Birthright Change Not a Panacea

While changing Birthright Israel’s eligibility requirements to include young adults who previously participated on a teen Israel experience appears to be a worthy addition to the ubiquitous free trip program, it is, in fact, a mirage and a misstep. The change has the appearance of bringing more young people to Israel, but because the experience… Read More

My Involvement in Jewish Life on Campus

Having grown up at a Reform Jewish summer camp and in the Reform movement’s youth group NFTY, I knew Jewish life was something I wanted to hold onto in college. I attended the first Shabbat dinner of my freshman year, where I met peers who have become my close friends, and was motivated to apply… Read More

A Lesson in Communal Relations

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Please indulge me as I reveal a not so well-kept secret that I don’t mind professing to the world, or at least to this small corner of the global Jewish community: I love my family. I love my wife, Suzy. I love my kids. And in our particular home, we dispense a lot of love…. Read More

When We Are God’s Witnesses

I am writing this on a bitterly cold day. It was 3 degrees when I left for the gym before sunup, and now, at noontime, it is not noticeably warmer. I cannot stop thinking about those who do not have a warm, comfortable home as their refuge in this kind of adverse weather. Homeless shelters… Read More

You Want Their Parents to Hear You’re a Rabbi

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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

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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

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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