attends services at several local congregations, and often works with Chevrei Tzedek Congregation due to the synagogue’s frequent collaboration with the Myerberg Center.

Originally from Ashkelon, Israel, Neun’s family immigrated to the U.S. when she was only 2 years old. Growing up in Carroll County, Neun had little memory of living in Israel, but her heritage still affected her upbringing.

“I had a very unusual name to be growing up with in Baltimore,” she said. “My mother didn’t give me a middle name, either. … It wasn’t popular to speak multiple languages 54 years ago, so unfortunately, I lost [my knowledge of] Hebrew.”

Originally, Neun had no intention of going into senior care. She studied music therapy and music education while attending the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, hoping to work with children with developmental disabilities. But her first job landed her at a medical adult day care center where she worked with adults who had mental illnesses. This was her first exposure to seniors who were living with Alzheimer’s disease, and the experience was a very impactful one.

“I became quite interested,” Neun recalled. “I had met a gentleman who would relive his mother’s death all day long. You would see him looking for his mother, and then he would realize that his mother was gone, every day. The grief and the suffering kind of drew me to trying to work with that population, and I became very focused on it.”

Neun still puts her experience with music therapy to good use, often singing with regular members of the Myerberg Center. She noted that some seniors have an easier time remembering songs from their youth than anything else, and for others, communicating through music comes more easily than speaking.

The Myerberg Center is a stand-alone institution that is not associated with the city or Baltimore County, so much of Neun’s work involves organizing sources of funding for the center’s senior programming. Every year, the center holds a fundraiser that helps cover operating costs. While this is often very challenging work, it’s worth it for Neun when she sees how local seniors benefit from the center’s offerings.

One of the center’s key mission statements is inspiring wellness and healthy aging, so the Myerberg Center offer several fitness-related activities. A fitness lover herself, Neun is involved in many of these. She took up boxing following a cancer diagnosis, and the Myerberg Center later began offering its own boxing class in hopes of helping members with Parkinson’s disease due to its beneficial effects on balance. Neun secured a certification as an ACE certified personal fitness trainer in 2023, and she noted that she has recently gotten into weightlifting.

“In the end, we can live a long life. But for it to be one of quality, you have to manage your chronic conditions,” she said. “It’s an old saying, but you have to ‘use it or lose it.’ The more active you are, the more benefits there are. You have to build up to it, put proper time into it and be safe doing it, but that’s something I believe wholeheartedly.”

Neun feels that her work at the Myerberg Center is a part of tikkun olam — repairing the world. She wants seniors in the community to focus on enjoying their lives to the fullest.

“A lot of seniors are my heroes,” Neun said. “They could spend their days complaining that they’ve lost their spouse, their abilities. … Some have even lost their children. Yet they come in smiling, and they’re so happy to connect with each other. We have so many people here living in the moment and enjoying what they have.”

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