Blavatt Elected President of Chizuk Amuno

Jason Blavatt (left) with Rabbi Ron Shulman (provided)

Chizuk Amuno Congregation elected Jason Blavatt as its new president at its annual meeting on June 14. Blavatt wrapped up a term as first vice president of the 1,200-family Conservative congregation. “Jason Blavatt’s values and temperament reflect his caring toward people and his sensitivity to doing what’s right and proper,” Rabbi Ron Shulman said in… Read More

Former Cop’s Roots Run Deep City Police Jewish Community Liasion Moving On

Ken Dickstein (Photo by Adam Barry)

For the past seven years, Baltimore’s Jewish communities have been looked after by Kenneth “Heshy” Dickstein, the Yiddish- and Hebrew-fluent son of a local rabbi. Since August of 2009, the former Officer Dickstein, who retired on June 17, has served as the Baltimore Police Department’s citywide Jewish community liaison, fostering communication between the community and… Read More

Baltimore Remembers Wiesel as Eloquent, Thoughtful, Righteous Mensch

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Elie Wiesel, the iconic Holocaust survivor, activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, died of natural causes on Saturday, July 2 at the age of 87. While he was a figure of international prominence, there is hardly a Jewish community around the world that didn’t feel his impact, and Baltimore is no different. “It was like… Read More

State Congressmen Rally for Gun Control

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Maryland’s Democratic Congressmen gathered in Baltimore on Wednesday, June 29 to underscore the need for gun control two weeks after a mass shooting in an Orlando, Fla., nightclub killed 49 people and less than a week after Congressional Democrats staged a sit-in in attempt to force a gun control vote. Congressmen Chris Van Hollen, Elijah… Read More

UPDATE: Suspect in Barricade Situation in Police Custody

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After a nearly eight-hour barricade that closed sections of Reisterstown Road in the northern part of the city, Baltimore Police arrested a man who refused to come outside when sheriffs tried to serve him a warrant, according to police spokesman T.J. Smith. Shots were fired from the house, located in the 6900 block of Reisterstown… Read More

Howard County Federation Director Resigns

Michelle Ostroff (File photo)

Michelle Ostroff has resigned from her position as executive director of the Jewish Federation of Howard County, according to an email distributed to the community last week. Ostroff will officially step down at the end of July. “This decision was made so that I can spend more time with my family, as the demands of… Read More

Brexit’s Unintended Consequences

The United Kingdom’s vote last week by 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the  European Union promises to present a primer in the law of unintended consequences. From its economic and trade ramifications to the integrity of the U.K. itself, the referendum is leading the world into uncharted territory. The vote highlighted a split… Read More

Incoming Arts Chair Prepares to Make Her Mark

Shelley Morhaim. (Photo provided)

Pikesville resident Shelley Morhaim is poised to make an impact on Maryland artists as the incoming chair of the Maryland State Arts Council, the organization that supports and promotes the arts across the state. Morhaim was appointed to the council by former governor Martin O’Malley in 2013 and re-appointed by Gov. Larry Hogan earlier this… Read More

Israel’s Conversion Muddle

Israel’s chief rabbinate system has long been known as inflexible about strains of Judaism that do not match its approved brands of Orthodoxy. The bureaucracy and chosen path of the rabbinate has alienated ordinary Israelis from Judaism and complicated the lives of those who get tripped up on its increasingly narrow strictures. Having become a… Read More