Contact our staff members for help finding resources, getting involved in volunteer opportunities or groups, making donations, or any other questions you have about Federation or Jewish life in Howard County.
Our Jewish Federation of Howard County staff welcome your email or phone calls.
10630 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 400
Columbia, MD 21044
Jamie Nelson, Administrative Assistant
410-730-4976 ext. 101
We live in an amazingly diverse community, very unlike the one in which I grew up. I was raised on Long Island, the Gilded Ghetto as my Rabbi called it at High Holiday services. You did not need to seek out your Jewish community because it was there for you everywhere you looked. Everyone had a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, everyone went shopping in September for new clothes to wear on Rosh Hashanah, almost no one was intermarried, and all my friends belonged to synagogueyouth groups – from USY to NYFTY.
When my husband, Len, and I decided to move from Owings Mills to Howard County five years ago, we both looked forward to living in a more blended community. Living in Clarksville, we continue to find the diversity refreshing and a welcome change to Baltimore County and Long Island.
All this diversity sometimes makes it a challenge to raise a Jewish family. “Jewishness” is something we must proactively seek out; whether it’s finding other families to invite for Shabbat dinner, or avoiding the conflict between soccer games and religious school on Sundays.
Herein lay both the challenge and the opportunity for the Jewish Federation. While the Jewish community loves this diverseness, we want doorways into our “Jewishness.” Young parents want Shabbat Tots and to connect with other young Jewish families. Women want to have social events with other Jewish women. Teens want to experience Judaism on their terms; through community service and BBYO. These doorways are not everywhere as they were on Long Island, or Owings Mills; we must seek them out.