Serving Up a Grape Tradition

Written by Deborah Scheinberg on . Posted in Community News

We’ve all grown up imbibing the syrupy sweet purple Concord grape iconic Manischewitz wine. We love it and consume a lot of it! The world of kosher wine is not the world of your grandfather’s. Today the kosher wine industry is very sophisticated and they are making wines using grapes from all over the world.

Jewish Community Launches Legal Services Group

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Community News

WASHINGTON — Tzedek DC, the first non-profit legal services organization sponsored by the Washington Jewish community, is now a full-time public interest center at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law.

“Tzedek DC’s focus is fundamentally on a civil rights issue, serving the communities where predatory abuses in lending and lawsuits have been most prevalent,” said Levinson-Waldman.

Tzedek DC’s name and philosophy are drawn from the ancient Jewish tenet “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof,” or “Justice, justice you shall pursue.” The organization focuses on protecting low-income DC residents facing life-altering, often unjust, debt collection lawsuits and other consumer protection crises.

‘Not in MY Family’: Stories of Loss and Recovery at Drug Addiction Education Event

Written by Sarah B. Cohen on . Posted in Community News

BALTIMORE (Md.) — On Tuesday March 29, high school students, parents, and community members of all Jewish affiliations attended the Corey Seidel Addiction Awareness and Educational Program at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School.

The program started off with an introduction from Corey’s parents, Susan and Steven Seidel. Corey lost his battle with addiction after an overdose in February 2016, and this educational program was created in his memory.

Welcoming the Stranger Into Our Community

Written by Maharat Ruth Friedman on . Posted in Community News

Every year at our Pesach seders, we recite “b’chol dor vador chayav adam lir’ot et atzmo k’ilu hu yatza m’Mitzrayim” — “In every generation one must look upon themselves as if they personally had gone out of Egypt” (Pesachim 116b). The goal of the seder is to become so immersed in the story of the Exodus that we feel as if each of us was present at the redemption.

While we are supposed to identify with this experience firsthand, it is also foreign to many us, myself included. Thank G-d I have never experienced slavery and redemption from a treacherous life-or-death situation. I have never been a stranger in a foreign land. I have been blessed to live a life of economic and spiritual freedom, and my life is a reflection of the choices I have made for myself. So, how can those of us in this category strive to reach the level of identity with the Pesach story that the Gemara mandates of us?

Newly-Ordained Rabbis Reflect on RIETS and Their Future

Written by Elie Klein and Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Community News

Yeshiva University and its Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) have been at the center of Dani Zuckerman’s life for as long as he can remember.

“I vividly recall as a young boy hearing my father refer to ‘The Rav’ [Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveitchik] and wondering, who is this rabbi whose reputation is so great as to not even require a name?” said Zuckerman, who grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Community-Power Produces New Playground for Berman Hebrew Academy and Aspen Hill Community

Written by Berman Hebrew Academy Staff on . Posted in Community News

ROCKVILLE (Md.) — Berman Hebrew Academy showed the power of community when more than 200 parents, students, alumni, staff, and members of the school, Aspen Hill, and Beth Joshua communities came together with national non-profit KaBoom! to build a beautiful new playground for the Berman Lower School and Aspen Hill neighborhood. The build took place over 10 hours on Sunday March 19.

The playground rebuild was the culmination of many years of effort to improve the outdoor space. Berman enjoys a unique public-private partnership with Montgomery County in that the building and land are owned and maintained by the school, but the public has access during off-hours.

Annapolis Update: Multiple Wins for the Jewish Community

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Community News

ANNAPOLIS (Md.) — The Maryland Senate and House of Delegates agreed last week to give a 10 percent increase to the BOOST Scholarship initiative for the next year, according to an announcement by the Baltimore Jewish Agency. The initiative benefits Maryland families struggling to pay tuition to go to their school of choice, and a number of scholarships have been granted to members of the Jewish community.

Simcha University

Written by Super User on . Posted in Community News

As we continue to expand Chai Lifeline’s Mid-Atlantic region with innovative and creative programs for families dealing with pediatric illnesses, we introduce a new, incredibly dynamic learning program for children who are home-bound or confined to the pediatric hospital ward. These unbelievably inspiring children deserve the opportunity to gain skills and talents they would otherwise be lacking. This is where Simcha University comes in. Simcha University will ensure that children with significant pediatric illnesses never feel unproductive again. Any person who possesses a particular talent can share their passion with these remarkable young children by joining this program and sincerely making a difference. We won’t just be sharing our passion with these children; we will be offering each child the opportunity to learn a skill that was seemingly unattainable before now, truly transforming his or her life in the best possible way. Join Simcha University by becoming a professor and help change a life!

-Leah Friedman, Chai Lifeline Volunteer

Shomrai Wine Night

Written by Super User on . Posted in Community News

Over 45 people gathered at Young Israel Shomrai Emunah in Silver Spring, Maryland, on Saturday night to learn about and taste some of the best kosher wines around. Jeff and Jodie Morgan of Covenant wines (Napa, Sonoma, and Israel) provided a tasting of six wines during the event while explaining their path towards making both their home and their wine kosher.

Beth Tfiloh Students Connect and Impress at AIPAC Policy Conference

Written by Phil Jacobs on . Posted in Community News

When more than 35 Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community High School students converged on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., it might have been easy to just be a small part of the high-energy pro-Israel confab that attracted some 18,000 individuals to the Washington Convention Center and the Verizon Center.

Instead, Beth Tfiloh (BT) middle school Principal, Rabbi Yehuda Oratz, turned what could have easily been a wonderful spectator experience into a memorable learning laboratory.

Our Complex Community: Getting to the Heart of Who Matters

Written by Miriam Gross on . Posted in Community News

This past Thursday, 85 Jewish communal professionals attended a diversity forum hosted by The Darrell Friedman Institute for Professional Development, a program of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. The event was a culmination of a year-long cohort learning process on appreciating diversity and inclusion, funded by the Blaustein Fund of The Associated.

The first speaker at the forum was Allison Fine, renowned author and innovator of the term “matterness.” The key to success for any community program, fundraising campaign, or general engagement initiative is addressing the universal human need to “matter,” she said. Fine cautioned that in our era of digital marketing, we tend to lean too heavily on social media as a primary tool of engagement. The best use of this tool would be to enhance and support real human relationships. Creating and maintaining those relationships marks the path of success for any nonprofit.