BJC IN THE NEWS

Cybersecurity expert warns it only takes one slip
Baltimore Jewish Times
October 20, 2020
Nonprofits are being hacked more frequently than ever, and the global pandemic is only making matters worse. Local organizations are aware and cautious. At the Baltimore Jewish Council, The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore maintains a robust system of security to similarly prevent hackers and threats. This includes regular trainings for employees and periodic tests. “We are aware that there are a lot of risks, and what happened with the D.C. Federation has certainly prompted all of us to review our policies and procedures,” said Howard Libit, executive director of the BJC. Click here for the full article.

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Baltimore Jewish Council Launches Virtual Racial Justice Program
JMore
October 5, 2020
It’s no accident that the Baltimore Jewish Council scheduled its program “18 Days Exploring Racial Justice – The Baltimore Jewish Community Learns Together” in the days following the Sukkot holiday, says Sarah Mersky Miicke, the BJC’s deputy director. Sukkot, she said, tends to be a season when many Jews feel introspective, and “18 Days” – which will be held from Oct. 14 to Nov. 2 – was created to capitalize on that feeling. Click here for the full article.

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BJC calls on community to join 18 days of racial justice
Baltimore Jewish Times
October 5, 2020
As part of a program beginning Oct. 14, the Baltimore Jewish Council invites community members to join them and pledge 18 days focusing on racial justice. BJC will send participants a daily email for the 18 days with an article, video or podcast and reflection questions about racism, anti-Semitism, power and privilege. The journey is meant to be cohesive, rather than random events to pick and choose from. Click here for the full article.

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One year later, Jewish organizations reflect on Elijah Cummings’ death
Baltimore Jewish Times
October 2, 2020
The Elijah Cummings Youth Program in Israel is preparing a virtual tribute to the late Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings. Organized with the backing of groups that include The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore and the Philip and Harriet Klein Foundation and scheduled for Oct. 14, the tribute will take place three days before the anniversary of his passing. Howard Libit, the executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, expressed that there was “such a big hole, in our community and our nation, over his loss.” Click here for the full article.

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Superintendent Salmon talks education during the pandemic
Baltimore Jewish Times
October 1, 2020
The Baltimore Jewish Council organized an online “Lunch & Learn” session with State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon Sept. 23 to discuss the current state of education. Hosted by Sarah Mersky-Miicke, BJC’s deputy director, and Matt Peterson, the assistant director of government relations and communications, Salmon took questions on the topic of educating children during a pandemic. Click here for the full article.

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Survey reveals gaps in Holocaust knowledge
Baltimore Jewish Times
September 22, 2020
More than one in 10 American adults under 40 believes that Jews caused the Holocaust. That’s one finding from a national survey of 1,000 respondents ages 18-39 across 50 states on knowledge of the Holocaust. Jeanette Parmigiani, Baltimore Jewish Council director of Holocaust programs, was particularly disappointed about the results after the BJC’s efforts and success in expanding Holocaust education in Maryland. She said she has seen, though, that students who do meet survivors are incredibly impacted and will remember the experience. Click here for the full article.

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The Last Word: Howard Libit goes from interviewer to interviewee

Baltimore Jewish Times
September 15, 2020
As a liaison between Baltimore’s Jewish community and the government, Howard Libit, Baltimore Jewish Council executive director, gets to see a diverse array of perspectives in the community. His extensive background helps a lot with this, but another key to his leadership is simply speaking with others. Click here for the full article.

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Three questions with the Baltimore Jewish Council
Baltimore Jewish Times
September 14, 2020
The JT caught up Baltimore Jewish Council Executive Director Howard Libit for a quick Q&A about the Baltimore Jewish community’s political voice. Click here for the full article.

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Orioles rookie Dean Kremer and his Israeli-American heritage already a hit with Baltimore’s Jewish community
Baltimore Sun
September 11, 2020
“You saw, throughout the day, a number of Jewish organizations here in Baltimore and also nationally were sharing posts about him being the first Israeli-American pitcher in the majors,” said Howard Libit, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council. Were fans allowed at Camden Yards this year, Libit guessed that there would be synagogue men’s groups or community organizations trying to organize a way to be at his next home start. As a partial plan holder with Sunday tickets throughout the season, he likely would have been at Kremer’s debut himself. Click here for the full article.

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Community leaders share their thoughts for the Jewish New Year
Baltimore Jewish Times
September 11, 2020
“This past year has been extraordinarily challenging in so many ways for all of us. I hope that in this next year, I will be able to work with our many friends and partners to create a better Baltimore for everyone. There is much to be done, but I believe that if we work together, we can accomplish a lot.” —Howard Libit, Baltimore Jewish Council executive director. Click here for the full article.

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Matt Peterson: A Quick Guide to Voting in the General Election this November
JMORE
September 10, 2020
The Baltimore Jewish Council is joining with The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore and each of its agencies to help spread the word that the best and safest way to vote in November is through the mail. While in-person voting will be an option, as will early voting from Oct. 26 through Nov. 2, the only way to avoid exposure to COVID-19 at the polling place is to vote from home. Click here for the full article.

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Baltimore Community Leaders Work for Accurate Census Count
Baltimore Jewish Times
August 26, 2020
While in Genesis, Abraham may have been given the seemingly impossible task of numbering all the stars in the sky, this year U.S. Census workers have their own rather daunting task. Whereas census personnel in previous years would go door to door to take an accurate count, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a heavy impact on that approach, said Howard Libit, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council. Click here for the full article.

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Holocaust Education Summit Teaches How to Cultivate Upstanders
Baltimore Jewish Times
August 11, 2020
The Annual Summer Teachers Summit concluded last week after an intense three-day dive into how to teach students to stand up to injustice. The Baltimore Jewish Council, Jewish Museum of Maryland, Maryland State Department of Education and the Macks Center for Jewish Education co-hosted and presented this professional development opportunity for teachers in the area of Holocaust education. The conference lasted from Aug. 3 – 5 and was streamed live on Zoom. Click here for the full article.

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Attorney General Frosh Shares Plans with Baltimore Jewish Council
Baltimore Jewish Times
July 16, 2020
The Baltimore Jewish Council led a zoom discussion with Attorney General Brian Frosh July 13. Matt Peterson , BJC assistant director of government relations and communications, led the Q&A session. Click here for the full article.

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A hateful twist to an armed robbery
WMAR-TV
July 14, 2020
As four teens left the Towson Town Center mall on Thursday evening, police say 34-year-old Seneca Rice followed behind them, approaching them with bad intent. “To hear that during the commission of the crime, anti-Semitic things were said to the victims and it sounds like, the victims at least believe they were targeted, because they were wearing open expressions of their Jewish faith, that is of huge concern to all of us,” said Howard Libit, the executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council. Click here for the full article.

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A new millennial mayor on the horizon in Baltimore
Jewish Insider
July 1, 2020
Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott is gearing up to become the city’s youngest mayor in more than 100 years. Howard Libit, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, said he has known and worked with Scott for many years. “He forged a strong relationship with a number of institutions in the community,” Libit told JI. “He’s been there, he’s been engaged on issues that we care about… I’m excited that someone I know and respect a great deal looks likely to be elected the next mayor.” Click here for the full article.

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You Should Know…Emily Goodman
Baltimore Jewish Times
July 3, 2020
If you’re feeling classy and in the mood for a tea party, you should meet Emily Goodman, 26. As something of a tea aficionado, she loves going to tea rooms to test new teas. Goodman is a gerontology graduate from Towson University. She used this degree (the study of aging) to work with Johns Hopkins Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. She called it a fascinating job, but ultimately it became draining. In college she was active with Towson’s Jewish life and she missed having that niche. So, Goodman continued to help others, just in a new avenue. She is now the program coordinator for the Baltimore Jewish Council. Click here for the full article.

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Prayers to Action: Jews of Baltimore Sow Solidarity
Baltimore Jewish Times
June 10, 2020
Nearly 100 Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others gathered outside St. Vincent de Paul Church in downtown Baltimore on June 3 with their masks, social justice pins, and signs to pray for peace in light of George Floyd’s death and the nation’s internal conflict. Click here for the full article.

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Religious leaders, community members gather for interfaith prayer service on justice, healing
WBAL-TV
June 3, 2020
In Baltimore, leaders from several different faiths came together Wednesday night for a prayer service. The Archdiocese of Baltimore led the interfaith prayer service, including religious leaders from throughout Baltimore. The prayers focused on justice and healing. “We’re all here to stand up against racism, to stand up against hate — to speak with one voice,” said Howard Libit, executive for Baltimore Jewish Council. Click here for the full article.

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Local Religious Leaders Stress Importance Of Public Health, Safety Ahead Of Reopening
WJZ-TV
May 29, 2020
Howard Libit, with the Baltimore Jewish Council, said synagogues are moving forward very cautiously as well. “No one’s in a rush to reopen indoor services,” he said. “For all of them, the highest priority continues to be health of their congregants.” Libit said there’s no timeline right now, and many are sticking to online prayer. Click here for the full article.

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Stimulus Bill to Aid Jewish Baltimore
Baltimore Jewish Times
April 1, 2020
At more than $2 trillion, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is the largest emergency aid package in U.S. history. It will benefit individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and health care systems, and many in Baltimore’s Jewish community can expect to see its effects. Click here for the full article.

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Activists Meet with Legislators at Maryland Jewish Advocacy Day
JMore
February 20, 2020
More than 250 community and political activists converged on Annapolis Feb. 18 for Maryland Jewish Advocacy Day, an annual meet-and-greet for state legislators and members of the local Jewish community. The three-and-a-half-hour gathering at the Miller Senate Office Building was presented by the Baltimore Jewish Council, the Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, the Jewish Federation of Howard County, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Click here for the full article.

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You Should Know…Zahava Klein
Baltimore Jewish Times
February 5, 2020
Born and bred in Chicago, Zahava Klein, 30, is proud of her imperviousness to the cold this winter. As the director of Israel and Jewish advocacy for the Baltimore Jewish Council, Klein addresses issues regarding Israel as they relate to the Jewish community, whether it’s understanding the government and elections, Israel in the media, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or Israel’s technological advances. She has been to Israel several times, including for two years after high school to study in Jerusalem. Click here for the full article.

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Howard Libit: Pimlico: a pivotal opportunity for Northwest Baltimore
Baltimore Sun
January 31, 2020
The General Assembly will take up legislation this session that represents a pivotal moment for the future of Northwest Baltimore. The legislation outlines an expansive new plan for Pimlico race course that could benefit the surrounding neighborhoods for years to come. The package to redevelop Pimlico Race Course — carefully negotiated over many months — ensures the historic Preakness Stakes stays in Baltimore, offers a clear vision for horse racing’s future in Maryland and creates the kind of momentum that is critical for redeveloping and strengthening Central Park Heights and beyond. Click here for the full article.

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Meet Elijah Cummings’ predecessor — who is aiming to become his successor
Jewish Insider
January 29, 2020
The mile walk from Baltimore Pennsylvania Station to Kweisi Mfume’s campaign office in the former Jewish-owned Charles Fish & Sons furniture store on Eutaw Street is a study in contrasts. Estimates of the likely Jewish voting population vary widely, but there is definitely “a significant Jewish presence within the district,” Howard Libit said. Oriole Park is just outside of the district, but the latter’s unusual boundaries evoke a baseball mitt’s finger slots. Several synagogues, yeshivas, and Jewish cemeteries lie within the district’s eruv, or boundaries, so to speak. Click here for the full article.

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‘My whole world disappeared’: Holocaust survivor in Pikesville reflects on 75th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation
Baltimore Sun
January 27, 2020
Goldie Szachter Kalib’s memories of Auschwitz are as clear as the number — A-14313 — the Nazis tattooed on her left forearm when she arrived in the summer of 1944. The 75th anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation, which is being commemorated in Baltimore and around the world Monday, comes as the Holocaust fades from the public consciousness, according to recent surveys, and some people deny its occurrence. Such a milestone is a chance to reflect on the genocide of the Holocaust and to contextualize the events that led to it, especially in light of the anti-Semitism and other prejudice again rearing its nasty head in today’s society, said Jeanette Parmigiani, director of Holocaust programs for the Baltimore Jewish Council. Click here for the full article.

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Maryland legislators, faith leaders back funding increase in wake of religious hate crimes
Baltimore Sun
January 13, 2020
Baltimore faith leaders said they could use any increased funding to harden security in houses of worship and to support outreach programs that would encourage awareness and understanding across faith traditions. Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, Baltimore Jewish Council Executive Director Howard Libit and Mubaraz Razvi of the United Maryland Muslim Council were among the faith leaders and local legislators who also called for unity in the face of acts of hatred. Click here for the full article.

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Critical Issues to be Explored During the 2020 General Assembly
JMore
January 7, 2020
The 441st legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly will convene this Wednesday, Jan. 8, in Annapolis and runs through April 6. To gauge the issues that will be of most importance to Marylanders, Jmore recently spoke with four local Jewish political leaders — Del. Jon S. Cardin (D-11th), Del. Shelly L. Hettleman (D-11th), Del. Samuel I. “Sandy” Rosenberg (D-41st) and Del. Dana M. Stein (D-11th) — as well as Sarah Mersky, deputy director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, about the upcoming session. Click here for the full article.

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You Should Know…Matt Peterson
Baltimore Jewish Times
December 11, 2019
If Matt Peterson, 25, could travel through time, he says would go to Eastern Europe to experience the culture of Jews pre-World War II. As the assistant director of government relations and communications at the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC), Peterson carries his interest for history like this in his desire to write a better future history for Baltimore. Peterson represents the interests of the Greater Baltimore Jewish community at the State House when Annapolis is in session. Click here for the full article.

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Challenging the Idea of ‘Two Park Heights’: Some Residents Say This Characterization Is Part of the Problem
Baltimore Jewish Times
November 27 2019
It was a cold November evening when approximately 110 members of the African American and Jewish communities packed into a multi-purpose room on the second floor of the CC Jackson Recreation Center on Park Heights Avenue. The gathering’s objective was to enhance dialogue between the two communities living to the north and to the south of Northern Parkway in northwest Baltimore City. While many participants appreciated the opportunity to come together and discuss shared issues and concerns, others expressed their feelings that there is still much to do toward building community.
Click here for the full article.

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Howard Libit: Clear plan needed for Baltimore police academy site in Park Heights
Baltimore Sun
October 25, 2019
What’s most important, is that we need to quickly develop a clear long-term plan for the property that is supported by the many neighborhoods affected by this decision. As Baltimore seeks to promote the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars at nearby Pimlico Race Course, what message would the city be sending to potential investors if it allowed this nearby city-owned site to become another vacant building? Click here for the full article.

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School officials in Maryland strengthen requirements for Holocaust education
Washington Post
October 23, 2019
Several elected leaders and advocates lauded the state’s plans, citing a critical need for greater awareness and education. Some pointed to an increase in hate crimes, incidents and threats at schools. “We thought the state curriculum guidelines were lacking and fell short of the depth of instruction in the Holocaust and its causes necessary to ensure our children learn about it and that our society never repeats it again,” said Howard Libit, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council. Click here for the full article.

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MD Politicians Honor Thomas Kennedy, Religious Freedom Champion
Baltimore Jewish Times
October 17, 2019
On Oct. 11, Hagerstown dedicated the Thomas Kennedy Park and Statue. Gov. Larry Hogan, Sen. Ben Cardin, Sen. Van Hollen and Rabbi David Saperstein were in attendance, among other community leaders. The Baltimore Jewish Council’s Howard Libit praised the park’s location, noting it was across from a synagogue. “It’s an important stop for everyone who wants to better understand the work of one of Washington County’s great leaders,” Libit said. Click here for the full article.

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Howard Libit: Remembering Elijah Cummings, A Brave Leader And Friend Of The Jewish Community
The Forward
October 17, 2019
As I thought about Rep. Elijah Cummings in the hours after his death Thursday morning, my mind kept going to images of the students applying to join his namesake initiative, the Elijah Cummings Youth Program in Israel. Each spring, about 25 high school sophomores from the Congressman’s district are selected to interview for slots in the two-year leadership program. Click here for the full article.

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Elijah Cummings, Dead At 68, Built Bridges Between Black And Jewish Communities
The Forward
October 17, 2019
Rep. Elijah Cummings, a longtime Baltimore congressman who worked to build ties between the African-American and Jewish communities in his district, died Thursday in his home city. He was 68. Click here for the full article.

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Congressman Cummings leaves behind legacy of mentoring, creating opportunities for youth
WMAR-TV
October 17, 2019
Throughout his career, Congressman Cummings dedicated lots of time to mentoring youth, creating new opportunities for them and supporting organizations making a difference in Baltimore and beyond. Tonight, Elijah Cummings is being remembered as so many things, a trailblazer, a fighter for justice and an advocate for young people. “He had this saying that always stuck with me, that our children are the living messages we send to the future we will never see and that really resonates with everything he did,” said Howard Libit. Click here for the full article.

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Towson University Holds Panel Discussion on Hate Speech on Campus
Baltimore Jewish Times
October 10, 2019
Approximately one hundred people attended a panel discussion titled “Hate Speech on Campus: A Conversation,” held at at Towson University on Wednesday Oct. 2. Sponsored by Towson University Hillel, The Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC), Towson University Hebrew Institute and The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, the panel featured U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.); Dr. Sanaullah Kirmani, faculty advisor to the Muslim Student Association; and Dr. Cynthia Cooper, Acting Associate Dean, College of Fine Arts and Communications. Click here for the full article.

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Daily Record VIP List: Sarah Mersky, Deputy Director, Baltimore Jewish Council
Daily Record
September 20, 2019
When Sarah Mersky learned from one of the agencies working with the Baltimore Jewish Council that there were no elder abuse victim safehouses in the state of Maryland, she sprung into action. Mersky, who says she’s a “problem-solver,” was able to secure funding for a house, which opened last fall. Click here for the full article.

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Cummings’ District, Which Trump Called ‘Disgusting,’ Has Huge Jewish Population
The Forward
July 30, 2019
Jewish leaders in Baltimore have come to the defense of Rep. Elijah Cummings, the African-American Democrat who has come under withering attack from President Trump. After spending a week berating the group of four Democratic freshman known as “The Squad” — all women of color — Trump used Twitter over the weekend to attack Cummings, whose 7th District includes over half of the city of Baltimore. Click here for the full article.

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10 Under 40: Jmore Salutes Young Influencers
JMore
July 11, 2019
Selecting a group of influencers, thought agents and movers-and-shakers under the age of 40 is no enviable task. Especially when it comes to Jewish Baltimore. Featuring Sarah Mersky, Deputy Director, Baltimore Jewish Council Click here for the full article.

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The Darrell D. Friedman Institute Presents Jewish Community Awards
Baltimore Jewish Times
May 29, 2019
Three prestigious Jewish communal awards were presented to Sharon Seigel, Sarah Mersky and Ashley Pressman on May 22 as part of the annual Celebration of Professional Leadership by The Darrell D. Friedman Institute for Professional Development at the Weinberg Center (DFI), a program of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore. Click here for the full article.

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Maryland Gov. Hogan to sign bills updating cyberbullying law, reforming UMMS board, permitting Hopkins police
Baltimore Sun
April 18, 2019

Democratic Del. Sandy Rosenberg helped craft Maryland’s first hate crime law some three decades ago, but when threats were called in two years ago to Jewish community centers around the region, authorities were limited in their possible response, he said. The hate crime law extended only to “attempts” to target protected groups with harm or violence. “We discovered that a threat to commit any hate crime is a step removed from an attempt,” Rosenberg said. After Hogan signs the bill, threatening to commit a hate crime will be a misdemeanor punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine up to $5,000, starting Oct. 1. Click here for the full article.

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Suspicious packages reported at 4 synagogues in Baltimore City and County
WMAR-TV
December 17, 2018
An investigation is underway after suspicious packages surfaced on Monday at four separate synagogues throughout Baltimore County and Baltimore City. Howard Libit, Executive Director of The Baltimore Jewish Council, told WMAR 2 News, “The attacks we’re seeing, certainly what happened in Pittsburgh makes us all that much more hyper alert and you add in the social media component where threats can certainly come from there as well. So we certainly watch our email very closely, we watch mail closely.” Click here for the full article.

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Man shouts anti-Semitic slur at Hippodrome
WMAR-TV
November 15, 2018
The excitement of a classic Broadway musical reaching the stage at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre. “Fiddler on the Roof. Actually, my mom was asking if we could go see it,” said Maria Smaldone of Greenmount West. Marred during the intermission when a man shouts ‘Hail Hitler!’ and ‘Hail Trump!’ from the balcony before security could show him the door, as captured in its aftermath by a cell phone in the audience. The executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, Howard Libit, equated the outburst to yelling ‘fire’ or ‘bomb’ in a theater. Click here for the full article.

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Baltimore Jewish Council hosts active shooter training
WBFF-TV
November 13, 2018
The Baltimore Jewish Council is focused on keeping its synagogues safe. Members hosted an active shooter training class Monday night. Organizers say the training session was already planned for next month, but moved up after the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh two weeks ago. Click here for the full article.

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Political and Faith Leaders Show Solidarity at JCC
Baltimore Jewish Times
November 7, 2018
A solemn but hopeful crowd gathered at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC on the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 3, as The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore and the Baltimore Jewish Council hosted an interfaith Oneg Shabbat to kick off the Solidarity Shabbat weekend. That evening and the following day, congregations across the country saw high turnouts at services from Jews and non-Jews alike to show solidarity after 11 were killed during a shooting at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh the previous Shabbat. Click here for the full article.

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Baltimore Jewish community unites in wake of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting
WMAR-TV
October 28, 2018
The Jewish community in Baltimore is rallying to push back against Anti-Semitism. On Sunday, hundreds paid their respects to those shot and killed on Saturday in a Pittsburgh synagogue. Their message…solidarity, as they work to fight back against hate. Howard Libit, the Executive Director of the Baltimore Jewish Council. says to have so many people killed during prayer services during the Sabbath is horrifying; “It’s our worst fears realized. The conversations I’ve had with members of our community who are genuinely overwhelmed, who say I can’t imagine anything like this happening in our lifetime.” Click here for the full article.

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Baltimore Jewish community gathers to mourn Pittsburgh synagogue shooting victims, unite against anti-Semitism
Baltimore Sun
October 27, 2018
Nearly 1,000 members of Baltimore’s Jewish community gathered Sunday morning for a rapidly assembled ceremony to decry acts of anti-Semitism and to support each other after the shooting that killed 11 people inside a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday. Click here for the full article.

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Baltimore Jewish Council: “We’re not going to let hate keep us down”
WBFF-TV
October 27, 2018
The deadly mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburg has caused immediate reaction here in Baltimore. “Within an hour of this mass shooting we were in communication with city police, county police and the state police,” said Howard Libit, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council. “All were talking about putting extra resources and being extra vigilant across the Jewish community.” Click here for the full article.

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Company to make bomb containment systems in White Marsh, employ at least 30 now and more later
Baltimore Sun
October 25, 2018
When New York City police officers responded Wednesday to calls about pipe bombs sent to opponents and critics of President Donald Trump, employees of a small Maryland defense technology firm recognized a large, round piece of machinery on television — a bomb containment system that company officials just announced they plan to make in a Baltimore suburb. “We were very proud; this technology saves lives,” said Eyal Banai, CEO at Bethesda-based Mistral Group, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday in White Marsh, where dozens of workers will piece together the containers, as well as other equipment designed for military and law enforcement use. Click here for the full article.

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Filling Bags for the Homeless a Joyous, Interfaith Affair
Baltimore Jewish Times
October 12, 2018
The assembly line operated like a well-oiled machine last week at Morning Star Baptist Church Community Outreach and Educational Center in Woodlawn, where young and old from the area’s Jewish and Christian communities chatted and worked together to fill about 300 red and blue “blessing bags” destined for homeless men and women across the Baltimore area. Click here for the full article.

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Baltimore Jewish and Christian groups join forces to help homeless
WMAR-TV
October 3, 2018
Members of the Jewish Council community alongside members of the Morning Star Baptist Church joined forces to make 300 care packages for those experiencing homelessness in Maryland. The event was held at the Morning Star Baptist Church Community Outreach Center on Wednesday evening. Members of these two faiths filled “blessing bags” in hopes of showing how a little good can go a long way. Click here for the full article.

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Two BJC Staffers Promoted to Bolster Community Relations
Baltimore Jewish Times
July 5, 2018
The first of the month represented a new fiscal year for the Baltimore Jewish Council. Along with the clean fiscal slate came promotions for two current employees, Sarah Mersky and Noah Mitchel. Mersky, whose former title was director of government relations, is now the BJC’s deputy director, and Mitchel, formerly program coordinator, is now the assistant director of community relations. ‘In both cases they are well-deserved promotions,’ said BJC executive director Howard Libit. Click here for the full article.

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‘It’s not enough’: Local organizers plan to rally against U.S. immigration practices
Baltimore Sun
June 27, 2018
The Baltimore Jewish Council signed onto a June 20 national letter regarding family separation, expressing the group’s ‘strong opposition’ to the zero-tolerance immigration policy. Click here for the full article.

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Democrat and Republican Baltimore County executive hopefuls square off in Pikesville
Baltimore Sun
May 30, 2018
The five leading candidates for Baltimore County executive shared a stage Wednesday night, as the Baltimore Jewish Council hosted a debate at a Pikesville synagogue. Click here for the full article.

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BJC’s Candidates Carnival Brought Candidates to the Voters
Baltimore Jewish Times
May 23, 2018
The BJC’s executive director Howard Libit said the meet-and-greet was conceived to get voters more up-close-and-personal with the candidates and for candidates to meet likely voters. ‘If you’re in a neighborhood where people aren’t knocking on doors or you missed candidates, here’s an opportunity to come out and just meet and talk to them. Ask them the questions you want to ask them, as opposed to hearing them speak at you with their prepared speeches,’ he said. Click here for the full article.

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Remembering Kevin Kamenetz
Baltimore Jewish Times
May 16, 2018
Howard Libit, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, called Kamenetz a ‘passionate and dedicated public servant,’ noting that Kamenetz was committed to advocating on behalf of Baltimore County, the city and the state. He recalled Kamenetz urging Baltimore County residents to patronize Baltimore City restaurants and businesses in the wake of the unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray. Click here for the full article.

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Towson University will not tolerate anti-Semitism
Baltimore Sun
May 2, 2018
It is in this spirit of diversity and unity that we call for our respective communities to come together in the wake of last weekend’s incident. As the university completes a full and ongoing investigation, we encourage you to unite in support of our Jewish community. The Towson University administration is working with TU Hillel to address student concerns, as well as partnering with the Baltimore Jewish Council and The Associated to provide additional resources, including security consultations, to those affected. Click here for the full article.

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‘You can’t give up’: Maryland Holocaust survivors share their stories so others won’t forget​
Baltimore Sun
April 15, 2018
Jacob Apelberg was just boy when the Nazis invaded Poland. ‘Ein, zwei, drei!’ they shouted, marching into the village where he lived. The soldiers spoke German, but Apelberg thought it was Yiddish. In his innocence, he ran to tell his mother that a Jewish army had come to the town. ‘This is not Yiddish,’ she told him. Click here for the full article.

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State Upholds Baltimore County Decision to Close for Jewish Holidays
Baltimore Jewish Times
April 13, 2018
‘The courts have made it clear that public schools are not permitted to close for religious reasons — only out of operational necessity. That’s why we focused all of our comments to the Baltimore County school board on issues such as teacher and student attendance and how that will impact learning and costs,’ Libit said via email. ‘I am pleased that both the Baltimore County School Board and the state school board agreed that the impact of opening schools on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur would have a significant impact on the operations of the school system.’ Click here for the full article.

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Yom Hashoah 2018 Features Verdi’s Requiem, 200-Plus Performers
Baltimore Jewish Times
April 11, 2018
How Verdi’s Requiem came to be the centerpiece of this year’s Yom Hashoah 2018 Holocaust Commemoration at Chizuk Amuno Congregation is an interesting story wrapped in a heart-breaking Shoah narrative. Click here for the full article.

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Nearly 20 Hate Groups Tied to Maryland, SPLC Says
WJZ-TV
February 27, 2018
Hate crimes and hate groups increased during 2017, according to two new surveys. The Southern Poverty Law Center tracked 954 active hate groups, a 4-percent jump, and 19 of those organizations were connected to people in Maryland. “They have been emboldened for various reasons to step out of the shadows,” says Howard Libit, the executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council. “To be more aggressive, and unfortunately, that’s encouraged others to act out.” Click here for the full article.

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BJC and NAACP Rally for Tougher Hate Crime Laws
Baltimore Jewish Times
February 23, 2018
The Baltimore Jewish Council had a busy day in Annapolis on Tuesday, Feb. 20, as representatives, along with partners from the NAACP, testified in favor of two bills that would expand the definition of what constitutes a hate crime. Click here for the full article.

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Activists Descend on Annapolis for Maryland Jewish Advocacy Day
JMore
February 8, 2018
More than 250 Jewish political activists from around the state turned out on Feb. 6 for Maryland Jewish Advocacy Day in Annapolis. The annual event was planned and hosted by the Baltimore Jewish Council, The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, the Jewish Federation of Howard County, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Click here for the full article.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day Interfaith Event Calls for Unity
JMore
January 16, 2018
Unity was the dominant theme at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Luncheon presented on Jan. 15, by the New Interfaith Coalition of Baltimore County. The coalition consists of the Baltimore Jewish Council, the Greater Baltimore Muslim Council, the Greater Hindu Coalition, Morning Star Baptist Church and the Sikh Alliance of the DMV Area. Click here for the full article.

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Vigil Honors Families Affected by Baltimore Violence
Baltimore Jewish Times
January 3, 2018
Mayor Catherine Pugh held an interfaith candlelight vigil on Dec. 28 inside War Memorial Plaza to honor families impacted by violence in Baltimore days after the city experienced its 343rd killing in 2017, which gave Baltimore its highest per-capita homicide rate on record. Among attendees were Baltimore Jewish Council executive director Howard Libit and Baltimore Hebrew Congregation Rabbi Andrew Busch, who spoke at the gathering. Click here for the full article.

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Trump’s Embassy Announcement Gets Mixed Reactions
Baltimore Jewish Times
December 13, 2017
In a move that has drawn dramatic reaction both in the United States and most visibly in the Middle East, President Donald Trump has announced plans to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing the latter as Israel’s capital. Click here for the full article.

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Jerusalem Announcement Gets Mixed Reaction in Baltimore Region
WBFF-TV
December 7, 2017
There has been plenty of reaction throughout the Baltimore region to the president’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Click here for the full article.

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Jewish Leader Reacts to Trump’s Jerusalem Call
WMAR-TV
December 7, 2017
At the Baltimore Jewish Council, where signs declare support for the Jewish state, Executive Director Howard Libit expresses similar support for the president’s declaration and his commitment to moving the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv. Click here for the full article.

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Baltimoreans React to President’s Declaration of Jerusalem as Israel Capital
WBAL-TV
December 7, 2017
The president, shattering decades of U.S. neutrality on Jerusalem, said his decision was merely based on reality — to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government, with plans to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the ancient city. Click here for the full article.

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Cardin, Stein Vow to Fight for Environment
Baltimore Jewish Times
November 15, 2017
Baltimore Hebrew Congregation Rabbi Elissa Sachs-Kohen, addressing a spirited group of about 20 activists at Van Gough Cafe in Southeast Baltimore on Monday, says Jews have an innate responsibility to safeguard the environment. Click here for the full article.

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Kristallnacht Remembered through Music and Tears
Baltimore Jewish Times
November 10, 2017
A collaboration between several community organizations — including the Baltimore Jewish Council, the Jewish Museum of Maryland and Beth El Congregation — commemorated the 79th anniversary of the tragic events of Nov. 9, 1938, known to history as Kristallnacht or “the night of broken glass,” at Beth El on Nov. 5. Click here for the full article.

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Schools in Heavily Jewish County of Maryland to Stay Closed on High Holidays
JTA
November 8, 2017
The Baltimore County school board on Tuesday night voted 9-3 to approve the academic calendar for the next term with the district closing on the first day of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as it has for the past two decades. Click here for the full article.

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Baltimore County Schools to Remain Closed on High Holidays
Baltimore Jewish Times
November 8, 2017
The Baltimore County school board voted Tuesday to keep schools closed during the Jewish High Holidays in 2018, continuing a more than two-decade practice. Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore County Votes to Keep Schools Closed on Jewish Holidays
Baltimore Sun
November 8, 2017
The Baltimore County school board voted Tuesday to approve an academic calendar that keeps schools closed next year on the Jewish High Holy Days. Click here for the full article.
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Maryland Churches Ponder Shooting in Wake of Texas Shooting
Baltimore Sun
November 7, 2017
The Jewish community has invested millions of dollars, Libit says, providing such measures as security cameras, card-coded entries, and armed and unarmed security guards at synagogues and other sites over the past few years. And the council has helped Jewish and Muslim institutions gain federal funding through grants from the Department of Homeland Security. Click here for the full article.
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Light of Performance Remembers Child Victims of Holocaust
Baltimore Jewish Times
November 1, 2017
Members of the local Jewish performing arts community will descend upon Beth El Congregation in Pikesville on Sunday for a program to remember one of the darkest periods in history: the Holocaust. Click here for the full article.
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Advocacy 101 Encourages Turning Passion into Action
Baltimore Jewish Times
October 24, 2017
More than 75 people packed a room at the Towson Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library on Oct. 17 to learn how to turn their activism into an effective political tool. Organized by the Baltimore Jewish Council, Jews United for Justice and Catholic Charities of Maryland, the Advocacy 101 event served as a sort-of political engagement training course on local lawmaking. Speakers informed the crowd about existing organizations they can support and get involved with and what it takes to become an effective advocate. Click here for the full article.
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Hogan Bans Companies Doing Business with Maryland from Actions against Israel
Daily Record
October 23, 2017
Companies that do business with the Maryland state government will not be able to participate in any boycott, divestment or sanctions against Israel under an executive order signed Monday by Gov. Larry Hogan. Click here for the full article.
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Hogan Executive Order Denies Contracts to Firms that Boycott Israel
Baltimore Sun
October 23, 2017
Hogan, surrounded by local and national Jewish leaders, said he wants to send a message that Maryland supports the Jewish state and the economic ties between the two regions. Click here for the full article.
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Breaking: Hogan Signs Executive Order on BDS
Baltimore Jewish Times
October 23, 2017
Diving into a hotly debated international issue, Hogan on Monday signed an executive order opposing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel (BDS), which has gained momentum in some parts of the country, worrying Jewish leaders who fear its repercussions on Israel’s image and economy. Click here for the full article.
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Gov. Larry Hogan Signs Executive Order on BDS
JMore
October 23, 2017
In Annapolis this afternoon, Oct. 23, Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order prohibiting all executive branch agencies and firms with state contracts from participating in the boycott of the state of Israel. Click here for the full article.
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UMPD Investigate Cases of Anti-Semitic Graffiti at 2 College Campuses

WBAL-TV
October 12, 2017
Police at two college campuses are looking for someone drawing hateful images, including a swastika. University of Maryland Baltimore County police are investigating a number cases of anti-Semitic graffiti. The vandalism has shown up in classrooms, bathrooms and elevators. Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore Schools Consider Holding Classes on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur
JTA
October 11, 2017
The school district, trying to find a way to get enough class hours into the yearly schedule to meet new state regulations, is considering holding classes on the first day of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Schools in the district have been closed on those days for the past two decades.​ Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore County Urged to Close Schools on High Holidays at Hearing
Baltimore Jewish Times
October 11, 2017
The Baltimore County school board heard passionate testimony on Tuesday in Towson over whether schools should open on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur next year. Click here for the full article.
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New School Calendar Threatens Jewish Holidays in Baltimore County
WBAL-TV
October 11, 2017
The board heard Tuesday night from concerned parents and lawmakers. Longer summer breaks could cut into religious holidays. Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore County Public School Board Meets to Discuss Removal of Jewish Holidays from School Calendar
WJZ-TV
October 10, 2017
For the last 20 years, Baltimore County Public Schools have closed their doors to observe the Jewish High Holidays, but that may change if the school board votes to remove the first day of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur from the Calendar. Both fall on weekdays in 2018. Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore County Schools Could Open on Major Jewish Holidays
WMAR-TV
October 9, 2017
In an effort to find enough class time under new state regulations, including starting school after Labor Day, the school board has come up with two plans. One of the options has schools open their doors on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Click here for the full article.
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KKK Leader from Baltimore Faces Charges for Allegedly Firing Gun at Charlottesville Rally
WJZ-TV
October 9, 2017
WJZ investigator Mike Hellgren reports that Preston, a KKK imperial wizard, is scheduled to appear in court later this week on gun charges related to the rally, which was held on the weekend of August 11 and 12. Click here for the full article.
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Some Maryland Schools Consider Opening on 2 Jewish Holidays
WBFF-TV
October 5, 2017
Some school districts in Maryland are considering staying open on two Jewish holy days next September.
A gubernatorial mandate requires the school year to begin after Labor Day and end by June 15. Click here for the full article.
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District Considers Keeping Schools Open on 2 Jewish Holidays
WBAL-TV
October 5, 2017
It’s a discussion that’s taking place one month into a new school year. Baltimore County, like other school districts across Maryland, is faced with the challenge of keeping students in the classroom for 180 days, as mandated by state law. That means the possibility of opening school on days that have traditionally closed for students. Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore County Considers Keeping Schools Open on Jewish Holidays
Baltimore Sun
October 4, 2017
Squeezed by a gubernatorial mandate requiring the school year to begin after Labor Day and end by June 15, school officials around the region are finding that fluctuations in the 2018-2019 calendar make it difficult to accommodate spring break and the Jewish holy days that students have ordinarily had off. Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore County Schools Mull Taking Jewish Holidays Off Calendar
WBAL Radio
October 4, 2017
School systems are not allowed to ask teachers or students about their religion so there are no hard and fast numbers of how many are Jewish or would be off those days. Going by estimates from The Associated, Libit said there were 12,000 to 14,000 Jewish children in Baltimore County homes and estimated there were 1,200 to 2,000 Jewish teachers in Baltimore County schools. He said some 250 teachers who are more observant took off for the second day of Rosh Hashanah. Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore County Public Schools May Stay Open on High Holidays
JMore
October 3, 2017
If the calendar committee of Baltimore County Public Schools has its way, BCPS schools may remain open on the first day of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur next year for the first time in more than two decades. Click here for the full article.
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High Holidays on Chopping Block for Baltimore County Schools
Baltimore Jewish Times
​October 2, 2017
The school board will be presented with two calendar proposals for the 2018-19 academic year at its second meeting of the month on Oct. 24. Option one would continue the current practice of closing on state-mandated holidays and Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as has been the case since the 1995-1996 school year. Option two, however, would call for schools to open on the two Jewish holidays, which drew criticism from the Baltimore Jewish Council. Click here for the full article.
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Baltimore County Public Schools May Remove Jewish Holidays from Calendar
WJZ-TV
October 2, 2017
Students, parents, and teachers in Baltimore County could see two holidays wiped off the school calendar for the first time in 20 years. The school board is considering keeping doors open for the Jewish High Holidays. Click here for the full article.
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Blessing Bags Assembled for Homeless at Interfaith Event
JMore
September 15, 2017
The two-hour free event, which attracted more than 100 participants and included a kosher pizza dinner, took place at the Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St. Besides the Episcopal church and the BJC, the two-hour gathering was co-sponsored by Repair the World Baltimore, a social action group for Jews and others in their 20s and 30s.​ Click here for the full article.
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Security a Top Priority during High Holidays
Baltimore Jewish Times
September 13, 2017
Howard Libit, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, said security concerns intensified after the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC and Weinberg Park Heights JCC were the subject of five separate bomb threats earlier this year. Click here for the full article.
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Jewish Institutions to See More Security Funding
Baltimore Jewish Times
August 31, 2017
Sarah Mersky, director of government relations at the Baltimore Jewish Council, said any funding the organizations that the BJC represents receive will provide a much-needed boost. Each year, she noted, Baltimore religious schools, institutions and immigration centers, among others, receive federal and nonprofit security grants that cover primarily infrastructure and security amenities. Last year, she said, the area was awarded about $400,000. Click here for the full article.

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Baltimore Stands with Charlottesville
Baltimore Jewish Times
August 14, 2017
Among the crowd were members of Jews United for Justice — including Baltimore director Molly Amster — and other activist groups, District 41 Democratic Dels. Sandy Rosenberg and Bilal Ali, Rabbi Andrew Busch of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Baltimore Jewish Council executive director Howard Libit, NAACP officials, Councilman Zeke Cohen (D-District 1) and Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke (D-District 14), whose district includes Remington. Click here for the full article.
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You Should Know Taylor Gonzalez

Baltimore Jewish Times
July 27, 2017
Gonzalez has proven to be a fearless activist both in and out of the classroom — especially in the Jewish realm. The staunch supporter of Israel has applied her leadership skills as a youth leader for AIPAC and a member of the Baltimore Jewish Council’s leadership development program. When anti-BDS legislation made its way to the state Senate floor in March, Gonzalez said she felt obligated to testify in favor of the bill. Click here for the full article.
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Libit Tapped for Leadership Development Program
Baltimore Jewish Times
July 19, 2017
Howard Libit, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, was one of 14 people selected to participate in Leading Edge’s yearlong leadership development program, which is designed to groom new Jewish leaders for the nonprofit community through in-person meetings, individual management tutoring and travel. Click here for the full article.
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“Call for Unity” Rally Features Father of Fallen Soldier Khizr Khan
Baltimore Jewish Times
July 18, 2017
Among the groups that co-hosted the event was the Baltimore Jewish Council, which puts on 20 to 30 interfaith programs and dialogue events per year. Others co-hosts included Amigos of Baltimore County, the Baltimore County NAACP, the Greater Baltimore Muslim Council and the Islamic Society of Baltimore. Click here for the full article.
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BJC, ECYP Team Up to Promote Black-Jewish Dialogue
Baltimore Jewish Times
June 30, 2017
In an effort to strengthen bonds between African-American and Jewish teenagers, the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC) and Elijah Cummings Youth Program (ECYP) in Israel have teamed up for an eight-month fellowship program. Click here for the full article.
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New Jewish Leaders
Baltimore Jewish Times
June 29, 2017
The Baltimore Jewish Council recently graduated a new class from its Leadership Development Program, where participants interested in pursuing leadership positions in the Jewish community learn about government relations, community relations and public affairs through a Jewish lens. Click here for the full article.
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Honoring the Dean
Baltimore Jewish Times
June 16, 2017

Del. Sandy Rosenberg presents former City Councilwoman Rochelle “Rikki” Spector with a proclamation from the Maryland General Assembly on June 7 at the Baltimore Jewish Council’s annual meeting, during which Spector was honored. Click here for the full article.

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Hillary Clinton Speaks at Fundraiser in Fells Point
Baltimore Magazine
June 6, 2017
The purpose of Elijah Cummings Youth Program is to build and strengthen the ties between the Jewish and African American communities. In conjunction with the Baltimore Jewish Council the program provides leadership and community service training—as well as a three-week trip to Israel—for 12 high school students within Cummings’ 7th district of Maryland. Click here for the full article.
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Clinton Warns against Isolationism during Baltimore Talk
JMore
June 5, 2017
Founded in 1998 as a joint effort between Cummings and the Baltimore Jewish Council, ECYP, a two-year fellowship, has sent more than 200 students from Cummings’ 7th District to Israel for leadership training and diversity workshops. Click here for the full article.
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Clinton Calls for Spirit of Unity at Baltimore Fundraiser
WJZ-TV
June 5, 2017
The former Democratic presidential candidate spoke Monday evening at a Baltimore fundraiser on behalf of the Elijah Cummings Youth Program. The program is a joint effort between the Maryland congressman and the Baltimore Jewish Council that pays for high school students to study in Israel. Click here for the full article.
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Hillary Clinton Gives Keynote Address at Baltimore Event
WBAL-TV
June 5, 2017
The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee was the keynote speaker for at the event to raise funds for Rep. Elijah Cummings’ Youth Program in Israel. The student program aims to build bonds between the African-American and Jewish communities through leadership training and community service. Click here for the full article.
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Hillary Clinton Speaks at Baltimore Fundraiser, Mentions Recent Terror Attacks
WBFF-TV
June 5, 2017
The event was held at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park in Fells Point. This was the first time Clinton has spoken publicly in Maryland since April of last year, when she was running for president. Click here for the full article.
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Speaking in Baltimore, Hillary Clinton Praises London Mayor for Leadership Following Attack
Baltimore Sun
June 5, 2017
The program provides leadership and public service training — as well as a trip to Israel — for a dozen Baltimore students every year. It is a 19-year-old collaboration between the Democratic congressman and the Baltimore Jewish Council. Click here for the full article.
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Clinton Calls for Religious Unity in Wake of Portland Attack
Politico
June 5, 2017
During remarks at a fundraiser for the Elijah Cummings Youth Program in Israel, a cross-cultural collaboration between the Maryland representative and the Baltimore Jewish Council that aims to foster students from the region, the former Democratic nominee stressed the importance of developing religious tolerance through educational initiatives. Click here for the full article.
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Hillary Clinton Calls for Unity at ECYP Fundraiser
Baltimore Jewish Times
June 5, 2017
The program started in 1998 through U.S. Rep. Cummings, an 11-term Democratic congressman from Baltimore, and the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC) was celebrated on Monday when former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton headlined its fundraising event in Fells Point. Click here for the full article.
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Clinton to Address Baltimore Group that Builds Ties between Black, Jewish Communities
Baltimore Sun
June 4, 2017
The program created nearly two decades ago by Cummings, the longtime Democratic congressman from Baltimore, will receive national attention Monday when former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a fundraiser for the group in Fells Point. Click here for the full article.
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Jewish Community Split on Baltimore County ICE Bill
Baltimore Jewish Times
June 1, 2017
Officials from the Baltimore Jewish Council and Jews United for Justice feel the bill would unfairly target the undocumented community, while Jewish members of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee see it as a means for removing illegal immigrants who have committed crimes. Click here for the full article.
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Gov. Hogan Signs Teach MD Security Grant Bill
Yeshiva World News
May 25, 2017
The new bill will authorize the Maryland Center for School Safety to make grants for security related projects. Schools and childcare centers deemed at risk for hate crimes or ideological attacks will be eligible for the grants. Click here for the full article.
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State Officials Talk Hate Crimes, Hate Speech at Forum
Baltimore Jewish Times
May 24, 2017
In a passionate speech delivered to more than 150 people at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC on May 17, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh warned that the state is not immune to hate crimes, whether aimed at Jews, Muslims, immigrants or other minorities. Click here for the full article.
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Trialogue Series Brings Faith Traditions Together
Baltimore Sun
​May 20, 2017
He’s one of three clergy members working together to lead the Interfaith Trialogue, a program sponsored by the Baltimore Jewish Council that aims to establish common ground among Christians, Jews and Muslims. Click here for the full article.
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Attorney General Brian Frosh Discusses Hate Crime at BJC Forum
JMore
May 19, 2017
The event was a response to the recent rash of bomb threats against Jewish community centers nationwide, as well as the spate of hate crimes targeting the Jewish, Muslim and Hispanic communities. The program aimed to inform the community about what Frosh and other statewide community leaders are doing to tackle hate crimes, which have spiked since the 2016 presidential election. Click here for the full article.
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Jewish Community Gathers to Discuss Hate Crimes
​WBAL-TV
May 18, 2017
Responding to what the Baltimore Jewish Council is calling a startling rise in hate crime across the country, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh joined community leaders and others affected by this growing problem.” Click here for the full coverage.
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Hillary Clinton to Speak at Fundraiser in Fells Point
Baltimore Sun
May 17, 2017
Clinton will speak at an event for the Elijah Cummings Youth Program, a 19-year-old collaboration between the Democratic congressman and the Baltimore Jewish Council that pays for a dozen high school juniors in Cummings’ congressional district to learn about and study in the country every year. Click here for the full article.
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Hillary Clinton to Speak at Baltimore Fundraiser
​WJZ-TV
May 17, 2017
The event was announced Wednesday on the Facebook page for the Elijah Cummings Youth Program, a joint program between the Maryland congressman and the Baltimore Jewish Council. Click here for the full article.
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Holocaust Event Pays Tribute to Elie Wiesel
JMore
April 24, 2017
More than 600 people attended the gathering, which paid tribute to writer, activist, Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who died last July. The program was presented by the Baltimore Jewish Council, the Baltimore Board of Rabbis, the Jewish Museum of Maryland and The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. Click here for the full article.
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Community Attends Annual Yom HaShoah Ceremony
WBAL-TV
April 24, 2017
Click here for the full video.
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Baltimore Jewish Community Commemorates Holocaust & Life of Elie Wiesel at Annual Yom HaShoah Ceremony​
Baltimore Jewish Life
April 20, 2017
On Sunday, April 23, over 250 Holocaust survivors, community members and legislators will join together in the Offit Auditorium at Beth El Congregation of Baltimore to commemorate Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the life and legacy of Elie Wiesel. Click here for the full article.
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Sine Die Seder
Baltimore Jewish Times
April 19, 2017
The Baltimore Jewish Council held a seder in Annapolis on Monday, April 10, the last day of the General Assembly and the first night of Passover. Click here for the full article.
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Maryland General Assembly Legislative Wrap Up
Baltimore Jewish Times
April 18, 2017
Howard Libit, executive director of the BJC, said the state agreed to provide level funding for all of his organization’s requests totaling $3.175 million. That total will also help fund The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore’s agencies and programs. Click here for the full article.
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Seder Survives Maryland Legislature’s Sine Die
Daily Record
April 10, 2017
That the first night of Passover occurred on the last night of the General Assembly session resulted from a confluence of the Jewish calendar and the Maryland Constitution, which calls for an annual 90-day legislative session that begins on the second Wednesday in January. Click here for the full article.
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Maryland lawmakers take a break from politics to observe Passover Seder
Baltimore Sun
​April 10, 2017
The Baltimore Jewish Council organized a Seder for those in Annapolis who couldn’t make it home to their families to celebrate the holiday, which honors the Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. The House of Delegates and Senate planned their floor sessions around the Seder so lawmakers could participate. Click here for the full article.
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Taking a Break on Sine Die to Break Matzah
WYPR
April 7, 2017
The state Constitution says the legislative session must start on the second Wednesday in January and end 90 days later, at midnight. The last day is easily the busiest of the session, as members make last-ditch efforts to pass new laws. Being absent isn’t an option.​ Click here for the full article.
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Kamenetz Issues Executive Order on Baltimore County Police and Immigration
Baltimore Sun
April 6, 2017
Howard Libit, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, called the order “an important expression to all the communities that felt threatened. The issues affecting immigrants and refugees hit very close to home for the Jewish community,” Libit said. Click here for the full article.
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Maryland Jewish Centers Find Support Amid the Terror
Baltimore Sun
March 26, 2017
The council’s security director, former Baltimore police officer Keith Tiedemann, has been working with many local Jewish institutions to secure Department of Homeland Security grants aimed at strengthening community centers. He has schooled many of those institutions on active-shooter and lockdown protocols, and coordinated communications with police during each of the recent threats. Click here for the full article.
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Community Gathers at Bnai Israel after Swastika Drawn on Sign
Baltimore Jewish Times
March 19, 2017
The crowd of more than 70, Mintz estimated, included Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and his Jewish community liaison Betsy Gardner, District 46 Del. Brooke Lierman, Councilmen Zeke Cohen (D-District 1) and Robert Stokes (D-District 12), Beth Am Synagogue Rabbi Daniel Cotzin Burg, Beth Tfiloh Congregation Rabbi Chai Posner, Baltimore Jewish Council executive director Howard Libit, Baltimore Police Capt. Jarron Jackson and Historic Jonestown president Lindsay Thompson. Click here for the full article.
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Maryland General Assembly Hears Impassioned Debate on Anti-BDS Legislation
Baltimore Jewish Times
March 7, 2017
So on March 1, Gonzalez, a member of the Baltimore Jewish Council’s leadership development program, made the trek to Annapolis to testify at a state Senate hearing in favor of anti-BDS legislation (House Bill 949/Senate Bill 739) that has been proposed in the Maryland General Assembly. Click here for the full article.
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Finding Common Ground
JMore
March 2, 2017
Recognizing a need to engage younger adults in the conversation, BJC relaunched its programming last year with an interfaith trialogue series geared toward younger adults. Led by clergy from the three faiths –Charm City Tribe’s Rabbi Jessy Gross, Muslim Community Cultural Center of Baltimore’s (MCCCB) Imam Tariq Najee-ullah and Canton Church on the Square’s Pastor Jim Hamilton – this year’s topics include a tour and post-election discussion on the intersection of politics and religion at the MCCCB  and a discussion on gentrification at the Church on the Square. Click here for the full article.
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President Takes Stance Against Anti-Semitism Following Threats Against Jewish Community​

WJZ-TV

February 21, 2017

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
WBAL Radio
February 19, 2017
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
WBAL-TV
February 17, 2017
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
Baltimore Jewish Times
February 15, 2017
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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Howard Libit: BDS Movement Demonizes Israel
Baltimore Sun
February 14, 2017
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
Baltimore Jewish Times
February 09, 2017
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
Baltimore Jewish Times
February 01, 2017
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
JMore
February 01, 2017
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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Jewish and Muslim Groups Host MLK Interfaith Event
Baltimore Jewish Times
January 19, 2017
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
Baltimore Jewish Times
January 18, 2017
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
Baltimore Jewish Times
January 11, 2017
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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Another Successful BrewHaHa
Baltimore Jewish Times
January 05, 2017
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.