5 Go-To Venues

M&T Bank Stadium

A bar or bat mitzvah is a once-in-a-lifetime simchah that brings friends and family together for a joyous occasion to celebrate a Jewish child’s coming of age. Choosing a venue might seem like a daunting task consisting only of liking a space or not, but in reality, it is a crucial decision that sets the… Read More

Fashion! Turn to the Left

Synchronicity Boutique (Photo by David Stuck)

One crucial aspect of the b’nai mitzvah ceremony, not to mention post-party, is looking the part. “Thirteen is a very tricky age,” Synchronicity Boutique owner Karen Mazer said, amplifying her observation with the notion that in outfitting both younger and older persons alike, she and her staff have all manner of considerations to deal with… Read More

Getting the Party Started

©istockphoto.com/Massimo Merlini

There is an art to entertaining. Stand-up comedians need timing, warm-up guys need to be able to get a crowd excited without surpassing the main act. However, nothing surpasses the magic of the b’nai mitzvah emcee. “You can bring someone in to play music, but we specialize in entertainment,” said Doug Sandler, who has DJ’ed… Read More

Reflecting on Bar, Bat Mitzvah Experiences


Although it was more than 21 years ago, Andy Hoffman remembers his bar mitzvah party like it was yesterday. Hoffman, 34, owner of Gourmet Again, celebrated with about 175 family and friends at the Woodholme Country in Pikesville, where the theme of the night was golf. Each table had a different professional golfer whom Hoffman… Read More

Study Abroad Allows Students to Expand Horizons

Andrew Poverman (Photo provided)

In today’s globally connected world, more and more high school students are getting an opportunity to enjoy all the cultural and academic amenities countries have to offer through various study abroad programs. For many of these students in the Baltimore community, learning another nation’s way of life, customs and traditions is as much of an… Read More

CJE Offering New Opportunities for Young Families

Families participating in the CJE’s Ahava Baby program tour the  Butterbee Farm in Pikesville.

Providing busy, young Jewish parents with meaningful experiences to keep them interested in Jewish life is no easy task, but it is one that local organizations have taken head-on. In 2010, a community survey by The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore identified 10,000 Jewish families around Baltimore that were not engaged with Jewish life… Read More

Nagel Brings Expertise to Beth Shalom

Louis Nagel (Photo provided)

Louis Nagel was born in Philadelphia but has been living in Baltimore since he was 5 years old. Growing up, he attended religious school and worked as a madrich at the Orthodox shul B’nai Jacob. Additionally, he worked as a counselor at Camp Milldale. Nagel, 59, graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with… Read More

Schools, Programs Offer Personalized Special Needs Education


Education is rarely a one-size-fits-all discipline, especially among the special needs population. Luckily for individuals with disabilities, the Baltimore area has a variety of schools, agencies and programs that offer education, training and other help that can be tailored toward specific needs. One such program is Friendship Circle run by Rabbi Chaya Sufrin out of… Read More

Flashback Ellen Olson

Ellen Olson (provided)

For most of her working life, Ellen Olson’s passion has been to provide young children with a solid educational foundation. A Philadelphia native, Olson, 60, relocated to Baltimore from Richmond, Va., 30 years ago to take over as associate director of the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC’s early childhood program. During that time, thousands of kids… Read More

Homeschooling on the Rise


All parents want the best education for their children. Sometimes, that means the local public school and other times it’s a private institution or nearby charter school. But, for some families, the best choice comes in homeschooling. More than 27,500 students were homeschooled in Maryland last school year, according to the state Department of Education…. Read More