Umami Bistro Closes Its Doors

Jewish Baltimore lost a kosher mainstay this week with the April 2 closing of Umami Bistro, a kosher Chinese and Japanese restaurant located in Pikesville’s Club Centre shopping plaza. “It’s a big shame,” said Chana Bernstein, a Greenspring resident who said that Umami has been one of her favorite restaurants in town. There are options… Read More

LifeBridge Health to Operate Carroll Hospital Center

LifeBridge Health, operator of Sinai Hospital, Northwest Hospital, Levindale Hebrew and Geriatric Center and Hospital, expands its care into Carroll County this month, welcoming its new subsidiary facility, Carroll Hospital Center. Members of Carroll County Health Services Corporation, parent company of Carroll Hospital Center, voted to approve the affiliation agreement that became active April 1…. Read More

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

Too Hot To Handle Jewish community evaluates fire-safety measures

Electric hot plates are a mainstay in 
observant Jewish homes during Shabbat and holidays when turning knobs and electrical switches are prohibited. (David Stuck)

In the wake of a horrific fire caused by a faulty hot plate that claimed the lives of seven children in an Orthodox neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., observant Jews are re-evaluating how they warm food during Shabbat and holidays. Here in Baltimore, community members gathered at the Park Heights JCC on Monday night for a… 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