In the Cards

Ari Engel’s favorite poker game is Texas Hold ’Em, where buy-ins can reach $10,000.

NEW YORK — Ari Engel is homeless. It’s been a decade since he last held a regular job and two years since he gave up his apartment.But don’t shed any tears for him. Over the last 10 years or so, Engel has grossed about $5 million playing poker. The son of an Orthodox rabbi, Engel,… Read More

Slow … Quick, Quick, Slow

StudioDNA owner and instructor John Dawson gives a posture pointer to student Donna Siegel, who says for her, “dancing is pure joy.”

Baltimore native John Dawson, owner and head instructor of dance StudioDNA in Pikesville, teaches a smooth fox trot and a spicy salsa, but some of his students feel they gain more than improved rhythm and sure footing. More confidence, a sense of accomplishment and feelings of grace and pure joy are also what keeps these… Read More

Making Music Together

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Last month, about 20 students ages 6 to 12, slowly coaxed “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” from their stringed instruments — some of which were bigger than the young musicians who played them — during a Baltimore Bows recital rehearsal. Founded in September 2014 and led by Yonatan Grinberg and his wife, Andrea, Baltimore Bows is… Read More

A Home Run!

Sandy Koufax is out front in the Ron Lewis painting of Jewish major leaguers. The sale of 500 autographed prints is partly for charity.

At the first Detroit Tigers game he attended, in 1940, Bob Matthews saw slugging first baseman Hank Greenberg play. Now a retired orthodontist living in Farmington Hills, Mich., Matthews can gaze each day at his hero’s image on visits to the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit in nearby West Bloomfield. On a wall by… Read More

Silver Lining

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“Repoussé Style Then and Now,” the Johns Hopkins University Evergreen Museum and Library’s latest exhibition, features the intricate metal work of artist Michael Izrael Galmer, a Russian Jew who emigrated to America from the former Soviet Union. Galmer, 67, said his career as an artist would not have been possible in Russia, due to anti-Semitism… Read More

Best New Blog

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In February, Owings Mills native Taylor Seidel, 21, decided to funnel his passion for food into his writing and launched GoodEatsMaryland.com, a blog that “brings you closer to the best eats this town has for you.” Just 10 months later, the site receives between 1,500 and 2,000 views per month, almost 400 people follow his… Read More

Still a Star

Kirk Douglas with son Michael and grandson Dylan pose for a photo at Dylan's bar mitzvah in May 2014.

LOS ANGELES — Kirk Douglas, born Issur Danielovitch, the son of an immigrant Russian Jewish ragman, marked his 98th birthday on Dec. 9 by launching his 11th book. The legendary star of 87 movies (who can forget “Spartacus”?) can look back, in happiness and grief, on countless one-night stands with filmdom’s most beautiful women, a… Read More

Chanukah Home Runs

Shelly Saltman

Chanukah is a great time of the year for many reasons: the food, the telling of the miracle story and the exchanging of gifts, among others. Over the past year in this space, I have introduced you to many people — from Baltimore to every corner of the United States — who represent the best… Read More

Supporting Cast

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Wow! We’re still eating leftover Thanksgiving pot pies, and now it is time for my annual Chanukah potato latke bar. I make hundreds of latkes, freeze them in advance and surround them with a myriad of toppings when serving. My pink applesauce is a favorite. Although the latkes are the stars of the meal, a… Read More

Mainstream Entertainment

Christian Bale, as Moses, leads the Egyptians into battle.

Moses, as best I recall from Hebrew school and “The Ten Commandments,” was a reluctant prophet with a speechimpediment who was ultimately persuaded by the unspeakable, unceasing suffering of his people — and God’s fearsome support — to confront Pharaoh and lead the Hebrews out of slavery. My, how (biblical) times have changed. The much-anticipated… Read More