Israeli Youth Movement

A student village built by Ayalim in the embattled town of Sderot will house 300 students next year.

LOD, Israel — He says he’s a leader of a “Zionist settlement” movement, but Raz Sofer’s home is no West Bank outpost. Sofer, 25, is the manager of a 100-member student village in this mixed Jewish-Arab city in central Israel. The village, comprised of several apartment complexes, offers students cheap rent in exchange for volunteer… Read More

‘Clear Choice’

For the self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organization J Street, the upcoming Israeli election is a moment of “clear choice.” Either Israelis will elect leadership that puts the Jewish state on the path of isolation and violence, say the group’s activists, or on a path toward a two-state solution that maintains both the Jewish and democratic natures… Read More

Bolton Street Sues Evergreen Association

Bolton Street Synagogue in Baltimore is suing the Evergreen Community Association over the synagogue’s future plans for an educational facility in the neighborhood. According to court documents filed on Nov. 10, two years after the synagogue purchased property at 212 W. Cold Spring Lane in October 2000, it signed an agreement with the neighborhood association… Read More

Gross to Receive $3.2 Million from Federal Government

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Alan Gross will receive $3.2 million from the federal government to cover expenses he incurred during his five years in a Cuban prison. The U.S. Agency for International Development announced Dec. 23 that it would pay the money under a contractual agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, USAID will make payment directly to Gross,… Read More

Sephardic Vogue

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ROTA, Spain — While setting up a synagogue at the American naval base where she works, Ahuvah (Amanda) Gipson made something of a bitter-sweet discovery. Rifling through a storage area at the sprawling American-Spanish military complex Naval Station Rota in 2012, Gipson, a former naval outreach professional who now teaches off base, found three dusty… Read More

‘A Miracle’

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Jewish communal officials the world over were gratified by the recent announcement by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) that social service agencies that provide assistance to frail, elderly and low-income Holocaust survivors will receive substantial increases in their allocations for 2015. In Baltimore, funding to Jewish Community Services will increase… Read More

Civil Lawsuit Filed Against Freundel’s Former Employers

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While the criminal trial of Rabbi Barry Freundel, formerly of the Kesher Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C., on six counts of voyeurism has not yet begun, some women who allege they are Freundel’s victims have joined a class-action civil lawsuit against his former employers, seeking to be compensated for emotional injuries.   A team of… Read More

Good As New

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Congregants packed the halls of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation for a once-in-a-lifetime experience: the chance to help repair a Torah scroll that survived the Holocaust and dates back at least 250 years. “It was great,” said Linda Speert, who helped write an aleph on the scroll the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 14. She wanted to bring… Read More

Our Obligation

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“May the odds be ever in your favor,” Effie Trinket says in the early scenes of the first “The Hunger Games” movie, but for many in Howard County the odds are not in their favor, and issues of hunger, poverty and housing are of daily concern. With that in mind, Beth Shalom Congregation in Columbia… Read More

Alphabet Soup

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The announcement last week that HIAS, the century-old Jewish immigrant and refugee aid organization, will relocate its headquarters from New York City to Silver Spring is just another sign that the Jewish organizational universe is changing. Once known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the agency has responded to the end of Jewish refugee immigration… Read More