Judaism Renewed

To this day, most American Jews’ ideas of Jewish life in the “Old Country” of pre-World War II Eastern Europe center around an idyllic kind of shtetl living a la “Fiddler on the Roof” or of the kind of urban, irreligious intellectual elite that called Berlin home. Neither is inherently wrong, but neither is correct…. Read More

On Iran, a Spit Decision

I began this week with a curious phrase I never thought I’d be forced to use as a parent, much less as an adult. And yet, there I was, calmly consoling and disciplining my screaming 7-year-old with this logical gem: “If you don’t want anyone to spit in your cereal, don’t spit in theirs.” At… Read More

For Israel, Now What?

It certainly has been quite a week! After multiple deadline extensions and a successful wrangling of Congress by the White House to allow the Iran negotiations to proceed — through an extended review period of any deal that would allow legislators on Capitol Hill the chance to approve or disapprove what was hammered out in… Read More

The Power of Determination

Looking at the headlines the last few months, some of them here in the JT, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of anger out there. And I’m not just talking about here in Baltimore, where rioters torched and looted hundreds of businesses this spring in reaction to the death of Freddie Gray while… Read More

Applauding the Panthers

What exactly is hand and foot canasta and what does it have to do with Judaism? To an untrained audience, the exact same question could be asked of mah jongg, but I digress. In the context of this week’s JT, the card game, of which apparently there are many variants, provides fodder for an ongoing… Read More

Our Jewish Identity

In the barrage of Facebook messages, tweets and dueling op-eds leading up to, distilling and reacting to the historic June 26 Supreme Court decision recognizing a right enshrined in the Constitution for people of the same sex to marry, few have used the opportunity to reveal certain inherent truths. Yes, those celebrating the landmark 5-4… Read More

The Jewish Presence

When JT reporter Marc Shapiro first told me about the presence of a rich Jewish history in Pocomoke, the so-called “friendliest city on the Eastern Shore” way down at the bottom of Maryland’s third of the Delmarva Peninsula, my first reaction was, “Whoever heard of Pocomoke, let alone of Jews making such a rural outpost… Read More

Spark that Ignites

If you’ve been lucky enough to grow up in a family led by an artist, as I have, then you know that the power of art to transform acts not only on those who passively behold it, but perhaps more profoundly on those who create it. Such is the story of Baltimorean Arnold David Clapman,… Read More

It Helps to Have Friends

Anyone who’s ever seen a American Magen David Adom ambulance speed down an Israeli street in an emergency has likely marveled at seeing his or her hometown — or the names emblazoned as donors on the side of the white and ride-modified Chevrolet — and been infused with a sense of pride. There goes a… Read More

Communal Commitment

One need only look at the images coming out of southeast Texas last week to realize there’s little Houston, the state’s largest city, could have done to mitigate the death and destruction wrought by day after day of rain producing the largest-ever flooding in the Lone Star State’s history. There’s little the state itself, for… Read More