Magic in Morocco

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Shared values. Mutual trust. Common interests. Strong friendship. These were some of the phrases President Barack Obama used late last month following a meeting with King Mohammed VI of Morocco. The two countries share a historic relationship; one that began in the 18th century and continues to thrive. What is more fascinating than the strong… Read More

Don’t Worry About It

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At a time when many in the Jewish community might be worried about their faith (rising numbers of Jews who say they believe in Jesus, declining numbers of young people who feel engaged in the Jewish community), Marcie Lenk, director of Christian programs for the Shalom Hartman Institute, has one thing to say: Don’t worry… Read More

Repair The World

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On a frigid November morning, six people work together to plant an apple tree, four of them carefully rolling it and two others working with shovels to break its fall into the ground so that the root ball stays intact. A year ago, the triangular lot bound by Brentwood Avenue and Merryman Lane in the… Read More

Human Rights Shabbat

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Columbia Jewish Congregation will have a more-meaningful-than-usual Shabbat this week. For the sixth year, the shul will participate in Human Rights Shabbat, a program created by the international organization T’ruah. Services will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6 at The Meeting House (5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia). According to the executive director of… Read More

50 Years Later

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At the 50th anniversary of the death of American Zionist leader Abba Hillel Silver, newly-discovered documents appear to confirm his skeptical view of the Truman administration’s position on Jewish statehood. Silver, a dynamic rabbi and Zionist orator from Cleveland, passed away Nov. 30, 1963. During the 1940s, he spearheaded a nationwide campaign of rallies, petitions… Read More

Chester Silverman

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It would be difficult to find a person who has done more for war veterans and Jewish war veterans in Baltimore than Chester Silverman. So much of his life has been devoted to serving the community with which, even at 94 (this month), he is still a very active part. Though his walls are decorated… Read More

Herring Is Not Religion

The reputable car dealer’s advertisement in the local paper screams, “Brand New Mercedes — Only $500!” You get excited but think it sounds too good to be true. Upon closer inspection, it is. The car dealer is offering only the hubcaps of the Mercedes for $500. If you want the whole car, it will cost… Read More

Jewish Cultural Affirmation

Right now, there is just one way for someone who is not Jewish to become Jewish in a publicly recognized and officially authorized fashion: undergo religious conversion under the auspices of a rabbi. Whether the path to Jewish identification follows Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist or other auspices, conversion is explicitly and entirely religious in nature…. Read More

Is It Effective?

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First there was the Conservative movement’s October biennial conference, billed as “The Conversation of the Century” and opened up to presenters from outside the movement. Then came the November General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, which featured a “Global Jewish Shuk: a marketplace of dialogue and debate” led by young Israelis and… Read More

‘These Are God’s Kids, Too’

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They are hiding in the darkness of midnight on Jerusalem’s streets. They are in the clubs, on the corners, smoking weed, drinking alcohol. Lost. Once upright, observant boys from good families. Lost. That is, until Rabbi Moshe Zeivald finds them and brings them to Kfar Zoharim in central Israel. The kfar (“village” in English) is… Read More