Baltimore Jewish Council
When Sarah Mersky learned from one of the agencies working with the Baltimore Jewish Council that there were no elder abuse victim safehouses in the state of Maryland, she sprung into action. Mersky, who says she’s a “problem-solver,” was able to secure funding for a house, which opened last fall.
Mersky was able to tour the house and meet its first tenant.
“She expressed how the house literally saved her life,” Mersky said. “That was one of my proudest moments.”
Mersky, 30, who serves as the BJC’s deputy director, is most known at the agency for her work in Annapolis, where she has lobbied for funding for projects and advocated for both the local Jewish community and underserved groups, including abuse victims and low-income Marylanders.
Among the highlights of her efforts have been successfully lobbying for more Department of Homeland Security money for security at synagogues and other centers of Jewish life in the Baltimore area and helping secure Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive order against BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), which denies state contracts to firms that boycott Israel.
Mersky was promoted to deputy director last summer after previously serving as the agency’s director of government relations. She still handles government relations, but has taken on the added responsibility of overseeing other areas of the BJC.
“Sarah’s insight and leadership in helping to oversee community relations efforts are already showing in creative programming ideas,” said BJC Executive Director Howard Libit. “The agencies that we work with have trust that Sarah will provide realistic and thoughtful advice as to what is possible with respect to government relations.”
Mersky serves as co-chair of the Maryland Alliance for the Poor, a 30-year-old agency founded by the BJC, and works closely with the Jewish Council of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs to promote the interests of Baltimore’s Jewish community. Mersky also fosters rescue dogs and works with the BJC’s Big Sister/Little Sister program, where she currently mentors a child.