A Historical Glance at the Relationships between Presidents and Prime Ministers

The recent visit between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu has been characterized by the world press as remarkably positive, chiefly due to the lack of any public display of disagreement between the two in the course of the visit. This is like the couple who say, “We have been together all afternoon without a single fight. We are a perfect couple.” As I read the body language of President Obama, he seemed to say, “For better or worse, Bibi is here to stay for the rest of my term. It has been my fate to have Netanyahu as PM of Israel during my time in office, no matter who else I might have preferred. Bibi is (sadly) my destiny, and I might as well adjust to that fact.”

Read More:A Historical Glance at the Relationships between Presidents and Prime Ministers

Ask the Shadchan


To the Shadchan:

I am listed as a reference on the resumes of a few of my friends, and I get called fairly often to describe a girl to a prospective mother-in-law. I know how important it is to be positive, but I also want to tell the truth. Recently, a mother called me and asked a question that I didn’t know how to answer. Actually, I was speechless.

 This was a boy who was considered a prize, and lots of girls wanted to get a date with him. The mother asked me many questions to determine whether my friend – let’s call her Shoshi – would be suitable for her son. The last question was, “How would your friend react if she found out she was infertile? What if she had triplets after just a year of marriage? What would be her attitude?” I didn’t know what to answer. Should I say what I thought the mother wanted to hear? I wasn’t sure what that was. Should I make up something? I couldn’t do that. The question was unanswerable, anyway. After all, how could I possibly know how anyone would react in such made-up situations? How can I know how I myself would feel?

Read More:Ask the Shadchan

A Liberal Sprinkling of Anti-Semitism

college campus

In a frightening scene for Jewish students, protestors at the Million Student March at Hunter College on November 15 screamed, “Zionists out of CUNY!” and “Intifada! Intifada! Long live the Intifada.” Though the nationwide demonstrations were aimed at demanding tuition-free education and the cancellation of student debt, the organizers produced blatantly anti-Semitic tropes both before and during their events, including this Facebook announcement for the Hunter rally:

The Zionist administration [of the college] invests in Israeli companies…that support the Israeli occupation, hosts…study abroad programs in occupied Palestine, and reproduces settler-colonial ideology throughout CUNY through Zionist content of education….”

Read More:A Liberal Sprinkling of Anti-Semitism

One Night in April


It was the evening of April 24, 1979, and it changed my family’s life, the lives of many in our community, and the lives of a group of teenaged girls we did not know.

The Persian Empire had existed for thousands of years. Somehow, Persia became Iran and the empire shrank, but it did endure into the twentieth century, so that in 1971 Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi declared and celebrated its 2,500th anniversary. There was splendor, glory, and the expectation that another 2,500 years might be in store. Alas, this was not to be, and a short eight years later, it all came to an end. There were riots in the street for months, and in January, the Shah went on “vacation” outside the country. On April 1, 1979, he was officially replaced by Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Read More:One Night in April

Rabbi and Mrs Yitzchok Neger Dedicate Sefer Torah

rabbi neger

On Sunday, November 15, Baltimore saw an unusual spectacle. Long known as a distinctly Litvish town, the Hachnosas Sefer Torah celebrated that day demonstrated the growth of the Chassidic community. Rabbi Yitzchok and Mrs Gitty Neger commissioned the writing of a SeferTorah in memory of Mrs .Neger's father, Max Knopf,z"l of Brooklyn, and Rabbi Neger's parents Moshe and Chana Neger z"l of Toronto

Read More:Rabbi and Mrs Yitzchok Neger Dedicate Sefer Torah

Fancy Sheva Brachos Menu

2 colored soup

First and foremost, you are about to host a sheva brachos, which means you will inevitably be organizing, arranging invites, and managing a to-do list the length of your arm. The friends and family gathering to share in the simcha are planning to enjoy themselves and want you to enjoy yourself as well. Remember that a sheva brachos, like any simcha, is not intended to drive you crazy. Rather, it presents an opportunity to build relationships, enjoy the moment, and allow your family and friends to share in a happy occasion. So no matter which centerpieces you select, which dishware you use, and whether or not you’ve found a dress for the event, enjoy it. Your friends and family love you and are just happy to be with you.

Read More:Fancy Sheva Brachos Menu

Caring for Our Israel Friends


Ahava Tomer sits outside the ICU at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Her son, Yonaton, the youngest of Tomer’s 11 children, was recently rushed there, victim of a terrorist stabbing.Yonaton is slowly improving physically, but the lingering effects of the attack, and the psychological effects on so many Israelis, are expected to last some time.

During these troubled times, critical programs that provide financial and emotional support to individuals and families can make the difference between a bright or troubled future. The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, through funds provided to its global partners – the Jewish Agency for Israel and Jewish Distribution Fund – as well as direct grants to programs in Israel and Baltimore’s sister city, Ashkelon, is providing this light.

Read More:Caring for Our Israel Friends



“Mommy?” Ahuva’s tiny voice calls, as I sigh and plod back down the hall to my little girl’s room for the fourth time tonight.

“What is it, sweetie?” I ask, trying to hide my growing impatience.

“I don’t want to go to Gan Anafa.”

I can hear the lump in her throat. There is defiance mixed with fear and a bit of sadness. Funny how our tone alone can convey so much. I take a deep breath and smooth the golden wisps from her forehead. “Oh, Ahuvaleh,” I console her, as I have every other night and morning since her new preschool started. “I know it’s hard to go to school in a new language and not understand what the morah or the other kids are saying, but it will get easier. I promise.”

Inwardly, though, I question this promise.

Read More:Bittersweet

The (Un)Affordable Care Act

health care

Five years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more famously known as Obamacare, open season has come around again. As our mailboxes fill with offers and reminders from insurance companies, and ads appear encouraging us to sign up, I thought it would be a good time to look at how this momentous and highly controversial change in the medical system is playing out on the ground along Park Heights and Greenspring Avenues. Do more people have access to health insurance? Have the costs gone down? Who has been helped by the law and who not – and why? And how have doctors been affected?

Read More:The (Un)Affordable Care Act

Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin, Hy”d

On October 1, Arabs ambushed a car on a lonely road, murdering Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin, who were returning to their home in the Shomron. By some miracle, the four Henkin children in the backseat survived. Aside from the brutality of the deed, this murder seemed to initiate the present spate of attacks in Yerushalayim and throughout Eretz Yisrael. We offer this article as a memorial and tribute to a special couple, whose felled future represents a great loss to the Jewish people.

Rabbi Eitam Henkin was a scion of a distinguished Torah family. His great-grandfather, Rabbi Yosef Eliyahu Henkin (1881-1973), was one of the prominent poskim in America, along with Rav Moshe Feinstein. His father, Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin, is the dean of Nishmat, an institution of advanced Torah learning for women, where he is the halachic authority. His mother Chana founded Nishmat, as well as its yoatzot halacha program, where women are trained to be a resource for other women in matters of taharas hamishpacha.

Read More:Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin, Hy”d