Working For Change

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These days, it seems that everyone is starting a nonprofit. What’s the appeal? “The reason people start nonprofits is because they see a need and a void that they are passionate to fill,” says Paddy Morton, attorney with Maryland Nonprofits, an organization that serves to strengthen and educate the state’s nonprofit sector. “They’re doing public… Read More

Anti-Semitism At Work

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Anti-Semitism is one of the most alarming examples of how prejudice can endure, lingering on for centuries, curbing Jewish people’s chances to enjoy their legally guaranteed rights to human dignity, freedom of thought, conscience and religion or non-discrimination. So starts a foreword by Morten Kjaerum to the study, “Discrimination and hate crimes against Jews in… Read More

Rabbis Raised With Christmas

When Eric Woodward started rabbinical school at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary, he assumed he would be the only student who grew up celebrating Christmas along with Chanukah. But midway through his training, when Woodward started a discussion group for students of interfaith families, more than 20 people showed up. Not all were children… Read More

Non-Jews In The Pews

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To an outsider, the battles might seem to be over trifles — in some cases, just a few feet. Where may a non-Jewish parent stand in the synagogue during his child’s bar mitzvah? Can a non-Jew open the holy ark? Should non-Jewish synagogue members have voting rights? Such questions have been pushed to the fore… Read More

Off With His Head

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Judith is a beautiful widow who has fascinated artists, writers, poets and composers through the centuries. The heroine of the Book of Judith, a text that was never accepted into the Jewish cannon, Judith serves the role of holy Jewish widow, of seductress and of soldier. Here is a quick rundown: Judith comes onto the… Read More

Stretching One Day’s Provisions To Eight

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A beautiful thing about many Jewish laws is that they are open to interpretation. Evolving analysis helps transform a seemingly obsolete idea into a concept that is relevant and applicable to contemporary issues. Bal tashchit is one of those laws. Its original form commands to “not destroy with wanton abandon” (particularly geared to war time),… Read More

U.S. Senate Passes ENDA Bill, Questions Remain

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When the U.S. Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (64 to 32) on Thursday, Nov. 7, it was widely applauded by a number of advocacy groups, including those inside and outside the Jewish community. “It is legislation whose time has come,” said Eric Fusfield, director of legislative affairs at B’nai B’rith International. “Attitudes have shifted.”… Read More

Delegate Cardin Introduces Sexual Assault Legislation For Maryland Campuses

Delegate Jon S. Cardin will introduce the first legislation in the Maryland history that will address campus security for victims of sexual assault. If approved, the legislation would require state colleges and universities to report all incidences of sexual assault on their campuses and to provide services for victims. The legislation also calls for confidential… Read More

Not Optimal

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For 73,000 Marylanders, the launching of the Affordable Care Act has brought with it a mix of excitement and trepidation. According to Maryland Health Care Administration statistics, that is the number of people who will lose their current insurance plans due to new federal requirements for comprehensive coverage. However, the Obama administration says their plans… Read More

Worth The Ask

The Baltimore Jewish Council met with Gov. Martin O’Malley earlier this month to discuss budgetary and policy priorities. “We left feeling very positive from that meeting,” said Cailey Locklair, the BJC’s director of government relations. She discussed the group’s requests for FY2015 at a board meeting on Thursday, Nov. 14. The BJC asked for $60,000… Read More