A Baltimore native, Mendel works as a financial advisor for the City of Baltimore’s Pension/457 Plan with Nationwide Financial. He learned for two years at the Ohr Somayach yeshiva in Jerusalem before earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business. Mendel, who “thinks he is a Michelin 3-star chef,” loves to cook.
Liza’s winding journey to Baltimore started in Moscow, Russia; next to Ashkelon –Baltimore’s sister city in Israel; then to Columbus, Ohio, where she grew up; and finally to Newark, New Jersey, where she joined Teach for America. Today, she teaches low-income inner city first grade students – all in Russian — at the Baltimore International Academy, a language immersion charter school. Liza also teaches Zumba classes at Brick Bodies.
The Davises enjoy spontaneous weekend trips out of state, Latin and ballroom dancing with friends, and riding on Mendel’s motorcycle in nice weather. They also have a dog-sitting business on Rover.com where “we give lots of love to our furry guests.”
The couple, who got married at Beth Tfiloh a few weeks ago, joined the BT community in November 2019. They found BT’s religiously diverse community to be welcoming and non-judgmental – criteria that were hard to find for Mendel, an African American Jew, and Liza, who did not grow up in an observant household.
“We decided that BT was the right place for us to grow our spiritual and social roots,” says Mendel. “We feel like we can connect with the shul on numerous levels. There is something for everyone at Beth Tfiloh where anyone can truly feel comfortable and that is extremely important.”
The couple is anticipating their experience their first High Holiday season at BT. “We are excited to see…the entire community coming together on the holiest of days to try to grow and connect as best we can. It is the time of the year where everything gets elevated, emotions run high, and our fate for the year is written and sealed. What better way to spend it with the leadership of Rabbi Wohlberg and company, the voice and chants of Hazzan Albrecht, and the entire Beth Tfiloh kehilla (community) coming together under one roof.”
Liza and Mendel are so grateful for all the love and support the Beth Tfiloh community has shown them since joining. “From the warm introductions, incorporating us at BTYP (Beth Tfiloh Young Professionals) and even inviting us for Shabbos meals… we want to thank you guys for making us feel so loved and welcomed and we cannot wait to share that same love and support with other members. We consider everyone at BT like family and are happy we had the opportunity to join such a fantastic community.”