The society, which was founded in Baltimore in 1901 by relatives of Yehuda Laib Romm and Rabbi Abraham Abramson, is believed to be oldest Jewish family society in the world.

Current activities

Social: The primary purpose of the BAYL is to stay involved as a family. To that end, we:

  • Hold meetings every other month in Baltimore and reunions every five years. The 115th Anniversary Reunion was held Labor Day Weekend 2016.  Because of the Covid-19 epidemic, the 120th Anniversary Reunion, which was scheduled to be held in May 2021, has been postponed to 2022.
  • Regularly publish a newsletter, The Bulletin. See the "News" link at left for more information. "Yearbooks" are published for each of the reunions.

Philanthropic work is done through the Anna and Myer Smith Memorial Fund. This fund was established to provide a means for the Family Society  to raise funds and make contributions to "outside charities" (the wording in the BAYL constitution) now that it is no longer necessary to secure passage to the US by family members still in Europe (the "inside charity" that was the original goal of BAYL fundraising). See the "Contact Us" link at left to make a donation. This fund is used to make annual donations to:

  • The Associated Jewish Charities, earmarked so that half goes to Israel and half is spent locally on Jewish institutions in the Baltimore area.
  • The American Red Magen David in support of Magen David Adom (Israel's version of the Red Cross)
  • Ahavas Israel, a local organization that feeds poor and needy Jews
Presentation of David and Phil Shapiro at the 110th Anniversary Banquet of the B’nai Abraham and Yehuda Laib Family Society September 2, 2011

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In 2012, Amanda B. Cohen, a graduate student at the State University of New York, completed a master's thesis on family societies.  As part of her research, she studied several family societies, including the BAYL.  We have posted her thesis here with her permission.

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