Opponents of a controversial plan to open the Jewish Community Center in Owings Mills on Saturday are planning a rally this weekend in defense of the Jewish Sabbath.
"It's not a negative rally, it's a positive rally to cause awareness of the sacredness of the observance of the Sabbath," said Eli Schlossberg, an organizer of the event set for noon Sunday at Northwestern High School in Park Heights.
From sundown Friday each week until nightfall Saturday, Orthodox and some other Jews observe Shabbat by refraining from work, handling money, driving a car, answering the telephone or operating electrical appliances. But many Jews do not. The board of directors of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore voted Wednesday to open its Owings Mills location Saturday afternoons.
"We are sensitive to the fact that there are members of our community who disagree with our recommendation to open on Saturday afternoons ... and we are respectful of their position," JCC President Louis "Buddy" Sapolsky said in a statement. "However, we feel it is important to meet the needs of the numerous Jewish constituents ... who have been asking us to open on Saturdays in this facility."
The matter is expected to come to a vote of the Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore this month.