Jewish center to celebrate ownership


January 13, 1995|By Reported by Frank P.L. Somerville

The savings and loan crisis of the 1980s has had a happy ending for an Orthodox Jewish congregation in Pikesville, which will hold the first of three celebrations on Sunday.

Seven years ago, a mortgage was arranged through Yorkridge-Calvert Savings and Loan, allowing Anshe Emunah-Aitz Chaim Tifereth Israel Congregation to revive plans to buy the bankrupt Mercantile Country Club in Pikesville and move there.

The move was part of a Jewish exodus from the Randallstown area that has since included Beth Israel, a large Conservative congregation with new facilities in Owings Mills.

But no sooner had Anshe Emunah relocated its Randallstown synagogue, also called Liberty Jewish Center, on the Pikesville property than the thrift was seized by the Resolution Trust Corp.

The RTC called Yorkridge-Calvert mortgage loans due, including the synagogue's. Unable to repay the entire loan immediately, the congregation sought protection under Chapter 11 and the court approved a plan giving it five years to redeem the property.

Now, thanks to "the ongoing commitment of the members of our congregation and the efforts of the many people who have contributed money and professional services," said Anshe Emunah president Lawrence Stahl, ownership of the center at 7000 Rockland Hills Drive has become a reality.

The public is invited to a community celebration there from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday.

During the festivities, Rabbi Jacob A. Max, Liberty Jewish Center's spiritual leader, will plant a tree "in honor of the re-acquisition and the congregation's commitment to its new neighborhood."

Families will be entertained and taken on a tour of the synagogue's new preschool and Hebrew school facilities.

"In my 40 years of leading the congregation, we have had many ups and downs," Rabbi Max said. "But the actions and commitment of our members have always brought us hope for the future."

Other planned celebrations to mark the end of the savings-and-loan troubles for Anshe Emunah include a dinner dance from 8 p.m. to midnight Jan. 21 and a rededication service and reception beginning at 6 p.m. April 30.

Information: 653-7485.

Lecture by alumnus:

"Awakening the Fire Within -- How We Can Become Interpreters of Our Own Experience" is the title of a lecture to be given Jan. 31 at Roland Park Country School by the Rev. William L. Dols, director of the Educational Center in St. Louis.

Dr. Dols is an alumnus of Roland Park's lower school.

Since 1939, the pioneering Educational Center in St. Louis has sought to combine psychology and religion, Bible studies and personal experience, culture and theology to bring about "individual growth and social change."

An $8 fee for Dr. Dols' 8 p.m. lecture includes refreshments at the school, 5204 Roland Ave.

Information about this and other programs of the Evening School at Roland Park: 323-5500.

Rights and liberty:

The Baltimore Ethical Society invites the public to take part in a discussion at 10:30 a.m. Sunday led by Stefan Goodwin, professor of anthropology at Morgan State University. His subject will be "Civil Rights, Education and Religious Liberty."

Dr. Goodwin is engaged in a dispute with Morgan State over its inclusion of prayers and religious music in convocation ceremonies. He calls the practice "unethical, immoral, idolatrous, hypocritical and illegal."

The professor contends that the university's policy of allowing prayer is "a spiritual and moral violation of conscience," violating his "most sacred ethical beliefs."

The Baltimore Ethical Society meets at the Bolton Street Synagogue, 1311 Bolton St.

Information: 581-2322.

Organ recital:

Bruce R. Eicher will present a free public concert at 4 p.m. Feb. 5 to celebrate his 50 years as an organist and 36 years as Director of Music at North Baltimore's Grace United Methodist Church.

On the varied program scheduled at the church, 5407 N. Charles St., are classical masters such as Bach and Elgar but also lighter music that Mr. Eicher played on his daily radio show in the 1940s, including Ethel Smith's arrangement of "Tico Tico."

Information: 433-6650.

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