New Vegan Birthright Trip Takes Flight in August

  For the first time in its nearly two-decade long history of sending young Jewish adults to Israel for a free 10-day immersive cultural experience, Birthright  Israel: Mayanot will be offering a trip specializing in the vegan diet and lifestyle. The announcement was made by Mayanot’s partner in this endeavor, Jewish Veg, earlier this month…. Read More

Wearing Pink Hats, Women March on D.C.

Above the sea of bodies, signs and pink knitted “p—y hats” jostling for space a block from the Mall on Saturday, 22-year-old Aya Kantorovich stood on a riser holding a sign that read “Jewish women will never stop fighting for human rights.” “I wouldn’t have missed this,” she shouted from her perch. It was almost… Read More

Trump and His Inauguration Signal Major Shifts Ahead

Kenneth Manny, a veteran of the Vietnam War, flew up from Florida the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration because he’d grown exasperated with business as usual in Washington. “It seems like nothing ever gets done in D.C.,” said Manny, who wore a black hat bearing the yellow words “Vietnam Veteran.” “Politicians promise the moon… Read More

Rabbi Marvin Hier on Inauguration, American Democracy

Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Museum of Tolerance, knows a thing or two about receiving criticism. On Friday, Jan. 20, Hier  became the first rabbi since Ronald Reagan’s presidential inauguration in 1985 to contribute prayer services at the swearing-in ceremonies. One of the six diverse spiritual leaders… Read More

JCCs in Baltimore and Beyond Evacuated for Second Time in Two Weeks JCC was also evacuated Jan. 9; other facilities report threats across country

The Park Heights JCC, along with JCCs across the country, has now been the target of two bomb threats this month after the most recent threat Jan. 18, which follows a previous threat on Jan. 9. The second round of bomb threats affected 27 JCCs in 17 states. The Park Heights JCC received the phone… Read More

Orthodox Rabbis Join Opposition to Assisted Death

The debate over death with dignity, also known as assisted suicide, will be reignited in Maryland this year, as state legislators plan to reintroduce the End-of-Life Option Act. Despite growing acceptance of medically assisted suicide, a group representing more than 1,000 Orthodox rabbis came out against the practice, calling it “murder.” In a recent statement,… Read More

Groups Ready for March on Washington

Progressive Jewish groups are gearing up to participate in the potentially massive Women’s March on Washington, a protest against President-elect Donald Trump that will take place the day after his inauguration. Organizers expect around 200,000 people at the Jan. 21 demonstration, which coincides with Shabbat. While Jewish organizers acknowledge that Shabbat could prevent some Jews… Read More

JCC Association Names New President, CEO

The JCC Association of North America  announced on Dec. 20 that the 100-year-old central agency had named Doron Krakow as its new president and CEO. Krakow has long been a prominent member of the professional Jewish communal scene on a national level and most recently served as head of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s American… Read More

Trump’s Israel Envoy Pick Shakes Up American Jewish Status Quo

WASHINGTON (JTA) -– Nearly six years ago, when President Barack Obama was set to elevate one of his top emissaries to the Jewish community to the Israel ambassadorship, Dan Shapiro asked for – and got – the endorsement of one of Obama’s fiercest pro-Israel critics. “Dan has always spoken to us, patiently and carefully explaining… Read More

Obama Lights the Menorah One More Time

If any word could describe the scene from the East Room of the White House on Dec. 14, the site of the final two Chanukah parties hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, it would be irony. Unless you paid close attention to the fact that there was a silver menorah being… Read More