On Tuesday morning, December 15th Steve McAdams, Executive Director of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s Office of Community Initiatives, toured the Baltimore Orthodox Jewish community with Rabbi Ariel Sadwin, Agudath Israel’s Maryland director. The tour helped Mr. McAdams better understand and appreciate the Orthodox Jewish community and its organizations.
At the start of the tour Mr. McAdams was given an informative fact sheet, which contained both general community information (number of households, synagogues, and school enrollment), as well as a description of the community’s social service organizations.
Throughout the morning hours they met with representatives from many of the local organizations including, Ahavas Yisroel Charity Fund, Hatzalah, the Northwest Citizens Patrol, Chaverim, Bikur Cholim of Baltimore, the Jewish Caring Network, and Shomrim. As they drove to the various stops around the community Rabbi Sadwin shared some of the community history and discussed the important work of some of the other community organizations that were unable to be represented that morning.
The representatives from each organization all had a similar message to share with Mr. McAdams:
1. The Orthodox community is proactive and takes care of its needs when they arise
2. Much of the work is performed by volunteers
3. The funds that are raised in order to sustain these organizations are coming from the same sources within the community
The tour was an outgrowth of a meeting held in July between Rabbi Sadwin, Governor Hogan’s chief of staff, Craig Williams, and Steve McAdams, to discuss a number of community-related matters outside the realm of legislation. At that time it was suggested that in order to fully understand and appreciate the Orthodox Jewish community, Governor Hogan’s staff should visit the community, and have the opportunity to interact with some of the people and organizations which contribute to making it unique.
Steve McAdams was not only very impressed but deeply moved by everything he saw and heard that morning. Agudath Israel hopes that this renewed collaboration will benefit the Jewish community and the state of Maryland.