Kol Hakavod!

As Orthodox rabbis in both the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas, we were happy to read Nathan Lewin’s op-ed calling to attention the work of Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld at the Ohev Sholom Congregation (“A Real-life Solution To The Agunah Problem,” Jan. 3). We applaud the work of Rabbi Herzfeld and support this and other important… 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

Relevance Defined

Relevance. We use this word a great deal at the Jewish Federation of Howard County. Recently, a community leader asked me what it means. I thought it was an excellent question, one worth exploring. In order for people to donate to any cause, they want to have some sort of meaningful connection to it. What… Read More

Harsh Words on Iran Sanctions

Rabbi Jack Moline, the incoming director of the National Jewish Democratic Committee, last week charged into the debate over enhanced Iran sanctions in a way that raised eyebrows and some concern. An Iran sanctions bill has won a bipartisan majority in the Senate but with not enough votes yet to overcome a promised veto from… Read More

Ariel Sharon Without Apology

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Ariel Sharon’s long, highly decorated and celebrated life in Israel’s military and political spheres is a rich source of material for constructing a meaningful remembrance. The complexity of his life and the different roles he played in service of the State of Israel have been on display since the general and former premier died Jan…. Read More

Leadership Requires Being Open to Critique

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There can be little doubt that the greatest historic leader of the Jewish people is Moses. The entire Torah becomes known as “The Five Books of Moses” or Torat Moshe; the last lines of Deuteronomy remind us: “Never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses.” But what qualities made him a truly… Read More

Metsuda In Odessa

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Metsuda is an annual training program for Jewish next-generation leaders, coordinated by the American Jewish Joint Distribution (JDC). Thirty-five activists of the Ukrainian Jewish community are accepted to the program each year. The age of the attendants ranges from 18-to-28. During the project, the selected participants partake in trainings on management, leadership, volunteerism, Jewish history… Read More

Finding One’s Place in a World Without Loehmann’s

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When I first heard that Loehmann’s was closing, I refused to believe it. After all, I reasoned, hadn’t Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s and countless other stores survived bankruptcy? Surely my favorite shopping spot would triumph over its financial woes so that future generations of women could benefit from the retail therapy that had helped me through… Read More

Tending The Spiritual Garden

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If you’ve ever planted a garden, you know that in just a couple of months after setting the tomato plants, you’ll be able — barring any unforeseen calamity — to enjoy the precious fruits of your labor. Planting a tree, though, requires much more work over a much longer time span. There’s the pruning and… Read More

A Christian Awakening

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Israel is home to 130,000 Arab Christian citizens. A small percentage of the country’s overwhelmingly Muslim Arabic-speaking minority, these Christians have until recently been united with Muslims in identifying as Palestinians in opposition to Israel’s Jewish majority. But that may be starting to change, as some Christians have begun calling for a reconsideration of the… Read More