On June 27, 2013, MELVIN; beloved husband of Susan Blatt (nee Bratman); devoted father of Lisa (Tony) Gallina, Donna (Stuart) Kazanow and Heidi (Chip) Poakeart; loving brother of Goldie Blatt (Bill) Lechter and the late Bernard Blatt; cherished grandfather of Benjamin Sine, Zachary Sine, Maxwell Kazanow, Adam Kazanow, Nicholas Gallina and Danielle Gallina; also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.Services at SOL LEVINSON & BROS., INC., 8900 Reisterstown Road, at Mount Wilson Lane on Sunday, June 30, at noon. Interment at Oheb Shalom Memorial Park, Berrymans Lane. Please omit flowers. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312 or the charity of your choice. In mourning at 312 Nicodemus Road, Reisterstown, MD 21136.

Israel At 65: The Real Evidence

(Nir Alon/ZUMA Press/Newscom)

(Nir Alon/ZUMA Press/Newscom)

As Israel celebrates 65 years, many of its medical, agricultural, military and technological nnovations have been shared globally. The real indication of the country’s growth and advancement is evident in the numbers.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel’s population has doubled in just 30 years — a bit short of four million in 1980 to now more than eight million. Life expectancy has also increased since 1980, from 76 years to 84 years for women and 72 years to 80 years for men. Education expectantly flourished, as the percentage of people with a college degree has jumped from 19 percent to 44 percent. The value of Israel’s net exports increased to more than $62 billion, and tourism has almost tripled with almost three million visitors in 2012.

No country is perfect, but Israel is constantly striving to reach new heights. We’re looking forward to what the next 30 years will bring.

On The Road Again


Iris and Neil Berman, along with  children Kyle and Paige, take their 2010 Honda Accord on loads of road trips. (David Stuck)

Iris and Neil Berman, along with children Kyle and Paige, take their 2010 Honda Accord on loads of road trips.
(David Stuck)

It’s that time of year — as Willie Nelson says — when you just “can’t wait to get on the road again.”

For many, that begins with travel over the Memorial Day weekend and continues through the summer. According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, 718,200 Marylanders are expected to travel 50 miles or more during the holiday weekend. Of those, an estimated 653,600 will travel by car, and about 35 percent will travel as a family.

This trend parallels travel for vacations and holidays throughout the year, said Ragina Averella, public and government affairs manager, AAA Mid-Atlantic. From holiday to holiday, year to year, about 80 percent of travelers do so by car, and families tend to vacation by car instead of flying or taking the train.

Many vacationers travel to the Eastern Shore beaches or south to Florida, while others choose cross-country excursions or visits to out-of-town family.

For a while, minivans replaced ‘station wagons as the overwhelming choice for loading up the family, sometimes including grandparents and even the family dog, along with suitcases, beach chairs and boogie boards for a weeklong summer vacation.

Today, however, families are making different automobile choices for travel.

“It depends on a family’s size, budget and particular preferences,” said Avarella. “No one vehicle is more popular today. It depends on the situation.”

Alicia and Jason Broth got their 2003 Kia Sedona before their children, Jocelyn and Noah, turned 6. They vacation to New Jersey and New York to visit family and friends, and they have driven to Florida four times over the years, usually for Passover.

In preparing for their trips, the Broths remove one of the seats in the van and insert a hanging rack for clothing.

“It makes packing and travel easier,” said Alicia Broth. “We don’t have to deal with any restrictions that the airlines put on; plus, when we get there, we have a car.”

Now, Jocelyn, 16, and Noah, 14, sit on the back bench with a “stash of snacks,” portable DVD players with headphones, pillows and blankets. The goal, Alicia said, is to make them as comfortable as possible since they usually drive through the night.

“[All-night driving] started off for financial reasons, but we wouldn’t trade it. We’ve come to enjoy it,” she said.

One year, they added days to a trip South and stopped in North Carolina, Georgia and even at a beach in northern Florida.

“We wouldn’t have been able to do that if we had flown,” she said. “And we made really nice memories with the kids.”

Neither Jason nor Alicia traveled this way in their youth. Jason reminds his children how he was “squished like sardines” in a sedan with his two siblings. They also didn’t have electronics to pass the time, and they resorted to travel games — to their children’s horror.

Rikki and Todd Ziman prefer driving as well. They use either their Mazda CX9 or Ford Explorer, both sport utility vehicles with three rows of seats, to travel with their children, Zach, 12, and Samantha, 8.

About five years ago, the Zimans went to Disney World, and like the Broths, chose to drive through the night. A movie started them off, and then the kids slept most of the way.

“It was very easy,” said Rikki Ziman. “We wanted it to be as smooth as possible, being in a car for 16 hours.”

The Zimans also travel to the beach each summer. Rikki says the DVD player is a “lifesaver.”

“It keeps them occupied,” she explained. “They watch a movie with headphones, and we can listen to music. If we didn’t have the DVD player, they would be fighting.”

The key to an enjoyable drive, she added, is keeping the kids happy, and the way to do that is by feeding them — usually with a large bag of pretzels — and turning on a movie (although agreeing on which movie is another battle).

Not all families choose larger cars for traveling. The Knauths opt for their Chevy Cruze, which gets better mileage than their Ford Taurus, according to Sheri Knauth.

Their travels usually involve visiting family in upstate New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Cruze’s backseat is large enough for Charlotte, 10, and Benjamin, 7.

“There’s room in the middle for a movie or what they’re playing with,” said Sheri. “But at the same time, if they need their own space, there’s enough room. It’s a good size for a family of four.”

When her children were younger, Iris Berman loaded toys and games in the car when her family traveled, but today, Kyle is 12 and Paige is 15, so they bring books and music of their own choosing.

The Bermans take a longer road trip every few years, and this summer the plan is to take a southern excursion to Asheville, N.C., Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island, S.C., and Williamsburg, Va.

Although Iris has a Honda CRV, the family chooses to take Neil’s Honda Accord. It’s a stick shift, which he enjoys driving. The bonus is better mileage and the ability to slip into any parking space, Iris Berman said.

Contrary to expectations, there is plenty of space in the back of the sedan for the kids, Iris added, and the trunk is spacious as well.

The road trip is a special memory from both Iris and Neil’s childhoods, and they want to provide the same for their children. They’ve also traveled by plane to different destinations and rented a car to drive farther, such as a western excursion to Utah, Idaho and Wyoming and a New England trip that included Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The Bermans postponed a trip South last summer after Paige sustained a toe injury. They can’t wait to get on the road again.

Road Trip Tips
Plan ahead. Pack the night before and travel on off peak-times to avoid heavy traffic.

Safety first! Never let a child ride on an adult’s lap in the car, and always buckle up. Children are safest in the back seat wearing seat belts or in federally approved child-safety seats and booster seats.

Keep it comfortable. Pack the car before getting seated and make sure children have plenty of room. Stop every two hours to let children and drivers stretch their legs. Make sure children are dressed in comfortable clothes with good walking shoes and that they are prepared for weather changes with sweaters or raincoats. In addition, remember your child’s favorite pillow and blanket.

Prepare for the worst. Keep a photo of your child in your wallet in case you lose them in a crowded area. Children should always remain under direct supervision, especially at a rest stop. It only takes a second for a child to be lost, especially in unfamiliar areas.

Keep them entertained. For babies, teething toys, cloth books, a set of keys to jangle and a purse to search through all can help pass the time. Older children may enjoy coloring books, erasable slates, books, puzzles, portable travel games, DVDs or CDs featuring songs and stories. Play games to help pass the time. How many license plates have you seen from different states?

Carry plenty of snacks and drinks. Bring nutritious and familiar snacks and beverages. Be sure to include napkins, wet wipes, travel-size tissue packets and plastic trash bags.

Bring an emergency kit. Be sure to pack a first-aid kit for passengers and one for the vehicle. Car care kits should include reflective triangles, a fire extinguisher, jumper cables, a jack and spare tire, extra motor oil, coolant, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, a flashlight with extra batteries; a cell phone and a copy of your motor club membership card and other emergency numbers.
Source: AAA Mid-Atlantic

Baltimore County Promoting Hands-Only CPR

Civillians are more likely to perform life-saving assistance if they have the option of hands-only CPR.

Civilians are more likely to perform life-saving assistance if they have the option of hands-only CPR.

Dr. David Efron is used to dealing with serious medical cases in his role as director of trauma and chief of the division of trauma and surgical critical care at Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Department of Surgery.

He never expected to experience such a case in his own home.

That was exactly what happened a few months back after her returned home to find his wife, Anne, unconscious and in cardiac arrest. He called 911 and immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, until Baltimore County EMS providers arrived.

The combination of CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator by EMS providers helped save Anne Efron’s life. The Efrons joined other survivors, along with county leaders and members of the county fire department, June 12 at the Franklin Fire Station in Reisterstown to raise awareness of the dangers of sudden cardiac arrest and the importance of immediate use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation in giving victims a chance at survival.

“This says a lot about CPR,” Dr. Efron said. “What I provided is something everyone can do, and it’s so very important in saving lives.”

Last week’s event also provided the opportunity for the county to launch its new “hands only” CPR initiative called, “Lend a Hand, Save a Life.” This CPR approach is done without rescue breathing and consists of three steps:

  • Call 911.
  • Push hard and fast on the center of the chest.
  • If possible, use a portable defibrillator, also known as an AED.

The event was also tied into “National CPR/AED Awareness Week.”

According to the county fire department, sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the U.S., with 350,000 Americans dying annually from it.

County Fire Assistant Chief Kyrle Preis said studies show civilians are more likely to perform life-saving assistance if they have the option for hands-only CPR.

“This is as effective as traditional CPR in most cases,” Preis said.

For more information about hands-only CPR, including finding out how to take a class, visit

D’var Torah, Liberal-Style

Rabbi Yerachmiel Shapiro’s column (“Have Faith, And No Goal Is Too Lofty,” May 31) noted that the spies Moses sent to check out Canaan displayed diffidence — that is, lack of faith — that the Creator could keep His promise to deliver that land into the Israelites’ hands. But what if instead of diffidence, the spies had been afflicted with liberalism? Their report might have gone something like this:

“We have crossed the Jordan and toured the land of the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivvite, the Amorite, the Jebusite, the Girgashite and the Hittite. It is a land flowing with milk and honey, and we are confident that the Creator can deliver it into our hands.

“But the Canaanites are descendants of Ham, darker-skinned people. For us to displace people of color would be ‘racist.’

“When we apportion the land of the Perizzites among our tribes and families, no woman who has brothers will inherit a share in the land. That would be ‘sexist.’

“When we conquer the land of the Hivvites, the Priestly class will have privileges and duties that no other class has, and the Levitical class will live in special cities with special property rights. It will be a ‘classist’ society.

“We learn that the Holy Land will ‘vomit out’ the Amorites as punishment for engaging in a list of forbidden amorous relationships. For us to help the Land vomit them out might be ‘homophobic.’

“Mount Moriah, where Abraham bound Isaac, is where Jerusalem will be someday, but today it is part of the Jebusites’ land, where they sacrifice to molten idols. If we smash their idols, as we are commanded to do, and build our Sanctuary on Mount Moriah, we will show ‘intolerance’ for the Jebusites’ religious freedom.

“If we drive out the Girgashites, any towns or farms or factories that we build on their land will be ‘settlements,’ in violation of ‘international law.’ International scholars will boycott our academic conferences.

“If we set up a barrier to keep the Hittites from hitting us after we take their land, it will be an ‘apartheid wall.’

“Finally, any nations that we do not drive out will have to pay us tribute and live under Israelite ‘occupation,’ for which the international community will impose ‘sanctions’ against us, boycott our products and divest from our enterprises.

“We Jews should hate ourselves for even thinking about setting up a racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, intolerant, settlement, occupation, apartheid state on other people’s land. Let us appoint a chief and go back to Egypt.”

Matt Rosenblatt

‘Time Of My Life’


Pikesville’s Warren Sollod was the Orioles’ first Jewish batboy. (David Stuck)

Countless kids in America grow up dreaming to be professional athletes. At 14, Warren Sollod of Pikesville embarked on what many of those same kids would consider the next best thing.

For the 1958, 1959 and 1960 seasons, a teenage Sollod served as an Orioles batboy, observing and interacting with hometown heroes such as Brooks Robinson and Ron Hansen on a daily basis.

For 77 home games a year, Sollod — working with a handful of other teenagers — was responsible for the day-to-day grunt work carried out in the clubhouse: picking up countless pieces of dirty, sweaty uniforms, polishing the players’ shoes and organizing each individual locker for the next day’s game.

For $1.50 a day ($3 for a doubleheader) Sollod, now 69, would hop two buses and arrive at Memorial Stadium by 3:30 p.m. for a night game — more than four hours before first pitch.

While the majority of his work relegated him to the clubhouse, at various points throughout the game he would sprint up a flight of stairs and watch the action from the tunnel behind home plate. After the game, he would stay as late as midnight, picking up towels, scraping mud off cleats with a wire brush and hanging up clean uniforms.

Long hours, menial work. Said Sollod: “I had the time of my life.”

How he captured the position would make this generation’s job hopefuls cringe. In December of 1957, he wrote a letter — no more than a couple of sentences — to the organization, asking if he could serve as batboy. Some five days later, he received a letter from clubhouse manager Whitey Diskin informing Sollod that he had been accepted for the role.

“I didn’t expect to hear back that quickly,” Sollod said. “I was counting the days until I started.”
Sollod remembers entering the locker room for the first time. There stood a then 21-year-old Brooks Robinson, the first player he interacted with during his first day on the job. There was mammoth catcher Gus Triandos, who Sollod described as “a large Greek man,” who despite his imposing, chiseled figure, was a friendly guy. Pitchers Hoyt Wilhelm, Milt Pappas and Billy O’Dell stood just feet away.

“I was in awe, just looking at them in awe,” Sollod recalled. “[And] they were all good-natured guys.”
However, just because a player was good-natured didn’t necessarily mean his choice of vernacular was. Sollod said his first year as a batboy was a crash course in foul language. Utility player Dick Williams seemingly cursed with every other word. He wasn’t swearing at anyone in particular, it was just how he talked.

Profanity didn’t elude the venerable Robinson, who, after an early season victory over the Yankees in 1958, jubilantly galloped into the clubhouse shouting: “Who says we can’t beat those [expletive] Yankees?”

Said Sollod, “That’s something I’ll remember until the day I die.”

As a Jew in the clubhouse, Sollod said he never felt even a tinge of prejudice from any of the players. In fact, the one time he faced any semblance of bigotry, it was one of the players who had his back.

One night during a game, Sollod was on the phone talking to his mother when an older, bigger fellow batboy barked, “Hey, get your damn Jew nose back to work!”

Unknown to Sollod, his mother, who overheard the shout, called Diskin to tell him what she heard. Later on that night, Sollod was approached by shortstop Foster Castleman.

“Warren, everything OK? No problems?” Castleman asked, with the other batboy clearly in earshot. Not wanting to cause a stir, Sollod responded that everything indeed was fine. “You sure?” Castleman continued, “Because if you have any problems, you let me know.”

Castleman, who Sollod said had Jewish roots, would later explain to him that he had learned of the incident and broached the topic in that manner on purpose. Sollod never had any trouble from that batboy again.

Orioles players also liked having Sollod around.

“Batboys were always a lot of help, especially to the new guys because we didn’t know our way around,” said former Orioles shortstop Ron Hansen, who played his first full season with the team in 1960. “If you had a question about something, you’d ask the batboy. Warren was a big help.”

On occasion, Sollod’s interactions weren’t just limited to Orioles.

In 1960, Sollod was watching a game against the Yankees from his standard perch behind home plate, when he noticed that he could detect the pitch signals from the opposing catcher.

He alerted third base coach Lum Harris — because “nobody spoke to [manager] Paul Richards unless he spoke to you” — of what he was seeing.

Harris instructed Sollod to scratch the left side of his head when a fastball was called and the right side of his head to indicate a breaking ball.

Harris would then tip off the Orioles’ hitters of what pitch to expect.

Apparently, Sollod was not very discreet.

Soon after the plan was put into play, Hall of Fame manager Casey Stengel sauntered out of the Yankees’ dugout and made his way to the home plate umpire. The ump than signaled for Richards.

Before he knew it, Sollod was whistled over by Diskin. The 16-year-old had been “ejected” from the game.

“I was embarrassed,” Sollod said. “[But,] I was just doing what they told me to do.”

After the game, Sollod was picking towels up off the floor when he was approached by Stengel.

“I’m sorry I had to do that,” Stengel said, “But you can’t do that.” He then handed Sollod an autographed baseball.

For Sollod, a semiretired jeweler, stories such as these sometimes roll of the tongue easier than trying to remember what he ate for breakfast the previous day. His experience resulted in friendships with players in the Orioles organization that exist to this day.

During the time he served as a batboy, he was just along for the ride.

As he aged, he realized what a unique environment he had the opportunity to experience.

“I was just … there,” said Sollod. “I didn’t think about any of that until years later, just how cool it was.”

David Snyder is a JT staff reporter

Classic Fried Salami



midget kosher salami,  sliced thin
6 extra large eggs
salt to taste


In a hot frying pan fry the salami slices until crisp about 4 minutes. While the salami is frying crack and check eggs. Stir eggs with spoon do not overbeat. Add egg over salami and cook until firm. Salt to taste. Serves: Up to 3 people unconcerned about cholesterol.

Brisket in Marinade



1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh marjoram
4 lbs brisket
2 cups finely dices onion
2 cups red wine


Mix lemon juice,  pepper, parsley and marjoram together.  Coat the brisket with the mixture and let marinate overnight in the refrigerator.  Next day brown the meat on all sides and return to the marinade.  Add the onion and red wine over the top of the brisket and cover with foil.  Roast in oven at 325 degrees F for 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours.

No Fail Apple Cobbler



6-8 apples
1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon sugar
2 eggs
5 tablespoons oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon orange juice


Slice 6-8 apples (peeled) into a greased pie pan. Sprinkle the juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 teaspoon sugar on the apples. Mix batter together and spoon batter over apples. Bake 10 minutes at 425º; 25-30 minutes at 375º. Serves 6-8.