For the Public Good

For many Baltimoreans, their profession offers them a unique opportunity to give back to their community. Pro bono work is most often associated with the legal world, but according to Barbara Anderson, the concept of donating professional services transcends multiple fields. “We lean a lot on other pro bono services,” said Anderson, executive director at… Read More

Jewish Community Gives Back

Arleen Shepherd’s grocery list called for 60 pounds of ground beef, 60 pounds of chicken, 100 pounds of pasta, 40 pounds of rice, 120 cans of cream of mushroom soup and about 100 jars of pasta sauce. This wasn’t her usual shopping list, but when you’re cooking up 1,250 meals worth of casserole, you need… Read More

Making Magic

Rabbis often speak of the magic of Torah, but one local bar mitzvah boy took the sentiment to heart and brought Torah lessons and sleight of hand to residents of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Village. Natan Gamliel, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Krieger Schechter Day School who lained three aliyot and the haftorah at his… Read More

A United Stand

As she prepared for Project Kesher’s 25th anniversary Global Day Trip next week in New York City, the organization’s executive director, Karyn G. Gershon, reflected on the Jewish women’s organization that trains women in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia and Israel to take on leadership roles in their own communities. PK’s leaders advocate for the… Read More

Party Hardy

When it was time for his bar mitzvah, Zachary Stein, son of a successful Hollywood talent agent, was given a “Titanic”-themed bar mitzvah party. The affair, which cost a half-million dollars, featured a model of the Titanic with the words, “Mazel tov, Zachary” scrawled on the front of the ship. Among other wacky gimmicks, the… Read More

Tasty Trending

The days of bar mitzvah bagel brunches and backyard pizza parties are over. From cupcake trucks to chocolate fountains, bar mitzvahs have gotten bigger and grander in the Baltimore area. “I have seen crazy things at bar mitzvahs,” says Linwoods restaurant sous-chef Abby Chaconas. “We have had people rent out the entire restaurant, hire their… Read More

My Extravagant Bar Mitzvah Party

It was 16-and-a-half years ago, but I can remember my bar mitzvah like it was yesterday. My brother and I played guitar on the concluding song to close out the service, we had an oneg afterward and then had a few hours until what I’m sure my friends considered the main event: the party. The… Read More

Sprucing Up the Modern Simcha

If the words “kosher catering” conjure up visions of bland and unhealthy food, and memories of bar and bat mitzvahs past still haunt you, remember that planning your upcoming celebration doesn’t have to be a monotonous process full of seen-it-befores or tried-that-onces. With the help of creative kosher catering professionals — or by simply looking… Read More

Flashback: Jenny Seidman

Although she says most of the details of her 1981 bat mitzvah party are fuzzy, there is one thing that native Baltimorean Jenny Seidman and probably most of her young guests remember clearly. Radio icon and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Sarah Fleischer of Baltimore’s 98 Rock was her DJ! Seidman became a… Read More

Dude, How to Attend a Bar Mitzvah as an Adult

As young people, bar and bat mitzvah parties helped us build character: awkward social interactions, quiet slow dances where you desperately try not to make eye contact and condescending head pats from adults and kids taller than us. Now that we’re older, how do we behave ourselves at our nephew’s celebration? The service The first… Read More