Beets, Almond Bark are New Natural Passover Options

(istockphoto.com/kostman)

As environmental awareness increases, local supermarkets are stocking their shelves with more natural and organic Passover products. The latest buzz word is biodynamic, as in Kedem’s new biodynamic grape juice, available this season for the first time at Whole Foods Market. So what is biodynamic? “Biodynamic farming is something that’s probably well under the radar… Read More

Four Questions Notions of Passover through a contemporary lens

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Themes of oppression, affliction, soul-searching and liberation hold great importance in the Passover story, one that recounts the Jewish people’s escape from bondage, their exodus from Egypt and their eventual freedom. As we prepare to revisit and recount that story of Passover — a time during which, among many observances, we’re encouraged to question the… Read More

Happy Fun Purim! A Real Favorite

Hamantaschen (By Photo by David Stuck)

A group of Jewish women were recently asked what their favorite holiday was.  The majority answered, “Purim!”  Why?  Because it is fun, can be participated in by all ages and, oh those delicious hamantaschen. All of the princess gear available make the holiday a standout for girls with beautiful costumes to become Queen Esther. And… Read More

HoCo to Host Annual Purim Palooza

Purim Palooza is known as the one event that brings the Howard County Jewish community together, including Federation president Richard Schreibstein and executive director Michelle Ostroff. (Provided)

Few things bring Howard County’s Jewish community together like Purim Palooza and the Kids Activity Expo, and the 24th annual holiday event is expected to attract 1,500 people. “I think that Purim Palooza [draws] so many families because it’s really the one time of the year that the whole county [can get together] regardless of… Read More

Navigating Through The Holidays Many Jews are taking time off into next month to contemplate, repent and celebrate

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Last Sunday marked the beginning of Rosh Hashanah and the start of the High Holidays. But in broader terms, it marked the beginning of an annual three-week period lasting through Simchat Torah that is virtually consumed by Jewish holidays. In Baltimore, this equates to a steady stream of Jews who will temporarily withdraw from daily… Read More

Technology and Tikkun Olam: In health and medicine, Israel paves the way

A new app — LifeCompass — records incidents and alerts nearby medics and guides them to the scene. (Provided)

Decades have passed since Israelis invented a modernized drip irrigation to maximize limited water supply and make desert bloom, yet Israeli curiosity, drive and ingenuity toward excellence continues to thrive. Israelis are determined to lead in solving some of the most pressing humanitarian challenges. Working on the precepts of tikkun olam, Israel persists at the… Read More

Here’s the Buzz! Bee population has been on steady decline for past decade

(Photo credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Ale-ks)

The taste of apples and honey at Rosh Hashanah may make the holiday a little bit sweeter, but a few not-so-sweet trends are endangering some of the world’s most efficient and important pollinators. The bee population has been declining steadily since 2006, when the concept of Colony Collapse Disorder surfaced. CCD occurs when a colony’s… Read More

Apples All-Around From rootstock to Rosh Hashanah

(Photo credit: ©iStockphoto.com/olga_gl)

Jews around the world will bite into succulent apples dipped in honey in the upcoming week, but while Rosh Hashanah only lasts two nights, growing a bountiful apple orchard can take years. Rabbi Susan Grossman, from Beth Shalom Congregation, explained there are several reasons that Jews eat apples on Rosh Hashanah. Aside from the fruit’s… Read More

Shmitah: A Chance to Step Back Agricultural sabbatical year gives Pearlstone and others valuable downtime

Greg Strella, farm director at the Pearlstone Center, stands with cover crops Pearlstone planted to replenish its soil during its shmitah year, which Strella says has been a “rich experience.” (Marc Shapiro)

The Torah mandates that there be a sabbatical year in the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle for Israel. The land is given a rest and agricultural activities — from planting to pruning — are forbidden under Jewish law. In the United States, this shmitah year takes on similar implications, but its message goes… Read More