By Dena Cohen
Shalom Baltimore Program Associate
Are you or someone you know new to the Baltimore area? Have you lived in Baltimore for a while but just haven’t been able to find your “spot” in the Baltimore Jewish Community?
Shalom Baltimore is here to help. A program of THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, Shalom Baltimore utilizes a team of over 50 volunteers to facilitate personalized one-on-one welcome meetings for newcomers to the Baltimore Jewish Community. At each welcome meeting, the newcomer receives a Shalom Baltimore Welcome Package which includes gifts, coupons, and information to help them get acclimated with the Baltimore Jewish Community. Through the Shalom Baltimore program, newcomers get a taste of everything Baltimore has to offer so that they can start their journey of becoming members of our community.
This Chanukah, Shalom Baltimore is generating special interactive posts and conversations for newcomers to learn about “Baltimore’s Bests” from community members. Guests to the Shalom Baltimore Facebook page who participate in these conversations can be entered into a raffle. Each night of Chanukah, a name will be drawn from those who have “LIKE”ed the Shalom Baltimore Facebook page or participated in one of the “Baltimore’s Best” conversations for the chance to win some great prizes.
Volunteers like Amy Burke-Friedman consider Shalom Baltimore a great way to share their love of the city with its newest members. “I am a proud Baltimorean and I love meeting new people. It couldn’t have been a better fit,” she says.
Amy was introduced to the Shalom Baltimore program when she reached out to the ASSOCIATED to learn about new opportunities to expand her community involvements. She was so excited when she got matched with a newcomer for the first time, because there was so much about Baltimore that she was eager to share. She scheduled her meeting at 13.5%, a Wine Bar in Hampden, hoping that the quirky and quintessential Baltimore neighborhood would spark the newcomer’s interest in learning more about her new community.
“I am hopeful that whether I provide some insight on Baltimore’s best restaurants or upcoming events through the ASSOCIATED that I am able to help welcome people to Baltimore and more specifically the Baltimore Jewish Community in a way that makes someone feel welcome and at home here.”