ACHARAI Alumni News


ACHARAI: The Shoshana S. Cardin Jewish Leadership Institute, is a proud member of the Center for Leadership, a new community-wide program of The Associated that engages, develops and inspires leaders to help build a stronger Baltimore Jewish community.

Message from Bill Robinson, Executive Director Center for Leadership

Bill Robinson, left and Debs Weinberg,

It is with wonder, humility and faith that I take on the stewardship of the Baltimore Jewish community’s new Center for Leadership. Our (draft) mission speaks to developing and inspiring those who will lead “our vibrant and vital Jewish community.” So, I’ve been wondering: What is a community? And how does leadership ensure its vibrancy and vitality?

The Jewish philosopher, Martin Buber, defines community against its more common opposite, collectivity, which has come to dominate our way of life.

But who in all these massed, mingled, marching collectivities still perceives what that is for which he supposes he is striving – what community is? They have all surrendered to its counterpart. Collectivity is not a binding but a bundling together: individuals packed together, armed and equipped in common, with only as much life from man to man as will inflame the marching step. But community, growing community (which is all we have known so far) is the being no longer side by side but with one another of a multitude of persons. And this multitude, though it also moves toward one goal, yet experiences everywhere a turning to, a dynamic facing of, the other, a flowing from I to Thou.


Musings From the Shoshana S. Cardin Inaugural Leadership Symposium - Rabbi Jessy Dressin

Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, left and
Rabbi Jessy Dressin, right

I hope I am not the only one who had a "Jacob wrestling with the angel" moment on Tuesday night – you know a moment where you stop and say, "WOW, there is something happening here that I didn't fully realize before this moment!" For me, that moment, was when the room of over 200 people in attendance turned into a lively bet midrash (place of study), with energy of learning and debating rippling out from each table as our community engaged in Jewish learning together. Led by Rabbi Angela Buchdal, with wisdom and grace – and a dynamic presence – people who identify differently and have different levels of comfortability with learning Jewish text, sat together and consulted our tradition as they participated in conversations about how to build bridges with those whom think differently than us rather than pull away ladders.

Personally, I spent time reflecting over the planning of this program about the unique opportunity we had when creating a community event to honor Shoshana S. Cardin (z"l), a leader who broke through nearly every glass ceiling during her time as a community leader. From the words that Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin shared about her mother at the beginning to the opportunity to learn from Rabbi Angela Buchdal, a g'dolah (great one) in our time, was a gift for those of us in attendance. It was a true shechiyanu moment...a moment that felt like a first of its kind here in our Baltimore Jewish community that I hope will happen many times over again. How great to be together to honor someone who was so committed to the Jewish people and for our local Jewish people to show up in our vastness to sing, to learn and to grapple together so that we may continue to work towards the things Shoshana so deeply cared about.

Read the JMORE interview >>

View pictures from the event >>

Alumni Programming: Save the Dates!

Join us for three exciting and exclusive events just for our ACHARAI Alumni:

Lessons with Leaders - Three exceptional and diverse leaders in our Baltimore community will share with us leadership lessons as well as what they see in the future for Baltimore.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 / 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
David Cordish, Chairman of The Cordish Companies

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 / 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Rafi Rone, Program Director for The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 / 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Chief Melissa Hyatt, Baltimore County Police Chief

For more information and to RSVP, contact Naami Schorr at 410-843-7579.

Upcoming Center for Leadership Workshops -
For Professionals and Lay Leaders

How We Built This: Designing Organizational Culture

Wednesday, October 30, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
The Associated Krieger Building

Barak Hermann and Randi Buergenthal, Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore
Learn from the JCC’s collaborative process to transform its governance model and enhance the lay/pro relationship to create a more engaged culture and team approach. Register today >>

The Kaleidoscope Workshop

Monday, October 28, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
The Weinberg Park Heights JCC

Vanessa Hidary and Marques Hollie, Kaleidoscope
The Kaleidoscope Workshop is a narrative-arts based, interactive, video workshop that highlights the personal stories of Jews of Color, and Jews from Sephardic & Mizrachi backgrounds to help communities develop greater receptivity and sensitivity to issues of Jewish diversity. Register today >>

Empowering Your Social Media Ambassadors

Tuesday, November 19, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
The Associated Krieger Building

Harel Turkel and Scott Hall, SOS Technology Group
Explore social media trends and how utilizing first person content sharing and creation continues to be the most effective and cost-efficient way to reach our target audience. Contact Aviva Schwartz to learn more.


What did you like best about being an ACHARAI Fellow?
I truly enjoyed the company and conversation of everyone in my ACHARAI cohort. We shared many things in common, but our diverse backgrounds, interests, and Jewish experiences created a lively dynamic at our meetings. Engaging in issues that are not always easy or noncontroversial was made so much easier knowing that we shared similar values, goals and aspirations for our respective agencies and organizations. Our commitment to community and to Jewish life runs deep. This is our starting point.

What is the most valuable skill you took away from the ACHARAI Fellows Program?
I don’t know if I can identify a specific skill, but I know that integrating Jewish texts into lessons about general leadership skills provided a holistic approach that I found extremely enriching and instructive. I graduated from ACHARAI with a skill set informed by Jewish learning and values taught by first rate teachers and mentors.


Name: Emily Honick
Position, Organization:
Chair, Goucher College Hillel
Affiliation with ACHARAI:
Member of Cohort VII

Leadership Learning

How Great Leaders Inspire Action - Simon Sinek

Good and Welfare

Mazel Tov to:

Beth Sellman on the wedding of her daughter, Emily to Tyler Dratch on September 8th!
The new officers and members of the ACHARAI Board.

Condolences to:

Julie Applebaum on the loss of her mother, Suzanne Levitt.

ACHARAI: The Shoshana S. Cardin Jewish Leadership Institute
5806 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215
410-843-7579 | |