Chag HaSemikhah

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On March 23 Yeshiva University in New York City will ordain its largest-ever rabbinic class, conferring on 205 graduates — nine of them with ties to Maryland — from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary the title of rabbi. According to the university’s communications department, between 75 and 80 percent of its rabbinical program graduates… Read More

Community Groups Dig In

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Those both for and against a bill in Annapolis that would financially penalize any college that was involved in an academic boycott of any country with which Maryland has an official relationship had some strong words for the legislature last week during lengthy committee hearings in both the Senate and the House of Delegates. The… Read More

House of Delegates Approves $10.10

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Maryland’s House of Delegates voted to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017 on March 7. The bill passed with a vote of 89 to 46. The move to increase the minimum from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour has been a key theme in Gov. Martin O’Malley’s final year in office and… Read More

Building Bully-Proof Bunks

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I’m a big believer in the transformational power of summer camp. No doubt it’s a belief that stems from my long-ago Santa Cruz Mountain summers spent under the canopy of redwood trees at Camp Swig. In so many ways, camp has had a lasting influence on me; I can even credit my career as an… Read More

‘4 Rabbis, 5 Opinions’

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The upstairs bar at Max’s Taphouse in Fells Point was packed last week, but it wasn’t the beer that brought the crowd; it was Israel. The discussion group “4 Rabbis, 5 Opinions,” which comprises Rabbis Josh Snyder, Jessy Gross, Etan Mintz and Daniel Burg, each from a different denomination, hosted a talk the night of… Read More

Purim for All

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For Elaine Gerstenfeld, Purim is a tale of Jewish unity. In the biblical story, Queen Esther gathered the Jews to unite against Haman, a royal official on a mission to kill the Jews of Persia. “When he describes the Jews, he describes them as divided and dispersed,” explained Gerstenfeld, who is organizing the second annual… Read More

Family Business

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Asked how he got his start in the theater business, veteran actor and director Rick Grossman will tell you he was born in a trunk. And things haven’t changed much. These days, Grossman, who was raised among three generations of theater people, is living not in, but out of a trunk, as he tours the… Read More

That’s Debatable

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It’s rare that the left-leaning J Street, a 5-year-old political advocacy organization that supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is the conservative voice in the room. But that was the case on a recent Sunday, when about 75 people gathered at the Pikesville branch of the Baltimore County Public Library to hear Mark… Read More

Admiring the Youthful Pursuit of Truth

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God bless the vibrancy of youth. I use this variant of similar expressions aired by countless old men and women throughout the ages not in an attempt to join their wise ranks, but to remark approvingly at the dedication of those who will soon become the Jewish community’s next cadre of leaders. There they were,… Read More

Home Invasion Shakes Pikesville Community

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A man and his teenage daughter were tied up and robbed after two men forced their way into a home in the 3200 block of Hatton Road in Pikesville Tuesday night. The men stole computer tablets, jewelry, a camcorder, a wallet, cash, an iPod Touch and a cell phone, according to a statement from Baltimore… Read More