BZD Israel

Meet The Baltimore Zionist District Board Members!

Heather Michaelson

President
Heather Michaelson lives in Pikesville, MD with her husband Eric, daughter Liora and son, Asher. Michaelson is dedicated to goals and mission of Baltimore Zionist District, and to the safety and support of Israel. Michaelson became reinvigorated by the attendance of her children at Krieger Schecter Day School As a lifelong IT professional, Michaelson brings critical thinking and systems logic to the board. In addition, Michaelson is excited to be a chaperone a Baltimore Zionist District teen trip to Israel.

Huppit Bartov Miller

Vice President
Huppit Bartov Miller is an Israeli-American mother of three with an education and business background. She was born and raised in Ashkelon, which is Baltimore's sister city. Huppit is an educator, cook, food blogger, and founder of Afooda.com, a food blog and educational tool for exploring and learning about Jewish roots and Israeli culture through food, dishes, recipes and stories.

Samara Sisserman

Board Treasurer/ Secretary
Samara was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and currently resides with her husband and daughter in Lutherville, Maryland. Raised in a proudly reform Jewish household, she became a Bat Mitzvah and earned her confirmation at Har Sinai Congregation of Baltimore. She is a graduate of Towson University with a degree in Political Geography and Environmental Planning. Samara, with her family, own and operate several Private Career schools in Baltimore City, Baltimore, and Carroll Counties. Samara strongly supports BZD's mission to bring Israeli culture to the Baltimore community. She has always held the strong belief that being Jewish means being a supporter of the State of Israel. necessity, not just for the Jewish people as our rightful home, but for her historical, cultural, educational/ research, and security significances.

Robert Lowy (Bob)

Past President
Robert Lowy (Bob) was born and raised by Czech Holocaust survivors and is a lifelong Baltimore resident. Since his early years in Temple Youth Group and Song-leader, he has always advocated for the Jewish community and our homeland. Professionally, Bob has been in the print, promotional, and wearables industry since the early '70s with no retirement plans. Bob, has been involved in leadership positions in Jewish, secular, and professional sectors, both locally and nationally. Currently, Bob is the President of the Baltimore Zionist District. Bob has been happily married for 47 years and, together with his wife, engages in volunteer efforts to make the world a better place. Mr. and Mrs. Lowy have been blessed with two married sons and four incredible grandsons.

Rita Plaut

Rita Plaut has grown up with a love for Israel from her childhood. Following her initial career as a French teacher, Rita decided to devote herself to Jewish Education and earned a teaching diploma from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, studying alongside Israelis in Hebrew. She taught Judaic Studies and Hebrew and chaired the Jewish History department at Krieger Schechter Middle school until her recent retirement. Presently she loves spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and teaching Hebrew to adults and English to Israeli youth via zoom in Israel. Rita is a docent at the Jewish of Maryland, a member of the Jewish Women's Giving Foundation, a teacher at the Rosenbloom Religious School at Chizuk Amuno and a volunteer for the Jewish Volunteer Connection. A deep commitment to Israel, her people and culture has resulted in many visits, both personal and professional. Rita loves connecting with her Israeli friends for Hebrew book club and get together.

Gilad Eichhorn

Hi my name is Gilad Eichhorn. I am 48 years old and I live in Pikesville, Maryland with my wife Lemore Carmi and 4 daughters Liora, Sivan, Maytal and Tamar. I am a physical therapist who works at Sheppard Pratt hospital. I grew up in Haifa Israel until age 7 and Cherry Hill, NJ after that.

Jaime Davidov

Jaime Davidov was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. She lives in Pikesville with her husband and their three daughters. Jaime has many years of experience as an administrator in HR and currently works for the state of MD. She sends her children to Jewish preschools and Jewish Day Schools. Jaime visited Israel for the first time just before Covid, where her deep love and connection to the Jewish state grew. She knew she would do anything to keep that connection strong and would love to return soon. Jaime sees the value and importance of the cause and mission of the Baltimore Zionist District and is very excited to continue her work with the organization as a Board Member.

Fern Babkes

Fern has worn many hats during a work career in higher education, business and corporate training. Among them: co-founder and CEO of NeuroCare Center; Professor and Chair of the Foreign Language Dep't of Notre Dame of Maryland University; Training Director for multiple corporate clients. She has an undergraduate degree in French, Portuguese and Linguistics and a graduate degree in Intercultural Communication and Spanish. Fern has directed grant funded programs in curriculum development with study abroad and service learning components and served on a Maryland committee that set standards for high school Spanish instruction. She hopes to use these skills working with the talented team of BZD, as their mission is important to her. After a 2018 Honest Reporting training seminar in Israel, Fern increased her online activity to counter misrepresentations of Israel and the Jewish people. Coming from a family of Holocaust survivors, with family and friends in Israel, she recognizes anti-Zionism and the demonization of Israel as antisemitism, and encourages others to become familiar with the IHRA definition of antisemitism and to support the work of the BZD.

Stacy Altobelli

Stacy Altobelli was born and raised on Long Island, NY and came to Maryland to attend college at Towson University. Stacy graduated in 1999 from Towson University with a degree in Communications and has been working in the financial industry for the past 24 years. She currently lives in Reisterstown Maryland with her husband and 2 boys. Stacy visited Israel for the first time in 2023 and cannot wait to go back. Stacy believes in the BZD mission and looks forward to participating as a board member.

Stacy Deems

Stacy Deems was born and raised in Skokie, Illinois and moved to the Baltimore area in 2003. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Management at the University of Denver. She is the mom to 2 young men and a cat named Mable. Stacy worked for 8 years at a local Jewish non-profit, prior to making the shift to the corporate world. She has traveled to Israel 3 times and will definitely be going back. Stacy currently resides in Reisterstown, MD.

Einat Friedman

Einat grew up on a farm in a small village near the Sea of Galilee in northen Israel. She and her husband relocated to the U.S. on behalf of an Israeli cybersecurity startup, and together they are raising their four daughters. Einat is an Israeli attorney, who holds an LL.B. from Bar Ilan Univ. and an MBA from Univ. of MD. Her last position in Israel was as a legal advisor for the Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets. She is a former officer of the Israel Defense Forces and a former emissary of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Einat lives and breathes Israel and already serves as a living connection to Israel in our community. Along with her husband, Einat runs an Israeli non-profit organization that provides protective equipment for reservists and security forces of Israel.

Vered Mei-Tal

Advisory Board Member
Vered Mei-Tal was born in Israel and moved to America 33 years ago together with her husband, Dror and have three children. Vered worked at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School for 30 years as a Hebrew teacher and in addition to the BZD, is involved with Friends of the Israel Defense Forces and Center for Jewish Education. She enjoys trips in nature, playing pickleball and photography and she teaches Modern Hebrew Ulpan through Towson University at Beth El. Her greatest passion is volunteering in organizations that help contribute to Israel and its people, both within Israel and abroad.

Eric Rubin

Advisory Board Member
Eric Rubin is an experienced nonprofit and financial services executive. He is currently the President and CEO of Uncommon Charitable Impact, a 501(c)(3) donor advised fund; the Executive Director of Together Vouch For Each Other U.S., an Arab-Israeli nonprofit organization; the Executive Director of Project Max which is a partnership between the Maccabi World Union and Sighteer, that is creating a community that cares about sports, fighting intolerance, equal opportunities, and the Jewish Sport story; and the President and Chairman of the Board of P3 Israel, a Texas based non-profit making people-to-people and community-to-community connections between the U.S. and Israel.