Apples All-Around From rootstock to Rosh Hashanah

(Photo credit: ©

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

New Haggadahs Hit Market


Canadian Haggadah Canadienne Five years ago, an American rabbi and a Quebec separatist sat together in Ottawa and related their convoluted, multi-lingual Seder experiences. Wouldn’t it be great, they thought, to have a single haggadah that could serve all of their needs? From that moment, Rabbi Adam Scheier, senior rabbi of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, and… Read More

Passover Means Vacation for Some Instead of turning their homes upside down, some opt for luxury getaways

Cantor Diane Becker Krasnick leads Passover and Chanukah 
services on Royal Caribbean cruises.

With each Passover comes the craziness of cleaning one’s life of chametz: Cars, offices, homes and kitchens must be rid of leavened foods before the holiday. While some resort to deep cleaning and finding someone to buy the chametz, others opt for an easier, yet pricey option: Passover destination travel. For years, travel agencies have… Read More

Kosher for Passover – For local bakeries, holiday means break from work

Bakeries must rid themselves of shelves upon shelves of bread before the start of Passover.

For Baltimore’s kosher bakers, Passover brings with it more than the promise of wine and matzoh; it comes with some serious vacation time. “It’s something to look forward to,” said Kori Stanley, who works in the bakery department at Seven Mile Market. “It’s not very often that we’re going to get two weeks off where… Read More

Sober Purim


While many people can’t wait to crack open the booze each Purim, some in Baltimore’s Jewish community find themselves in a difficult situation, struggling to balance a recovery from addiction with a religious tradition. “I think Purim is, in some ways, an exception to prove a rule, which is that, by and large, our approach… Read More