Should They Stay or Should They Go? Aliyah debate exposes French Jewry’s internal fault lines

PARIS — A burst of applause greeted Holocaust survivor Marek Halter and his close friend, Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, as they entered the Synagogue de la Victoire together in January. Halter, a celebrated author and friend of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, is known for his outreach to moderate Muslims, and his appearance with Chalghoumi at… Read More

Gansky to Head ACHARAI

ACHARAI: The Shoshana S. Cardin Leadership Institute has named Beth Gansky as its next executive director. She succeeds the organization’s first executive director, Debra Weinberg, who will retire in July after 10 years at the post. “I think ACHARAI is doing the work that needs to be done in all communities,” Gansky said. “To have… Read More

Church Hosts Preschool’s Matzah Baking Party

Happy children with hands covered in a doughy paste of flour and water gleefully pounded out homemade matzah last Friday night at Salem Lutheran Church, the new site of Beth El Congregation’s downtown preschool and neighborhood school. Fifteen families gathered for the Shabbat and pre-Passover activities. Young children placed bug and locust stickers on plates… Read More

Vastly Different Candidates

Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards are two Democrats battling for 
Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s seat.

As politicians throughout the state contemplate the wisdom of mounting a bare-knuckle Senate campaign, only Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards have officially declared their candidacies for the seat being vacated by outgoing Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski. But while both are longtime Democrats, they could not be more different in how they are perceived… Read More

Requesting to Grow

The Pikesville Volunteer Fire Company is seeking state funding for renovations to their current building. (File photo)

Amid a push for the closure of some Baltimore County volunteer fire departments, the Pikeville Volunteer Fire Company is trying to grow. The department has requested $500,000 in state funding — more than requested by any other volunteer fire company in the state in fiscal year 2016 — to help it improve its current facilities,… Read More

Wake-Up Call For Russia’s Jews, Nemtsov murder is reminder of their vulnerability

Thousands of demonstrators in Moscow protest the murder of Boris Nemtsov.
(Alexander Aksakov/Getty Images)

During the past two years, Dima Zicer has skipped several political rallies opposing the chauvinistic policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin. A Jewish scholar of education from St. Petersburg, Zicer, 55, has limited hope for change in a country that is ranked 148th in the Press Freedom Index and where several of Putin’s critics have… Read More

A Clean Break on Campus Swarthmore Hillel votes to disaffiliate with Hillel International

The Hillel student board at Swarthmore College in 2013-14, when Swarthmore became the site of the nation's first Open Hillel.
(Courtesy Sarah Revesz)

NEW YORK — Swarthmore Hillel’s student board voted to drop its affiliation with Hillel International and change its name, citing Hillel International’s restrictions on Israel issues. Following an extended debate, the 11-member board elected late March 16 in a 7-3 vote to drop the affiliation, effective immediately (one board member was absent). In December 2013,… Read More

50 Years of Vatican II BHC’s Interfaith Institute examines today’s Catholic Church

Rabbi Andrew Busch addresses the room at the 55th annual Interfaith Institute.
(Heather Norris)

Dialogue was the topic Monday at the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation Sisterhood’s 55th annual Interfaith Institute. The event, which featured a panel discussion from Rabbi Andrew Busch; Rosann Catalano, a Catholic and senior staff scholar at the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies; Sanaullah Kirmani, Islamic scholar and advisor to Muslim students at Towson University; and… Read More

Parakeet Wins Purim Pet Contest

Ike the Parakeet

Out of 18 submissions, Ike the Parakeet won the Jewish Times Purim Pet Contest. The parakeet, owned by Janet Ziffer of Columbia, was pictured on top of a mini-football with the Green Bay Packers logo, in a mini Green Bay Packers sweatshirt and sporting a cheese head hat. “I wouldn’t have thought in Maryland a… Read More