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By JACOB NEUSNER | April 21, 1993
Abo, Finland. -- The United States Holocaust Memorial, prominently situated near the Mall in the nation's memorial corridor, makes a powerful symbolic statement that America mourns the mass murder of millions of Jews in World War II Europe. American Jewry's obsession with remembering the catastrophe, to the near-exclusion of all else, comes to triumphant conclusion. With Holocaust Museums and memorials established in every sizable city in this country, American Jews have made their statement to the country.
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NEWS
November 22, 2013
Hannukah is the most celebrated Jewish holiday in America today — but for many, the deeper significance is lost under piles of dreidels, gifts and latkes. To help rediscover the meaning of this ancient tradition, Harford Chabad will host a Pre-Hanukkah class Nov. 27. The class is a comprehensive examination of the historical Jewish responses to discrimination and persecution. It surveys those communities who chose to assimilate into the wider society, and those that chose instead to shut the doors of the ghetto and recede into their own insular world.
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NEWS
By Daniel Gordis | January 5, 1998
WHAT IF the world woke up one day and there were no Jews left? Would America be worse off? A strange question, perhaps, but an important one. American Judaism is in crisis, and the root cause of it is that most U.S. Jews cannot answer that question. We can't explain why an America without us would be worse off, because we have spent the past century trying to become exactly like the culture that surrounds us. Having eradicated virtually all the differences between us and this hospitable land, we no longer have a sense of why we make a difference.
FEATURES
By Karen Nitkin, For The Baltimore Sun | September 30, 2012
Michelle Damareck's 3-year-old daughter has been singing "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider" in Hebrew, and her 5-year-old son has been learning the lessons of the Ten Commandments, thanks to a program that delivers Jewish-themed books and CDs to their home every month, free of charge. The program, called PJ Library, is run by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, based in Massachussetts. Since its creation in 2005, it has delivered more than 3 million books to tens of thousands of Jewish families in 175 communities throughout the United States and Canada, including the Lutherville home of the Damarecks.
NEWS
By Lisa Schiffren and Lisa Schiffren,Special to The Sun | March 5, 1995
A few weeks ago a politically conservative, Jewish friend of mine was quoted in the New York Times magazine saying, "A little anti-Semitism is a good thing for the Jews. It reminds us who we are."Knowing the speaker, I heard, in my inner ear, the flip tone in which the line would have been delivered. Still, I wondered, how could a politically savvy Washington lawyer say something so inflamatory to a reporter? Sure enough, the minute the article was in print, august personages who head the major Jewish organizations began writing the predictably anguished, "how could anyone be so insensitive?"
NEWS
By John Rivera and John Rivera,SUN STAFF | January 30, 2001
Rabbi Yisroel Roll wants to make Judaism so desirable, so delectable, that mouths water. Roll is an Orthodox rabbi with the religious sensibility of a Torah sage and the marketing acumen of a Madison Avenue adman. He drew on both to create Encounter, the London-based Jewish education program that has made its American debut in Baltimore through a series of classes called "Judaism a la Carte." "We're trying to market Judaism, market spirituality, and make people excited about it, because many people are turned off by anything religious, anything spiritual" said Roll, a former defense lawyer in Toronto who made a career change 11 years ago to seek rabbinical ordination.
NEWS
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 22, 1997
In an escalation of a divisive debate over who is a Jew, the nation's oldest body of Orthodox rabbis will formally declare that the two largest branches of Judaism in the United States are not Jewish.The unprecedented declaration by the 600-member Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the U.S. and Canada, its officials said, is intended to prod U.S. Jews to withdraw from Conservative and Reform temples.It is estimated that between 80 percent and 90 percent of affiliated Jews in the United States are members of either Reform or Conservative congregations.
NEWS
By John Rivera and John Rivera,SUN STAFF | September 20, 1998
The Jewish High Holy Days, which begin today at sundown, are commonly called the Days of Awe.That is the emotion that fills student cantor Lisa Doob as she prepares to lead a congregation in prayer for the first time during Judaism's holiest season.Doob, a cantorial student at New York's Hebrew Union College, commutes to Baltimore each weekend to lead services at Reisterstown's Temple Emanuel, where she will sing in tonight's celebration of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year."I'm really struck with a sense of awe of the responsibility I have as a representative of an entire congregation, interceding on their behalf in prayer," said Doob, 22, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
NEWS
By Melody Simmons and Melody Simmons,SUN STAFF | September 8, 1997
Tucked away in a quiet clearing in the woods, the new Temple Emanuel bears little resemblance to its former location on busy Liberty Road.Yesterday, the modern, airy Reisterstown temple at 909 Berrymans Lane -- built in 1995 for the Reform Jewish congregation that migrated from the city to Baltimore County's suburbs -- unveiled a new look. It dedicated a religious school, reuniting the temple's educational mission and religious quest."We're very proud of it -- we did it ourselves without a professional fund-raiser," said Rabbi Gustav Buchdahl, the congregation's spiritual leader for 34 years, since the temple opened on Liberty Road.
NEWS
By Frank P. L. Somerville and Frank P. L. Somerville,Staff Writer | December 7, 1992
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, in Baltimore briefly yesterday to celebrate the 90th birthday of a friend, spoke pessimistically about world events and mankind's prospects in the next century but optimistically about the survival of Judaism.He described Bosnia-Herzegovina, which he visited last week on a discouraging mission of peace, as a place not only of devastation but of near hopelessness. Sarajevo, he said, "is a city which today symbolizes isolation . . . and total abandonment."
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun reporter | October 6, 2010
Cantor Sharon M. Wallach, who had been affiliated with Adat Chaim Congregation in several roles since its founding in 1985, died Friday of cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care. She was 52. Ms. Wallach, the daughter of a businessman and a homemaker, was born in Philadelphia and raised in Cheltenham, Pa. After graduating from Cheltenham High School in 1975, she earned a bachelor's degree in music, speech and hearing in 1979 from the University of Pittsburgh. The following year, she earned a master's degree in education for the hearing-impaired, also from Pitt.
NEWS
By Arthur Blecher | December 12, 2007
It's hard to imagine a cozier holiday scene than the whole family gathered together to trim the tree. But for 2.5 million Americans in Jewish-Christian households, this is a scenario fraught with tension and feelings of betrayal. As the rabbi of a congregation that is more than half interfaith couples, I have learned that the holiday season is an especially difficult time for people with multiple religions in their household. More often than not, the gentile partner grew up with Christmas cheer in the home, but the Jewish partner learned to view traditions such as Christmas carols and holiday wreaths as "un-Jewish."
NEWS
By Liz F. Kay and Liz F. Kay,Sun reporter | December 4, 2007
There's no uncertainty in the Lindenbaums' living room about what holiday they are celebrating this year. The husband and wife once made merry in winter with a Christmas tree for Amanda, who was raised Catholic, and a Hanukkah menorah for Heath, who grew up Jewish. But now menorah stickers cling to the windows of their Pikesville home, which is strung indoors and out with blue and white lights in preparation for the holiday beginning tonight. Amanda and her husband decided last year to maintain a Jewish home for their two children, though they will still visit her parents for breakfast on Dec. 25. "We have a festive home, but it's not a Christmas tree home," she said.
NEWS
September 21, 2007
Martin Memorial Lecture is Sept. 30 The Columbia Cooperative Ministry, an ecumenical organization of Christian churches, will present its second George W. Martin Memorial Lecture at 5 p.m. Sept. 30 at Wilde Lake Interfaith Center. Rabbi Joshua Martin Siegel, who served as the first rabbi of the Columbia Jewish Congregation, will discuss "Inter-Religious Understanding and Cooperation for the Twenty-first Century." Siegel retired in 1997 after serving as CJC's rabbi for 25 years. The lecture honors the memory of George Martin, who served for many years as deacon at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, and was a leader of the Columbia Cooperative Ministry.
NEWS
July 24, 2007
MOHAMMAD ZAHIR SHAH, 92 Last king of Afghanistan Mohammad Zahir Shah, the last king of Afghanistan, who returned from three decades of exile to bless his war-battered country's fragile course toward democracy, died yesterday in Kabul, President Hamid Karzai said. Well-meaning, if weak, during his 40-year reign, the king was a symbol of yearned-for peace and unity in a nation still struggling to emerge from the turmoil that began with his 1973 ouster in a palace coup. When the fall of the Taliban at the end of 2001 offered fresh hope for national reconciliation, many clamored for the king's return - not only from exile but to retake the throne.
NEWS
By Liz F. Kay and Liz F. Kay,SUN REPORTER | February 20, 2007
It wasn't until the sixth grade that Michael Durst decided he wanted to become a bar mitzvah, but his parents didn't belong to a synagogue. These days, that's not a problem. The Fallston family hired a freelance tutor who taught the 12-year-old his Torah passage and officiated at the ceremony marking Michael's journey into Jewish adulthood, held in the hall of a Methodist church. Bar mitzvah ceremonies like Michael's - without years of Hebrew school, without a congregational membership, without a traditional sense of Jewish community - worry some area rabbis so much that they're rethinking their congregations' approach to the rite of passage.
NEWS
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | October 18, 1997
JERUSALEM -- As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares for a visit to the United States next month, a controversy over the role of non-Orthodox Jews is again threatening to erupt in Israel that could set off a new crisis with American Jews.Leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements, who represent a minority in Israel but are the majority among American Jews, reacted with alarm Wednesday to reports that Netanyahu will back legislation that will strengthen Orthodox control over religious affairs in Israel.
NEWS
By Alisa Samuels and Alisa Samuels,SUN STAFF | August 20, 1996
As the Jewish High Holy Days approach, Jonathan E. Kollin is working on a 42-page supplement for Columbia Jewish Congregation's annual prayer book.This project is just one of his many duties as the new executive director for the 26-year-old congregation, Howard County's oldest Jewish congregation.His job as administrator of the synagogue -- which meets in the Oakland Mills Interfaith Center -- combines his love for Judaism and his professional life. Jewish life "revolves around the synagogue," said Kollin, 46. "It always has."
NEWS
By Liz F. Kay and Liz F. Kay,sun reporter | January 18, 2007
Jewish educators around Baltimore are studying an unusual topic this year: God. Teachers often shy away from discussions of God or defining beliefs at Jewish day schools and supplemental classes offered by congregations, said Lawrence M. Ziffer, the executive vice president of the Center for Jewish Education in Park Heights. "Most other religions have a lot of God talk," Ziffer said. In Judaism, however, "that almost never happens on a communal level." Instead, religious education usually covers areas such as holidays, rituals and liturgical or modern Hebrew.
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