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

Editor-in-Chief

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

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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

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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

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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

Mourning a Pet Dog

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For the sake of transparency, allow me to admit that I am an Orthodox rabbi who does own a pet dog. She is a truly wonderful creature: Tame, gentle, loving and tender, she seems to think that everyone on two legs is her best friend and avoids as much as possible the four-legged alternatives. Approaching… Read More

Finding Lessons in the Redwood Forest

The tree is a sustaining metaphor in Judaism. It stands at the center in the Garden of Eden, perhaps the first metaphor authored by Adam and Eve. The Torah is referred to as a tree of life, it’s teaching an illumination of meaning and happiness. The first Psalm reads that the happiness of the individual… Read More