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Ma'asim Tovim Award

Michael Freilich

For the past two decades, the Seaboard Region FJMC has had a secret weapon who has empowered its club leaders to be more effective communicators, and consequently more effective leaders. This same weapon supports Jewish men in living richer Jewish lives, bringing warmth and passion to his friendships, and making gatherings feel like homecomings.  Whatever your mood was earlier that day, after spending time with our champion, Michael Freilich, the rest of your day will be better, guaranteed.

Michael is a blue yarmulke recipient with a long résumé of service to FJMC. He has been a regional vice president, a brotherhood President, and is currently an advisor to the Seaboard Region. He has instituted Seaboard regional seminars to train the officers of various brotherhoods to be leaders and trainers. As an FJMC Consultant, Michael is known for his contributions in teaching using open-ended questions to assess the values and issues, and in small groups using the results to develop programming. In his heart, Michael is a teacher. He is active as a keruv advisor and has advised the innovative morning learners service at the last International Convention in Boston.  Currently he is one of the editors for the FJMC portion of CJ Magazine and is a member of the International Board of FJMC.

Michael’s substance comes from a base of an outstanding education and a continuing thirst for knowledge. He received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University where he also studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary.  He then pursued graduate degrees in philosophy at The Ohio State University, studying with Professor Marvin Fox. While at Ohio State, Michael was a Melton Research Fellow and taught at the Melton Hebrew School in Columbus, Ohio.  After completing his graduate work, Michael pursued his J.D. at the Case Western Reserve University. Michael has taught philosophy at The Ohio State University and at John Carroll University. For many summers, Michael was staff at camps Ramah including the Poconos, Nyack (when it was an overnight camp), Berkshires, Glen Spay, and Wingdale.

Michael practices law in Baltimore. He is considered a tough trial lawyer and a strong capable transactional attorney. Michael and his wife Barbara recently celebrated their 48th anniversary, and have two children: son David, who resides with his family in Austin, Texas; and daughter, Honey who resides with her family in Rockville, Maryland. When he sees any one of his grandchildren, he lights up like the 8th day of Hanukah. Barbara is an investment advisor with Ameriprise. Both Michael and Barbara have been members of the International Kiddush Club since 2007. Michael’s courage, toughness, and humanity have inspired all of us in the Seaboard Region and the larger FJMC.