CHAI to Manage Myerberg Center

CHAI: Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc., an agency of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, announced that it will oversee the management and operation of the Edward A. Myerberg Center, which began July 1.

This arrangement, approved by Myerberg’s board of directors, will enable CHAI to bring its extensive expertise in working with Northwest Baltimore’s aging population to the management of the Myerberg. CHAI owns and operates 16 Weinberg Senior Living facilities including Weinberg Woods, an active senior living community connected to Myerberg through a breezeway.

CHAI also offers programs that support aging-in-community such as Northwest Neighbors Connecting, a self-sustaining village of members and volunteers that provide everything from transportation to social activities to senior home repair and benefit coordination programs.

Siegel Elected to AAO Board

Dr. Steven M. Siegel, an orthodontist with offices in Glen Burnie and Reisterstown, has been elected by the Middle  Atlantic Society of Orthodontists as its representative on the board of trustees of the American Association of Orthodontists. Siegel was formally installed at the AAO’s recent 116th Annual Session in Orlando, Fla.

The AAO is the world’s oldest and largest dental specialty  organization with more than 18,000 members worldwide.

“It is a privilege and honor to represent my colleagues and the patients of the Middle  Atlantic Society of Orthodontists on the AAO’s board of trustees,” Siegel said in a news release. “The AAO plays a key role in assisting members as they navigate these changes, providing the support and resources they need as they continue the tradition of providing our patients with the highest possible quality of care now and in the future.”

An assistant clinical professor in the Department of  Orthodontics at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery since 1989, Siegel also has been a member of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Cleft and Craniofacial Rehabilitation Team since 1990.

KP Announces Research Bank

Kaiser Permanente has  announced the Kaiser Permanente Research Bank, a long-term research resource designed to help the organization better understand how people’s health is affected by their genes, behaviors and the environment. All Kaiser Permanente members who are 18 and older will be eligible to participate.

The KP Research Bank allows researchers to use DNA and other health information voluntarily provided by a diverse cross-section of Kaiser Permanente members to study how genetic and environmental factors affect health and to look for new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent certain diseases. For instance, the resource will allow researchers to study whether a person’s DNA influences how they respond to certain hypertension drugs or how genetic and environmental factors influence such diseases as diabetes and cancer.

Kaiser Permanente has set a goal to collect data from a total of 500,000 participants that represent membership in all seven Kaiser Permanente  regions, which would make it one of the world’s largest and most diverse repositories of genetic, environmental and health data. To date, more than 220,000 members from four geographic regions have participated in biobanking  efforts.

UMMC Commits to NKF-MD

With a shared goal of advocating on behalf of the kidney community, the University of Maryland Medical Center will award $23,250 to the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland over the next 12 months.

As part of a Gold Level Annual Partnership arrangement, NKF-MD will receive $10,000 as a research grant to study chronic kidney disease and/ or urinary tract diseases. The  remaining funds will support the following events:  Rappel for Kidney Health, NKF-MD’s signature fundraiser, where participants raise a minimum of $1,000 to go “over the edge” of the Hyatt Regency Baltimore; Beyond Dialysis, an education conference for patients and their caregivers; Renal Rounds, presentations of renal pathology cases to nephrologists and medical professionals; and the Greater Baltimore Kidney Walk , one of the nation’s largest walks that annually attracts over 6,000 people to the Camden Yards Sports Complex.

This renewed commitment facilitates continued collaboration between UMMC and NKF-MD, which are each committed to building awareness, driving prevention and supporting the treatment of kidney disease, which affects 26 million Americans annually.

Schusterman Foundation Names 29 Fellows

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation has selected 29 outstanding Jewish professional and volunteer leaders from around the world for the second cohort of the Schusterman Fellowship. The fellows hail from Jewish and secular organizations in North America, Israel, Australia, South Africa and Europe. A full list of the new Schusterman Fellows is available at

The fellowship is an executive-level leadership program that features custom-built  professional development  experiences and supports fellows in pursuing initiatives to address specific needs within their organizations. Through the program, the 29 fellows will gain critical leadership skills, form a strategic network of peers and maximize their potential for fostering Jewish organizational change.

Are Fatal Shootings on the Rise?

We are still reeling from the fatal shootings by police of African-American men last week — followed by the deadly revenge attack on Dallas police who, ironically, were protecting the rights of activists to protest police treatment of minorities.

Just as television brought the Vietnam War into America’s living rooms decades ago, last week’s deadly shootings were transmitted to the world in real time by the phones of people on the scene. And much as nightly television coverage helped galvanize the anti-war movement, videos of the shooting of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota have given those events a chilling immediacy.

Has there actually been an increase in fatal police shootings? Or are we just hearing more about them? According to reports, the numbers are going up. The Washington Post found that such fatalities are up 6 percent in the first six months of 2016 compared with the same period last year. It reported that “fatal encounters are strikingly similar to last year’s shootings: Blacks continued to be shot at two-and-a-half times the rate of whites. About half of those killed were white, and about half were minorities. Less than 10 percent of all those killed were unarmed. One-quarter were mentally ill.”

These statistics are, unquestionably, troubling. But they don’t paint the picture of a police system focused on depriving minorities of their civil rights. They indicate, instead, that police activity seems to rely increasingly on the use of deadly force — with disastrous results.

In the midst of his shock over the horrific loss of lives in his city, Dallas police chief David Brown summed up the crisis: “We’re hurting,” he said. “This must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.” But the question is, how?

Retraining of officers will be slow — there are 18,000 police forces in the nation. And part of the tragedy of the Dallas shooting is that the city is considered a leader in improving relations between its  police and the African-American community.

If there is a national will to change, it will only come through mutual respect, honesty and fairness in the administration of justice, a commitment to dialogue and continued calls for nonviolence, patience and restraint by community leaders. It will take a concerted effort by the police, as well as significant leadership in minority communities, along with a commitment by the nation to stand behind the police when they do the job right and to hold them accountable when they don’t.

While we hope that greater coverage of the problem will help and we support efforts to effect meaningful attitudinal and enforcement change, we worry that the public’s  attention span may be too short to sustain the slow work of improving our society. Nonetheless, we have no choice but to try.

Associated Honors Blumenfeld, Frederick

Josh and Julie (provided)

Josh and Julie (provided)

In honor of their outstanding leadership in the Jewish community, Julie Blumenfeld and Josh S. Frederick were presented with the Fred Walpert Young Leadership Award from The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. The Fred Walpert Young Leadership Award, presented annually, recognizes  growing leaders within The Associated community.

Blumenfeld began her involvement in the Baltimore Jewish community by participating in the Baltimore Jewish Council’s Leadership Development Program. She is chair of IMPACT 365 and has recently been appointed to The Associated’s board of directors. She also sits on the Maryland Hillel board of directors, is an active member of the Baltimore chapter of AIPAC and serves as a parent ambassador for her children’s school, Ohr Chadash Academy. Professionally, Blumenfeld is in private practice as a  pediatric dentist.

Frederick began his formal involvement by participating in the Young Leadership Council. He is chairing the YLC class scheduled to graduate in 2017 and is now a board member of the Darrell D. Friedman Institute for Professional Development. Frederick has worked in Baltimore’s technology industry for the past  15 years. He is the senior sales manager for Advance Business Systems.

As recipients of this distinguished award, Blumenfeld and Frederick have demonstrated their ability to lead effectively and make lasting contributions to IMPACT, The Associated and its agencies. They will have the opportunity to attend the Jewish Federations of North America National Young Leadership  Conference later this year.

Harbour School Wins $25K for Meals on Wheels

For the third year in a row, the Harbour School’s Harbouring Hope team won $25,000 for Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland.

Led by high school English teacher Siri Llamas, the team rallied the entire school to participate in a social action month concentrating on hunger, poverty and literacy awareness. One week was devoted to each world issue. Harbouring Hope hosted speakers from local organizations, held cross-curricular lessons around the school and conducted leadership seminars at local schools on these topics.

BSO Receives $1.2M for Education

BSO board chair Barbara Bozzuto announced that Patricia and Mark K. Joseph have donated $1.2 million from their foundation, The Shelter Foundation, to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to support access to the orchestra’s education programs for students in Title 1 Baltimore City Public Schools; $1 million of this transformative gift will endow the Patricia and Mark K. Joseph Music Education Fund for City Schools Students.

An additional $150,000 will provide bridge funds so that the BSO can start bringing more students to Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall as soon as schools are back in session this fall. The remaining $50,000 of the gift is directed to the BSO’s groundbreaking OrchKids program.

In 1924, the BSO was the first American orchestra to establish a series of educational concerts performed explicitly for an audience of children. Today, thousands of students from all over Maryland and neighboring states travel to the Meyerhoff annually to experience the orchestra’s Midweek Concerts.

Hartog-Levin Joins Weinberg

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, has welcomed retired ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin as the 12th trustee in the Weinberg Foundation’s history. Levin, who began her term in May, was unanimously selected by the foundation’s board in November 2015 following a nationwide search.

The foundation’s trustees, who together comprise the board of directors, are responsible for setting the policies and guidelines of the foundation. Levin is a distinguished fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, where she facilitates connections for the council with the government and business leaders on a variety of political, economic and environmental issues. She also serves as an adviser for the Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago. Levin was the 65th ambassador to the Netherlands from 2009 to 2011. Her parents were Dutch Jews who fled from the Netherlands to Suriname in 1942 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1948, shortly before she was born.

Levin will succeed Judge Ellen M. Heller, who concludes her six-year term, including the past three years as board chair. Levin joins board members Barry I. Schloss, who is the current board chair, Donn Weinberg, Alvin Awaya and Robert T. Kelly Jr.