Baltimore’s Best!

On Sunday, June 18th, The Chesed Fund & Project Ezra once again acknowledged and celebrated unique members of our community. The 9th Annual Community & Safety Service Award Ceremony, sponsored by Lois and Bruce Kauffman, is in memory of Philip Kauffman, Rosalie Zwagil, and Paul Naden, a”h. Every year community members are asked to submit nominations for youth and adults who go above and beyond by providing service or safety and security for our community. 

This year’s winners did not disappoint. Eight-year-old Tzviki Simpson was awarded the Good Neighbor award for jumping to his toddler neighbor’s rescue when he saw her on her riding toy about to nosedive down several hard concrete steps. Nine-year-old Hillel Bailey, alerted adults, on two different occasions, to toddlers who were lost and wandering alone. He also always helps his friends when falling off or riding bikes. 

The Rabbinical Award was given to warm-hearted and humble Rabbi Nachum Katsenelenbogen of Chabad of Owings Mills, who for years has helped so many discover and appreciate their heritage. Also recognized for his efforts was David Mandel for his work at the Agudah of Park Heights and Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion, managing shaimos and seforim.  Dr. Sam Durso, who always goes the extra mile for his patients, and Yaakov Benyowitz, a Chaverim member, ready to help in so many ways and at all hours, were also awarded for their efforts and chesed to our community. These are just several amongst many more of the special community members awarded who are true treasures and inspirations to us all.

Although Frank Storch, founder of the Chesed Fund and Project Ezra, was in Israel this year focusing on seminaries and yeshivas with his Stay Safe in Israel initiative, Frank commented, “Acknowledging people who are willing to do so much for others in so many ways is about a lot more than just showing hakaras hatov. It should be seen as a motivational lesson for each of us, reminding us that we are part of a greater community and there is so much we can learn from and do for each other. It’s important to remember that sometimes, even a minor act we do instinctively can mean the world to someone else. These days, it’s essential to shine a light on just some of the many positive acts of chesed in Baltimore that often go unnoticed, and we look forward to awarding more unique community members next year!

If you know of someone you think may deserve this honor, feel free to submit that information to us now for next year’s award! Send in your contact information, the nominee’s contact information, and the reason you think they deserve an award to

Photo Credits: Baruch Bitman of Simcha Focus

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