When Tzviel “BK” Blankchtein started Masada Tactical, LLC in 2007 in Baltimore, he knew he wanted to offer services that genuinely equipped people to protect themselves in real-life situations. In addition to teaching personal self-defense, Masada Tactical offers specialized seminars on counter-abduction and counter-carjacking, home invasion defense, firearms skills, trauma care, travel safety, and active shooter response.
“Our relationship with the local community has always been one of our main objectives. We do whatever we can to help and empower the Jewish community in Pikesville, and even in other areas such as Kemp Mill, Potomac, etcetera.” Masada Tactical does a lot of pro bono community work, offering self-defense classes for victims of domestic violence through CHANA Baltimore and providing security at least three local shuls during Shabbat services and holidays.
On Sunday, June 24, Blankchtein was recognized by Chesed Fund Limited & Project Ezra of Greater Baltimore, Inc., as one of several Baltimoreans who made a difference in their community. As in previous years, the ceremony was sponsored by Bruce and Lois Kauffman in memory of Phillip Kauffman, Rosalie Zwagil, and Paul Naden.
“This special event was created to celebrate the wonderful and extraordinary accomplishments that people are doing, whether it is to increase community safety or service,” said Director of The Chesed Fund Limited & Project Ezra of Greater Baltimore, Inc., Frank Storch.
This year, over 30 people were honored.
Honorees came from different backgrounds and in all ages. One was 11-year-old Avrumi Stoll, who alerted Shomrim (neighborhood patrol organization) to a neighbor’s house alarm going off. Miriam Feldman, a ninth-grader at Bnos Yisroel, was honored for initiating the “Make Baltimore Safe” program, which created a homeowners’ surveillance camera registry with Shomrim.
Two Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School honorees, Steve Herman and Selena Shirkin, created “Strive,” an app to increase teenage driving safety. Two other special honorees were Christopher Ganze and Randy Greer, who were recognized for their heroism after jumping into a lake and saving a young girl who was thrown in the water after crashing her bike into a tree.
Another honoree was Rabbi Mordechai Bamberger of the Baltimore Community Kollel-Tiferes Moshe Aryeh. He was honored with the Rabbinical Award, which is dedicated in memory of Rabbi Simcha Shafran, z”l. “Rabbi Bamberger’s devotion to Klal Yisroel is an inspiration to all,” said Bruce Kauffman.
Also honored were Congregation Shomrei Emunah and Congregation Ohel Moshe members who selflessly volunteered after Hurricane Harvey by traveling to Houston to assist in recovery relief efforts. Dovid Goldwasser, a Miami, Florida, resident, was also honored for his lifesaving rescue work during Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.