Message from the President

Hineni – Here I am
Louise Zirretta, President

Hineni, a word so powerful because it “is mostly used when G-d personally calls on someone in the Bible to do something difficult and important. Abraham? ‘Here I am.’ Moses? ‘Here I am. It's very complete and emotionally charged, and implies, ‘Here I am: ready, willing and able.’ “ (The Weekly Standard, Feb., 2007)

In my first alumni newsletter article as President, in the fall of 2017, I wrote about the long-standing commitment of ACHARAI alumni to answer the calls of Jewish organizations throughout the greater Baltimore area with words (“yes, I will step forward and take on the responsibility of leadership”), with energy, with humility and with a commitment to understand the unique obligations of leadership...and leadership through a Jewish lens. Read more>>

Alumni Programming

Bobbi Perlman, Co-Chair, Alumni Committee
To carry on our theme of, “The Fruit of our Labor,” we met at Art with a Heart to work on a large-scale mosaic for the Children’s Department of the Enoch Pratt Library. We delved into the world of underwater imagination working on the mosaic installation. As we were helping to create the mosaic, we were collaborating and sharing about the organizations we are involved with.

Click here for pictures from past ACHARAI alumni events.
Click here for past alumni photos.

The Quietest Leader
Amian Frost Kelemer
Chief Executive Officer, Louise D. and Morton J. Macks Center for Jewish Education

Of all the stories in the Torah, the Exodus story is chock full of leadership models. We learn about Paroah whose heart was hardened, Moshe, the greatest prophet who ever lived, his sister Miriam, taskmasters and midwives, and Nachshon Ben Aminadav, the man who jumped into the water first before the Reed Sea split to accommodate the escaping Israelites. Each one of these individuals is worthy of an essay on leadership and many have been written. Leadership in this context is the big sweeping arm of history being moved along by the players whose names we recognize. We also know something of their actions- whether to emulate them or to revile them.

However, some leaders are virtually unknown and exert their influence quietly and gently. Their actions, while still important, are nearly lost to future generations. Serach bat Asher is that kind of leader. According to midrash, Serach was a good communicator. Serach was credited with being the one to sing a song to Yaakov letting him know gently that Yosef was still alive and thriving in Egypt. She was a good listener.

Serach ensured that Moshe was recognized as a rightful leader based on the language he used at the beginning of the redemption from Egypt. Serach kept confidences. She was entrusted with knowing where Yosef’s bones were buried so that his remains would journey with the Israelites to his final resting place.

Read more>>

Enjoy these fun Passover videos:

Save the date:

Shoshana S. Cardin Leadership Symposium-September 10, 2019.
Guest speaker: Rabbi Angela Buchdahl from Central Synagogue in NYC


What did you like best about being an ACHARAI Fellow?
The comradery - being with people who understand your struggles, concerns and who share your passion for the Jewish community. I was able to utilize the skills I learned during the ACHARAI Fellows Program when I was Women’s Campaign Chair for The Associated and Chair of the Women’s Division, Israel Bonds Maryland.

What is the most valuable skill you took away from the ACHARAI Fellows Program?
I perfected the skill of listening. Communication includes good listening skills and never, ever use the word “but.” This is a game changer.

How has your leadership style changed/improved since completing the ACHARAI Fellows Program?
My communication skills improved when interacting with board members, donors and other vested partners.


Name: Linda Elman
President, Women's Institute Torah

Past ACHARAI Board Member and Alumna Class V


Mazel Tov to:

Pam Platt on the birth of a new granddaughter, Hailey Rebecca Platt.
Linda Hurwitz on the marriage of her son, Michael Hurwitz to Morgan Barker.
Ellen Kahan Zager on her book, And There Was Evening and There was Morning getting named one of the best Jewish children’s books of 2018.
Isaac Pretter on receiving The Associated’s Julius Rosenberg Memorial Award.
David Kramer on the marriage of his daughter, Avigail Kramer to Aryeh Itzkowitz.

Condolences to:

Gary Eidelman on the loss of his mother, Dr. Mildred Greenberg Eidelman.
Ron Eisenberg on the loss of his mother, Ruth May Eisenberg.
Maury Garten on the loss of his mother, Susan Garten.
Ed Gutman on the loss of his wife, Sandra Gutman.
Jen Kaplan on the loss of her father in law, Rodney Kaplan.
Clara Klein on the loss of her brother-in-law, Andrew Klein.
Pam Platt on the loss of her father, Walter Straus.
Elaine Richman on the loss of her mother, Janet Richmond.