Atoning behind bars

Twenty four University of Maryland students are going to spend Yom Kippur in federal prison. No, they are not felons, not bad kids. Far from it. In fact, they will be spending their Day of Atonement away from family just so their fellow Jews, who happen to be prison inmates, can follow the holiday. Oren… Read More

Jewish groups get most Homeland Security grants

Nearly 90 percent of the $10 million in grants announced last week by the Department of Homeland Security to help nonprofit organizations improve their security is going to Jewish institutions. The department announced the federal security grants last week, noting that $9 million of the total went to Jewish institutions. The allocation is down slightly… Read More

Jewish firefighters give back

Jews know two things — suffering and Chinese food. Both are so ingrained into the life of an emergency responder, according to Eric Bernard, executive director of the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, that no one need be surprised how many Jews answer the alarms at fire stations throughout the county. “Right in… Read More

Seven shuls discuss raising minimum wage on Labor Day

Seven synagogues in the D.C. area observed Labor Day weekend by discussing the merits of raising Maryland’s minimum wage. Jews United for Justice, a Washington D.C.-based organization involved in social justice, provided participating synagogues with a 26-page packet for Labor on the Bimah that included ideas for sermons and verses from the Bible pertaining to… Read More

As school crumbles, New Orleans rabbi leaves city

It didn’t take long after Rabbi Uri Topolosky moved to New Orleans in 2007 for the moderate Orthodox rabbi to win plaudits for helping the city’s Jewish community heal following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The congregation Topolosky was hired to lead, Beth Israel, had seen its building destroyed during the hurricane and ever since had… Read More

Meor Maryland celebrates new name, new home

More than 300 people gathered at 4607 Knox Road in College Park to celebrate the grand opening of Meor Maryland’s new home on Monday. Complete with formal and informal educational tracks, seminars, classroom-style learning, trips to Israel and other countries and Shabbat meals and programming, Meor Maryland seeks to serve as an outlet for sophisticated… Read More

Saying ‘l’hitraot’ to Michael and Shayne Hoffman

Friends, current and former employees and longtime supporters of Israel Bonds gathered at the home of Zion and Cookie Avissar in Potomac last Wednesday to wish Michael and Shayne Hoffman well and say l’hitraot to the couple who will be making aliyah with Nefesh B’Nefesh on Sept. 10. Michael Hoffman, who has worked as a… Read More

Meredith Jacobs named ‘WJW’ editor

Meredith Jacobs, Washington Jewish Week’s managing editor since 2011, has been named editor-in-chief of the weekly publication. The change goes into effect starting with our September 19 publication. “Meredith Jacobs brings the passion, energy and leadership experience that WJW needs to continue our mission to build and strengthen our Jewish community,” said publisher and COO… Read More

Why don’t Jews like To pray?

According to the Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 18a), the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the 10 days of penitence, is the time period when God is considered to be both “found” and “close.” And it’s not uncommon for Jews to feel during the month of Elul and then the High Holiday period an itch… Read More