You Want Their Parents to Hear You’re a Rabbi

2013_jesse_gross

I often get asked how I find people in my work. Who are these young adult Jews we know to be roaming the secular gathering spaces of Baltimore but aren’t showing up in shul? It’s surprisingly easy to identify unaffiliated Jews here in Baltimore. That said, there definitely are certain tactics I rely on to… Read More

Investing in Our Community

2014_Shapiro-Jason

In every community, people expect certain rights as well as obligations. In civil societies, people expect good government and public schools, well-maintained highways and parks and responsive police and fire departments. Citizens’ obligations include being good and law abiding and, of course, paying taxes in order to support the services provided by government. In the… Read More

Expanded Pre-K: A Jewish Value and Universal Need

In his State of the State address last month, Gov. Martin O’Malley reminded us that “progress is a choice, and we have important work to accomplish this year.” From a communal perspective, O’Malley’s proposal to expand pre-kindergarten across the state is being championed in the legislature by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and by many of… Read More

Rising to the Challenge

runyan_josh_ot

For someone who’s spent the past three years in sunny southern Florida, this winter has been quite the eye-opener. But ask those who’ve lived in Baltimore most of their lives, even this season’s ice and snow — which, according to the State Highway Administration, has already caused Maryland to expend more than $80 million, far… Read More

Standing Up for the Hungry

I’ve been in BBYO since I was in the eighth grade and have attended the Northern Region East’s Regional Convention, which brings teens together from Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., for five years. This year’s regional convention was by far my favorite. The major distinction from years past was our day of service. In… Read More

A Pause to Evaluate the Co-Benefits of Sustainability

2013ftv_oshry_aleeza

We find ourselves in the middle of a leap year in the Jewish calendar, injecting another month of Adar before the regular one and thereby pushing the rest of our holidays to a time of year where we recognize them best. That means no more Thanksgivukkahs! I call this extra month the “winter pause.” Before… Read More

Vital Partners

2014_hurwitz-linda

When The Associated: Jewish Comm- unity Federation of Baltimore identified values that exemplify its work in our community, a very important word came up time and time again: collaboration. The centralized format of The Associated system inspires partnership among its agencies so that they do not compete against each other for resources. Instead, they seek… Read More

Jewish Values, Refugees And Lost Opportunities

Nearly 60,000 Africans fleeing war, oppression and violence have sought refuge in Israel, a prosperous and democratic country established in 1948 by refugees themselves. These asylum seekers were not just fleeing from oppression but to a prosperous and democratic country. While Israel’s courts have protected them and new Israeli friends have defended them, the welcome… Read More

Only Israeli Scholars Are Complicit In The Actions Of Their Government

As the recent calls for boycotts and sanctions against Israeli universities by the American Studies Association and the Modern Language Association clearly indicate, an ideological imbalance in the professoriate has resulted in a collective antipathy toward Israel as the latest villain in the academic left’s panoply of oppressors — this time the victim of the… Read More

Breaking Bread Together

012414_israel_ari

It seems to me that so many Jewish conversations recently have devolved into divisive rhetoric about Israel; rather than being dialogues, these exchanges position one single-minded extreme against the other. Long gone are the age-old positive Jewish characteristics of civility and warmth. Instead, let’s shift the conversation from rights and wrongs to rights and responsibilities…. Read More