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

Ralph Jaffe Declares Gubernatorial Candidacy

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Pikesville teacher Ralph Jaffe says he’s not a politician. In fact, the main goal of his 2014 bid for governor isn’t to get elected. “Changing the corrupt system is the goal,” Jaffe said. “But if elected, I will serve. Free, of course.” Jaffe’s goal is to replace money in politics “with ethics,” he said. He… Read More

To Life! In Israel

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Toby Mower has always been considered an iconoclast in Baltimore. Nearly 20 years ago, according to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev President Rivka Carmi, the Mowers — Toby and husband Morton — got involved with the school. The couple had a longstanding philanthropic relationship with several Israeli projects and this was simply another. Then, about… Read More

Making Humanoise

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Some readers may recall seeing or hearing about the documentary “Some Kind of Monster.” The film, released in 2004, follows heavy metal rock band Metallica as it travels to performance venues across the country with a therapist in tow. The band, as the film reveals, has contracted with the therapist to help them resolve their… Read More