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

Rabbi David 
Ellenson

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

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

Reisterstown Keeps Eye on Prize

Nearly four years after the Reisterstown Improvement Association (RIA) formed, the Northwest Baltimore County town is making headway on revitalizing its often-overlooked Main Street area. With the help of a dedicated county employee, Amy Mantay, as town manager, the Main Street Committee formed and set up Reisterstown to apply for Maryland Main Street status, which… Read More

How His Garden Grows

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When Dr. Len Muller is not at the Bridge Club in Pikesville or visiting his grandchildren in Ellicott City, he can probably be found tending the flowerbeds he designed and planted at Bluestone Park near his condominium at Quarry Lake at Greenspring. Since moving from his native South Africa to Baltimore eight years ago, the… Read More

Around the Clock

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For many years Jews in the United States and throughout the world longed for an all-cable news channel that really understood Israel. And for years, networks such as CNN, BBC, MSNBC, Fox News, France 24 and Al Jazeera have come up short in presenting Israel’s side of the story, especially when covering the Palestinian conflicts…. Read More

Adding It Up

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With the advancement of Common Core and the debate over education reform heating up, math disabilities are getting more attention at some local schools than ever before. “We started with a traditional [math education] program, and we scrapped it within three months,” says Jamie Caplan, founder of the Legacy School, a Sykesville-based school focused on… Read More

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

Working Together

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While uncertainty continues over how to quell the rush of young migrants crossing the Mexican border into the U.S. illegally and what to do with the children awaiting trials that will determine their fate, one thing is assured in Maryland: local faith leaders will have a large role in any upcoming action. “Texas shares the… Read More

Sharfstein Joins Hopkins School of Public Health

Josh Sharf WEB

Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, announced Wednesday that he will be stepping down from his current position and joining the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as its new associated dean for public health practice and training. The move is effective Jan. 1, 2015. Sharfstein will… Read More

To The Rescue

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Those who enjoy kosher baking can breathe a collective sigh of relief: There’s a new pareve chocolate chip in town. The spring of 2012 was a tough one for those who appreciate a good, chocolaty homemade dessert after a meat meal. Food retailer Trader Joe’s brutal announcement that May — that its popular pareve chocolate… Read More