Cut that shtick out. Save it for the wedding.

The checklist for Gavri and Laura Yares’ wedding last year included British and American flags, a ton of Star Wars paraphernalia, animal figurines, Hawaiian leis and grass skirts. At least that was the checklist their guests had made when planning their shtick — the comical dancing, tricks and other gags that guests at Jewish weddings… Read More

It takes many faiths to repair a Torah scroll

Some people bond over coffee, others over lunch, but what about over repairing a 125-year-old Torah scroll? That is what brought 20 clergy, representing the three Abrahamic religions, to Oseh Shalom, a Reconstructionist synagogue in Laurel. The congregation began restoring its oldest Torah scroll in November and anticipates completing the project in May. Rabbi Doug… Read More

Obituaries for February 23, 2017

Stephen P. Cohen, Middle East intermediary, dies at 71 Stephen Philip Cohen, a Canadian-born academic and Jewish organizational leader who served as a confidential intermediary between Israeli and Arab leaders for three decades, died Jan. 23. He was 71 and had been in poor health. A social psychologist by training, Cohen arranged and participated in historic… Read More

When slaves had rights

This week’s Torah portion is Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1-24:18. The events leading up to the revelation at Sinai include the 10 plagues, Pharaoh relenting to Moses and the exodus to freedom by the former Hebrew slaves. A shared experience seared into the souls of the people begins a transformation of slaves into a free nation. The… Read More

Travails of whisky-making in Taiwan

The world of Scotch whisky lost one its great behind-the-scenes practitioners this month. Dr. James Swan died Feb. 14 at his home in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was 75. As a drinks industry consultant to wineries, breweries, whisky blenders and distillers, Swan was a highly sought after expert. Among the many distilleries around the world Swan… Read More

Perlman Camp announces fund for teen leadership program

The B’nai B’rith Perlman Camp in Lake Como, Pa., announced the creation of the Sheila L. Berner Memorial Fund this month, which will invest $250,000 into the camp’s teen leadership program during the next three years. The camp’s teen leadership program, for 16- and 17-year-old campers, aims to “to help our kids grow into responsible… Read More