Size matters: How a ‘largest menorah’ tiff landed two rabbis in Jewish court

The World's Largest Hanukkah Menorah being lighted by then-New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg with Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman, Director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization, in 2013. (PR Newswire)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Each year in Brooklyn, Chabad Rabbi Shimon Hecht ascends 33 and a half feet to light the tallest menorah in the world. But he’s not allowed to call it that anymore. By decree of a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbinical court, Hecht must cede the title of “World’s Largest Menorah” to another candelabra, this… Read More

What Rex Tillerson, Trump’s pick as secretary of state, could mean for the Jewish agenda

Rex Tillerson, chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corp., speaks during the World Gas Conference, in Paris, France, on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. Oil companies that have pumped trillions of barrels of crude from the ground are now saying the future is in their other main product: natural gas, a fuel theyre promoting as the logical successor to coal. Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, is the chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil, an energy company large enough to have its own foreign policy. It is a policy, however, that doesn’t always align with the priorities of Jewish and pro-Israel groups. Oil companies have clashed in the past with… Read More

4 major Jewish groups to skip Presidents Conference Chanukah party at Trump hotel

Four major Jewish organizations will not attend a Hanukkah party co-hosted by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations at a Washington, D.C., hotel owned by President-elect Donald Trump. The Jewish Federations of North America, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Congress and Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America will not be… Read More

Hogan to Double Nonpublic School Scholarship Program Governor makes announcement at Bais Yaakov

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Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday announced the state is doubling down on a program that helps students pay for nonpublic school tuition during a visit to Bais Yaakov School for Girls. The state-funded program, Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST), would gradually see its funding increase from $5 million to $10 million by 2020 under… Read More

Local Activists Host Day of #JewishResistance

About two dozen people showed up at Red Emma’s on Nov. 30 to write letters to local Jewish organizations, mostly concerning the spike in hate crimes.

President Elect Donald Trump has not yet taken office, but he is already stirring discontent — and activist action — among a subset of the local Jewish community. A group of five friends and organizers, all involved in both local activist groups and the Jewish community, felt they could use an outlet for their concerns… Read More

Baltimore Native Hosts Dakota Pipeline Solidarity Event in Jerusalem

Veterans march with Standing Rock activists near Backwater Bridge just outside the Oceti Sakowin camp. LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS/Newscom

The months-long protest over the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline led by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota, termed #NoDAPL, has resonated with people all across the country and, as it turns out, even overseas. On Thursday, Dec. 15, Baltimore native and current Jerusalem resident Leah Raher is holding an event in… Read More

Protecting Medics in Judea, Samaria

(Photo by Joshua Fleisher)

A group of Baltimore philanthropists who raised money to provide bulletproof vests to front-line medics in Israel recently returned from a visit during which they presented these vests to medics in Judea and Samaria. Irwin Azman, a driving force behind the fundraising effort, explained that the vests they distributed to medics were not those they… Read More

Phoenix Jewish News Joins Mid-Atlantic Media

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Phoenix Jewish News, the Jewish community newspaper of Greater Phoenix and Northern Arizona, has signed a management agreement with Mid-Atlantic Media, based in Baltimore. Mid-Atlantic Media, which has similar affiliations with The Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh and the Jewish Exponent of Philadelphia, took over the newspaper’s day-to-day operations with the Jewish News on Dec. 1…. Read More

A Thanksgiving Blessing

The Mintzes' new addition

Rabbi Etan Mintz, who has shepherded the downtown Baltimore congregation B’Nai Israel for the past four-and-a-half years, welcomed a new addition to his growing family over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Mintz, 38, and his 33-year-old wife Tammy — who earned her doctorate in child psychology from the University of Virginia — have been married for… Read More

The ‘Dean’ Says Goodbye Rikki Spector retires from City Council after nearly 40 years

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Often called “feisty” by friends and foes alike, longtime Baltimore City Councilwoman Rochelle “Rikki” Spector, 80, spoke of plans for another 40 years the day after being knocked to the ground in an attempted carjacking that left her with a black eye last Friday. “I go into the biblical mode of 120 years,” Spector said…. Read More