Protect yourself, especially on Facebook

053014_mishmash_social-mediaEver think that sharing every inch of your life with the world on Facebook may not be in your best interest? If you don’t have your privacy settings in place, then that’s exactly what you’re doing. You may not be able to take back what’s already out there, but you can protect yourself from publishing future stories and images that could get into the hands of undesirables.

Protect yourself with Facebook’s easy-to-use privacy app. Click on the “lock” icon at the top right of your page. Decide who can see your “stuff,” “tag” you, look you up and contact you. You can even go back and limit viewers from seeing posts that you’ve previously shared.

Facebook also gives you the option to restrict users from posting on your timeline and to block specific users so they no longer see things that you post. Hate those never-ending invites to play games, download unwanted apps or attend events? Now you can even block those with the click of a key.

Finally, never publish a photo, phone number, address or any personal information that you don’t want others to see. And when you do post, make sure that the icon in the “status” box is set to “Friends” or whatever specific group you want to share your story with. You already have practically zero privacy in your life. Don’t let Facebook take it up another notch. Put your privacy settings in place today.

Gerri Baum is a social media consultatn who helps businesses, organizations and brands leverage the power of social media in order to meet their marketing goals and objectives. In addition to managing private clientele, Baum directs social media for Kalix Communications in Baltimore and is a social media manager for Sociality Squared in New York City.

A really ‘smart’ collaboration

052314_mishmash-technologyThanks to the work of the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC), a Maryland company and an Israeli company are partnering to develop a smart grid system that will ensure a reliable and secure firewall for high-security connectivity assets.

Patriot Technologies, Inc., in Frederick Maryland, and RADiFlow Ltd. of Tel Aviv have received a $500,000 grant from the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation. BIRD promotes collaboration between Israeli and American companies in various technological fields for the purpose of joint product development and provides conditional grants of up to $1 million to strategic partnerships.

It is the work of MIDC to demonstrate how Maryland and Israel are complementary partners, both strong in life sciences, information technology, homeland security and other high-tech industries. MIDC can help identify innovators and entrepreneurs with complementary ideas and inventions to enhance existing product lines and locate sources for research and development funding.

For more information about building strategic business alliances between Maryland and Israel, contact Peter Telem, director of business development at

This Little Wino-Bourbon Lover Went To A Brewery

051614_patti-unionI am going to surprise you. I decided to go on a tour to help better my skills and knowledge and become a “better-rounded” spirit, hospitality gal. That being said, I took a tour of the closest brewery to my home, Union Craft Brewery. Greeted by two of the three co-owners, Pikesville-raised Adan Benesch and Jon Zerivitz, in the lobby, aka the Tasting Room, I started my journey.

Union Craft Brewery opened in the Woodberry neighborhood in the summer of 2011 and is a burgeoning freshman in the local craft brew world. As per the website, the 7,200-square-foot facility sells a line of up to 21 beers, including ever-changing seasonal ales and some staples such as Duckpin and Blackwing (Ravens and Orioles have black on their wings). Also for sale are growlers to go, in two sizes.

Who had duckpin bowling parties at Fairlanes? I did! This is a hoppy beer that combines citrus and grapefruit notes and flavors. I might call it a Sauvignon Blanc kind of beer. Next, I sipped the distinguished 2012 Great American Beer Festival gold-medal winner for German-style Altbier, called Balt Altbier. This is a big-time award, so kudos to the freshman!

The Tasting Room is definitely hopping, with happy hours and weekend tour times. It can be found at 1700 Union Ave.

Patti Neumann is publisher/founder of and an award-winning columnist and blogger on food and wine. Find her pages on social media under CityPeek Patti and

Today’s philanthropy is more and more about Partnerships

050914_mishmash-philanthropyIt is a rare day when all the stars and the heavens come together; one recent Tuesday was such a day. Thirteen haredi women, each from a different stream of the religious mosaic, graduated from a new program that provides them with opportunities to work in Israel. The project, which trains such women to work in their communities as early childhood counselors, originated at the National Council of Jewish Women’s Research Institute for Innovation in Education at Hebrew University and is supported by the Hadassah Foundation.

Like all mothers, the women wanted to give their children a good beginning. Moreover, they came with a plan to enter the workforce through a profession that is dear and familiar to them: parenthood. As they studied early childhood education at Hebrew University over the past several months and acquired the appropriate professional and paraprofessional early childhood education tools, they learned that parenthood and early childhood education are universal values and that the university setting can be welcoming and nurturing — even for women of their background. And they learned that a university environment is one in which your own values and customs can and should be respected and that there is something to learn from the other.

Collaboration between two major American Jewish women’s organizations to advance women in Israel is a good model for future philanthropic work. Today’s philanthropy is more and more about partnerships, measurable outcomes and the distribution of resources.

Shari Eshet is director of NCJW’s Israel Office, based in Jerusalem. She oversees NCJW’s funding and advocacy efforts in Israel. See more at

Getting those surefire ideas out of your head

If your brain is about to explode from a stockpile of opinions, ideas and observations that burn to break out, then maybe you should consider blogging. Blogs are a great way to openly express your views on a variety of subjects, share vital information, educate readers with your wealth of knowledge and leave your mark on trending topics.

Creating a blog can be free. And there are a wide variety of blogging platforms from which you can blog to your heart’s content. WordPress, the ‘daddy of blogging sites,’ offers limited customization. There is also a version that allows you to host a blog on your own server with the ability to edit themes and include as many plug-ins as you wish. Although WordPress is the best option available, it can be a bit complicated if you’re a novice blogger.

Google’s blogging platform Blogger, however, can be easily customized with a variety of backgrounds and layouts that can make a new blogger look like a pro. It simply requires a Gmail/Google account to get started. And, like WordPress, it’s free.

050214_mishmash_socialmediaBlogging platforms such as Tumblr, Medium, Svbtle, Quora and all have their own nuances when it comes to purpose, customization and ease of use. Your choice to blog on anyone of these sites should depend on your publishing goals and comfort level.

It doesn’t really matter what platform you choose. Just find one that works for you and start writing. Your brain will thank you.

Gerri Baum is a social media consultant who helps businesses, organizations and brands leverage the power of social media in order to meet their marketing goals and objectives. In addition to managing private clientele, Baum directs social media for Kalix Communications in Baltimore and is a social media manager for Sociality Squared in New York City.

Israel and Maryland: Protecting the Internet

042514_mishmashIsrael has long been called the “gold standard” for homeland security, because of its need to protect itself in all domains of warfare, which most recently includes cyber security attacks. At the same time, Maryland is called the “epicenter” of cyber security in the U.S. because the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command are both located at Fort Meade near Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Both here and in Israel, legions of innovative high-tech companies are responding to the government and private sector’s need to stay ahead of hackers, presenting excellent opportunities for collaboration between Maryland and Israeli companies.

To that end, the Maryland/Israel Development Center is hosting a delegation of Israeli homeland and cyber security companies May 13 and 14 for “matchmaking” sessions with Maryland and American companies. MIDC is also organizing a delegation of Maryland companies to go to MIXiii, the Israel Innovation Conference from May 15 to 22. Originally a bio-med conference, MIXiii now encompasses the full spectrum of Israeli technological capabilities from telecommunications, information and Internet security to pioneering medical device, bio and pharmaceutical technology.

Visit the MIDC website at for information on these two programs.

Mah Nishtana HaYayin Hazeh?

041814_mishmash_foodSo, with all of your detailed Passover planning, you may ask, “Just what is the difference between kosher wine and kosher-for-Passover wine?”

To be kosher, wines must be produced under a rabbi’s immediate supervision with only Sabbath-observant workers handling the grapes from the crushing phase through pasteurization. For a wine to be kosher for Passover, extra care must be paid to its fermentation.

The process of fermentation turns juice into an alcoholic beverage, whereby yeasts transform sugars present in the juice into ethanol and carbon dioxide. While all wines require some sort of mold (yeast) for fermentation, kosher-for-Passover wine must be made from a mold that has not been grown on bread and must exclude several common preservatives such as potassium sorbate.

Knowing I needed some vino for Seder gifts, I headed to Miller’s Deli in the Greenspring Shopping Center. Co-owner Jeff Karlin handpicked a white and red Israeli wine under the Golan Heights Winery’s Mount Hermon label and an Australian-blend, Altoona Hills Cabernet-Shiraz 2012.

In your shopping for the rest of the holiday, be sure to check the label for a “P,” typically just to the right of the OK or OU markings.


Patti Neumann is publisher of and an award-winning columnist and blogger on food and wine. Connect with ‘CITYPEEK Patti’ on social networks for an immediate response

Rubenstein’s Generous Gift

041114_mishmash_philanthropyBaltimore native and Duke University trustee David M. Rubenstein is giving $1.9 million to Jewish Life at Duke to expand programming, fund building renovations and enhance the college experience for Jewish students

Most of the gift — $1.5 million — will fund new initiatives and staff positions for a Jewish student population whose needs and interests are changing, said Rebecca Simons, the center’s director. New programs are expected to reflect an increasing student demand for information and resources related to globalization, leadership and community, she said.

The gift also includes $400,000 for renovations to the Freeman Center for Jewish Life. The 15-year-old building will undergo renovations this summer; the work is expected to conclude by the start of the fall semester.

“When I came to Duke in the mid-1960s, Jewish life was almost invisible,” said Rubenstein, a 1970 Duke graduate and current chair of the university’s board of trustees. ”Now it is a vibrant and essential part of the university that is growing every year. It is my hope that Jewish students and their families will think of Duke as a destination for a great education and a positive Jewish experience.”

Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, graduated from Baltimore City College. He sits on the board of Johns Hopkins University.

The gift is Rubenstein’s second to Jewish Life at Duke and supports Duke Forward, the university’s seven-year $3.25 billion fundraising campaign that ends June 2017.

Ditch That Rolodex!

040414_phoneAre you a boomer or retiree ready to launch the next great act of your career? Than you must have a social media footprint.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 95 percent of organizations use LinkedIn to recruit workers. So throw out that ancient Rolodex you’ve depended upon and create a professional online profile.

Setting up your LinkedIn profile doesn’t have to be intimidating. Publish a professional photo of yourself along with a headline that illustrates who you are. Include a summary that tells people what you do and highlights your career accomplishments. Include images, slideshows and video that showcase your work. Build out your job history, noted achievements and skills list to further attract recruiters and endorsements from followers.

Once your LinkedIn profile is complete, engage in the community. Life Reimagined for Work, a partnership of AARP and LinkedIn, is a valuable LinkedIn group to join. With more than 15,000 members, this dynamic community offers job listings, conversation, news and advice geared to people who have been in the workforce for more than 20 years.

Gerri Baum is a consultant and strategist who helps brands leverage the power of social media to meet their marketing goals. She works with Kalix Communications in Baltimore and Sociality Squared in New York City.

The Importance of Leadership

032814_mishmash_businessIn 1992, Israel was emerging from a crisis of hyper-inflation and struggling with double-digit unemployment spurred by the mass immigration of Russian Jewry. The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore stepped in to help.

Two of The Associated’s lay leaders, Hanan “Bean” Sibel and Marvin Schapiro, understood that the American Jewish community could help build a strong and vibrant Jewish state by helping its economy grow and create jobs. Thus, they created the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) as an agency of The Associated. Bean Sibel became its founding chairman.

In 2006, Abba David Poliakoff took the reins of leadership at MIDC. He steered a strategic planning process that transformed the one-person agency into a statewide membership organization with a five-person staff in Maryland and Israel and more than 300 members. He led more than a dozen trade missions to Israel, two with Gov. Martin O’Malley. He also spearheaded the creation of the Maryland/Israel Trendlines Fund to invest in Israeli startup hi-tech companies.

Success stems from leadership. That’s why the MIDC is honoring Abba Poliakoff with the Hanan Y. Sibel Maryland/IsraelBusiness Leader-ship Award on Thursday, April 3 at Woodholme Country Club. For more information, visit Maryland