Baltimore Community Connectors

Family walk in the park

New to the area and trying to figure out the lay of the land? Still looking for the right “fit” for your family in the Baltimore Jewish community? Or perhaps you are new to this whole parenting thing and itching to get out of the house and speak in full sentences.

The Macks Center for Jewish Education’s Parent Connectors can help you with all that and more. Whether by phone, email, or in-person over coffee, they are ready, willing, and excited to help connect you to all sorts of new people, places, and things to do in the Baltimore area. In addition, they plan fun events designed to get you out of your house and connected with other parents and families, such as pumpkin picking, family havdalah programs, scotch tastings, yoga, and more. Get connected today!


Lauren Ades lives in Canton with her husband Jon, daughter Ellie and their dog Harper. Lauren is born and bred in Baltimore and has deep roots in the Baltimore Jewish community. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore and is a past co-chair of IMPACT. Lauren is a Corporate and Real Estate Attorney at Pessin Katz Law in Towson. She sees herself as a relationship builder and enjoys connecting people to their passions whether it be in the Jewish community or in her professional life. In her free time (which admittedly is scarce) Lauren enjoys exercising, reading and taking walks around her neighborhood with Ellie and Harper. Connect with Lauren.


jessica

Jessica Fink lives in Pikesville with her husband, Steve, and their two children. After receiving her Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania, she taught pre-kindergarten in Philadelphia, before moving to New York City to complete a Masters in Library Science at The Pratt Institute. She also taught pre-kindergarten at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School while in Manhattan. Upon finding out she was pregnant with her daughter, her husband convinced her to move to Pikesville, where he grew up. In between having children she taught third grade at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community Day School. She is currently spending a few years at home with her children and enjoys taking them to music and movement classes. In her free time, she enjoys running and watching Ravens football or Orioles baseball with her husband. Connect with Jessica.


Carly Greenberg lives in Mt. Washington with her husband Jeff and two daughters, Blake and Madelyn. A native with very deep roots in Baltimore, Carly has a passion for connecting people to all of the great things our community has to offer. With a career in the hospitality industry and background in event management, Carly makes sure that no one ever leaves a party hungry or without a goody bag, and that each and every guest has a fun and memorable experience. Connect with Carly.


Connectors-HarveyfamilyStacy Harvey moved to Baltimore with her husband Justin in June 2013.  Career opportunities in their fields of pharmaceutical sales (hers) and finance (his) brought them to this gem of a city. They made their home on the Inner Harbor and quickly adopted a puppy, who now weighs in at a whopping 75-pounds, and named him Murray for their previous neighborhood of Murray Hill in Manhattan. They welcomed their daughter, Talia as they rang in the New Year on December 31, 2014. Stacy spends as much time outside as possible.  She can often be found pushing Talia in the stroller while walking Murray and trying to hit her Fitbit step goal for the day. Stacey and Justin have found a warm and welcoming community in Baltimore, and she hopes to help others find their own community connections as they explore the city and Jewish family life together. Connect with Stacy.


Connectors Jayne HavensJayne Havens lives in Lutherville with her husband Jonathan, son Sid, and daughter Ivy. A native Baltimorean, Jayne returned to the area in 2015 and is passionate about spreading the word about the best Baltimore and its thriving, young Jewish community has to offer. A former high-end social and corporate event planner with one of DC’s top catering companies, Jayne continues to bring a creative perspective and fresh vision to everything from family gatherings, life cycle events, charity galas, and everything in between. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, watching reality tv, and visiting Baltimore attractions such as the aquarium or zoo with her four-year-old. Connect with Jayne.


Olia Meleshko lives in Pikesville with her husband Gary and their daughter Zoey. Born in Belarus, she grew up in Israel. Olia received her Bachelor of Science in biotechnology from Bar Ilan University. After receiving her MBA from Heriot-Watt University, she worked several years in the pharmaceutical industry as a product specialist. Olia moved to Baltimore area two years ago after meeting her husband in Israel. She is currently spending a few years at home with her daughter and enjoys taking her to different activities. Olia enjoys decorating houses, swimming and discovering new culinary places.

Olia Meleshko lives in Pikesville with her husband Gary and their daughter Zoey. Born in Belarus, she grew up in Israel. Olia received her Bachelor of Science in biotechnology from Bar Ilan University. After receiving her MBA from Heriot-Watt University, she worked as a product specialist in the pharmaceutical industry for several years. Olia moved to Baltimore area two years ago after meeting her husband in Israel. She is currently spending a few years at home with her daughter and enjoys taking her to different activities. Olia enjoys decorating houses, swimming and discovering new restaurants. Connect with Olia.




THE-Ahava-Baby-logo

Ahava Baby Connectors

Connectors - Rebecca Dezube

Rebecca Dezube, her husband Scott, and their 15-month-old son Michael live in Canton, happily situated between Patterson Park and the waterfront.  Rebecca is a pulmonary and critical care physician at Johns Hopkins, specializing in cystic fibrosis when she’s not busy chasing Michael around the block  Scott is the executive director of a Baltimore non-profit, The 6th Branch, and is a JAG in the US Army Reserve. Rebecca and Scott both grew up in the Washington DC area and moved to Baltimore seven years ago from Nashville.  While they miss the opportunity to see live country music, they enjoy Baltimore’s friendly people, culinary scene, and all the Jewish and family activities they’ve encountered. Connect with Rebecca.


Connectors - SchmerlingFamily

Jen Schmerling lives in Owings Mills with her husband, Daniel Schmerling, and their twin daughters, Amelia and Gabrielle.  Jen’s background is in Jewish Education and Special Education and she is currently earning a Doctorate in Educational Administration and Policy Studies at the George Washington University.  Jen, Daniel, and the girls are Ahava Baby alumni  and decided to be connectors so they could welcome others and make new friends within the community.  Jen, a southern girl at heart, misses the Florida weather but loves exploring the culture of Baltimore with her family and friends! Connect with Jen.


CJE Connectors in the News

Relational Judaism: The Only Experience Left for Jewish Community (eJewish Philanthropy)

CJE Offering New Opportunities for Young Families (Baltimore Jewish Times)

Making a Lutherville Connection (JMore: Baltimore Jewish Living)


Have questions or want to learn more about the Community Connectors or Ahava Baby? Contact Lisa Bodziner, Director of Educational Engagement at the Macks Center for Jewish Education.

KvellerThe Kveller staff is made up of the hard-working folks behind your favorite Jewish parenting website, Kveller, of course.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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