Done Deal 41 senators back Iran agreement

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The nuclear agreement with Iran will likely survive the Senate, as President Barack Obama on Tuesday garnered the final votes he needed to block a vote on a resolution of disapproval. In quick succession, three Democratic senators — Ron Wyden (Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), both Jewish, and Gary Peters (Mich.) — announced they would vote… Read More

At What Cost? As times change, synagogues rethink traditional membership dues

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As Jews around the world prepare to usher in a new year with the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, more synagogues around the country are reconsidering whether  mandatory dues should be treated like 5775: left in the past. The traditional model for membership has synagogues dictate to their members how much money they should contribute each… Read More

Something for Everybody For area rabbis, a High Holiday sermon that resonates is the ultimate goal

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Next to writing a dissertation, crafting an effective High Holiday sermon may seem like one of the more monumental achievements for any writer. But talk to rabbis from congregations of all sorts in Baltimore and it becomes apparent that they have it down to a science. Rabbi Benjamin Sharff of Har Sinai Congregation uses a… Read More

‘We’re Not Giving Away Anything’ Obama takes Iran pitch directly to Jewish community

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In an address to American Jews on Aug. 28, President Barack Obama insisted that the agreement negotiated between world powers and Iran blocks the Islamic Republic from developing nuclear weapons without limiting the United States’ options in case of violations. “This deal blocks every way, every pathway Iran might take to obtain a nuclear weapon,”… Read More

Owings Mills Chabad Dedicates New Torah Celebration attracts hundreds; Torah dedicated to rabbi’s late father

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There’s no party like a Chabad-Lubavitch Torah dedication party. People marched and danced in the streets, music was played, flags were waved, tiki torches were lit and a festive meal was enjoyed to mark the occasion. Hundreds came out to the Chabad of Owings Mills on Sunday, Aug. 30, for the Grand Torah Dedication. The… Read More

Pray for Victory? It can be a problem for Jews when the Ravens’ first game falls on one of the year’s most important holidays

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When the sky goes dark on Sept. 13, most Jews will flock to synagogue to begin the annual ritual of celebrating Rosh Hashanah. But some will likely be sitting on their couch, enjoying beer and pizza while watching their beloved Ravens open the season in Denver against the Broncos. “It’s going to be one of… Read More

Pet Friendly Two Columbia Jewish Congregation kids put 4-H livestock skills to the test

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Ian Quill, 12, and Hayley Russell, 10, from Columbia Jewish Congregation showed off their rabbit and chicken, respectively, at the 70th annual Howard County Fair, which ended its one-week run on Aug. 15. Both of them began raising their animals as a part of 4-H, a national youth development program focused on providing children with… Read More

Tourism to Israel Is Down, but Optimism Abounds Despite decline in visitors, experts remain positive about country’s tourist offerings

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Senior reporter Marc Shapiro recently traveled to Israel as part of a Jewish press trip that was sponsored by Israel’s Ministry of Tourism. The weeklong trip, from July 22 to 28, allowed Shapiro and seven other journalists to travel throughout the country to Jerusalem, the Negev Desert, Tel Aviv, Jaffa and more. The following articles… Read More

What happens next? With a vote on Iran nuclear deal approaching, expert weighs in on likely outcomes

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Congress has less than a month left to review the Iran nuclear agreement before it comes to an expected vote in mid-September. Despite opponents lobbying hard and spending millions to sway undecided lawmakers, President Barack Obama may still get his way, the Senate majority leader said recently. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), according to the Associated… Read More