In 1920, the two separate organizations serving the needs of the distinct immigrant communities in Baltimore – German Jews and Jews from Eastern Europe – realized that merging together would give them greater strength to serve the community.
The Federated Jewish Charities and the United Hebrew Charities united to form the Associated Jewish Charities (AJC). In 1920, the newly-formed Associated Jewish Charities initiated a joint campaign with the goal of raising $500,000.
A little more than 20 years later, The Jewish Welfare Fund (JWF) was started to streamline the numerous appeals made by national and overseas agencies, largely in response to Nazi atrocities. Although housed in the same facility and led by the same executive director, the two organizations did not fundraise together: they held their campaigns on alternating years to avoid competition.
In 1969, The Associated Jewish Charities and Jewish Welfare Fund combined into a single agency with a single board of directors and the single purpose of providing for Baltimore, Israel and other countries. The Associated Jewish Charities of Baltimore was the corporate body elected by the board of directors of the Associated Jewish Charities and Welfare Fund to handle and supervise legacies and endowments, investments and real estate. The merger was tangible proof of the Baltimore community’s desire for unity and dedication to a singular goal: the betterment and enhancement of Jewish life at home and abroad.
In 1980, The Associated Jewish Charities and Welfare Fund moved its headquarters from the Straus Building at 319 W. Monument Street to the Krieger Building at 101 W. Mount Royal Avenue where it is presently located. The building was renovated and expanded in 2000 to provide more office space and meeting rooms to serve the needs of the community.
On July 1, 1990, Associated Jewish Charities officially became known as The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. The new name reflected The Associated’s role in the national Jewish federation movement. The Associated is one of 153 federations and more than 300 Network communities across North America under the umbrella of Jewish Federations of North America(JFNA). Together, these organizations raise and distribute more than $3 billion annually for social welfare, social services and educational needs.
The Federation movement, collectively among the top 10 charities on the continent,protects and enhances the well-being of Jews worldwide through the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedakah (charity and social justice) and Torah (Jewish learning).
From those humble beginnings to today when The Associated Annual Campaign is recognized as one of the top per capita giving Jewish communities in North America, the organization has evolved to serve its constituents with urgency, compassion and a commitment to Jewish values. Tens of millions of dollars are annually raised for the needs in Baltimore, Israel and abroad.
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