Symbolic walk planned for Jewish unity day

May 20, 1994|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Sun Staff Writer

Members of Howard County's Jewish community will lace up their walking shoes Sunday in an event intended to help build unity among the county's estimated 8,500 Jews.

The Jewish Federation of Howard County is sponsoring a one-mile walk called "Walk for Jewish Unity," starting at 4 p.m. at the Dorsey Hall Medical Center, 9501 Old Annapolis Road.

The walk will continue on Old Annapolis Road to Columbia Road, head left on Woodland Road, and end at the Corporate Pavilion in the eastern portion of Centennial Park.

"It's a short, symbolic walk," said Steve Shaw, the federation's executive director. "It's not a walk-a-thon, per se. It's bringing the Jewish community together."

The event is part of the federation's first Jewish CommUNITY Day, an expansion of a now-defunct event called "Information Day," said Ellen Strichartz, the federation's president.

"I believe as more and more Jewish people come into Howard County and join our community we need to have a unifying force -- the Jewish Federation -- and we need to let people know there are other Jews living here," she said. "And what better way to do that than to have a Unity Day?"

In addition to the one-mile walk, Sunday's activities will include basketball, volleyball, softball and other games.

Information on Jewish groups, schools and services will be available.

Beth Yeladim Pre-school will provide activities for small children. Entertainer Ethan Halpern will lead the crowd in Israeli folk dancing, and Howard County native Judy Tal will sing folk songs.

Golden Gourmet, of Columbia, and Richard Bluefeld's Kosher Traditions, which has offices in Randallstown and Columbia, will sell kosher foods.

There is no admission fee for the event, which runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The 26-year-old Jewish Federation of Howard County is an umbrella organization for local Jewish groups. It coordinates employment and health services, religious activities, education and counseling aimed at the county's Jewish residents.

The county's Jewish population includes people from Conservative, Orthodox and Reform congregations.

"It's a diverse community," Mr. Shaw said, adding that the Howard County's growing Jewish population means that more needs will have to be met.

Sunday's event, said Mrs. Strichartz, will "show people that they are not alone."

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