Annual Meeting and Siyum of Class VII

Message from Beth Gansky, Executive Director


Welcome Cohort VII into the alumni ranks! We are 140 leaders and growing! ACHARAI’s vision is to support our thriving, growing contingent of alumni and leaders who care passionately about the needs and future of our greater Baltimore Jewish community. I think a lot about what it takes to cultivate a meaningful experience for our ACHARAI network and what will keep you engaged.

Here is what I hope we do as a community and continue to offer:

  • We celebrate together
  • We notice positive changes
  • We are “here,” not there
  • We solve problems together
  • We offer a safe space to take risks
  • You have a chance to contribute in a myriad of ways
  • You are known
  • Together, we create, listen, learn and share

I encourage you to be an active member of the ACHARAI community.

Have a great summer.

With warm regards,


Annual Meeting and Siyum of Class VII

ACHARAI celebrated another year of leadership on Wednesday, May 15 as we installed new President, Ned Himmelrich and said thank you to immediate past President, Louise Zirretta for her dedicated leadership. We also celebrated the siyum (completion) of AFP Class VII!

Read Ned Himmelrich’s remarks here.

View pictures from the event here.

Alumni Programing

Summer Cohort Gatherings:
Please join us for a summer gathering where we will have a chance to reconnect, learn about the new Center for Leadership and the exciting alumni plans the coming year.
Class I and II: Home of Aaron Max, Thursday, July 25 from 6-8 PM
Class V and VI: Home of Fred Heyman, Wednesday, July 17 from 6-8 PM
Class VII: Home of Beth Gansky, Tuesday, July 9 from 6:30-8:30 PM

If you are not available on a particular evening your cohort is gathering, feel free to pick another date.



What did you like best about being an ACHARAI Fellow?
So much to choose from, however, at the top of my list are the friends I made, both as a member of the first class and from my time on the board. They inspired me and taught me so much about leadership, humility and the importance of serving our Jewish community.

What is the most valuable skill you took away from the ACHARAI Fellows Program?
How to manage an effective meeting, and the importance of hearing all voices, particularly those that have a different point of view than your own. And...always start and end meetings on time!

How has your leadership style changed/improved since completing the ACHARAI Fellows Program?
I’m more confident in my leadership abilities. This has allowed me to lead with a clear vision and purpose. I learned to develop strategic goals and work to accomplishing those goals by empowering board and committee members to be active participants in the process. .


Name: Herb Sweren
Jewish Big Brother/Big Sister League

Alumnus Class I and past ACHARAI Trustee

Check out Priya Parker’s book:

The Art of Gathering and her TED Talk