Susan Klau, vice president of American University Jewish Students Association, and Bakhtawar Mirjat, the president of AU’s Islam Awareness Coalition, talk to the crowd at the “Spread Hummus Not Hate” rally. 
Photo by George Altshuler

‘Spread Hummus Not Hate’ rally emphasizes Jewish-Muslim solidarity

Organizers of the “Spread Hummus Not Hate” rally at American University were true to their word Thursday and served plastic container after plastic container of hummus as part of an effort to counter what they described as an increase in bigoted rhetoric and hate crimes. A couple hundred AU students and members of local faith… Read More

Maryland state Sen. Jamie Raskin 
(D-District 20), a constitutional law 
professor, visited Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville to talk with students.
Photo by Daniel Schere

Raskin lays down the law at Berman Academy

It might not have had the shenanigans of a presidential debate, but Maryland state Sen. Jamie Raskin’s (D-District 20) visit to Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville last week featured a spirited discussion about the election, the Constitution and political controversy. “To put my cards on the table, I am a Democrat. But since we are… Read More

he Kiddush Club makes a toast before sampling a cocktail that corresponds to the weekly Torah portion. The group’s blog,, has developed an online following of 3,000 people.
Photo courtesy of Andrea Frazier

Potent potables pump up the parsha

Remember that Pew study a couple years back that showed that Jewish millennials were eschewing religious activity in droves? A group of 20-somethings and 30-somethings on the South Side of Chicago may have figured out a way to reverse that trend. Their secret does involve alcohol, but — it’s working. Tippling Through the Torah is… Read More

Lev Leviev, center, writes in a Torah scroll with Rabbi Eliyahu Yaakov, right, and Israel’s then-defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon, in Jerusalem in 2014. 
Photo by Israel Barddougo/
World Congress of Bukhara Jews via JTA

Bukharian Jews thrive in Diaspora

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan — As a new immigrant with little savings and no guaranteed income, Mikhail Davidov had no hope of getting a mortgage to buy the $900,000 house in Queens, N.Y., he now calls home. Luckily for Davidov, a 42-year-old hairdresser who immigrated to New York six years ago from Uzbekistan, he never needed a… Read More


Israeli reality TV: the U.S. election Trump is a draw for viewers, newsman says

Sunday’s presidential debate drew a large audience at an odd hour: The Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump slugfest brought viewers in Israel to their TVs at 4 a.m. Just as the 2016 elections seem unprecedented for Americans, they’re different for Israeli, too, says journalist Nitzan Horowitz, who is covering the election in the United States for Israel’s… Read More

‘Conditions for success’ ring true for schools

Heads of local Jewish day schools say a new study examining conditions that lead to successful school leadership — and ultimately successful day schools — largely reflects much of their own experience. The report also points to areas for improvement. “This kind of report does not come out of context. It is providing some data… Read More

Jacob Neusner, influential voice of American Jewry, dies at 84

Jacob Neusner, one of the most influential voices in American Jewish intellectual life in the past half-century, has died. Neusner, one of the most published authors in history, having written or edited more than 950 books, died on Saturday at his home in New York. He was 84. His funeral is set for Monday at 10:30… Read More


Yom Kippur on your laptop?

Adas Israel Congregation last week joined a growing number of Conservative synagogues that are live-streaming Yom Kippur services over the Internet — a controversial move because the Conservative movement’s central authority on Jewish law says using electronic devices violates the prohibition against working on Shabbat and holidays. The synagogue, in the District of Columbia, wanted… Read More

Don Knott
Photo via

Howard County names interim sheriff

Don Knott, a lieutenant in the Howard County Sherriff’s Office, was named interim sheriff on Monday following the resignation of Sheriff James Fitzgerald, whose alleged anti-Semitic, racist and misogynistic remarks were detailed in a September report, county spokesman Andy Barth said. Knott has more than 43 years of experience in state law enforcement. Fitzgerald, a… Read More

Geraldine Brooks
Photo via

King David with blessings and flaws Review

“The Secret Chord” by Geraldine Brooks. New York: Penguin Books, 2016. 329 pages. $16. Sometimes fiction is the best way to deepen our understanding of historical figures. This is especially true of people in the Hebrew Bible. The only source that we have for knowing about most biblical characters are the holy scriptures themselves. Unfortunately,… Read More

Howard Country Sheriff James Fitzgerald announced his resignation

Accused racist Howard County sheriff to resign

Howard County Sheriff James Fitzgerald, who recently came under fire for alleged racist and anti-Semitic statements, will resign from office after numerous calls for him to step down. Fitzgerald was expected to sign an agreement Tuesday stating that his last day in office would be Oct. 15, according to Howard County Council Administrator Jessica Feldmark…. Read More