Let’s Keep it Civil

Editorial Director

Editorial Director

Watching the proceedings of the Republican National Convention last week and this week’s Democratic National Convention, I couldn’t help but notice that each party viscerally understands — well, their leadership, at least — that come November, unity is going to figure prominently in who ends up winning the White House. That’s why Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the vanquished Rep-ublican candidate, was under so much pressure to endorse businessman Donald Trump from the stage at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena and why he received so much ridicule when he ultimately refused to do so.

It’s also why Democratic leaders abruptly shifted Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the vanquished standard-bearer of their party’s left wing, to the last speaking slot Monday night in Philadelphia. But whereas in his speech, Cruz urged GOP voters to “vote your conscience,” Sanders, to a raucous chorus of “Bernie! Bernie!” used the closing speech of the convention’s first day to tell his millions of supporters nationwide to cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton.

History shows that those parties who cannot unify their bases ultimately go on to lose on Election Day, whether it was the Democrats in 1968, 1972 and 1980 or the Republicans in 1964, 1976 and 1992. But what happens after Inauguration Day?

For all the rhetoric centered on “unity” coming out of each party’s convention this month, there was a lot more about demonizing the other side. That, of course, is to be expected; politics, after all, is a full-contact sport. But there seems to be another current in the debates taking place in the public sphere. Many of the Dem-ocrats this week called Trump and his policies “evil,” while Trump and his surrogates have been leading supporters in chants of “lock her up.” Slinging mud at the candidate is nothing new; what is, however, is the willingness of rank-and-file partisans to dehumanize their fellow citizens backing the other candidate.

Such passion may feel warranted because of what’s at stake in this election — and there is a lot at stake — but after the final vote gets counted, we’re all going to have to come back together. No matter what you think about Trump or Clinton, one of them will end up becoming the 45th president of the United States.

America’s greatness has always rested in part on the ability of the country to experience a peaceful transition in its government, in the ability of the nation to find common ground in the quest for economic prosperity. But it’s going to be awfully hard to get anything of consequence done if we’ve already written off our fellow Americans as the embodiment of evil.

In this week’s JT, you’ll read of ordinary voters like yourself grappling with the choice before them. We’ve kept the debate civil on purpose. I urge all of you to do the same.


Baltimore Hebrew Hosts Pride Interfaith Night


Baltimore Hebrew Congregation hosted the annual Pride Interfaith Celebration on July 21. (Adam Barry)

Baltimore Hebrew Congregation became a refuge for many Baltimore residents on the night of July 21, when it hosted this year’s Baltimore Pride Interfaith Celebration, a gathering of clergy and audience from different faith communities across the area.

The night’s theme was “Evolving Reciprocity: Stories of Giving and Receiving.”

One of the evening’s moderators, Bill Redmond-Palmer, a former president of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland, described the night as a “space to run counter to narratives of hate,” by spreading this message of reciprocity. He anchored the evening along with Ryan Sattler.

The event was part of the Baltimore Pride Celebration that took place from July 19 to 24, and was sponsored in part by the 2016 Baltimore Pride Planning Committee, along with the Interfaith Fairness Coalition of Maryland, Faith Communities of Baltimore with PRIDE and the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, along with co-sponsors from the community. The event featured music provided by the Pride Interfaith Chorus and Baltimore Hebrew’s music director, Jimmy Galdieri.

The night saw clergy members and representatives of different faith communities across Baltimore, including rabbis, reverends, priests and representatives from local Buddhist and Wiccan organizations, among others.

While many speakers touched on recent events like the Orlando nightclub shooting, police-involved shootings, the killings of police officers in Dallas and recent terror attacks across the globe, the speeches touched on the message of “reciprocity,” of giving and receiving, and also touched on reminding the audience to be mindful of how they can impact causes surrounding social justice and social action.

Two awards were presented during the celebration to recognize community members for their dedication to these causes.

The 2016 Chaplain Father Edward ‘Skip’ Koritzer Award for Embracing Faith Leaders was awarded to Bill Redmond-Palmer for his work with the Interfaith Fairness Coalition and other organizations focused on LBGTQ causes and social action.

The award was given in honor of Koritzer, a former president of the Interfaith Fairness Coalition, clergy member, photographer and community activist for LGBTQ causes. Koritzer passed away in November, and many of the speakers paid their respects to him during the celebration.

The other award given was the Baltimore Faith Leaders Award for Embracing Faith Leaders, which went to Rev. Nelson R. Murphy and members of the congregation of First and St. Stephen’s United Church of Christ. The church was recognized for its involvement in LGBTQ causes and commitment to social action.

The event at Baltimore Hebrew marked the first time that the celebration has been held inside a synagogue, but in the past, it has been held in churches around the city that have opened their doors to the LGBTQ community.

“This is where my partner and I found our home church a year ago, so this is the anniversary of us finding a space and a place where we would be welcomed and embraced,” said Sam McKenzie, a member of the event’s planning committee and member of the Open Church in Baltimore.

“I think it’s really important for different communities to come together,” McKenzie said, “and this year’s theme around reciprocity is super important because it speaks to learning from each other. … In this time where we have so much violence and so much misunderstanding, I think this is a beautiful thing to have faith groups come together like this.”

“It was very moving to see all these faith communities united and this theme of ‘do unto others as others do unto you’,” said Mindy Dickler, a co-founder of JQ Baltimore who was in attendance. “I think there’s a lot of strength and hope seeing all these faith communities united with the same message.”

Adam Barry is an intern at the Baltimore Jewish Times.

Trump Call for Russian Spying Causes Stir at AJC Event

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Forum in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Forum in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The theft by suspected Russian agents of the Democratic National Committee’s emails, leading to the abrupt departure of Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as DNC chairwoman after the release of 30,000 of those emails by WikiLeaks, was bound to continue to earn headlines on Wednesday. But as Day 3 of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia got underway, it wasn’t news of an FBI investigation into the hack that got everyone’s attention — that distinction belonged to Republican nominee Donald Trump, who seemed to encourage at a Florida press conference Russian spying on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

That drew a sharp rebuke by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), who learned of the Trump remarks while in conference with a staffer on the sidelines of an American Jewish Committee event at a Center City office building.

“For a presidential hopeful of the United States to ask Russia to spy on a [former secretary of state] is shameful,” said Engel, to a round of applause. “It’s a scary thing, because I happen to believe that Russia’s interests are not America’s interests.”

According to an account in The New York Times, Trump, just minutes before his comments were broadcast across Twitter, had a message directly for Russia from the podium at one of his golf courses.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said, apparently referencing emails that had been stored on a private Clinton server and have not been released by the State Department. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Engel’s reaction to those comments came at the end of a discussion on the necessity of the United States to engage with other nations. The congressman had been joined on the panel by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), several foreign ambassadors, and Wendy Sherman, the former undersecretary of state who led the U.S. negotiating team on the Iran nuclear deal.

Wasserman-Schultz Resigns from DNC Chair Post

When the Democratic National Convention gets underway this week in Philadelphia, it will be without one of the party’s key leaders. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) resigned her position as chair of the Democratic National Committee Sunday. Her term was scheduled to end next year.

“Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as party chair at the end of this convention,” she wrote in a statement. “As party chair, this week I will open and close the convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans.”

President Barack Obama praised Wasserman-Schultz for her efforts in organizing the party from a political and financial perspective.

“Her critical role in supporting our economic recovery, our fights for social and civil justice and providing health care for all Americans will be a hallmark of her tenure as party chair,” he wrote in a statement. “Her fundraising and organizing skills were matched only by her passion, her commitment and her warmth.”

Wasserman-Schultz’s resignation comes in the wake of a series of emails leaked on Friday by the website WikiLeaks that show communication among DNC officials illustrating tension they have had with the primary campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who sought the Democratic nomination.

The email leaks come just two weeks after Sanders ended his campaign by endorsing Clinton in the race, but on Sunday he restated his hope that Wasserman-Schultz resign as chair of the party due to what he believes has been an effort to aid presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in capturing the nomination. This includes an exchange from CFO Brad Marshall questioning Sanders’ Jewish faith.

“Does he believe in a God?” Marshall wrote on May 5. “He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”

Marshall later apologized for the comments in a Facebook post and said they “do not reflect my beliefs nor do they reflect the beliefs of the DNC and its employees.”

The National Jewish Democratic Council is scheduled to honor Wasserman-Schultz at its reception during the convention on Thursday. NJDC chairman Marc Stanley said he was sad to hear of the chairwoman’s resignation, but that the ceremony will still go forward. He added that Wasserman-Schultz deserves credit for being an “honest broker” and delivering a convention that was “on budget and well-organized.”

“She had some incredible achievements this year, and I think these events cloud her otherwise incredible job as chair,” he said. “I think she made clear with her staff that there was to be no unfair treatment, and in every dealing I’ve had with her she’s been nothing but fair to both sides.”

Stanley said despite the media firestorm that has surrounded Wasserman-Schultz of late, he thinks the mood at the convention will be largely unaffected. “This is the news here on Sunday, and tomorrow they’ll be other news, and when Tim Kaine is selected as the vice presidential nominee and Hillary Clinton as the presidential nominee their speeches will be the news.”

NJDC member and Bethesda resident Greg Rosenbaum said he is aware of the alleged bias against Sanders but since he began working on the party’s platform committee as a vice chair, Wasserman-Schultz has encouraged him to maintain his neutrality in the nomination process.

“I can tell you that as chairman of NJDC I took the position that had been taken in the past, which is that NJDC doesn’t choose sides in a contested Democratic primary at any level other than in extraordinary circumstances,” he said.

Rosenbaum said he has the “utmost respect and admiration” for Wasserman-Schultz and that he thinks the leaked emails are “selective and done to prove a point.”

But despite Rosenbaum’s support for Wasserman Schultz, he did express disapproval of the DNC’s criticism towards Sanders’ faith.

“Any time we bring religious beliefs into public life, other than to celebrate diversity it creates a real problem,” he said. “If in fact there is an effort to discredit Sen. Sanders because of his religion, I personally as a member of NJDC would say that crossed the line.”

Additionally Rabbi Jack Moline, who serves as the executive director of the Interfaith Alliance, said that Wasserman-Schultz is ultimately accountable for what goes on in the party.

“I don’t know enough about what actually happened, but if his happened on her watch, I am certain she would accept responsibility for it,” he said in Philadelphia prior to a kickoff interfaith service at the convention site.

Rosenbaum said despite the inner-party fighting, he thinks the convention will run smoothly and that Democrats will ultimately unify.

“My personal experience from the platform committee says to me we’ve had a spirited campaign, we’ve had a spirited debate, brought all of our issues to the forefront and the platform resolves all of those.”


Mid-Atlantic Media Staffers Among Rockower Award Winners

“The Whole World is Seeing This.”

“The Whole World is Seeing This.”

Mid-Atlantic Media will add to its list of publishing honors at the 35th annual Simon Rockower Awards banquet, scheduled for Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C., as part of the American Jewish Press Association’s 2016 annual conference.

Baltimore Jewish Times managing editor Marc Shapiro and former JT senior reporter Melissa Gerr were awarded first place for excellence in news reporting for newspapers with a circulation of 14,999 and under for “The Whole World is Seeing This.” The story chronicled the Baltimore Jewish community’s reaction in the wake of the police-custody death of Freddie Gray and the uprising that followed.

Also, Shapiro earned second place in the David Frank Award for excellence in personality profiles for “The Many Lives of Arnold Clapman,” in which he documented Clapman’s life in music and art and his reconnection to Judaism in Baltimore. Gerr also was honored with a second place in the Rambam Award for excellence in writing about health care for her piece “Negotiating the Negev.”

David Stuck took first place for excellence in photography for the Washington Jewish Week’s “Faces of Survival,” a photo essay consisting of portraits of Holocaust survivors.

Editorial director Josh Runyan placed second in the Louis Rapoport Award for excellence in commentary for three columns — “Neighborhood Fear,” “Reverse the Neglect” and “On Iran, a Split Decision.”

To view all the winners and the links to the individual stories, visit ajpa.org/page/2016Rockower.


Gingrich’s Irresponsible Screed

Jews and students of Jewish history know well the dangers and often deadly consequences of the accusatory process known as “scapegoating.” In 20th-century America, traditional scapegoats were blacks, suspected communists and, during World War II, Japanese-Americans — all were the victims of witch hunts and threats based upon defamatory accusations for activity they were overwhelmingly innocent of.

So when former House Speaker Newt Gingrich went on Fox News last week to comment about the deadly truck rampage in Nice, France, his harangue had a ring of disquieting familiarity: “Let me be as blunt and direct as I can be: Western civilization is in a war,” he said. “We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in sharia, they should be deported.”

Gingrich’s attack on Islamic religious law was a wholly irresponsible threat to Muslim Americans. It sought to link a terror attack that took place in another country, in other circumstances, to an entire religious group in this country, who share almost nothing with the French killer other than guilt by association in the minds of Gingrich and his ilk.

And while Gingrich later backtracked part of his screed when he realized that one cannot legally deport American citizens, he failed to acknowledge that a bedrock principle of the Constitution he claims to hold so dear is that our laws do not permit litmus tests for religion. Quite simply, from our society’s point of view, what a person believes is nobody’s business.

Gingrich and other Islamophobes trumpet the threat of sharia in the same way as anti-Semites pull something out of the Talmud to make Judaism look threatening or perverse. We cannot tolerate such irresponsible hatred.

Last month, Asifa Quraishi-Landes, an associate professor at the University of  Wisconsin School of Law, published “Five myths about sharia” in The Washington Post. We suggest that article as a first step in learning more about Islam. “Sharia isn’t even ‘law’ in the sense that we in the West understand it,” she writes. “And most devout Muslims who embrace sharia conceptually don’t think of it as a substitute for civil law.”

Those two sentences suggest a reality richer and more nuanced than Gingrich’s “blunt and direct” rant about a clash of  civilizations. And they should also have a familiar ring to members of our own community who ascribe authority to Jewish  religious law and the halachic judicial system.

Gingrich was, however, right about one thing: There is a dangerous cultural and  nuanced political clash going on. It is  between those who respect universal  Enlightenment ideals and the fundamental freedoms recorded in the Bill of Rights and those who espouse an equally universal concept of suspicion, accusation and hate directed at anyone believed to be different. The choice on that one is easy.

SHA Announces Road Projects

brief_shaMaryland’s State Highway Administration is beginning three road resurfacing projects in the area. Beginning this week, the SHA is working on fixing damaged roads on a 1.5-mile stretch of Reisterstown Road from Seven Mile Lane to Naylors Lane. The SHA says to expect one lane to be closed Sunday through Thursday beginning at 9 p.m. and opening back up at 5 a.m. The $250,000 project will be completed late summer, according to a news release.

Additionally, the SHA recently started the first of two projects on area freeways and highways. The first project is in the Hunt Valley area, on the stretch of I-83 between Dairy Road and York Road, where the SHA will patch, grind, pave and restripe a one-mile section of the freeway.

The second project is on I-795 between Franklin Boulevard and Md. 140 in Owings Mills/Glyndon, a 2.4-mile section. The road crews will be out between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., Sunday through Friday. One lane of the highway will be closed while work is being completed. The projects should be completed by fall, weather permitting. The $9.5 million project is part of a contract that includes I-95 between the Baltimore City line and I-695 in the southwest corner. It will begin this fall.

Maryland drivers can check traffic updates, including construction and lane closures, by calling 511 or visiting md511.org.

Adam Barry is an intern at the Baltimore Jewish Times.

Meet the Orthodox ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Training To Be a Rabbi

Akiva Neuman, an Orthodox Jew who is studying to be a rabbi, competes in the Philadelphia qualifying round of “American Ninja Warrior.” (Ninja Warrior: Mitchell Leff/NBC; Family: Emuni Z.)

Akiva Neuman, an Orthodox Jew who is studying to be a rabbi, competes in the Philadelphia qualifying round of “American Ninja Warrior.” (Ninja Warrior: Mitchell Leff/NBC; Family: Emuni Z.)

Like his fellow competitors on “American Ninja Warrior,” 25-year-old Akiva Neuman pushed himself to his physical limits — climbing, jumping and running through an intense obstacle course — in the hopes of making it to the national finals in Las Vegas.

But unlike the dozens of athletes who competed with him at the Philadelphia qualifiers, which aired last month on NBC, Neuman prepared by saying the Shema. He also wore tzitzit and a kippah throughout the competition.

Dubbed #ninjarabbi for the occasion, Neuman is an Orthodox Jew and rabbinical student at Yeshiva University. He  will finish his smicha while he starts  a full-time job at Deloitte in the fall —  yes, in addition to “Ninja” training and studying to be a rabbi, Neuman is also pursuing a master’s degree in taxation at St. John’s University.

Neuman, who lives in New York, did not make it to the next round in Las Vegas.  Still, read on for six interesting facts about the “ninja rabbi.”


It’s competitive and athletic, but  it’s not cutthroat, and there’s a certain level of camaraderie required.” — Akiva Neuman

• He found out about the show while at the gym: Neuman was working out at the gym with a friend when he saw “American Ninja Warrior” for the first time. (The show, which was based on a Japanese competition, is now in its eighth season in the U.S. and has something of a cult  following. In fact, The Wall Street Journal recently asked “Is ‘American Ninja  Warrior’ the Future of Sports?”)

“It had my name written all over it — it’s competitive and athletic, but it’s not cutthroat, and there’s a certain level of  camaraderie required,” Neuman says. (The coaches, contestants and viewers cheer each other on.)

“I thought, what’s the worst that happens? I get rejected? So what?”

Neuman also figured that being an  Orthodox Jew could be his hook. He submitted a video that showed him sitting with an open Talmud surrounded by religious books; it also shows him rock climbing and running.

“I love ‘American Ninja Warrior,’” he says in his video. “But I also do this stuff because if I didn’t I’d be on shpilkes!”

Akiva Neuman with his wife, Chani, and son Yaakov Shmuel.

Akiva Neuman with his wife, Chani, and son Yaakov Shmuel.

• But most of his working out is done at home: Neuman says he’s always been athletic and competitive; he was the captain of the soccer and hockey teams at his yeshiva high school, where he also played basketball. But considering that he’s studying for his master’s and rabbinical ordination — and he has a young child at home — his workouts usually have to be done early in the morning or at night.

“I’m probably only working out four or five hours a week, but to build muscle it’s all about consistency, even if you’re just doing a little at a time,” he says.

In Neuman’s must-watch submission video, he’s seen at home making impressive use of a pull-up bar and doing pushups while his 6-month-old son, Yaakov Shmuel (aka Koby), reclines on an activity mat.

And he really does that stuff, he tells us.

“Just 10 minutes a day of physical activity can change your attitude, your health, and it gives you more energy,” he says.

• He’s also a synagogue youth director — with an athletic streak: “I have my days, nights and weekends covered,” says Neuman, who, in addition to studying, works as the youth director at the Young Israel of Holliswood in a suburban Queens neighborhood.

He’s known for getting the kids active.

“We usually start with a game, so the kids can connect, and then we go from there,” moving on to prayer or studying texts, Neuman says.

On Yom Ha’atzmaut he organized an Israeli army-style boot camp for the kids.

“He is always combining physical activity with Torah in ways that motivate and inspire the kids,” says Ronit Farber, a member of the synagogue.

“The first time we met Akiva, we had him and his wife for dinner,” says Rachel Klein, another Young Israel congregant who was one of several community members who traveled to Philadelphia to cheer on Neuman with posters that said “Team Akiva” as well as “American Ninja Warrior” in Hebrew letters. “After dinner, his wife had to drag him home because he was busy playing soccer with our kids all over our house.”

Neuman is also a star performer in the annual Purim shpiel, adds Klein, “dazzling the audience every year with his dance moves, flips, tricks and splits.”

• He takes the fact that he’s representing Jews seriously: “I know that the general feeling is that Orthodox Jews aren’t fit — especially not rabbis. And I wanted to show that that’s not always the case,” Neuman says.

But he knows that by wearing religious garb while filming — it was his idea, and the show was fine with it — he instantly becomes a national symbol of observant Jews.

“I bear it with great responsibility, and I’m also really nervous about it,” he says.

That’s part of the reason Neuman said the Shema right before he started the course.

“I wanted one more experience to be closer to God and was thinking, ‘You have to help me through this, because I’m not just doing it myself,’” he says.

• He sees physical fitness as a matter of Jewish principle: “We’re the people of the book, and that’s our focus. My intellectual growth — both in terms of my Torah learning and secular learning — is the focus for me, too. But we also need to take care of ourselves physically,” Neuman says.

“There’s a commandment that says we have to guard our souls, and the Rambam [Maimonides] elaborates that we’re also commanded to take care of our bodies. We’re scoring points by exercising and fulfilling what God wants of us.”

• Athleticism runs in the family — hopefully: Neuman and his wife, Chani, grew up near each other in Highland Park, N.J. She’s sporty too.

“When we were dating, we used to go to Dave and Buster’s a lot,” he says. “She always beat me in basketball.

“We keep joking that next year it’ll be the rebbetzin’s turn,” he adds.

And the two are banking on the fact that their athleticism will carry on to the next generation.

“We’re waiting for him to crawl first, but as soon as that happens, we’ll have a soccer ball at his feet,” he says of Koby. “We’re actually hoping he runs before he walks.”

JWV Fights Changes in Veteran Hiring Law

A screenshot from the JWV website that supports the current veterans-preference hiring system (Screenshot of Jewish War Veterans Opposes Elimination of Veterans Preference: jwv.org)

A screenshot from the JWV website that supports the current veterans-preference hiring system (Screenshot of Jewish War Veterans Opposes Elimination of Veterans Preference: jwv.org)

The veterans-preference hiring system that has helped former U.S. troops re-enter the workforce is in jeopardy, according to the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A.

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2017, which sets out budget priorities for the Department of Defense, contains wording that would limit veterans to one-time use of the hiring preference, a point system that gives them an advantage over nonmilitary federal civil service applicants.

The unemployment rate for veterans in the United States was 4.6 percent as of 2015,  according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That figure rises to 5.8 percent for active-duty service members who have served since 2001. Those numbers could rise still further if veterans are restricted to taking advantage of the preference one time only, say Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. and other groups.

If two candidates apply for the same job and both are exactly equal in their qualification, the veteran … should  be selected for it.” — Norman Rosenshein, JWV


“Many veterans struggle to find a job that is the right fit for them after getting out of the service and to penalize them for that is only going to hurt them,” a news release from JWV stated.

Veterans are eligible for hiring preference consideration if they were on active military duty, are not retired and received an honorable or general discharge. The system is tiered to give higher scores — that  is, additional preference —  to veterans who earned a Purple Heart or are disabled as a result of their service.

Veterans also receive a higher score if they were on active duty during the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War or the more recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“If two candidates apply for the same job and both are exactly equal in their qualification, the veteran automatically gets five to 10 points, which means he should be selected for it,” said Norman Rosenshein, chairman of JWV’s coordinating committee and a past commander of the organization. “What this new law is changing is that this only counts for the first job.”

JWV, a nonprofit organization, over the last few years has taken up advocating for reform for the VA hospital system and other benefits-related issues with retaining the existing veterans-preference system as its latest mission.

Rosenshein was on active duty in the Army during the Vietnam War, although he did not serve in Vietnam. He worked in the television industry for a number of years after his service and was helped by the veterans-preference system when he sought a civil service job eight years ago. He said he worries about today’s veterans who have been deployed in the Middle East over the last 15 years.

“They volunteered their service,” he said, “and [the government] saying, ‘Tough luck to you.’”


Maller Names Yocham COO

Maller Wealth Advisors, a nat-ional wealth management firm based in Hunt Valley, named Donald A. Yocham as chief  operating officer. Yocham, who has more than 20 years of experience in finance and investing, will help lead the organization toward accomplishing its strategy and vision as well as manage the internal operations of the firm with a particular focus on increasing efficiency and improving systems.

Prior to joining Maller Wealth Advisors, Yocham was chief investment strategist at Berman McAleer in Baltimore, where he led investment management and research as well as managed $600 million in client assets. Prior to that role, as director of investment research for StanCorp Investment Advisors in Portland, Ore., he developed investment strategy and oversaw portfolio management for $1 billion in private client business and managed a mutual fund research team that provided fiduciary oversight for $14 billion in retirement plan assets.

In addition, Yocham has also served as an adjunct professor of finance for Portland State University, where he taught graduate and undergraduate classes in derivatives, risk management and personal finance.

Yocham is a chartered financial analyst. He holds an M.B.A. in finance from Washington University in St. Louis and bachelor’s degrees in finance and economics from the University of Missouri. He lives in Monkton.