We are proud stewards of our family’s philanthropic legacy. While our early work was shaped by World Wars, the Holocaust, and anti-Semitism, we embraced the promise of a healthy Jewish future. We are firmly committed to fostering a vibrant Jewish community in Baltimore.
The Funds transitioned our Baltimore Jewish community portfolio in 2017 after rigorous planning that began 18 months prior. Our process renewed our sense of purpose resulting in a focus on engaging and educating the New Jewish Family in Baltimore.
Leading edge professionals have coined the term “the New Jewish Family” to describe the sea-change that has taken place. We have entered a new reality in Jewish life. Nationally, 72% of non-Orthodox families have members that are of other faiths and/or multi-cultural heritage. Additional changes in the first decades of the 21st century include lower membership in Jewish organizations, same-sex Jewish marriages, growing awareness of the needs of single parent and special needs families, and an increasingly influential role for Jewish grandparents.
Response to change of this order requires a nimbleness most large organizations and systems do not possess. We do not believe all of our large or established organizations need to fade away. Our community needs their infrastructure (we would have to recreate some of them if they disappeared), their acquired wisdom, and their collective power. We believe some organizations will survive and help to fashion a new future. They will have to do what all entities do in the face of cataclysmic challenge . . . adapt.
The Funds are deeply committed to the Jewish people and to the virtues of Judaism as a faith tradition that has historic and inherent value in the world. We are excited about working with organizations and funders in Baltimore that demonstrate an adaptive spirit and want to confront this new reality with creativity, honesty, and authenticity.
Funders should invest in the things they care about. The Funds’ interest in the New Jewish Family arises as a result of our research and reflects our personal experiences. We are a nearly perfect reflection of the changes experienced communally and documented in the many studies we reviewed or our consultants cited. This is not the “Jewish” family our founding generations envisioned. This is not even the “Jewish” family our boomer generation envisioned.
As a result, we are supporting the following organizations and programs:
- At The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, our annual unrestricted gift supports both the Baltimore community and Israel and Overseas communities. In addition, we recently created the Meyerhoff New Jewish Family Innovation Fund endowment as part of Centennial Campaign that, when fully funded, will spark new work in the Baltimore community.
- We support the Baltimore Jewish community’s teen programming through BBYO and the 4Front program at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore.
- The My Tribe pilot program at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore engages the New Jewish Family in curating their own Jewish journey.
- Our challenge grants to the Jewish Museum of Maryland support new exhibits designed to engage families.
- Our recent grant to the Pearlstone Center provides capacity for new and enhanced family programming.
Left Banner: Photo courtesy of the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies.
Right Banner: Photo courtesy of Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center.