Chanukah and the Holidays
Families create meaning, tradition for their children

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Dozens of cars drove down Interstate 83 with giant electric menorahs on their roofs Tuesday night to mark the first night of Chanukah. The spectacle culminated in the lighting of a 30-foot menorah at McKeldin Square in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. While some feel such displays may oversell a Jewish holiday that isn’t as significant as… Read More

Rabbis Face Off
Respected D.C. Jewish leader goes to court in rare breach-of-contract dispute

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Two well-known D.C. rabbis squared off in civil court this week, resulting in the loser being virtually barred from George Washington University’s campus. “You can call up the president of the university and wish him Happy New Year,” was all Superior Court Judge Neal E. Kravitz said that Rabbi Yehuda Steiner, affectionately called “Yudi” by… Read More

Alan Gross Comes Home
Cuba releases Jewish-American contractor amid spy swap

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U.S. contractor Alan Gross, who was imprisoned by the Cuban government for five years, returned home to Maryland Wednesday in what was dubbed by many as a Chanukah miracle. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who was informed Tuesday night by Vice President Joe Biden of Gross’ release, was at Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County… Read More

Statement from Gross on Return Home from Cuba

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Upon returning home from five years of imprisonment in Cuba, Alan Gross had the following to say: “Chag Sameach.  What a blessing to be a citizen of the United States of America.  Thank you President Obama for everything you have done today. I want to acknowledge the extraordinary and determined efforts of my wife of… Read More

Death in the Balance
High-profile cases put “death with dignity” in spotlight

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In the aftermath of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard’s death on Nov. 1 and the release of a pre-recorded video of Maynard expressing support for the “Death with Dignity” movement on Nov. 19, the date that would have been her 30th birthday, the nation’s attention has returned to an issue that has been a source of controversy… Read More

American, Israeli Jewry Challenge Chief Rabbinate
New coalition wants to see alternatives to ‘religious monopoly’

Rabbi David 
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A growing number of American Jews are challenging Israel’s chief rabbinate on issues of pluralistic religious freedom. With the Orthodox rabbinate’s strict rules governing matters of marriage, divorce, burials and conversions, American Jewish leaders, along with Israeli partners, are working to spur world Jewry to demand change, citing national security concerns in Israel, religious rights… Read More

Magnified
Relationship between U.S., Israel gets up-close examination by scholarly heavyweights

Dalia Rabin and Aaron David Miller (center) were the guests in a panel 
discussion that was moderated by New York Times deputy national editor Ethan Bronner.

“It’s serious” was the simple, yet striking response of Dalia Rabin, daughter of the late Israeli prime minister, when asked about the West becoming more critical of Israel during a wide-ranging panel discussion that covered relations between Israel and the United States. The chair of the Yitzhak Rabin Center, the national institute dedicated to the… Read More

Hands-On Help
Up close and personal with Israel’s defenders

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It’s not the typical Israel tour itinerary that entices visitors with an opportunity to power wash desert sand from armored personnel carriers, sleep on thin-mattress army bunk beds or dine on military food with Israel Defense Forces officers-in-training. But for a group of Baltimoreans who signed on for a Volunteers for Israel (VFI) trip, their… Read More

United Stand
Jewish community rallies for Ferguson

At least four protests took place in Baltimore on Tuesday, Nov. 25, the day following the grand jury announcement, including those at Morgan State University, the University of Baltimore School of Law, McKeldin Square and Baltimore City Hall.

Throughout the past four months, between officiating bar mitzvahs and weddings and leading her congregation, Rabbi Susan Talve, of  St. Louis’ Central Reform Congregation, has been traveling north to Ferguson, Mo., to join the protests. “There was moral outrage,” Talve said of the nights immediately following last week’s announcement that charges would not be brought… Read More

Lexington Lady Bows Out
After 81 years, Krieger family says goodbye

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“Lexington Lady! More than a woman to me. It’s the look that you wear that shows on your face you’re a Lexington Lady. Lexington Lady,” crooned the singer in the Lexington Lady jingle that ran for years on Baltimore radio and television stations. But now the iconic plus-size women’s clothing and accessory shop on Reisterstown… Read More