Baltimore Community Connectors

Two moms pushing children in strollers

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 Lutherville 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.


Limor_ConnectorLimor Basin is married and has been living in Pikesville with her husband Alex, their daughter Lia, 10, and their son Neil, 8 since moving from Israel five and half years ago for her husband’s work as an engineer in a computer company. Since then, she has been working at the Beth El preschool and is also a Hebrew specialist at Beth El Hebrew school and a private tutor for all ages.She loves meeting and connecting with new people, hosting dinners, and really loves to cook and bake. If you have kids between the ages of 8 and 11 or are looking for connections within the Israeli community in Baltimore, Limor is the person you want to meet. Connect with Limor.

 


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.


Amy Goldberg lives in Towson with her husband Ben and baby boy Asher. She moved to Baltimore in 2008 to attend school at Baltimore Hebrew University where she completed her Masters in Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service. She is currently works at Beth El Congregation’s Religious School and Amy and her husband Ben are both involved with their synagogue, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. In her free time in Baltimore, Amy enjoys visiting the National Aquarium, talking walks around Towson, and rooting for the Orioles. Amy looks forward to connecting to families in the Towson area and creating engaging and enriching Jewish programs. Connect with Amy.

 


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-Harveyfamily

Stacy 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.

Ola Meleshka lives in Pikesville with her husband Gary and their daughter Zoey. Born in Belarus, she grew up in Israel. Ola 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. Ola 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. Ola enjoys decorating houses, swimming and discovering new restaurants. Connect with Ola.

 


Laurie Rosen lives in Pikesville with her husband Mike, daughter Ruby, and their dog Bentley. Laurie was born and raised in Pikesville and always knew she wanted to raise her family here. She has a large extended family who all reside in the area including 10 nieces, nephews and cousins all under 12! She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware (go Blue Hens!) and got her Masters at Towson. A former elementary school teacher, Laurie now works in finance while also spending time at home with her daughter. Laurie loves taking Ruby to music, gym and swim classes and can often be found at the Quarry Starbucks. Laurie enjoys time with her family, going for walks and binge-watching TV shows. Connect with Laurie.

 


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.

 


Rena is relatively new to the Baltimore area, as she and her husband Max moved here in 2012. Originally from Los Angeles, she has grown to really enjoy Baltimore and all that the city has to offer. She is currently a prosecutor for the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office.  With most of Rena’s family still in Los Angeles, her Baltimore friends have become like family! This has only become more important since she and Max welcomed their son Eli into their family. Rena became a Connector because she wants to make sure that all families in the area have a strong community that they can rely on in good times and in bad. Connect with Rena.


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)

Meet Lauren Ades (The Associated)

Meet Carly and Jessica (The Associated)


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.

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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