Best Of Both Worlds


When the first Jewish summer camps were founded over a century ago, they offered youngsters respite from urban blight and disease, opportunities for friendship and independence and a taste of Jewish culture. Nowadays, the relationship between Jewish summer camping, Jewish identity building and the continuity of the Jewish people is well documented. Yet, in order… Read More

Habonim Dror: A Recipe For Engagement


When asked to summarize the 78-year-old Habonim Dror Progressive Zionist movement, Camp Moshava executive director Jen Silber is understandably overwhelmed. “It’s a kibbutz-like environment dedicated to inclusion and social justice; campers are challenged to develop a strong and personal connection to Israel and the Jewish people and in doing so gain leadership skills and form… Read More

Ode To Jewish Camping


I was not a happy camper. And let’s face it, some of us aren’t overly fond of the great outdoors, with its summertime mosquitoes, oppressive heat, freezing-cold pools and lakes and overnight campouts. Although I whined about most camp activities, I suspect I would have put those objections aside (and even learned to love many of… Read More

No Baths at Camp


By Tamar Fox; Kar-Ben Publishing, 32 pages (soft cover) From making friends and learning new skills to celebrating Shabbat and growing as a Jewish individual, children learn many things at camp that help shape them into young adults. When young Max gets home from camp, he grumbles when his mother announces bath time. Throughout this… Read More



Now that most camps have outlawed junk food in the bunks, filling camp care packages is harder than ever. Let’s face it, most of our kids don’t really need any of the things we send. They just like to get packages. Woe to the terrible parent (I’ve been one) who doesn’t even send one. And… Read More

Flashback: Samantha Blumberg


Freelance makeup artist Samantha Blumberg knows all about beauty. The Pikesville resident, who is in her late 20s, has been making people look gorgeous ever since she was a teenager attending Franklin High School. But don’t think Samantha isn’t also a “nature girl.” As a child she spent eight summers in the magnificent outdoors at… Read More

Out Of The Box

(Photos by David Stuck)

“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes …” (Deuteronomy 6:8). The verse is one that we read every day in the Shema. It refers to tefillin, the little leather boxes that position between your eyes and on the top of your arm. The… Read More


There’s nothing like a simcha — dressing up, partying with family and friends, enjoying a delicious meal. Check out the great food that Bonnie and Arthur Sorak served when they hosted bar mitzvah parties for their boys: spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce, lasagna, portabella mushroom salad, pasta marinara, garlic bread, roasted potatoes and a… Read More

All Our Children

It began like any other d’var Torah. “Good afternoon. My portion today is Vaera from the Book of Exodus,” said Joel Friedman, as he looked out at family members and friends who had gathered for his bar mitzvah at Beth Israel Congregation in Owings Mills. But Joel’s d’var Torah and his bar mitzvah were rather… Read More