Feinblatt Celebrates 60th Anniversary

On Oct. 3, the law firm of Gordon Feinblatt LLC and its 155 employees celebrated the 100th anniversary of the historic Garrett Building and the 60th anniversary of the firm by holding an anniversary party in the building’s stately two-story conference center.

Opened in 1913, the Garrett Building was praised as “one of the handsomest and most striking structures in the financial district” of Baltimore City.  Originally the home of the banking firm and brokerage house of Robert Garrett & Sons, Gordon Feinblatt purchased the building in 1981 and restored it to its original grandeur. The 13-story building (at the corner of South and Redwood streets) has been the home and offices of the law firm since that time.

Bringing Conservative Voices Together

When she learned the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Centennial Conference was to be held in Baltimore, a light went on in Shoshana Harris’ head. Harris, who sings in Beth Israel Congregation’s choir, Shirat HaLev, as well as Chizuk Amuno Congregation’s a cappella choir, Kol Rinah, thought the conference presented a great opportunity for singers from the two conservative congregational choirs to perform together.

“I had the vision because I personally get so much personal and spiritual gratification from both choirs,” said Harris, a member of BIC.

“I wrote a proposal and submitted it through the Jewish Conservative Movement magazine’s website and got a positive response from the organizers almost immediately,” she said. Then Harris approached Kol Rinah’s director, Evan Tucker, to ask him for permission to invite members of Shirat HaLev at BIC to join Kol Rinah for a performance at the conference.

In the end, said Harris, only three members from the BIC choir were able to join Kol Rinah, but Harris believes this may lead to more collaboration. In fact, on Nov. 13, members of both choirs will perform at BIC’s annual fall sisterhood dinner.

“It has enriched the choir, and they [the BIC members] come out of our joint rehearsals on cloud nine,” she said. “I love the idea of this model.

We often stay in our own worlds. It’s good to put our egos aside and come together.”

Harris believes that music a pathway for accessing greater spirituality.

See Also
A New Horizon: Chizuk Amuno’s new executive director will focus on Conservative Judaism 2.0 >>
Conversation Of The Century >>

Executives Named At Maryland Live!

Ahmad H. Ahmad, vice president of hospitality and Stephen Heise (left), vice president of human resources. (Provided)

Ahmad H. Ahmad, vice president of hospitality and Stephen Heise (left), vice president of human resources. (Provided)

Robert J. Norton, president and general manager of Maryland Live! Casino, has announced key appointments to the senior executive management team, naming Ahmad H. Ahmad as vice president of hospitality and Stephen Heise as vice president of human resources.

FIDF to Host Annual Gala

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Richard Kind

Actor and comedian Richard Kind, prominent local volunteer Shirley Cohen and Israeli Defense Forces lone soldier Risa Kelemer will highlight the fifth annual Friends of the IDF Gala on Oct. 29.

For the Midatlantic chapter of the FIDF, this year’s event is especially exciting. In addition to being the first time the chapter will include an entertainer as the master of ceremonies, it is also the first sit-down dinner the chapter will host, something Ron Eisenberg, chapter president, hopes will get attendees involved in the event.

“A successful gala makes for a good year,” said Eisenberg, adding that the gala is the only real organized fundraising event the FIDF hosts.

Last year, the FIDF was able to provide 3,400 college scholarships to young men and women in Israel who otherwise would not be able to earn a four-year degree. The Midatlantic chapter has also built a well-being center for one battalion based near Gaza, and it sponsors a search-and-rescue battalion, something Eisenberg said the organization is very proud of, considering just five years ago it was little more than a small group meeting in Midatlantic Executive Director Charlie Levine’s kitchen.

The national FIDF organization was established in 1981 to provide social, educational and recreational support for Israeli soldiers and their families. Since it was founded, it has expanded to include 15 regional offices in the United States and a pair of offices in Latin America.

The first year the organization hosted the gala, Eisenberg said, a couple hundred people attended, and the chapter raised about $200,000. Last year, that figure grew to almost $400,000 with 600 attendees.

Despite launching the Midatlantic chapter in the thick of the recession, he said the support for the cause has been strong in the Maryland area.

“They’re kids,” Eisenberg said of those who receive FIDF support. “They really, really, really appreciate everything we do. If you can’t get excited about that, pack it in.”

Tickets will be available right up until the day of the gala. Gala donor tickets are $200, with opportunities to upgrade. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 410-486-0004 or visit fidf.org/mdgala.

Rabbi Malkus To Head CESJDS

The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School has announce the appointment of Rabbi Mitchel Malkus as new head of school. Rabbi Malkus began his tenure Aug. 1. He comes to CESJDS with deep educational credentials and an impressive track record at the Rabbi Jacob Pressman Academy of Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles, an early childhood through eighth-grade school of more than 500, where he was head of school since 2001.

Hopkins Awarded $2.1M For COPD Program

The Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality has been awarded a $2.1 million contract to develop, implement and study a program that better supports people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) following hospitalization — a period when patients are especially prone to re-hospitalization. The three-year project will be funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Common among longtime smokers, COPD is a progressive lung disease that affects one in seven U.S. adults, making it the country’s fourth-leading cause of death and a common cause of disability.

Annapolis Symphony Names New Director

The board of trustees of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO) announced that Jeth Mill has been named executive director. Mill will provide leadership and vision to achieve the orchestra’s continued goals of artistic excellence, community engagement and education outreach.

Prior to joining the ASO, Mill held the position of executive director for the Windsor Symphony Orchestra in Ontario, Canada for five years and most recently managed a major arts center renovation for the orchestra.

KSDS Chosen To Participate In Tamritz Digital Badge-Based Learning

Krieger Schechter Day School was recently selected as one of four schools in the nation to pioneer in Tamritz’s digital badge-based learning network. Through project-based learning, teacher-as-coach instruction and incorporating modern technological trends, this innovative educational approach is gaining popularity worldwide.

“I was inspired by the Mozilla Foundation’s open badges work and by hearing about the badge-learning program at the Epstein School in Atlanta,” said Tamritz founder Sarah Blattner.

After attending a session on badge learning at the 2012 Jewish Day School Conference, Blattner had an idea.

“From living in four different Jewish communities, I saw a need not only to network educators to share best practices and resources, but also to network students for learning beyond the classroom walls,” she said. ”In addition to this, I wanted to amplify opportunities for Jewish day schools to tinker with novel and leading-edge digital-media literacies.”

Badge-learning derives from a system of awarding specific merit badges, similar to those in Boy/Girl Scouts. Digital badge-learning uses this concept, incorporating digital designs in education that go beyond the classroom to include innovative, modern technology.

Having lived in Baltimore and served on staff at Krieger Schechter Day School, Blattner recalled the school’s potential in badge-learning participation and encouraged her colleagues to apply. The school was selected last spring along with three other schools: Kehillah Schechter Academy in Massachusetts, the Moriah School in New Jersey and the Seattle (Washington) Hebrew Academy.

Tamritz has provided participating schools with in-person training and coaching to establish individual badge-learning programs. Summer training focused on digital-age teaching for the teachers involved. Additionally, training took place the first week of October to further equip teachers with the necessary tools and methods for implementing digital badge learning.

“I’m excited to see how students react to this,” said KSDS technology teacher Alex Thaler.

As technology is such an enormous part of modern life, Thaler feels confident that students will embrace digital badge learning fully. He, along with KSDS teachers Kelly Platzke, Kristen Wavle and Kathy Krcma, all participated in this training for digital badge learning.

Tamritz, Hebrew for incentive, is built on a learning network encompassing various practices for ­students to connect personally both in and outside of school. Its integration through education includes life skills and specific digitalized opportunities to master skills.

Tamritz is supported by a Joshua Venture Group Dual Investment program and the Avi Chai Foundation. Learn more at tamritz.org.

Carroll Receives Performance Award

Carroll Hospital Center has received the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s 2013 NCDR ACTION Registry — GWTG Platinum Performance Achievement Award, making the hospital one of 197 nationwide to achieve this recognition. The award recognizes the organization’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients.

To receive the award, the hospital consistently followed the treatment guidelines in the ACTION Registry — GWTG Premier for eight consecutive quarters and met a performance standard of 90 percent for specific performance measures. Following these treatment guidelines improves adherence to the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association’s clinical guideline recommendations, monitors drug safety and improves the overall quality of care provided to ST-elevation myocardial infarction and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction patients.

Yeshiva Fellowship Turns 10

With more than 150 alumni in an array of professional and communal careers and 15 stellar new graduates taking the reins this fall, Yeshiva University’s Presidential Fellowship in University and Community Leadership is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Adam Neuman and Meirah Shedlo of Baltimore have been selected for this year’s cohort.

The highly competitive program was established by President Richard M. Joel in 2004, shortly after his arrival at YU, with the goal of transforming the university into a leadership incubator for the Jewish people