Legislative Update

O’Malley Releases Budget: With his blue tie loosened and shirt sleeves rolled up, Gov. Martin O’Malley told the news media last week that his proposed nearly $37.3 billion budget, 4 percent higher than the previous one, is a “jobs budget” that will support 43,000 jobs in school construction, roads, bridges and more because “there is… Read More

Jury Out on Hagel

Local leaders question Sen. Chuck Hagel’s views, but are yet to discount him as defense secretary.  
Olivier Douliery/MCT/Newscom

Jewish groups nationally are div-ided while others are taking a wait-and-see attitude regarding the nomination of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense secretary. Local leaders appear to reflect a guarded approach yet question Hagel’s views on Iran. “Obviously the Jewish community has some concerns,” said Baltimore Jewish Coalition Executive Director Dr. Arthur Abramson. “I… Read More

Against The Wall

Men pray at the 
Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site and the center of an escalating battle over women's prayer restrictions.

He brought unprecedented attention to the plight of Soviet Jewry. He stood up to the KGB. He survived nine years in Siberia. He served in Israel’s fractious government. Now, Natan Sharansky is facing his next challenge: finding a solution to the growing battle over women’s prayer restrictions at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. In… Read More

Israel’s Mega Storm — The Numbers

The Jordan Valley flooded, making it impossible 
to commute.
Peleg Amiton/Tazpit News Agency

Last week’s storm in Israel was a record-breaker on many accounts. Many areas in the country received between 8 and 12 inches of rain, an amount that occurs on average every 10 to 15 years. • Rainfall in the north: 80% – 95% of the total annual average rainfall; 180% – 230% of the average… Read More

Eyes Wide Open

Rabbi Aaron Frank equates 
Judaism to a rubber band; it can be pulled in many different directions. 
Photos by David Stuck and Justin Tsucalas

A quaint and unassuming house across from Pikesville High School has a sign in front of it. “Netivot Shalom” it reads, “Paths of Peace.” The shul, which started as a breakaway minyan from one area synagogue, is now a vibrant and blossoming institution for men and women in the Pikesville area — men and women… Read More

Tying Up Loose Ends

Phil Lehman helped his father, Merrill, connect with Marlin Levin (inset).
Photo by David Stuck

On a spring day last year, Phil Lehman visited his father and mother’s Clarks Lane apartment to assist in a task that many children perform for their senior parents — throwing stuff away. He disposed of reams of papers that day, but one document in particular caught his eye. After reading it, he made sure… Read More

Getting A Head Start

JCS career coach Deborah Weksberg says that teens need to realize they are competing among a vast field of job applicants that includes overqualified adults.
Photo by Justin Tsucalas

Nina Knoche can’t help but laugh at some of the things she’s witnessed from young adults during job interviews she has conducted. Knoche, who owns and operates Sofi’s Crepes in Owings Mills, says she’s seen run-of-the-mill hiring turnoffs such as poor English, shoddy attire and slouching. However, she was even morebewildered when one teenage applicant… Read More

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

The city of Efrat is 
blanketed in white.
Aryeh Savir/Tazpit News Agency

Residents of the Holy City woke up to a blanket of white, as some six inches of snow fell in one night last week, the largest snowfall since 1992. Schools were canceled, businesses closed, and joyful children bundled up to play in the cold white stuff many had never seen or enjoyed. “It’s really fun… Read More

Mission Possible

Andrew Razumovsky co-chairs the Baltimore-Odessa Partnership with Brett Cohen.

A more than 20-year relationship is changing. Or strengthening may be a better word. The Baltimore-Odessa Partnership, the first such sister city relationship for any American city with a city in the former Soviet Union, is making strides to connect on more and deeper levels. It all started last spring, when a group of hand-selected… Read More

Was It Mentor To Be?

At the Jewish Federation of North America’s recent GA, one of the many interesting and informative presentations I attended was “The Strategic Importance of Succession Planning.”  This is a salient topic not only in the federation world, but also for non-profits and even within the corporate sector. Leadership always has been a passion of mine… Read More