President Takes Stance Against Anti-Semitism Following Threats Against Jewish Community​
February 21, 2017
WJZ
 
"A wave of anti-semitic hate crimes are sweeping through Maryland and across the country. After previously deflecting questions on the issue, President Trump breaks his silence on the growing threats against the Jewish community." Click here for the full article.
 
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Lawmakers to Debate Bill on Israel Boycott
February 19, 2017
WBAL 1090
 
"Later this month, lawmakers in Annapolis hold hearings on legislation that supporters believe would put the state of Maryland clearly on the side of Israel, in a worldwide movement to boycott Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians." Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore Jewish Community Concerned over Spike in Threats
February 17, 2017
WBALTV
 
"Baltimore’s Jewish community remains concerned about security after nearly five dozen bomb threats have been reported at Jewish Community Associations across North America over the past month." Click here for the full article.
 
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Maryland Legislators Tackle Paid Sick Leave
February 15, 2017
Jewish Times
 
"Democrats who are sponsoring legislation for the fourth straight year on the issue were joined at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Feb. 9 by cabinet members of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who has introduced his own version of a sick leave requisite." Click here for the full article.

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BDS Movement Demonizes Israel
February 14, 2017
Baltimore Sun Op-Ed
 
"The decades-long bipartisan economic relationship between Maryland and Israel has created extraordinary benefits for both states in financial and diplomatic terms. In fact, since the establishment of the Maryland Israel Development Center as a "private-public partnership" in 1992, every Maryland governor, regardless of political party, has led an economic mission to Israel. Today, the American headquarters of at least two dozen Israeli companies — many in such high-growth fields as cyber security and high-tech health care — call Maryland home, and we export more than $145 million in products to Israel." Click here for the full article.
 
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Advocacy Day Amplifies Jewish Voices in Annapolis
February 09, 2017
Jewish Times
 
"Allen, 19, and Schneider, 20, the president of and vice president, respectively, of Terps for Israel, joined about 200 people from the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Jewish communities for Advocacy Day, which was hosted by the Baltimore Jewish Council and Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC)." Click here for the full article.
 
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Muslim Ban Inspires Protests in Maryland
February 01, 2017
Jewish Times
 
"Just three days earlier, more than 200 people gathered at the Salem-Baltimore Hispanic United Methodist Church in Highlandtown for a solidarity vigil in support of immigrants, Muslims and refugees led by the Baltimore Jewish Council, CASA de Maryland, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Jews United for Justice (JUFJ)." Click here for the full article.
 
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BJC Issues Statement Condemning Refugee Ban
February 01, 2017
JMore Living
 
"Last Saturday night, Jan. 28, the Baltimore Jewish Council released a statement condemning President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking the entry of refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations into the United States." Click here for the full article.
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2017
 
Baltimore Jewish Council Condemns "Muslim Ban" Executive Order
 
The Baltimore Jewish Council condemns the President's Executive Order to ban entry of refugees into the United States from a number of majority Muslim nations. We agree that the United States must be concerned foremost with protecting its own citizens and borders, but believe that this can be achieved through strict enforcement of existing security procedures.  Many Jewish Americans know firsthand the difficulties their relatives endured in trying to escape religious and political persecution abroad and resettle their families to a place where they could live in safety. We know the tragic stories of those who were denied access to the United States due to immigration bans of Jewish refugees in the 1940s. We believe the United States has a moral and historical obligation to create a welcoming environment for individuals and families looking to start a new life after suffering atrocities in their native countries. Laws that implicitly target specific religious groups should be avoided to the greatest extent possible, and we stand with our friends and neighbors in the Muslim community who are concerned about the effect this ban will have on refugees suffering violence abroad.

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Jewish and Muslim Groups Host MLK Interfaith Event
January 19, 2017
Jewish Times
 
"To Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, the Baltimore Jewish Council, Repair the World and the Muslim Community Cultural Center of Baltimore held an interfaith event discussing the civil rights movements and ways to continue that legacy." Click here for the full article.
 
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Maryland Legislators Will Introduce Anti-BDS Bill
January 18, 2017
Jewish Times
 
"Maryland lawmakers and Jewish advocacy groups are in the process of putting the final touches on a bill that would ban companies that support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel from doing business with the state." Click here for the full article.
 
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Legislators Eye Big Issues this Session
January 11, 2017
Jewish Times
 
"Sarah Mersky, the BJC’s director of government relations, said addressing elder abuse programs and helping seniors, including Holocaust survivors, age in place is also of utmost importance. The BJC is seeking $100,000 in its budget for an elder abuse program, and also asking for $350,000 in aging-in-place funding for Holocaust survivors, and $100,000 in new funding for seniors who are not Holocaust survivors." Click here for the full article.
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2017
 
Support Senate Action Opposing United Nations Anti-Israel Resolution
 
The U.S. Senate is preparing to vote to oppose the anti-Israel United Nations Security Council resolution approved in late December. Our community needs to thank Senator Ben Cardin for his role in co-sponsoring this resolution and urge Senator Chris Van Hollen to sign on as a co-sponsor and supporter, too.
 
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a similar bipartisan resolution by a vote of 342-80, and all eight members of our Maryland delegation voted in support.
 
The bipartisan Senate Resolution 6 - introduced by Senators Cardin and Marco Rubio, as well as the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders - could come up for a vote later this week. The resolution already has over 50 Senate co-sponsors. It expresses opposition to UNSC Resolution 2334 and to all efforts that undermine direct negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. It also calls for the United States to oppose all attempts at international organizations - including the United Nations - to isolate or sanction Israel.
 
Our community needs to make our voices heard. Please thank Senator Cardin for his leadership in support of Israel, and call on Senator Van Hollen to demonstrate his support by signing on as a co-sponsor and voting for the resolution.
 
Contact Senator Cardin's office at 202-224-4524, or via email athttps://www.cardin.senate.gov/contact/.
 
Contact Senator Van Hollen's office at 202-224-4654 or his political operation at info@vanhollen.org.
 
With our efforts, we can help ensure that Maryland's entire House and Senate delegation stand up in support of Israel.
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Another Successful BrewHaHa
January 05, 2017
Jewish Times
 
"Activities around the large party space beyond the bar area ranged from the Pearlstone Center’s table, where one could make his or her own menorah from a large piece of bark and a selection of acorns as candleholders, to Baltimore Jewish Council’s rousing game of “Interfaith Jeopardy! hosted by ‘Alex Trebekowitz’” a play on TV’s “Jeopardy!” in which contestants were given answers to questions about interfaith marriage and culture." Click here for the full article.
 
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Baltimore Jewish Council Responds to U.N. Resolution
December 28, 2016
WBAL TV11
 
"The debate over a United Nations resolution is getting reaction from the Baltimore Jewish Council, which said the U.S. has broken with established American foreign policy."Click here for the full video.
 
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BJC Profoundly Disappointed by UN Resolution
December 28, 2016
Jewish Times
 
"The Baltimore Jewish Council released a statement Monday saying it is “profoundly disappointed” by last week’s U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The United States abstained from voting, a departure from its usual policy of vetoing any resolutions seen as too overtly critical of Israel." Click here for the full article.
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 26, 2016
 
Baltimore Jewish Council Condemns U.S. Abstention on United Nations Security Council Resolution Against Israel
 
The Baltimore Jewish Council is profoundly disappointed by the decision of the United States to break with established American foreign policy regarding Israel and not block Friday's one-sided United Nations Security Council resolution.  The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is far more complicated than is implied by this resolution, and it will ultimately be resolved only through direct negotiations.  UN resolutions like the one approved last week -- attacking the only democracy of the Middle East and choosing to focus on isolated issues -- harm, rather than help, efforts to restart peaceful negotiations, by making it far less likely that the parties will come to the negotiating table.  The BJC believes that the United States' strong support for its most steadfast democratic ally in the Middle East is both principled and strategic.  Unfortunately, the abstention from last week's UN resolution was neither.
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Hogan Boosts Nonpublic School Funding
December 22, 2016
Jewish Times
 
"Through BOOST, which provides scholarships for low-income students to attend nonpublic schools in areas with under-performing public schools, many families of Jewish students are better positioned to bear the burden of high tuition costs." Click here for the full article.

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Hogan Proposes to Boost Funding for Private School Scholarships
December 13, 2016
Baltimore Sun
 
"The governor visited Bais Yaakov School for Girls in Baltimore County to make the announcement, which was greeted with a standing ovation from students and teachers from Bais Yaakov and other Jewish day schools." Click here for the full article.
 
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Hogan to Double Non-Public School Scholarship Program
December 13, 2016
Jewish Times
 
"The state-funded program, Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST), would gradually increase funding from $5 million to $10 million by 2020 under Hogan’s plan, he told hundreds of students, faculty and parents." Click here for the full article.
 
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Addressing the Epidemic of Human Trafficking
December 02, 2016
Jewish Times
 
"At the event sponsored by the Maimonides Society and the Baltimore Jewish Council, Capt. Wes Fischer of the Baltimore County Police Department and Dr. Joyce Williams of the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force provided participants with useful tips, resources and a means to raise awareness on the devastating effects of human trafficking." Click here for the full article.
 
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County Schools to Remain Closed on Rosh Hashanah
November 18, 2016
Jewish Times
 
"The Baltimore County Public School Board approved its 2017-18 academic year calendar on Nov. 9 to comply with Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive order that public schools open after Labor Day." Click here for the full article.
 
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Trialogue Series Brings Muslim, Jewish, Christian Communities Together
November 17, 2016
Jewish Times
 
"Baltimore residents will have the opportunity to learn more about their Muslim, Jewish and Christian neighbors over the next few months as part of an Interfaith Trialogue Series sponsored by the Baltimore Jewish Council." Click here for the full article.
 
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A Divisive Result
November 16, 2016
Jewish Times
 
"In response to such incidents, the Baltimore Jewish Council is monitoring the recent spike in hate crimes around the state and country. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh took it a step further on Monday, according to The Baltimore Sun, encouraging victims of racial and religious hate speech to report the incidents." Click here for the full article.
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2016
 
BJC Statement on Spike in Hate Crime
 
 
The Baltimore Jewish Council is monitoring the recent spike in hate crimes reported both in Maryland and across the nation. As an organization founded on a commitment to tolerance and understanding between faith and ethnic groups, we are opposed to any type of bigotry in our society. We will continue to stand with our friends and neighbors, working together to fight prejudice.
 
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Post Labor Day Start to Baltimore County School Days
November 10, 2016
Baltimore Sun
 
"The Baltimore Jewish Council's executive director, Howard Libit, said the idea had been floated to keep schools open on Rosh Hashanah as a way to determine whether enough Jewish students and teachers would stay home to celebrate. The school system cannot close to celebrate religious holidays unless it can prove that staying open would cause a disruption in schools because of high absenteeism among students and teachers."​ Click here for the full article.
 
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Synagogues Team Up for Election Series
October 26, 2016
Jewish Times
 
Sponsored in part by the Baltimore Jewish Council, the four-part series, “Debate and Decision: Thinking About the Election with Jewish Values,” kicked off on Oct. 20 at Beth El with Rabbi Shai Held, a teacher at Mechon Hadar yeshiva, leading a discussion at Beth El. Rabbai Aviva Richman, a faculty member at Yeshivat Hadar, presented a talk at Beth Am on Oct. 27, discussing whether it’s possible, wrong or imperative for political enemies to creative community harmony. There are two remaining sessions. Click here for the full article.
 
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Mercaz Hosts Interfaith Program
October 26, 2016
Jewish Times
 
"The program is being done in partnership with the Baltimore Jewish Council and the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies and “will explore questions of how Jews and Christians build their identities in relationship to one another and to God,”  according to the ICJS website. The program will takes place on the first three Wednesday evenings of November."​ Click here for the full article.
 
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Interfaith Connections Battle Bigotry, Promote Goodwill
September 29, 2016
Jewish Times
 
"The third Jewish-Muslim Governor’s Day, which took place at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation on Monday, provided Ibrahim the chance to show her support for a worthy cause. She was one of more than 50 people from the Greater Baltimore Jewish and Muslim communities who  assembled “blessing bags” for homeless Marylanders and took part in an interfaith discussion on social justice."​ Click here for the full article.
 
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Hogan in Israel: Commonality with Maryland in Cyber Security and Defense
September 23, 2016
Jewish Times
 

The Baltimore Jewish Council is honored to have its Executive Director, Board President and 1st Vice President join Governor Larry Hogan on his first trip to Israel. Gov. Hogan visited iconic sites in Jerusalm including the Western Wall and Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial on day four of his week-long trip to Israel. Click here for the full article.

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Hogan trade mission to Israel to pack in business meetings, speeches
September 7, 2016
Baltimore Sun
 

"Gov. Larry Hogan will lead a trade mission to Israel this month in hopes of luring cybersecurity and life-science companies to open offices in Maryland, his administration announced Wednesday. The seven-day mission, which is scheduled to begin Sept. 19, is to include a mix of business deals, speeches, meetings with dignitaries and sightseeing." Click here for the full article.

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Baltimoreans Bond with Israel via Cummings Youth Program
August 24, 2016
Jewish Times
 
"A dozen rising high school seniors, dressed smartly in suits and dresses, listened closely on Aug. 17 at the Park Heights JCC as U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings delivered a speech celebrating their return from Israel." Click here for the full article.
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Teachers Become Students at Holocaust Institute
August 12, 2016
Jewish Times
 
"Even after spending the last 33 years educating students on the horrific hardships many Jews faced during the Holocaust, Barry Zavislan yearns to learn more on the topic. So after Zavislan, 55, was informed by a colleague at The John Carroll School in Bel Air earlier this year of the 11th annual Summer Teachers Institute, he know he had to sign up." Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 08, 2016
 
BJC Statement on Black Lives Matter Platform
 
The Baltimore Jewish Council is a strong supporter of the social justice ideals that are promoted by the Black Lives Matter movement.  We are distressed, however, by elements of the national platform released this month by a coalition of groups associated with the movement’s leadership.  
 
We are proud of our long history of promoting civil rights in Baltimore and remain committed to striving for justice for every citizen. But we strongly condemn the national coalition’s decision to include in its agenda support for efforts to delegitimize Israel.  Living in a city struggling with violence and community conflicts, we empathize with the coalition’s yearning to create a more equitable and just society.
 
However, this is not and should not be in conflict with strong support for the State of Israel and its people. Israel has long been a home for the oppressed, whether it is Jews escaping persecution, or Christians, Muslims, and other refugees fleeing from conflicts in the Middle East and around the world. Characterizing Israel as an “apartheid state” and describing the United States as being complicit in a “genocide” against the Palestinian people is an untruthful and malicious narrative.  The coalition’s platform falsely conflates the need to address racial inequities in the United States with misconceptions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  By calling for economic and cultural warfare against the nation of Israel and an end to U.S. military aid to Israel, the coalition undermines efforts to promote peace in the region.  
 
We urge the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement to reconsider this portion of their platform.  The Baltimore Jewish Council stands ready to join in real conversations about how our communities can continue to work as allies in each other’s struggles, and to address the misinformation created by those who would seek to keep us apart.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2016
 
BJC Statement on Ataturk Airport Attack
 
The Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC) is saddened to learn of the atrocious attack that took place at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport yesterday. This suicide attack took the lives of over 40 people and injured many more.
 
Our communities were celebrating just days ago, after the announcement of normalized relations between Turkey and Israel, two democratic nations with the ability to bring much needed stability to the Middle East region. This act of senseless violence only strengthens our drive to work together as two nations seeking peace in a region rife with turmoil.
 
Our thoughts are with our friends in the Turkish American community who are mourning friends and family lost to this attack, as well as those families mourning overseas. We hope that the Turkish authorities investigating this situation can bring justice against those perpetrating these acts of violence.

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Reform in the Crosshairs: Gun Violence Spurs Call for State, Federal Action
June 22, 2016
Jewish Times
 
Faith leaders, policymakers and experts in the Baltimore and Washington regions are refusing to stay silent more than one week after the largest mass shooting in recent history. Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2016
 
Baltimore Jewish Council Statement on Orlando Shooting
 
[Baltimore, MD] - Yesterday evening the Jewish community ended its celebration of Shavuot, a holiday typically filled with joy as we commemorate the day G-d gave our people the Torah, our holy text. Yet this Shavuot was filled with sadness, as we mourned the lives lost in the senseless violence of the Orlando shooting. At a time meant for reflection on the joy and holiness brought by our faith, it is important that we do not demonize the faith of others. The culprit of this violent act is one man, who has twisted his concept of faith to meet his own ends; it is not a representation of the entire Muslim community. We stand in solidarity with our interfaith partners condemning this violence and with the LGBT community targeted by this cruel rampage. But this tragedy is not about any one community, it is about all of us. As we mourn those lost we must all ask ourselves, how many of these statements will we write in 2017, how many more senseless killings will our country endure? Something must be done to fight this epidemic and we look towards our interfaith and community partners to undertake this battle together.

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Abramson Reflects on 26 Years as Head of Council
June 12, 2016
WBAL News Radio 1090
 
For 26 years, Art Abramson was the executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council. The council represents the Jewish community's interests in Annapolis and Washington. It also works to improve relationships between the community and other religious and ethnic groups. Abramson stepped down last month, and was honored this past Wednesday night at the council's annual meeting. Governor Larry Hogan was among those paying tribute to Abramson. Click here for the full article and radio clip.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
​June 06, 2016
 
Baltimore Jewish Council to Honor Arthur Abramson for 26 Years of Service
 
[Baltimore, MD] – On June 8th, 2016, elected officials and community leaders from across Maryland will join the Baltimore Jewish Council at Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion to honor outgoing Executive Director Arthur C. Abramson, Ph.D. Dr. Abramson joined the Council in 1990 after serving as Community Relations Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston. During his time at the Council Dr. Abramson has driven tremendous growth for the organization’s government relations work in Annapolis and Washington, bringing in millions of dollars in state and federal funding for the Associated Jewish Federation’s various agencies and programs each year. He also spearheaded interfaith efforts to fight bigotry alongside Baltimore’s Muslim community after 9/11 and created several lasting partnerships between Park Heights’ historic Jewish and African American communities.
 
To honor Dr. Abramson, Governor Larry Hogan will be speaking at the event, joined by several state and local elected officials. In addition to the proceedings to honor Dr. Abramson, the Council will elect its new Board leadership and Executive Committee members during the program. This includes the election of Abba Poliakoff as the incoming President after two years of service by outgoing President Lainy LeBow-Sachs. The program will run from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. and includes kosher refreshments. Due to limited seating, we request that you RSVP to Phyllis Gwynn at (410) 542-4850 or pgwynn@baltjc.org.

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Suggs Appointed to Middle East Commission
​June 02, 2016
Jewish Times
 
"Madeline Suggs, director of public affairs at the Baltimore Jewish Council, was recently appointed co-chair of the Governor's Commision on Middle Eastern Amerian Affairs." Click here for the full article.
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Leap of Faith
June 01, 2016
Jewish Times
 
The May 24 interfaith meetup might sound like a tired joke premise - a priest, a rabbi and an imam walk into a bar - but the topics of conversation are no laughing matter." Click here for the full article.
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Art Abramson Says Goodbye
June 01, 2016
Jewish Times
 
"When Arthur "Art" Abramson came to Baltimore in 1990, he was given three years to turn the Baltimore Jewish Council around." Click here for the full article.
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Looking Back on the Maryland General Assembly
April 21, 2016
Jewish Times
 
"Maryland’s Jewish community came out on top in a General Assembly session that saw criminal justice reforms, debates about paid sick leave and end-of-life options and a number of projects funded, according to officials at the Baltimore Jewish Council and Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington." Click here for the full article.
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High Stakes, Mixed Expectations
April 20, 2016
Jewish Times
 
"In Baltimore, as in the rest of the state, candidates and residents alike are underscoring the importance of this election. While the presidential election looms overhead, Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s seat — which she has filled for almost 30 years — is up for grabs. Baltimore City, still reeling from last April’s unrest after the police custody death of Freddie Gray and the barrage of negative attention it attracted, will elect a new mayor in a race with a wide candidate pool full of insiders, outsiders and in-betweens." Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2016
 
Med Chi to Co-Host Discussion on Future of Medical Marijuana in Maryland
 
[Baltimore, MD] —Passage of medical cannabis legislation in previous sessions of the Maryland General Assembly has heightened interest in medical cannabis among physicians and their patients. MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society, along with the Baltimore Jewish Council, will host an educational program, “The Future of Medical Marijuana in Maryland,” Thursday, April 14 at 6:30 p.m. Raphael Mechoulam, Professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem Institute for Drug Research and State Delegate Dan Morhaim will also be speaking. 
 
The April 14 program is open to physician members and the general public, but you must rsvp as space is limited. “We want to facilitate a better understanding of the new Maryland law, and the science behind physicians recommending medical cannabis for patients,” stated Gene Ransom, MedChi CEO. 
 
For additional information on the April 14 program, please contact Catherine Johannesen at 410-539-0872 ext. 3308. 

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Felicia Graber Shares Her Story of Surviving the Holocaust
March 24, 2016
ABC2
 
"Felicia Graber, who now lives in Maryland, survived the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Poland." Click here for the video interview.
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Edwards, Van Hollen Agree to Two More Debates in MD Senate Race
March 23, 2016
Washington Post
 
"The campaigns also announced three newly scheduled candidate forums: Monday, sponsored by the Baltimore Jewish Council; next Thursday, sponsored by the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee, the county chamber of commerce and the county branch of the NAACP..." Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
​March 22, 2016
 
Baltimore Jewish Council & Goucher College Host Top Maryland Candidates for U.S. Senate Forum
 
[Baltimore, MD] – This spring, the Baltimore Jewish Council and Goucher College are bringing together the top Maryland candidates for U.S. Senate for a forum on the campaign issues of 2016. The forum will be held on Monday, March 28th in the Kraushaar Auditorium at Goucher College. Candidates will take the stage from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., including Richard Douglas, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Chrys Kefalas and State Delegate Kathy Szeliga. Andy Green, the Baltimore Sun’s opinion editor and election expert, will moderate the forum.
 
The forum will address several key concerns for voters, including the Iran Deal, gun control, relations with Israel, the recent unrest in Baltimore and the legacy left by Senator Barbara Mikulski. This is an important opportunity for voters in the greater Baltimore area to evaluate the candidates and provides a vital space for student groups. Members of several student advocacy organizations will be in attendance, including College Democrats, College Republicans and the local Hillel chapters. This year, with such a tight race, it is more important now than ever that Baltimore’s young people get involved in the election and make their voices heard on the issues that will affect their future here in Maryland.
 
Space is limited. We encourage both large groups and individuals to pre-register here.  All media inquiries should be directed to BJC’s Director of Public Affairs, Madeline Suggs, at (410) 542-4850 or msuggs@baltjc.org.
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As Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Worsens, Interfaith Efforts Grow
March 05, 2016
Baltimore Sun
 
"In January, the Baltimore Jewish Council partnered with Gov. Larry Hogan's office to host a program in which Muslim and Jewish women were trained to lobby lawmakers on issues key to both faiths. The Baltimore Jewish Council has also hosted a tour of Slade Mansion, the 10-bedroom Colonial home in Pikesville that the local Ahmadi Muslim community purchased and turned into a mosque in 2012." Click here for the full article.
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Woman on Schindler's List Captivates John Carroll Students
March 03, 2015
Catholic Review
 
"The 86-year-old related what she described as three miracles, ones that allowed her to join 18 other survivors for a Holocaust Remembrance Day program at the only Catholic high school in Harford County." Click here for the full article.
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Lessons of the Shoah Enlightens Students
March 01, 2016
The Patriot
 
"The Lessons of the Shoah, which was on Feb. 25, continued to emphasize the importance of Holocaust learning. According to the Baltimore Jewish Council, this event uses the Holocaust’s lessons “as a starting point to encourage tolerance, understanding, and respect between students of diverse backgrounds.” Click here for the full article.
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A Continuing Jewish-Muslim Dialogue
January 27, 2015
Jewish Times
 
"There were more than a dozen events last year, and they expect to host as many in 2016. Suggs noted that Gov. Larry Hogan’s office “has been a fantastic partner,” with its office of community initiatives that does interfaith work, as well as the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies with Muslim scholars Homayra Ziad and Ben Sax." Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore Speaker Promotes Fear of Islam
January 25, 2016
Baltimore Sun
 
"Baltimore offers many opportunities for inter-religious encounters, friendship and learning that can help us challenge the culture of polarization. For example, on Dec. 6th, The Walters Art Museum held a panel discussion on Latino and Black Muslims, elevating voices marginalized in mainstream discourse on Islam. On Jan. 7th, The Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC) hosted Jewish and Muslim women for an evening of advocacy training at the Maryland State House." Click here for the full article.
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Maryland Schools Continue Debate over Holiday Calendars
January 18, 2016
WBAL
 
"Balancing a desire to be inclusive while examining scheduling logistics and legal issues is becoming a hot topic for many school systems across the state when it comes to which holidays to include in their school calendars." Click here for the full article.
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
​January 4, 2016
 
​Governor's Office Brings Together Jewish and Muslim Communities for Advocacy Night
 
[Baltimore, MD] – On January 7th, The Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives (GOCI) and Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC) will bring together members of Maryland’s Jewish and Muslim communities for a night of advocacy. The participants will gather in Annapolis for a guided tour of the State House, receive an “advocacy 101” training and hear from guest speakers Dr. Homayra Ziad, of the Institute of Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies and Maryland State Delegate Shelly Hettleman.
 
After seeing inflammatory rhetoric in the media create a divide between the local Jewish and Muslim communities, GOCI and BJC decided they needed to take action. Through this event, they hope to develop deeper bonds among community members and shatter stereotypes between the groups. At the end of the event, participants will receive a “call to action” encouraging them to advocate in Annapolis on issues of importance to both communities, utilizing the network and tools provided through the event.
 
Participation is capped at 50 attendees but some seats remain open. For more details or to R.S.V.P., please contact the Baltimore Jewish Council’s Director of Public Affairs, Madeline Suggs, at msuggs@baltjc.org or 410-542-4850.
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Mayor's Spokesman to Become Director of Baltimore Jewish Council
December 24, 2015
Baltimore Sun
 
"The Baltimore Jewish Council, a non-profit that advocates on issues of concern to the Jewish community, has named Howard Libit, the top spokesman for Baltimore's mayor, as its director." Click here for the full article.

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Confronting Racism, Oppression
​December 23, 2015
Jewish Times
 
"Madeline Suggs, director of public affairs at the BJC, said that part  of fulfilling the BJC’s mission to  represent advocacy for the entire  Jewish community is recognizing the need to address racial issues in Baltimore and having discussions about those issues." Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2015
 
Baltimore Jewish Council Announces Selection of New Executive Director
 
BALTIMORE, Md. – The Baltimore Jewish Council announced that it has selected Howard Libit to become the organization’s new Executive Director.
 
Mr. Libit, who is currently the Public Affairs Chief and Director of Strategic Planning and Policy for the Mayor of Baltimore, will replace Dr. Arthur Abramson, who announced earlier this year that he is stepping down later this spring after more than 25 years.
 
“We believe that Howard’s leadership will ensure that the Baltimore Jewish Council will build on our region’s strong relationships while continuing to expand the Jewish community’s long record of accomplishments,” said Baltimore Jewish Council Board President Lainy LeBow-Sachs. “Art leaves with an impressive legacy, and our board is confident that Howard is the right choice to move the BJC forward.”
 
Mr. Libit participated in the BJC’s Leadership Development Program in 2009-10 and has served as a member of the BJC board ever since. For the past three years, Mr. Libit has served on the Executive Committee and is currently the organization’s treasurer. Mr. Libit, his wife Jody, and their two children are members of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.
 
“I am honored to be selected for this position and excited to have the opportunity to lead and to advocate for our community on many different levels,” Mr. Libit said. “I believe that the diversity is one of our greatest strengths, and I look forward to continue building bridges and emphasizing that our shared priorities and values are more significant than our differences.”
 
Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office a year ago, Mr. Libit was Chief Operating Officer at Kearney O’Doherty Public Affairs, where he developed and implemented successful and award-winning communications strategies for Fortune 500 and non-profit clients on some of Maryland’s highest-profile political issues. Mr. Libit also spent 15 years as a reporter and editor at the Baltimore Sun. In his position as assistant managing editor for news, he directed award-winning local, national, foreign, business, and investigative coverage for print and online, supervising a team of 15 editors and 50 reporters. Mr. Libit grew up in Highland Park, Ill., and is a graduate of Stanford University.
 
To find Dr. Abramson’s replacement, the BJC board appointed a search committee to conduct a national search led by the Council’s First Vice President, Abba David Poliakoff.
 
Mr. Poliakoff noted, “We were delighted to be able to find a candidate who was right here among us as an already active member of the BJC and the greater Baltimore Jewish community.  We are confident that Howard’s skill sets, and the experience he brings within our community and with our elected officials, will be great assets to the BJC.”
 
Mr. Libit is expected to begin the new position in May.

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Baltimore Jewish Council Condemns Trump's Muslim Ban
December 11, 2015
ABC2
 
"The local advocacy group said Trump's remarks incite anti-Muslim sentiments that can potentially encourage widespread violence and discrimination against the Muslim community." Click here for the full article.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2015
 
Baltimore Jewish Council Condemns Comments by Donald Trump
 
[Baltimore, MD] – The Baltimore Jewish Council strongly condemns the remarks of presidential candidate Donald Trump, who suggested that members of the Muslim community should be denied entrance to the United States and that Muslim American citizens be registered in a database. These frightening remarks are part of a growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States, a sentiment that incites violence and discrimination against the Muslim community, regardless of any legitimate security concerns. We believe that it is possible to oppose extremist views without lambasting an entire faith community.
 
We stand in solidarity with our Muslim friends against this type of inflammatory rhetoric. Unfortunately, the Jewish community is far too familiar with the real harm that bigoted speech can cause. We implore all Americans to join together in support of religious freedom and to denounce hateful speech of any kind. In a country founded on the principles of freedom, this rhetoric is completely unacceptable - especially when expressed by a prominent political figure. 

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Community Rallies Around Holocaust Education
December 3, 2015
Jewish Times
 
"It was no ordinary night at The Black Olive, as Spiliadas and his wife Pauline, the restaurant’s head chef, made sure to feature the food of Salonika’s Jewish community, which meant a whole lot of eggplant. A lot of the Jews in Salonika were Sephardic Jews from Spain, so the food was a sort of Sephardic Spanish-Greek Jewish fusion. There was bourek, a pastry filled with eggplant and lamb, flava bean salad, chicken on top of eggplant and, what Spiliadas’ said was the most special dish, moussaka." Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
​November 20, 2015
 
Baltimore Jewish Council Statement on Syrian Refugee Crisis
 
[Baltimore, MD] – The Baltimore Jewish Council joins with the organized Jewish community throughout the United States in calling for our nation to welcome those fleeing persecution in other countries. In doing so, we remain convinced that this can be accomplished without compromising the safety of our nation, which has always been a significant aspect of the United States refugee resettlement process.
 
As Jews, we are tragically familiar with the hurdles of the refugee screening process. Many of us struggled for the immigration of our families and friends facing persecution in Russia or have ancestors who suffered discriminatory immigration policies during the Holocaust. We therefore hope that the Federal government will do all that it can to educate the American people about the plight of those fleeing persecution, including refugees seeking asylum from the violence and chaos in Syria and the Middle East.
 
Finally, we urge our citizens to consider the situation faced by the refugees with utmost compassion; we must educate ourselves about the methods already and soon-to-be in place, designed to assure a successful and safe resettlement process. For more information contact Madeline Suggs, Director of Public Affairs, at (410) 542-4850.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2015
 
Israeli Embassy Addresses Baltimore Jewish Community on Violence in Israel
 
[Baltimore, MD] – On November 18th, Ilan Sztulman, Head of Public Diplomacy at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, D.C. will join the Baltimore Jewish Council to discuss the recent surge of violence in Israel. The violence, originally spurred by false accusations against Israel over the holy site referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, has resulted in an ever-rising count of deaths and injuries. Mr. Sztulman will brief the local Jewish community on the current situation in Israel, as he attempts to dispel misinformation about its causes. He will also share the solutions the Israeli government is undertaking to deescalate the tensions and prevent further attacks.
 
“The violence continuing on a daily basis in Israel and the administered territories is a huge concern for Baltimore’s Jewish community. Minister Sztulman will hopefully provide us with some answers as to how Israel plans to deal with the current turmoil,” explained BJC Executive Director, Arthur C. Abramson.
 
Although the event is open to the public, seats are limited. For more information or to R.S.V.P., please contact Madeline Suggs at (410) 542-4850 or msuggs@baltjc.org.

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Shabbat Project Unites Jews Around Baltimore
October 22, 2015
Baltimore Sun 
 
"There's a lot of divisiveness within, and between, many strains of religion, Jewish or not," says Arthur C. Abramson, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council. "This is a way of bringing people together, and that helps one side understand where the other is coming from." Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2015
 
Baltimore’s Jewish & Greek Communities Join Together for Holocaust Education
 
[Baltimore, MD] – On October 26th, Baltimore’s Jewish & Greek communities will join together in support of an important joint cause, Holocaust education in Greece. When studying the Holocaust, the first cities often mentioned are Warsaw or Vienna. Few realize the gravity of the Holocaust for the Greek city of Thessaloniki, once known as “la madre de Israel,” and its Jewish community of over 55,000. During WWII, 87% of Greek Jews were murdered, nearly wiping out the Jewish community in Thessaloniki. Though the city is still home to a small but thriving Jewish community, they have few resources to share their story and provide Holocaust education to the next generation.
 
Therefore, the Baltimore Jewish Council and Black Olive Restaurant will be co-hosting “A Night in Salonika” dinner featuring dishes inspired by Thessaloniki. All proceeds will be donated to a new Holocaust Education Center in Salonika. The dinner will be held from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. on Monday, October 26th at the Black Olive Restaurant. Special guests will include Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos, Museum Director of Kehila Kedosha Janina, U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes and Aris Melissaratos, Dean of the Brown School of Business at Stevenson University. For more information or to R.S.V.P. contact Madeline Suggs at (410) 542-4850 or msuggs@baltjc.org.
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2015
 
Baltimore Jewish Council Speaks Up on Violence in Israel
 
[Baltimore, MD] – The Baltimore Jewish Council condemns the violence that has taken place in Israel over the past several weeks. We mourn the ever-increasing count of deaths and injuries resulting form this violence, originally spurred by false accusations against Israel over the holy site referred to by Jews as Temple Mount and Muslims as Haram al-Sharif. We are disappointed by the irresponsible coverage of many American news outlets and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, which only serves to incite further attacks. Abbas recently alleged that Israelis executed Ahmad Manasrah, a 13-year old Palestinian, although there is photographic evidence that he was being treated in an Israeli hospital at the time of the statement.
 
 “Obviously, we are extremely concerned and deplore and condemn the false statements, misinformation and propaganda that the Palestinians are now disseminating. We need to be focused on abating the violence and these remarks only serve to further incite,” reflected BJC Executive Director Dr. Arthur C. Abramson.
 
We applaud Secretary of State John Kerry, who in a recent call with Prime Minister Netanyahu, reiterated support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens. He will be meeting with both Netanyahu and President Abbas this week in an effort to deescalate the situation. We also urge the international media to participate in de-escalation by engaging in responsible and objective reporting on this growing tragedy.
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Hateful Messages Found on Towson Chalkboard
10/15/15
Jewish Times
 
"Students found anti-Semitic messages written on chalkboards at Towson University on the night of Oct. 10, according to a spokesperson for the school." Click here for the full article.
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Old Problem, New Challenges
10/8/15
Jewish Times
 
"On Sept. 30, the Baltimore Jewish Council, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Issues Commission and the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, hosted a panel discussion on the heroin epidemic at the headquarters of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore." Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 8, 2015
 
Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby Presents “State of the City” to Baltimore Jewish Community
 
[Baltimore, MD] – Last May, in the wake of the tragic death of Freddie Gray, Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby addressed the organized Jewish community. The Councilman’s District includes some of the areas most affected by the protests and he shared his observations of the civil unrest. After sharing his story, he provided the Jewish community with a “call to action,” to reach out to African American civic and religious organizations and assist in their efforts to better Baltimore. Five months later, Councilman Mosby will address our community once again on the progress our city has made, the deep issues it still faces and the continuing role the Jewish community can play in uniting with local efforts.
 
“Since last April, the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC) has been working closely with Rev. Al Hathaway, Pastor of Union Baptist Church in Druid Hill and the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives. Through this partnership we hope to create common initiatives that break down barriers between our groups, challenge stereotypes and provide more opportunities for youth in Baltimore City,” remarked BJC Executive Director Dr. Arthur C. Abramson.
 
The “State of the City” address will take place on Monday, October 12th at 5:30 p.m. in The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Madeline Suggs at (410) 542-4850 or msuggs@baltjc.org.
 
###

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Effort to Salute Archbishop Lori Symbolizes Jewish-Catholic Links
10/5/15
Baltimore Sun
 
"A leading Jewish advocacy group is planning a ceremonial dinner this week to salute a man they say reflects some of the highest ideals of their faith: the leader of the area's half-million Catholics." Click here for the full article. 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2015
 
Jewish Community Honors Archbishop Lori & Catholic Partners for Interfaith Efforts
 
[Baltimore, MD] – On October 8th, Archbishop William E. Lori of the Archdiocese of Baltimore will join the Baltimore Jewish Council’s Board to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate. This groundbreaking document revolutionized the relationship between the Jewish and Catholic communities and denounced anti-Semitism in the Catholic Church. To honor this anniversary, the Baltimore Jewish Council is presenting Archbishop Lori, Maryland Catholic Conference and Catholic Charities with letters of thanks and recognition for their work to advance interfaith understanding in Maryland.
 
“Through Nostra Aetate, Pope Paul VI removed impediments to progress between Catholics and Jews, leading to the strong relationship our two communities now share. Under Pope Francis and Archbishop Lori, we will continue to fight injustice, poverty and discrimination together,” noted Dr. Arthur C. Abramson, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Baltimore Jewish Council.
 
The Baltimore Jewish Council frequently joins Catholic Charities and the Maryland Catholic Conference in Annapolis to advocate for issues that affect both communities. Last session, the group focused on access to education with promotion of the “BOAST” Bill. BOAST stands for Building Opportunities for all Students and Teachers in Maryland and is a tax credit provided to businesses that donate to educational scholarship organizations, helping to support affordable education options for lower and middle class families. This year they will jointly address legislation to combat and prevent human trafficking in Maryland.

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Baltimore Jewish Council, Islamic Group CAIR Criticize Dr. Ben Carson's Comments about a Muslim President
9/21/15
WBAL Radio 1090
 
"The Executive Director of the Baltimore Jewish Council Art Abramson is among those condemning remarks by Dr. Ben Carson when said a Muslim can't be president because it conflicts with the constitution." Click here for the full article.
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Ben Carson Takes Heat for Remarks on Islam
9/21/15
Baltimore Sun
 
"Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson faced backlash on Monday for saying he would not support a Muslim president, and a prominent civil rights group called for him to withdraw from the race." Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore Jewish Council Condemns Ben Carson's Anti-Islam Remarks
9/21/15
WBAL-TV
 
"We're not only disappointed with this intolerant view towards the Muslim community, but also his misrepresentation of our country’s founding values." Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
September 21, 2015                                                                                     
Baltimore Jewish Council Condemns Presidential Candidate Ben Carson’s Anti-Muslim Remarks
 
[Baltimore, MD] – The Baltimore Jewish Council strongly condemns the remarks of Republican Presidential Candidate Ben Carson during his recent interview on Meet the Press. Host Chuck Todd asked Carson, a retired neurosurgeon from Baltimore’s own Johns Hopkins Hospital, whether a President’s faith is a relevant factor. Carson responded that he would not support a Muslim candidate for President and that Islam is not “consistent with the Constitution”.
 
We’re not only disappointed with this intolerant view towards the Muslim community, but also his misrepresentation of our country’s founding values. The constitution states, “…No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” His ignorance on this issue and apparent islamophobia clearly create concern over Dr. Carson’s candidacy.
 
The Baltimore Jewish Council will continue to work with our partners in the Muslim and interfaith communities to stand against anti-Muslim sentiment both in Baltimore and across the nation. For further information contact Executive Director Arthur C. Abramson, Ph.D. at (410) 542-4850.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
September 21, 2015                                                                                                       
Governor’s Office Joins Baltimore Jewish Council to Fight Heroin Epidemic
 
[Baltimore, MD] – Baltimore’s heroin epidemic has been a key focus for state and local leadership over the past year. It’s well known that this is a problem in the rural areas of Maryland, as well as the city, but many are unaware of the effect this issue has on the Jewish community. That is why on Wednesday, September 30th, the Governor’s Office is joining the Baltimore Jewish Council to present “The Heroin Epidemic: In Our Backyard.”
 
The event will feature a panel of experts, including Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. Dr. Wen spearheaded efforts to provide first responders with the life saving medicine to help Marylanders suffering from an overdose. Both Dr. Wen and the Governor’s Office will share recommendations for policy solutions and community efforts to fight the epidemic.
 
The event will be held at The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Madeline Suggs at (410) 542-4850 or msuggs@baltjc.org.

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Md. Sen. Ben Cardin a Key Target in Battle over Iran Nuclear Deal
8/13/15
CBS
 
"Cardin must decide whether to go against the Obama administration–the president has said the deal’s failure could lead to war–or against powerful groups, like the Baltimore Jewish Council, who believe the deal is a threat to America’s security." Click here for the full article.
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Maryland Lawmaker Focus of Major Media Campaign on Iran Nuclear Deal
8/4/15
WJZ
 
"The Iran nuclear deal is the focus of a major media campaign in Maryland. National groups are mounting an aggressive ad war in the state for and against the agreement. That’s because Senator Ben Cardin will play a pivotal role in whether the deal lives or dies." Click here for the full article.
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Jewish Groups Differ on Support of Iran Nuclear Deal
8/4/15
WBAL
 
"...opponents including the Baltimore Jewish Council are urging Congress to reject the deal. In a statement released last week, the BJC said it believes that the deal does not stop Iran from eventually obtaining nuclear weapons..." Click here for the full article.
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Cardin a Key Figure in Debate over Iran Nuclear Deal
8/1/15
Baltimore Sun
 
"The influential Baltimore Jewish Council issued a lengthy statement Monday opposing the agreement. The group expressed concern about Iran's capability to obtain a nuclear weapon after the deal's 10-year horizon, and questioned the ability of the United States to reinstate sanctions if Tehran fails to honor its commitment." Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore Jewish Council Criticizes Iran Deal & Huckabee Remarks
7/27/15
WBAL
 
"Governor Huckabee’s comment that the "Iran Nuclear Deal would march Israelis to the Door of the Oven" was inappropriate.  Too often we see politicians engage in divisive and shocking statements, but to use the Holocaust as a talking point is not just improper, but offensive.  The Holocaust remains one of the darkest periods of time in human history and should not be used as an analogy or metaphor unless it is warranted." Click here for the full article.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2015
 
Baltimore Jewish Council Voices Opposition to Nuclear Agreement with Iran
 
[Baltimore, MD] - The Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC), in an initial release after the announcement of the recent Iran nuclear agreement, stressed the need for intense examination. Having now had time to fully review it, the BJC believes that the agreement does not foreclose Iran's ability to obtain a nuclear weapon and, indeed, could lead to highly unstable conditions in the Middle East and around the world.
 
We are gravely concerned that the agreement fails to provide for full and immediate inspections of undeclared nuclear facilities, adequate disclosure of prior military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program and prompt dismantlement of the nuclear infrastructure. However, our concerns are not limited to technical matters.
 
First and foremost, the agreement does not foreclose Iran's ability to obtain a nuclear weapon. At best, it delays it for about ten years, at which time Iran could become a threshold nuclear state with the blessing of the international community. Even if it never chooses to break out (which, by that time, can likely be done in a matter of days), Iran will be operating under a nuclear umbrella that vastly inhibits the ability of its neighbors and the entire Western world to counter its nefarious global activities. Importantly, it provides an escape hatch for Iran to exit the agreement simply upon an alleged breach by any of the P5+1 nations.
 
Second, the "teeth" in the agreement is ostensibly the ability for sanctions to "snap back", even over the objections of Iran and some of the P5+1 nations. But, this protection is illusory. All agreements entered into prior to the imposition of the snapback sanctions are grandfathered, the re-imposed sanctions will have little bite and will do little to diminish the thriving commercial activity that will develop after the agreement’s adoption. Moreover, if the snapback sanctions are triggered, which is the only remedy available to the P5+1 under this agreement, then Iran can walk from its obligations. Given this ability and the weak effect of the sanctions, the snapback is a remedy that is unlikely to be triggered in any scenario short of an egregious violation by Iran. Moreover, this grandfathering provision creates a perverse incentive for foreign firms to immediately enter into commercial agreements with Iran.
 
Third, the extraordinary sums of money currently frozen pursuant to international sanctions will be released and can be expended in further pursuit of Iran's hegemonic aspirations and its demonstrated desire to wreak global havoc and terror. While it is true that the negotiations and diplomatic effort, which BJC fully supported, were always premised on sanctions relief, including the release of frozen funds, that was deemed a worthwhile tradeoff for a true dismantlement of Iran's nuclear program. Inasmuch the agreement permits Iran an industrial sized nuclear program after 10 years, there is no justification to allow funding that will likely be used to target American interests.
 
Fourth, Iran's neighbors may pursue nuclear weapons of their own. This would be a disastrous development for the Middle East, already the most dangerous and volatile region in the world.
 
The United States embarked on a multi-decade effort to isolate Iran and to exert financial pressure to curb, and hopefully reverse, Iran's nuclear program. The President sensed an opening for diplomacy and we commend him for his efforts to fully explore that potential opportunity. But, if this is the best deal that can be had, then we should remember the President's oft-cited remark that "no deal is better than a bad deal." We need to go back to treating Iran like the rogue terrorist nation that it is. We need to present a credible economic and military challenge that will bring about change in Iranian behavior. It was financial sanctions that brought Iran to the table; it is ratcheted-up sanctions that can compel them to accept a proper deal and to act in a responsible manner.
 
We encourage the President to heed the voices of those that are concerned over this agreement and to negotiate a better deal. If the President is right that this is the best deal that he can achieve at this time, and if he is nonetheless unwilling to walk away from it, then Congress should reject the agreement.  Such action will send a clear message to Iran and to our international allies that for America, Iran's "Great Satan" and the direct target of its anger and aggression, this agreement simply does not do the job. 
 
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Marylanders closely watching debate over Iran Deal
7/14/15
WBAL
 
"Locklair Tolle said Israel, in particular, is very concerned over the deal. The council is hoping that Congress will take a very close look at the deal and address issues, like explaining military dimensions, staggered sanctions and dismantling of all nuclear components." Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
​July 14, 2015
 
Baltimore Jewish Council has Concerns about the Iran Nuclear Deal
 
The threat of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons is a matter of the gravest concern and utmost urgency to the world. Now, with the completion of the accord between the P5 + 1 countries and Iran, we believe it is critical that we all stay focused on the ultimate goal: preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
 
While the Baltimore Jewish Council is pleased there is movement on the issue of the Iranian nuclear threat, we believe today's agreement needs further scrutiny.  We and many individuals and organizations around the country have advocated for certain key points to be included in the agreement that remain to be addressed. They include an explanation of the military dimensions, staggered sanctions only after complying with the agreement, that the deal last for decades and dismantling of all nuclear components.  
 
Ultimately, it is important the American public is aware that just four days ago, Iranians took to the streets chanting "down with America" while burning our flag.  The US, in their eyes, is the "Great Satan," and Israel is just the "Little Satan."  This is coupled with Iran's long history of not following through on various U.N. Resolutions, a bevy of human rights violations and their being one of the world's leading purveyors of state sponsored terrorism.  These actions are a clear reminder that we must closely monitor this agreement.
 
Congressional review will be very important in this diplomatic process, but the above points need further intense examination to ensure the safety and security of the US, Israel and our allies around the world.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2015
 
Baltimore Jewish Council Condemns South Carolina “Hate Crime”
 
[Baltimore, MD] - The Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC) is deeply saddened by the racially motivated shooting that took place last night at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The shooter, a white gunman, killed nine African American churchgoers in what local police have labeled a hate crime. We strongly condemn this violent and heinous act of discrimination.
 
Although the perpetrator has not been caught, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division is believed to be launching a hate crime investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with Emanuel AME Church, members of the AME Church nationwide, the African American community and the citizens of Charleston as they mourn the victims of this tragic crime.

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In West Baltimore, Private Funds Bring New Life to Rec Center
6/15/15
Baltimore Sun
 
The rec center was one of 10 that were privatized under Rawlings-Blake's administration. Ownership of the facility was transferred to the Greater Harvest Baptist Church. Donors to the center include State Farm, Kaiser Permanente, Bell Nursery, the Baltimore Jewish Council, the Rocksprings Foundation and the Center for Social Change. Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2015
 
Alan Gross to Join BJC Annual Meeting Five Months after Release from Cuba
 
[Baltimore, MD] – On December 17, 2014, Alan Gross landed on U.S. soil. For the previous five years, Gross was unjustly jailed in Cuba on charges of “espionage” after providing Internet access to the local Jewish community. Over those five years, Maryland legislators initiated calls for strong government action, leading countless meetings in the capitol to advocate for Alan’s release.
 
Five months after his return, Gross is traveling to Baltimore to share his story at the Baltimore Jewish Council’s Annual Meeting. The meeting, hosted at Beth El Congregation on Thursday, June 4th, will feature a keynote address from U.S. Senator Ben L. Cardin, one of the most instrumental advocates in Gross’ release.
 
Senator Cardin will offer his perspective on American leadership in the Middle East and the Council will also honor Maryland Secretary of Aging, Rona E. Kramer and Maryland State Delegate Benjamin F. Kramer, for their tireless work on behalf of the Jewish community. We look forward to welcoming both Mr. Gross and Senator Cardin to our Annual Meeting and invite all community members to attend. Seats are limited, so please RSVP to the event at bjcrsvp@baltjc.org.
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Comptroller Addresses BJC Luncheon
5/20/15
Jewish Times
 
"Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot had a clear message for residents at the Baltimore Jewish Council’s Politically Connect luncheon on May 14. The biggest challenge facing Maryland?" Click here for the full article.
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Franchot Tells Baltimore Jewish Council Better Management Needed over Spending
5/15/15
Baltimore Post Examiner
 
"Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot told the Baltimore Jewish Council Thursday that the state needs to manage its budget better – a position that he admits has not made him too popular in Annapolis among his fellow Democrats. The event was hosted by BJC’s Politically Connect, which is designed to foster relationships between the city’s Jewish community and elected officials." Click here for the full article.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2015
 
Jewish Community Joins #OneBaltimore Initiative
 
 
On Thursday, May 7th, BJC staff joined Mayor Rawlings Blake, faith leaders and community organizers at the site of the damaged CVS building on North and Penn. We gathered, at this symbolic site that has become the focus of negative attention from media outlets, to take back the conversation about Baltimore City’s future and celebrate the launching of the #OneBaltimore initiative.
 
This initiative brings together businesses, community groups, non-profits, universities and grassroots organizers working to create new resources and challenge inequalities in our city. This collaborative effort advances collective solutions to the complex problems Baltimore faces, including access to education, employment, health and housing in all neighborhoods.
 
During the Freddie Gray protests, the Jewish community heard the cries of its neighbors for resources, equality and justice. This summer, thousands of children will be home from school without opportunities for development or employment. To help combat this issue, at the request of the Baltimore Jewish Council, The Associated has donated $10,500 to Youthworks’ summer jobs program. This donation will sponsor seven Baltimore City residents aged 14-21 in a paid, 5-week summer position where they can gain the leadership and workplace skills many of us have taken for granted. We will also be encouraging our partners to join us by contacting Youthworks today.
 
Due to the damages accrued during last month’s protests, many seniors in Baltimore City lost access to their local pharmacies and grocery stores. The Associated, Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc. (CHAI) and Baltimore Jewish Council are working with state and local partners to arrange transportation from senior apartment complexes in affected areas to help them access these necessary resources. Our transportation plan launched on May 5th with the help of CHAI and will continue through the end of the month.
 
In addition to these two recent collaborations, the Associated and its agencies have engaged in actions for immediate response over the past several weeks. Jewish Volunteer Connection worked with local churches and community leaders to clean up debris, serve hot meals and collect resources for affected communities. The Jewish community centers served as hubs for many of these donations, collecting diapers, formula and baby wipes for those without access to a local pharmacy. The Associated collected donations from community members to aid the efforts of our partners in the African American community working on the front lines.
 
Although there are many needs for short-term support, we know that there must be a discussion about long-term problems. Our city’s long history includes broken systems that too often maintain economic inequality and racial injustice in our neighborhoods. Donations are not enough to fix these problems. It will take long-term commitments, hard work and serious and honest conversations about our city. We are committed to being a part of the solution, because if we are not, we are part of the problem. 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
April 30, 2015                             
 
Jewish Community Stands Beside African American Leaders
 
[Baltimore, MD] – On Sunday, April 19, 25-year-old Freddie Gray passed away after sustaining injuries while in police custody. Since his death, Baltimore has seen an outpouring of both peaceful protests and acts of violence. During this difficult time, the area’s Jewish community stands beside our partners in the African American community to strengthen ongoing interfaith efforts to seek peace and justice.
 
Jewish agencies from across the region have called upon their community members to donate resources, funding and volunteers to local churches and all those cleaning up the debris left from rioting and demonstrations. Our sister agency, Jewish Volunteer Connection, released the following statement to its members:
 
“We know that many members of our community want to help and we are in close communication with our partners throughout Baltimore City to identify both needs and volunteer opportunities, recognizing the importance of working in partnership with existing faith-based and neighborhood-based organizations.”
 
The Baltimore Jewish Council recognizes that even this is not enough. When debris has been cleared from the streets of Baltimore, there will still be anger and pain. In order to heal our community, we must stand beside our African American partners to combat racism and economic inequality. Although our city has grown and changed since the riots of ‘68, there is still much work to be done.
 
Over the coming days, we will continue to meet with faith, political and civic leaders to determine our role as allies in dialogue and in action. Together, we will work towards a Baltimore where all children can feel safe walking their own streets.

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Amid Baltimore Violence, Jews Plead for Calm and Justice
4/29/15
Jewish Daily Forward
 
"The Baltimore Jewish Council’s volunteer wing helped direct those interested in donating or volunteering to city community organizations, while leaders of the council and other Jewish institutions across the city worked with and stood alongside African American leaders." Click here for the full article.
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Jewish Schools, Organizations Close Early Amid Baltimore 'Purge' Rumors
4/28/15
The Algemeiner
 
"As Baltimore continued to reel from three days of intense rioting, Jewish schools and organizations in Baltimore shut their doors early on Tuesday amid rumors of renewed violence." Click here for the full article.

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Votes on Israel divide Edwards, Van Hollen
4/21/15
Baltimore Sun
 
"Rep. Donna F. Edwards is facing criticism from Maryland's Jewish community for votes she has taken on Israel during her tenure in the House — positions that some believe will limit her support from an important constituency in her bid for the Senate." Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        
April 16, 2015                                                                                                 
                                                              
Baltimore Community Adds Modern Perspective to Day of Remembrance
 
[Baltimore, MD] – On Sunday, April 19th the Jewish community will gather to commemorate the lives lost during the tragedy of the Holocaust. Although the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC) has been hosting Yom HaShoah tributes for over 25 years, this year’s event will add a modern perspective. Goucher College President Jose Bowen will be presenting his musical composition “Voice from the Annex, Opus 46”, inspired by the story of Anne Frank.
 
“We’ve been telling the stories of survivors since I first joined BJC in 1994 but this musical composition is a whole new avenue for storytelling. This type of programming brings students, teachers and survivors together for a cross-generational conversation about the Holocaust.” – remarked BJC’s Director of Holocaust Programs, Jeanette Parmigiani.
 
In addition to the musical performance, the commemoration will feature a video presentation by April Christman and Michelle Daggett, of the Smith College School for Social Work, who are using cutting edge technology to gather and share the stories of Holocaust survivors. Their work will preserve these stories for years to come and make them more accessible to a new generation. The event, which begins at 5:00 p.m. in the Beth Tfiloh Rosen Arts Center, will be preceded by a special reception for survivors and their families.
_________________________________________________________
 
On His Shloshim, Baltimore Premiere of Yehuda Avner's, Z'L, Documentary 'The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers'
4/15/15
Baltimore Jewish Life
 
On Wednesday, April 22ndin honor of Israel’s 67th birthday, the Baltimore Israel Coalition will be hosting a screening of the documentary, “The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers” at the JCC's Gordon Center in Owing Mills. The film examines Avner’s experiences with Prime Ministers Rabin, Begin and Peres and his trials and tribulations as Israeli Ambassador to England, extraordinary and important years in the history of Israel. Click here for the full article.
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As Holocaust Survivors Continue to Die Off, Remembrance Becomes Even More Important
4/15/15
ABC2
 
"The Baltimore Jewish Council, an agency of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, has a speaker’s bureau that includes Holocaust survivors who talk to students and other groups about their experiences. Last year, the bureau lost four speakers, said Jeannette Parmigiani, the council’s director of Holocaust programs." Click here for the full article.
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Helping Bridge Congress' Iran Divide, Sen. Ben Cardin Moves Into Spotlight
4/14/15
NPR
 
Art Abramson of the Baltimore Jewish Council, who's known Cardin for two decades, points to the senator's eight years as speaker of the Maryland House.
 
"And you know, that requires getting agreement. That's what the job description is," Abramson said, "getting agreement from various parties to achieve the passage of legislation that's also comfortable to, in that case, a governor."
 
But Abramson says this time, the issue is very personal. Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                
April 14, 2015                                                                                          
 
Baltimore Celebrates Israel’s 67th with Premiere Film Screening
 
[Baltimore, MD] – On Wednesday, April 22nd the Jewish community will gather to celebrate Israel’s 67th birthday, Yom Ha’atzmaut. This year’s celebration arrives on the tail of heated Israeli elections and tense negotiations with Iran. Although these circumstances have been difficult for our Jewish community, they serve as the perfect backdrop for the Baltimore premiere of  “The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers,” based upon the best-selling book by the late Ambassador Yehuda Avner.
 
Avner, who passed away this March, was an inspiring diplomat, serving as advisor to five Israeli prime ministers and ambassador to three countries. The film examines Avner’s experiences with Prime Ministers Rabin, Begin and Peres and his trials and tribulations as Israeli Ambassador to England. Tickets are $10 for the general public and free for students. Seats are limited and can be reserved at http://www.baltimoreisraelcoalition.org/israel67.
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Action Alert: Urge Sen. Cardin to Support the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015
4/14/15
 
TODAY, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be considering the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (S. 615). This bipartisan legislation, co-authored by Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and cosponsored by 20 other Democratic and Republican Senators, requires the President to submit any nuclear agreement with Iran to Congress and establishes a procedure for congressional review.  Click here to view a summary of the bill. 
 
The new Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is our very own Senator Ben Cardin.  As the Ranking Member, Senator Cardin will play a critical role in ensuring that this bill passes in committee in a form that ensures bipartisanship, American and Israeli security needs, and that the President's prerogatives in foreign policy are protected.
 
Please call or email Senator Cardin's office NOW and respectfully thank him for his unwavering support of the US-Israel relationship. Urge him to support the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act with provisions described above.
 
Please call or email NOW! 
Senator Cardin's Office - (202) 224-4524
Click here to email Senator Cardin.

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Cardin, staunch Israel ally, tested on Iran nuclear bill as Senate Dems' top negotiator
4/9/15
U.S. News & World Report
 
"It is a test. And everybody's going to be looking and he knows that and he understands that," said Arthur Abramson, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, a longtime family friend of Cardin, who is Jewish. "He's going to have to thread the needle between different constituencies, one of them being his constituents, one being his colleagues, the other being the president of the United States." Click here for the full article.
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Will Chuck Schumer Side With Republicans Over President Obama on Iran Nuclear Deal?
4/8/15
Jewish Daily Forward
 
"Both Cardin and Schumer share deep, longstanding ties to the Jewish community in general, and pro-Israel interests in particular. Cardin’s wife, Myrna Edelman Cardin, has served as president of the Baltimore Jewish Council; his first cousin by marriage, Shoshana Cardin, is a former chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations." Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2015
 
Jewish Community Stands Behind Maryland Education Credit
 
[Baltimore, MD] - The Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC) applauds Governor Larry Hogan for the introduction of the Maryland Education Credit in his supplemental budget. This legislation promotes business investment in non-profits that provide Maryland students with scholarships, tutoring, supplies and other necessary resources. For many of Maryland’s low-income Jewish families, this means their children will have additional resources to provide a Jewish education.
 
“BJC is fully supportive of an excellent public school system, but that isn’t always the right fit for all of Maryland’s families and children. Our Jewish Day Schools have been struggling to meet the financial needs of the community. Several have even been forced to close,” noted BJC Deputy Director Cailey Lockair Tolle.
 
Despite misconceptions about the credit, the legislation requires that 40% of funding must benefit students at eligible public schools. This means extra textbooks or after-school transportation for some of Baltimore’s most disadvantaged communities. We believe that every child deserves access to a great education and support the passage of the Maryland Education Credit and funding in the budget to help us achieve that goal.
 
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Maryland Senate race: Israel divides liberal Van Hollen and Edwards
3/28/15
The Guardian
 
"Abramson noted that demographically, Baltimore’s Jewish community is around 100,000 strong and turns out to vote at a rate of roughly 80%. He also pointed out that while Jews in the area “are heavily registered Democratic”, the community also has the largest percentage of Orthodox Jews in the country. In Maryland’s last competitive Democratic primary for the US Senate, in 2006, it was these voters who helped carry then Representative Ben Cardin to a narrow victory over former Representative Kweisi Mfume."​ Click here for the full article.

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Baltimore Jewish Council & D.C. Counterpart Lobby in Annapolis
3/13/15
Jewish Times
 
"More than 240 Maryland Jews met with more than 30 state legislators and legislative staff members at the state Senate and House of Delegates office buildings at the annual Advocacy Day, hosted by the Baltimore Jewish Council and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington. Talking points focused on budget items the community would like to see funded, but also included support of the Maryland Education Credit, which would provide a tax credit to companies that donate to non-public schools, the reevaluation of the state’s stormwater management fee and the expansion of services for the disabled and affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families." Click here for the full article.

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Breaking the Silence
3/3/15
Baltimore Jewish Life
 
"This past Thursday, February 26, 2015, the Baltimore Jewish Council’s Metropolitan Issues Commission held a program discussing a rather uncomfortable topic but one that could save a young person’s life. As the headlines are all too often reporting on domestic violence in various public persons’ lives the issue has been in some sense taken out of the shadows and placed on center stage. Unfortunately, many in our community fail to realize that Domestic Violence does not just concern the general population, but affects all segments of our community as well." Click here for the full article.
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Lessons of the Shoah
2/12/15
Jewish Times
 
"More than 200 high school students from approximately 20 schools from Baltimore City, Baltimore County and beyond came together last week at the John Carroll School in Bel Air for “Lessons of the Shoah” a day-long program designed “to motivate participants to make a personal commitment to combat prejudice and hatred.”" Click here for the full article.
 
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Jewish Security Groups Connect to Better Serve Community
1/31/15
ABC2
 
"The terror attacks in Paris have raised concern among those in the community. Each group has fears that an attack on Baltimore’s Jewish community could cripple the city’s emergency resources." Click here for the full article. 
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Jewish Community Security Groups Connect
1/29/15
Baltimore Jewish Life
 
"This week, leaders of the Baltimore Shomrim Safety Patrol, Chaverim, Northwest Citizens Patrol (NWCP), and Hatzalah gathered at the Baltimore Jewish Council to discuss strategy for 2015. These local security groups have been working separately in Baltimore for years, so why connect now?" Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     
January 29, 2015
Contact: Madeline Barnett
(410) 542-4850     
 
Jewish Security Groups Connect in Baltimore
 
 [Baltimore, MD] – This week, leaders of the Baltimore Shomrim Safety Patrol, Chaverim, Northwest Citizens Patrol (NWCP), and Hatzalah gathered at the Baltimore Jewish Council to discuss strategy for 2015. These local security groups have been working separately in Baltimore for years, so why connect now? The terror attacks in Paris have raised concern among community members, fearing that an attack on Baltimore’s Jewish community could cripple the city’s emergency resources. 
 
These four organizations are no stranger to emergency. They provide first-response medical care, ambulance service and neighborhood patrols daily. In a city inundated with 9-1-1 calls, they are often the first response, and the first call, in the Jewish community. The leaders pledged to form a unified coalition in 2015, creating a pool of 100 volunteers and 4 ambulances that could be dispatched within 5 minutes of an emergency signal. 
 
A list of guidelines will be adopted to ensure smooth communication with Baltimore City and Baltimore County police and fire departments.  The group hopes to unite formally as a member of the Baltimore Jewish Council, giving them a voice both in Baltimore and Annapolis.
 
###
 
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Maryland Holocaust Survivor: Remember What Happened
1/28/15
WBAL11
 
"There's a strong belief out there that people say all the time: 'Nah, they have no intention. Nah, ISIL isn't that bad. Boko Haram isn't that bad,'" said Art Abramson, the executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council. "Well, the tragedy is that we see it happen, and we do too little about it." Click here for the full article.
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Nous Sommes Charlie
1/15/15
Jewish Times
 
“It’s shocking when these things happen,” said Cailey Locklair Tolle, deputy executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council. “Our community now is making sure that we’re being vigilant and that we’re really paying attention as far as our security protocols go, and that’s really all you can do.” Click here for the full article.
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A Budget Problem
1/8/15
Jewish Times
 
"Tolle also highlighted some of the BJC’s budget priorities. Those include funding for power upgrades and climate control at Sinai Hospital; a diabetes medical home extender program; an increase in funding for the Maryland Israel Development Center that would allow a member in Israel to work full-time for the organization; the Supportive Community Network, which helps keep seniors in their homes; domestic violence prevention programs; and the Elder Abuse Center, among others. The BJC is also focusing on mental health and nonpublic school funding." Click here for the full article.
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Opinions Diveded on Subminimum Wage
12/31/14
Jewish Times
 
"Advocates and employers of disabled individuals are divided on a section of federal law that allows certified agencies to employ those with disabilities below minimum wage. Some want the program phased out, some would like to see increased oversight and program improvements, while others simply want the issue studied further." Click here for the full article.
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                       
December 17, 2014                                                                       
Contact: Madeline Barnett
(410) 542-4850                                                                                
 
Alan Gross Released from Cuban Prison
 
[Baltimore, MD] - The Baltimore Jewish Council is elated that Alan Gross has been released after 5 years in a Cuban prison amid his sharply declining health. Gross was unjustly jailed for “espionage” while working on a U.S. Government project to help Cuba's tiny Jewish community access the internet. The U.S. Jewish community has been especially concerned with Alan’s status, making multiple advocacy efforts on his behalf over the past several years. We would like to thank President Obama, members of Congress and other American public officials who helped to secure his release and bring him home to his family.
 
Sincerely,
 
Lainy Le-Bow Sachs, President of the Baltimore Jewish Council
 
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Baltimore Israel Coalition: Countering Anti-Israel Actions and Attitudes: Advocacy, Practical Responses and Political Action (Photo Essay)
12/2/14
Baltimore Jewish Life
 
"...the Baltimore Israel Coalition, a consortium of 24 Baltimore organizations, hosted an Israel advocacy conference this past Sunday, November 23rd.  Over 100 community members came together at the Owings Mills JCC to learn about the recent and ongoing attempts to delegitimize Israel and efforts to overcome it. Participants included professors, students, professionals, lay leaders and even a local political leader." Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore Hosts Conference to Confront Rising Anti-Israel Attitudes
11/19/14
Baltimore Jewish Life
 
"The Baltimore Israel Coalition, a consortium of 23 local organizations, is calling all leaders, academics and community members in the Greater Baltimore area to gather for a day of education and advocacy in support of Israel. Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore Jewish Community Mourns Victims of Deadly Attack at Jerusalem Synagogue
11/19/14
ABC2
 
"It's a continuation of an attempt to destroy the state of Israel,” Abramson said.  “Hamas does not recognize Israel's right to exist, does not recognize Jewish desire to live in peace, and we're seeing it sprouting." Click here for the full article.
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Right-Wing Secessionist Wins Council Seat
11/18/14
Jewish Times
 
“The Baltimore Jewish Council is strongly supportive of the separation of church and state, and comments made by newly elected Councilman Peroutka are alarming,” deputy executive director Cailey Locklair Tolle said via email. “We sincerely hope the Anne Arundel County Council will do its best to quash legislation that would threaten this important balance.” Click here for the full article.
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Jerusalem Synagogue Attack Leaves Four Rabbis Dead
11/18/14
Baltimore Sun
 
The Baltimore Jewish Council's Associate Director of Israel and Engagement comments on the recent terrorist attack in Jerusalem and the subsequent pain felt by the Jewish community in Baltimore. Click here for the full article.
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Advocates Seek Pay Hike for Workers with Disabilities Making Less than Minimum Wage
11/17/14
ABC 2
 
"The Baltimore Jewish Council’s Governmental Relations Commission will draft a statement recognizing the issues with 14(c), deputy executive director Cailey Locklair Tolle said. But she added there are numerous concerns about ending a program without a solid idea to replace it." Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     
November 17, 2014                                                                                                                         
                                                                                     
Baltimore Hosts Conference to Confront Rising Anti-Israel Attitudes
 
[Baltimore, MD] – In the midst of boycott and divestment measures by American universities and academic and professional associations, the American Jewish community has witnessed a surge in anti-Israel actions and attitudes. In response to this alarming trend, the Baltimore Israel Coalition, a consortium of 23 local organizations, is calling all leaders, academics, and community members in the Greater Baltimore area to gather for a day of education and advocacy in support of Israel.
 
The Coalition’s Vice-Chair, Ellen Ginsberg Simon, stated, “It is incumbent upon every supporter of Israel to arm themselves with the tools to advocate on Israel’s behalf and combat misinformation and outright anti-Semitism. This is not just a distant issue being fought abroad, but one that is present in every state, city and college campus.”
 
The morning conference provides a chance to discuss the key issues, while developing the skills necessary to take positive action. Panels will cover topics such as the delegitimization of Israel in the media, legislative advocacy, Christian attitudes toward Israel and anti-Israel incidents on college campuses.
 
Keynote Speaker Professor Doron Ben-Atar, will address these issues on college campuses and share his own recent experience. Last spring, Ben-Atar was entrenched in a controversy when Fordham University charged him with religious discrimination after he took a stance against Israeli boycotts by the American Studies Association. Although the charges against Professor Ben-Atar have been dropped, the boycotts continue to grow on many campuses.
 
The Coalition hopes to create a platform for pro-Israel members of the community, regardless of age, race, or religion. “There are a multitude of voices in our community, and through this day of learning and advocacy, we can create an informed and unified platform to clearly articulate support of Israel,” remarked Coalition Chair Jason A. Blavatt.
 
The conference will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC and will last until 12:30 p.m. Registration is required at www.baltimoreisraelcoalition.org/israelconference. For more details, please contact Chana Siff, Associate Director of Israel and Engagement, at csiff@baltjc.org or 410-542-4850.
 
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High Profile Name Calling Leading to US/Israel Tension
October 31, 2014
Fox 45
 
"Dr. Arthur Abramson with the Baltimore Jewish Council says - presidents disagree, and sometimes those disagreements even lead to progress." Click here for the full article.
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Coming Together
October 29, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"While the threat of the so-called Islamic State, the spread of Ebola and the march toward Election Day takes up most of the current political discourse, lawyers, activists, religious leaders and government officials gathered at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC last Friday to discuss an issue that gained momentum over the summer but then faded out of view: immigration." Click here for the full article.
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Representing Unaccompanied Minors
October 27, 2014
WYPR
 
The Baltimore Jewish Council co-sponsored the 7th Baltimore Immigration Summit on October 24th, mentioned in this interview by WYPR's Sheilah Kast. Click here for the full article and interview.
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The Jewish Vote
October 16, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"The politically involved members of the Jewish community have a set of issues on which they tend to focus each year. For the Baltimore Jewish Council, eyes are always on the governor’s budget." Click here for the full article.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
October 1st, 2014
 
Steny Hoyer to be Honored at Fundraiser for Baltimore Youth
 
[Baltimore, MD] – Longtime Maryland political leader and House Democratic Minority Whip, Steny Hoyer, will be honored on Thursday, October 30th at the Cylburn Arboretum. The Elijah Cummings Youth Program (ECYP) will honor Congressman Hoyer at its bi-annual fundraiser for his tireless work as an advocate for Maryland’s youth. Hoyer has led the way to increase job opportunities, strengthen public education and make quality healthcare more accessible in the state of Maryland and throughout the United States. These accomplishments could not have been achieved without Congressman Hoyer’s work across the aisle as an advocate for the needs of all Americans.
 
Congressman Hoyer will be joined by Honorary Co-Chairs Governor Martin O’Malley, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who have continuously worked with Baltimore organizations to create a brighter future for local youth. Also attending as Honorary Co-Chairs are Senator Barbara Mikulski, Senator Benjamin Cardin and the entire House of Representatives Delegation including John Delaney, Donna Edwards, Andrew Harris, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger III, John Sarbanes and Christopher Van Hollen, Jr.
 
These leaders are joining together to support The Elijah Cummings Youth Program, an ongoing fellowship for promising teens from Maryland’s 7th Congressional District. The fellowship develops teens to serve as future community leaders through monthly leadership development trainings, a cross-cultural immersion experience in Israel and various community engagement opportunities.
 
“The program…teaches them how to dream. There is a great world out there that they can touch, that they can be a part of, that they are a part of. And it does one other thing, it gives them hope.” - Congressman Elijah E. Cummings.
 
In addition to a college enrollment rate near 100%, alumni demonstrate a commitment to public service, global activism and cross-cultural leadership.  Graduates include two Peace Corps volunteers, a CNN anchor and a travel writer in Moscow, as well as leaders in business, law, education and the military.
 
Individuals can sponsor one youth fellow and parent to attend the event through the $250 purchase of a VIP ticket. Individual tickets to the fundraiser can be purchased for $100.  For more details on tickets, sponsorship and tax-deductible donations, please contact ECYP Director Deana Frank at 410-542-4850 or dfrank@ecyp.org.
 
#####
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GOP Hopeful Campaigns in Pikesville
September 29, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan made the rounds
of local businesses last week in Pikesville, but he started the day with an appearance at the Baltimore Jewish Council’s board meeting." Click here for the full article.
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Holocaust Studies
August 14, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"...the JMM and co-sponsor the Baltimore Jewish Council offer three days of training, including presentations, discussions and activities that provide Maryland educators with the tools to teach their students about the Holocaust." Click here for the full article.
_____________________________________________________________
 
Working Together: Faith Leaders Meet with Governor on Immigration Crisis
July 31, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"While uncertainty continues over how to quell the rush of young migrants crossing the Mexican border into the U.S. illegally and what to do with the children awaiting trials that will determine their fate, one thing is assured in Maryland: local faith leaders will have a large role in any upcoming action." Click here for the full article.
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Media Bias? Depends Who You Ask
July 31, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"With virtually every media outlet in the world covering the current fighting between Israel and Hamas, consumers, media savvy or not, are inevitably barraged with a variety of news reports, articles and photos that may paint very different pictures." Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore Stands with Israel
July 24,2014
Jewish Times
 
"The events unfolding in Israel are geographically far from Maryland, but Jewish Baltimore will show its solidarity and support for the Jewish state..." Click here for the full article.
_____________________________________________________________
 
Ashkelon Delegation Meets with Mayor
July 2nd, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"Officials from the city of Baltimore, six representatives from Ashkelon and members of The Associated: Jewish Community  Federation of Baltimore and Baltimore Jewish Council all attended the June 18 meeting, which lasted about a half hour." Click here for the full article.
_____________________________________________________________
 
Out & About
June 27, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"Reason to Celebrate: Lainy LeBow-Sachs was installed as President of the Baltimore Jewish Council at its annual meeting on June 11." Click here for the full article.
_____________________________________________________________
 
Business as Usual?
June 26, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"“We have a lot of very strong relationships with the local Presbyterian Church” said Chana Siff, associate director of Israel and government relations at the Baltimore Jewish Council. “We have those relationships, we have our friends, I imagine we will not change that based upon ­what happened at a national level.”" Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore Joins Three Yellow Ribbons Campaign
June 26,2014
Jewish Times
 
"Hurwitz, along with Baltimore Jewish Council President Lainy LeBow-Sachs and co-chair of The Associated’s Israel and Overseas Committee Jason Blavatt, tied three yellow ribbons around the Weinberg Park Heights JCC’s sign Monday morning." Click here for the full article.
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A Team Effort
May 29, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"Textbook aid to parochial school students was unchanged at $4.5 million for several years until I urged the Baltimore Jewish Council and Maryland Catholic Conference to seek an increase. When the council met with Gov. Martin O’Malley in the fall of 2012, he responded affirmatively to our request and raised this funding to $6 million." Click here for the full article.
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The Jewish Community and the Governor's Office
May 22, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"Cailey Locklair, deputy executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, said relations between the Jewish community and the governor’s office have been excellent over the years. Because the BJC gets involved in a variety of issues, it’s good to have the ear of the governor, she added." Click here for the full article.
_____________________________________________________________
 
Better Together
May 22, 2014
Marc Terrill
 
"Through the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC), another agency of The Associated, ongoing dialogue and joint planning and programming exists in important and provocative ways.  These programs are geared to understanding and appreciating one another. The atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation enables communities to work well together in times of harmony or discord." Click here for the full article.
_____________________________________________________________
 
Humbled, Honored by Leo Bretholz
May 8, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"On April 27, the Baltimore Jewish Council hosted its annual Yom HaShoah commemoration at Beth Tfiloh. It was a moving reminder of the tragedy of the Holocaust and a tribute to the survivors and their families. The JT article (“Legacy of Loss,” April 18) reminds us of the importance of keeping that history alive." Click here for the full article.
_____________________________________________________________
 
Postmarked Jesus
May 1, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"“What we’re seeing is another effort by Tom Cantor and Israel Restoration Ministries to try to demonstrate to the Baltimore Jewish community that they should be considered as Jews,” said Arthur Abramson, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council. The Council passed a resolution in January denouncing deceptive proselytizing by Messianic Jewish and Hebrew Christian organizations." Click here for the full article.
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Remembering in Howard County
May 1, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"Yom Hashoah was also commemorated in Baltimore at the Baltimore Jewish Council’s annual program held at Beth Tfiloh Congregation in its Dahan Sanctuary. Approximately 550 people turned out for the Sunday event, which included a tribute to Leo Bretholz, who passed away on March 8. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) presented Bretholz’s family with the final pen Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley used to sign railway legislation in 2011 that passed unanimously. The legislation requires all rail companies applying to work in Maryland to disclose any involvement with the Nazis during the Holocaust." Click here for the full article.
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75 Years & Counting
April 24, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"Seventy-five years ago, as Europe sank deeper into turmoil with the beginning of what would become World War II, Jewish Baltimore was organizing. By 1939, tensions reached the point where the Baltimore Jewish community felt it needed to act. It formed the Baltimore Jewish Council as a community relations organization that would serve to combat anti-Semitism, encourage communication between local communities and deal with other issues facing the urban population by maintaining relationships with officials at the state, county and local levels." Click here for the full article.
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Kosher Wine Compromise
April 24, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"A compromise reached between the Baltimore Jewish Council, the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association (MSLBA), Licensed Beverage Distributors of Maryland, Inc., and the state comptroller’s office will create an online list of wines available, increase the number of wines available in Maryland to 1,000 by 2015 and educate retailers on how to make special orders." Click here for the full article.
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A Strategy for Jewish Continuity and Survival
April 17, 2014
Harry Kozlovsky
 
"Those Jews who are connected are in the fold and understand why they are Jewish and why they want their families to remain Jewish. It does not guarantee their children or future generations will feel Jewish, but it provides a needed baseline. How do we all work together to stem our future losses?" Click here for the full article.
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Legislative Look-Back
April 17, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"With a resolution to much of the state’s kosher wine problem, the passage of a bill expanding pre-kindergarten to more Maryland children and the inclusion of an amendment to the budget denouncing the American Studies Association’s academic boycott of Israel, in addition to inclusion of many Jewish-supported budget points, both the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and the Baltimore Jewish Council are pleased with what was accomplished in 2014." Click here for the full article.
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In Search of Contemporary Heroes
March 27, 2014
Jewish Times
 
"The Baltimore Jewish Council deserves tremendous credit for its quick and forceful response to the BDS threat. The BJC worked with legislators to  introduce legislation in Maryland’s General Assembly that would prohibit public institutions of higher education from using public funds to pay for membership, travel expenses or other costs to organizations boycotting countries with which Maryland has a declaration of cooperation." Click here for the full article.
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Leo Bretholz 
March 14, 2014
Jewish Times 
 
Erika Schon, chair of BJC’s Holocaust Remembrance Commission and Jeanette Parmigiani, director of BJC’s Holocaust programs, commented on Leo Bretholz and his contribution to the community  in the JT’s obituary of the Holocaust survivor. Click here for the full article.
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Community Groups Dig In
March 13, 2014
Jewish Times 
 
The JT looks at the BJC-backed anti-boycott bill in the Maryland General Assembly. Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore Community Goes to Annapolis
February 21, 2014
Jewish Times 
 
Feature on this year’s Advocacy Day. Click here for the full article.
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The Push for $10.10
February 7, 2014
Jewish Times
 
This week’s cover story focuses on the minimum wage debate and the BJC weighs in. Click here for the full article.  
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BJC Denounces Proselytizing
February 6, 2014
Jewish Times
 
The BJC passed a policy statement condemning deceptive proselytizing. Click here for the full article.
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BJC Prepares For Advocacy Day
January 31, 2014
Jewish Times 
 
Preview of BJC’s Advocacy Day. Click here for the full article. 
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O'Malley Proposes FY15 Budget 
January 23, 2014
Jewish Times
 
BJC comments on O’Malley’s FY 15 budget, which includes funding for expansion and renovation of UMCP’s Hillel. Click here for the full article.
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Maryland Political, Jewish Leaders Reflect on Ariel Sharon
January 11, 2014
The Baltimore Sun
 
Art Abramson and Rabbi Chaim Landau were interviewed about Ariel Sharon. Click here for the full article.
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Annapolis 2014
Jewish Times
January 3, 2014
 
BJC mentions its core legislative initiatives for the 2014 session. Click here for the full article.

 

Join us for Educators' Night at the Jewish Museum!

 

March 9, 2017

Jewish Museum of Maryland

6:00 - 8:30 P.M.

 

For more information or to register email Ilene Dackman-Alon at idackmanalon@jewishmuseummd.org.