Montgomery County Officials: No Evidence of Cancer Cluster in White Oak

Written by Suzanne Pollak on . Posted in Community News

David Allan Cohen, 64, passed away in December 2017 following a 19-month battle with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a rare and aggressive brain cancer. A resident of the White Oak neighborhood in Silver Spring, Maryland, Cohen was diagnosed the day after the burial of his neighbor, Fred Mailman, who had died from the same type of cancer.

Adat Reyim to Launch Parent Education Program on Cultivating Compassion

Written by Oren Litwin on . Posted in Community News

This fall, Congregation Adat Reyim of Springfield, Virginia, will launch a new parent education program, “Cultivating Compassion in Our Kids and Ourselves.” Funded by a $50,000 grant from the Greater Good Science Center of UC Berkeley (part of a larger grant made to the Center by the John Templeton Foundation), the program aims to introduce parents to a uniquely Jewish perspective on raising compassionate children, and to explore how it closely parallels the newest research in neuroscience about the foundations of ethical behavior.

Birthday Wishes From Azerbaijan

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Community News

On Wednesday, April 18, evangelical Christian and Congressional leaders hosted a breakfast to honor the Republic of Azerbaijan for its longstanding support of Israel. The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding’s President Rabbi Marc Schneier, Northwood Church’s Founding Pastor Bob Roberts Jr., and Eagles’ Wings Founder and Executive Director Bishop Robert Stearns hosted the event on Capitol Hill.

‘Fiddler’ Cast at James Madison High Gets Crash Course on Jewish Customs

Written by Laura Culter on . Posted in Community News

Rabbi Aryeh Wielgus, the Greater Washington Jewish Student Union director for NCSY, visited James Madison High School’s theater department on March 19 to speak to the cast of the upcoming spring musical, “Fiddler on the Roof.” The 60 students, comprising onstage actors, crew chiefs, and members of the school’s Jewish Student Union, had compiled dozens of questions about practical Jewish customs and how to portray them on stage.

Lior Raz of ‘Fauda’ Headlines Federation’s Network Event

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Community News

Over 400 philanthropic community leaders and business professionals attended The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s 2018 Network Event at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C., on the evening of March 6. Lior Raz, star of the hit Israeli TV show, “Fauda,” headlined the event after the attendees had a chance to network while enjoying delicious food and drink catered by the Grand Hyatt’s kosher kitchen.

UPDATED: Freundel Release Date Remains in 2020

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Community News

UPDATE 4.27.18: The DC Department of Corrections has confirmed that the notification sent to members of the community with an early release date for Barry Freundel was sent in error, and they are investigating how that happened.

Freundel's lawyer confirmed to the Washington Post that the notification did not reflect any actual change in his sentence.


UPDATE 4.26.18: The following message was received at 1:40 p.m. April 26:

"This notification is from the District of Columbia Department of Corrections.

The offender for whom you registered, BERNARD FREUNDEL, with the DCDC number 346271, is scheduled for release from the Correctional Treatment Facility on 8/21/2020." 

Information as to whether the Aug. 21, 2018 release date sent in notifications to members of the community by the DOC on April 25 was a typographical error or reflected some sort of change in Freundel's sentence will be shared as soon as it is available.


Barry Freundel, former rabbi of Kesher Israel in Washington, D.C., was sentenced to six and a half years in prison in 2015 after pleading guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism. As of the time of this paper going to print on April 26, there is an as-yet unconfirmed report that Freundel will be released early, in August 2018.

A Look at Israel’s Relationship with Africa South of the Sahara

Written by Frank Solomon and Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Community News

Long before the State of Israel was established, the father of modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl, recognized parallels between the black and the Jewish experience. “Once I have witnessed the redemption of the Jews, my people,” Herzel wrote in 1902, “I wish also to assist in the redemption of the Africans.”

Jewish Teens From Across the Country to Convene for ‘Shabbat for Our Lives’ Programming

Written by Suzanne Pollak on . Posted in Community News

Jewish students throughout the Washington, D.C., area are preparing to add some Shabbat flavor to the upcoming March for Our Lives — a demonstration demanding an end to gun violence — on March 24. They are working to provide space for out-of-town students to spend Shabbat, ensure guests can attend communal services, and manage logistics like food and sign making.

JCRC Events Focus on Women’s Empowerment

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Community News

Spurred by the #MeToo movement and the record number of women running for local, state, and national office this year, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington this week held several events focused on women’s political empowerment and featuring JCRC scholar-in-residence Mazal Shaul, executive director of WePower, an Israeli nonprofit that trains women of all affiliations to run for office.