Lessons in Communal Responsibility

Written by Rabbi Dovid Rosenbaum on . Posted in Features

Our community has lost three very special rabbis over a brief period of time. Rabbi Gedaliah Anemer of Young Israel Shomrai Emunah in Kemp Mill, Rabbi Hillel Klavan of Congregation Ohev Shalom Talmud Torah in Washington, D.C., and Rabbi Kalman Winter of Southeast Hebrew Congregation - Knesset Yehoshua in White Oak, all of blessed memory, all passed within the last seven years. In addition to being stellar leaders of their congregations, together these three rabbis were the core of Vaad Harabanim (Rabbinical Council) of Greater Washington’s leadership over the 25-year period preceding their passing.

Much has been said, and rightfully so, about the end of a rabbinic era in the Greater Washington Jewish community. As a rabbi of “the next generation” who had the great privilege of working closely with each of these individuals, I have reflected considerably since the recent passing of Rabbi Klavan on the common qualities these men shared in their leadership of the community.

County Busing Pilot Stalls

Written by Suzanne Pollak on . Posted in Features

 ROCKVILLE (MD)–– It’s been 18 months since Montgomery County’s public school buses last transported students to six private schools, including three Jewish day schools.

Under the county’s non-public school traffic mitigation program, which began in September 2014, approximately 2,600 students from the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, the Torah School of Greater Washington and the Yeshiva of Greater Washington rode on public school buses every day. Two Catholic schools and one nonsectarian school also benefitted from the program.

The county covered 78 percent of the cost for the use of the buses and drivers. The schools were responsible for the remaining 22 percent, which they passed on to the participating parents.

But in the Spring of 2015, the county council slashed the program’s proposed $600,000 budget to $159,000. That reduced sum was then designated for paying a consultant to come up with a way to continue the program.

JCRC Testifies for Increase in State Scholarships to Private School Students

Written by Super User on . Posted in Features

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington last week testified in favor of a budget increase for a Maryland state program that provides scholarships to low-income private school students, and in its first year assisted more than 100 youngsters attending Jewish day schools in Montgomery County. Many Jewish students from Baltimore also benefited.

The Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program, which was launched for the 2016-2017 school year, was established as a line item in the state’s $42 billion budget by Gov. Larry Hogan (R). The legislature appropriated $4.85 million from the state’s general fund for the scholarships for the one-year initiative, and the governor is now seeking to increase the program to $10 million over the next three years. Hogan’s request for fiscal year 2018 is an increase of $1.85 million, which would make $6.7 million available for the 2017-2018 school year.

Taking the “Bored” Out of The Board

Written by Rabbi Ozzie Burnham on . Posted in Features

I’m betting you’ve heard about them. It might have been in an unsolicited comment over the phone, while picking up the kids at school, or at the poolside on a lazy summer Sunday, but you’ve no doubt been told about the following organizational boards:

The ATM: “The biggest donors are put on the board. The organization does a dog and pony show for them every once in a while, just to keep the cash flowing.”

The Bobbleheads: “Those people clearly don’t get much time respect at home - they take it out at board meetings. It’s all talk and procedure.”

The Like Button: “The Executive Director has the board around his finger. He knows how to schmooze them up and they know to rubber stamp his decisions.”