O’Malley: State of our state is strong

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Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley gave his eighth and final State of the State address last week in Annapolis. He used the Jan. 23 speech as a way to chronicle his two terms as governor and call on the General Assembly to increase the minimum wage, move toward universal pre-kindergarten, better protect domestic violence victims and… Read More

Embassy Protests Highlight Africans’ Plight

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Infiltrators. Asylum seekers. Illegal migrants. Migrant Workers. Refugees. The fate of the 53,000 Eritreans and Sudanese who have entered Israel illegally rest on these words. To be granted the right to live and work freely in Israel, the government must rule that those entering its borders left their homeland for fear of persecution and cannot… Read More

Happy 100!

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On Sunday Jan. 26, Sam Gertner — father to three, grandfather to four, great-grandfather to five, accomplished musician, voracious reader, seasoned writer and avid traveler — celebrated a century of living surrounded by family and friends. The party took place at Springhouse of Pikesville, a senior living facility on Reisterstown Road, but Gertner has come… Read More

DoD Policy Breeds Questions

The Pentagon has issued a directive that loosens restrictions for U.S. troops who wish to wear religious garments, such as head scarves, turbans and yarmulkes, with their military uniforms or to grow beards. But while the Department of Defense’s new policy should in some cases benefit Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and members of other faiths, men… Read More

Scarlett Johansson defends deal with SodaStream

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Jewish-American actress Scarlett Johansson has come under fire from human rights groups for serving as a spokeswoman for Israeli carbonated beverage company SodaStream. Oxfam International, a human rights group that Johansson is involved with, took issue with her deal due to its opposition to “all trade from Israeli settlements.” SodaStream has long been the target… Read More

State of the Union: Jewish groups’ priorities

President Barack Obama will present his annual State of the Union address before Congress and the nation this evening. Like presidents before him, Obama has traditionally used this opportunity to lay out an ambitious agenda – and he probably still will – but it would be difficult to do so without acknowledging the saga of… Read More

Columbia Community Searches For Answers

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Last Saturday morning’s fatal shooting at a popular Howard County shopping mall sent shock waves through the typically quiet suburb of Columbia, Md., with members of the area’s close-knit Jewish community joining their neighbors in mourning a sense of safety shattered by a teenager’s bullets. Lynn Green, president of local Reform congregation Bet Aviv, shops… Read More

Omnibus Spending Bill Grants Billions to Israel

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With much fanfare and six different pens, President Barack Obama signed the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2014 last Friday, capping years of Congressional budget fights and officially alleviating the sequester cuts that last year began indiscriminately slashing government spending. The bill, negotiated by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and… Read More

Medicinal Reefer Madness

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The waiting room at the Takoma Wellness Center looks not unlike a doctor’s office. Two black leather chairs bestride a coffee table, and informational pamphlets reside in a display on the back wall. A hamsa, a Middle Eastern symbol for health, happiness and good fortune, sits above one of the chairs. But in the next… Read More

Keeping The Pressure On

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Recent events — the release of Jacob Ostreicher, President Barack Obama’s handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro and the ongoing diplomatic talks with Iran — may bode well for the fate of several Americans being held hostage overseas. While each case is different, the outcomes of such figures as Alan Gross in Cuba and Robert… Read More