With Purim just around the corner Frank Storch points out that unity is a goal which the Baltimore Jewish community has been long aiming for. One example of unity is the way many of Baltimore’s charity organizations are organized, as Storch explains:
“Our community is blessed with people and organizations that are involved with chesed around the clock. For example, The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore is one large organization that caters to the entire Jewish community — with programs and services for the young through the elderly. I am impressed by how much they do each year for our community. “
Sometimes even just one person can make a big difference when it comes to bringing people of diverse backgrounds together. Frank Storch points out the work of Elaine Gerstenfeld, who wanted to do something special for her community this Purim. Gerstenfeld launched a new program which she called “Bey-ond the Mask.” The point of this event is to unify the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Jews in Baltimore. The gathering is planned for 1pm on Purim day at The Atrium on Smith Avenue. After coming together as a group, everyone will be sent out with pre-packaged Purim treats to bring to hospitals, nursing homes and assisted-living centers. “Bey-ond the Mask” hopes to unite the people of Baltimore while also helping to bring joy to others.