End of a Long Commute

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Rabbi Jordan Hersh can finally have a rest from his twice-monthly commute from New York City to Frederick. After one year of leading services, teaching and counseling part time at Beth Sholom Congregation, he has been named the congregation’s full-time rabbi. Hersh, 32, had been working at the 150-member synagogue as a Gladstein Fellow, a… Read More

15 Seconds to Safety

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The sound of children singing can be heard when walking into the dark 10-by-8-by-10 room. Their voices are quickly drowned out by sirens and chaos, as translations show that their song is about hiding from rockets in a bomb shelter. “Hurry, hurry, hurry to a safe area. My heart is beating boom, boom, boom, boom,… Read More

A Coming-Out Celebration

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Actor, director and playwright Jeffrey Solomon happily acknowledges that the landscape for gays and lesbians in America has changed dramatically since 1998, when he first performed “Mother/SON,” a solo show about a Jewish mother’s journey from deep disappointment to full acceptance of her gay son’s sexual orientation in the early 1990s. The award-winning play, written… Read More

Just Add Water

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In chemistry, a solvent is a liquid capable of dissolving another substance. The resulting homogeneous mixture is known as a solution. In this regard, water is known as “the universal solvent” because of its unique ability to dissolve seemingly impermeable things. Jewish tradition teaches that the great Rabbi Akiva was even motivated to learn Torah… Read More

Back Talk

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Akiva Shmidman has been a practicing physical therapist since 2003, first in New York and now for the past nine years in Baltimore. The 36-year-old Pikesville resident, who specializes in sports medicine, has seen his share of patients with lower back pain. The BeActive brace, a product Shmidman invented to help these patients, will soon… Read More

Baltimoreans Rally Over Gaza

When Raquel Minka heard about a rally taking place in downtown Baltimore protesting Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, she had to do something. “They’ve been having so many,” she said of the pro-Palestinian protest. “We also need a chance to speak up.” Minka took to Facebook to organize her own demonstration — one in support of… Read More

Vested Interests: Raising Funds to Purchase Bulletproof Vests

About a week ago, Rabbi Leonard Oberstein, director of the Teacher’s Institute at Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore, received a call from Rabbi Yissocher Dov Eichenstein of Mercaz Torah and Tefillah regarding Eichenstein’s desire to “do something for our soldiers, specifically that they go into battle with the right safety gear.” As explained in… Read More

Shalom to the Enshrined

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For Jeff Idelson, the director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., induction weekend is all about teamwork. “When you get to signature events [and] you’re in a small community, all the pieces have to come together effectively for it to be a grand slam,” Idelson said recently from his… Read More

Instant Minyan

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Searching for a minyan? Look no further than your smartphone. On July 8, Web development company RustyBrick released its newest mobile application for Android and iPhone users: Minyan Now. The New York-based company, best known for creating a popular phone siddur, uses modern technology to enhance traditional Jewish practices. The company’s latest product is designed… Read More

No Meat, No Problem!

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From chicken soup to cholent, Jews love their meat. With a vast array of kosher meat restaurants in the Baltimore area, Jewish meat eaters are spoiled for choice when it comes to dining out. Yet, from July 28 until Aug. 4, observant Jews are forbidden to eat meat during the nine days between Rosh Chodesh… Read More