Baltimore, MD - Jan. 19, 2022 - Just a few weeks ago, SHEMESH staff and board members gathered virtually to remember our beloved founder and executive director, Dr. Aviva Weisbord, A’H on the occasion of her first yahrzeit. It was both an uplifting and heart-rending meeting as we shared smiles and tears while recalling stories and incidents that characterized Aviva, who was a dear friend and mentor to us all.  

Her untimely passing left a huge void in our professional and personal lives, but we are committed to continuing her legacy and fulfilling the important lessons she imparted. SHEMESH, an agency of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, is pleased to announce a new annual lecture series made possible through The Associated and Dr. Aviva Weisbord SHEMESH Fund, titled The Aviva Weisbord A’H, Family First Lecture Series

Why Family First?  

Eileen Norris, a SHEMESH reading specialist shared this story:  

When I was interviewing for my job at SHEMESH, I was told I’d have to come in and meet with Dr. Weisbord. I didn’t think much of it until I told my sister.  

‘A Jewish doctor?’ she said. ‘You better be prepared for this interview. Jewish doctors really know what they’re doing.’ 

Upon her advice, I planned what I would say and rehearsed my answers to questions I thought she might ask: “’What’s the best methodology to use when working with dyslexic students?’ and “How do you motivate reluctant readers? A few days later, I found myself in her office.   

After initial greetings, I geared myself up for a demanding interview. To my surprise, Aviva turned to me and said, ‘We both know you have this job. I know how qualified you are. Instead, I want to hear about your family. And that was it. We chatted for a few minutes, and I knew immediately that Aviva’s interest in my family was genuine and deep. 

Working under Dr. Weisbord, we all knew that while she expected and promoted high-quality, research-based intervention and services, she valued our family commitments above all. When we had sick children or parents, she made sure that we took time off and always checked in with us to see how they were doing.   

She sincerely cared about our personal lives. In return, we devoted ourselves to our responsibilities, seeing them as a privilege and not a burden. In this way, she cultivated a team of professionals who loved their jobs and the students, teachers and families they served.   

The Family First ethos that Dr. Weisbord fostered during her time at SHEMESH continues to characterize the way we operate. We view connection as a primary source of strength for the individuals we work with and seek ways to enhance and deepen those relationships. We are thrilled that Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, Aviva’s brother-in-law, will be our premier speaker on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, via Zoom at 8:15 p.m.   

In this lecture, Rabbi Schacter will provide an optimistic perspective for families confronting contemporary challenges exacerbated by, but not limited to, COVID-19. What wisdom can we gain from traditional Jewish sources to help us navigate our personal and family lives in 2022? He will dedicate his presentation in memory of his beloved and much missed sister-in-law, Dr. Aviva Weisbord, A’H.

Register today at For more information, please call 410-843-7589 or email We look forward to seeing you there! 

About: SHEMESH, an agency of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, provides the educational support necessary for Jewish children with learning differences to reach their full intellectual, academic, emotional and social potential in a Jewish setting. Learn more at