Approximately 200 members of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore gathered at Beth Tfiloh Congregation June 24 for their annual end-of-year meeting at which they reviewed the past year’s events.
Gov. Larry Hogan was slated as the keynote speaker but was unable to attend due to his recently announced health issues with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Maryland Secretary of Aging Rona Kramer spoke on his behalf and said she felt Hogan was fully capable of performing his duties despite his illness.
“He is a fighter. The man works 15 hours a day, seven days a week, and I assure you that he will continue to lead the state,” she said.
Kramer discussed the latest legislative session and said in the midst of massive budget cuts, the state’s partnership with The Associated would continue to receive the same amount of funding it had in the past. She praised the crowd for their help during the Freddie Gray riots when a number of apartment complexes in Baltimore had no access to grocery stores after a CVS was burned and looted.
“They had no transportation and no means of being able to get those services,” Kramer said. “So my department put together a bus route and we planned for the buses, but we called you all and asked for assistance with it and immediately you all said sure.”
Renee Cohen, a spokeswoman for Sen. Ben Cardin, also praised The Associated for its response to the riots.
“We all need you. We can’t give up on the city, and ultimately it is going to be the same safe, vibrant place that it has always been,” Cohen said.
Laurie Edberg, a spokeswoman for Sen. Barbara Mikulski, read a statement from the senator thank-ing The Associated for its global outreach efforts.
“From our unabashed and unwavering support for Israel, to our initiatives in support of tolerance for all people, I look forward to continuing our work together,” she said.
The event also included an announce- ment from Annual Campaign Chair J.M. Schapiro and Annual Women’s Campaign chair Shelly Malis that they raised $30.5 million this year and $47.6 million in total resources.
“It is what the money does that is the true measure of success for us,” Malis said.
The meeting concluded with a yearly summary from President Marc Terrill who said, “Over the past year we have experienced a broad array of challenges,” citing the Baltimore riots, violence in Israel and the recent Charleston church shootings, among other significant events.
Terrill said ultimately, the sense of community that The Associated fosters makes “good times great and bad times bearable.” He said despite all of the tragic events, the community has held strong.
“We have also experienced moments of incredible joy,” he said. “However, that narrative of joyful events is not always in full view of the public. Nevertheless, it is there.”