Community Articles

Jewish Caring Network’s 5K Race Is a Win-Win

jewish caring networkjewish caring network

Last year, Nechama Stein, a young lady who relies on her wheelchair for long walks, walked two very difficult laps around the Baltimore Zoo – approximately two miles – on crutches. This May, as an UMBC cardiac ultrasound student, Nechama found it more challenging to train and only walked one lap. Both years, she completed the Jewish Caring Network’s 5K Women’s Care Run to heartwarming cheers from family and friends, who met her (and her wheelchair, which followed her, thanks to yet other friends and family members) at the finish line!

Nechama soon answers the obvious question: Why would she do something so difficult for her? “The Jewish Caring Network bought me an electric scooter when I was younger, to help me get around more easily,” says Nechama. They bought me custom-made Shabbos shoes, and when I had surgery, they were a huge help to the rest of my family. Then, when my father was sick, they also helped out, making sure that we had everything we needed in the house, because my mother was in the hospital with my father. Although, it was more challenging for me to be in the 5K, this year, I wanted to give back what I could to an organization that did so much for me.”

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The Key to Parnassa

shlissel challah

Year after year, I ask myself why I am doing shlissel challa. This is the custom of inserting a key into the challa dough for the Shabbos after Pesach. It wasn’t always that way.

When I attended Bais Yaakov of Baltimore, there was not much emphasis on segulos (protective rituals). Reb Yonason Eibshutz was mentioned in our Jewish history class only once as a Rav in the 1700s who had a dispute with Rav Yaakov Emden about cameas, amulets. It was explained to us that we do not use cameas nowadays. I got a similar answer about another esoteric subject. When I asked my father, Rabbi Moshe Shuvalsky, as well as Rabbi Steinberg, z”l, our principal, to explain gilgul neshamos (reincarnation), they both told me that it exists, but we do not delve into it, because we are concerned with keeping the Torah in this world.

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Tizmoret Shoshana


“One hen, two ducks, three squawking geese,” I begin.

“Four limerick oysters, five corpulent porpoises,” a few girls chime in.

I pause to remember the rest of the memorized count, and a violinist shouts from behind her music stand, “Six pair of Don Alverzoz tweezers, seven Macedonian soldiers dressed in full battle array!”

So began another incredible week at Tizmoret Shoshana, a creative arts camp for Jewish girls. Tizmoret is filled with colors. The girls are individuals, with big visions and bigger hearts. The friendships that develop are strong and long lasting. The campus is stunning, open and surrounded by nature. Counselors give everything to their campers. One counselor, who studied voice, piano, and ballet, would visit my room every night to sing to us. Another, who flew in from Israel each year to teach music, introduced us to a never ending game, which we played deep into the night. Chana Chava, the creative writing director, told us stories around the campfire that sent chills up our arms.

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Hats Off to… A Financial Analysis of the Borsalino Boycott


We all had our fill of hamantaschen recently, so I thought we should pause and, in proper post-Purim spirit, focus on Mordechai-taschen. “What’s that!” you ask? Why, Mordechai’s version of a hat, of course. You see, the origin of our favorite three-cornered baked treats, it is said, was the triangular shape of the evil Haman’s hat. But have we ever considered what Mordechai’s hat looked like? Folks I think it must have been a Borsalino. What else?

I embarked on this quest for Mordechai’s head covering due to a recent item in the frum media, which reported on a Borsalino boycott. It apparently started with a group of Chabad yeshiva bachurim who were angry at the price spike on this frum essential to an unacceptable $300 and decided to take action. This unprecedented tactic has since spread to other circles.

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Shalom Bayis

crying child

Dear Dr. Weisbord,

Our youngest son is in elementary school and not doing well. He has a slight learning disability and is perhaps a little awkward. He is teased by the other children, to the point that he doesn’t want to go to school. We have a huge fight every morning to get him out the door, with lots of yelling and tears. He also refuses to go to shul on Shabbos, because the same kids torment him there.

The school is giving us a hard time. They are very critical, and make me feel inadequate as a parent. Their latest suggestion is to sign him up for a social skills class.

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Scouting Around Baltimore

boy scouts

Dovid Cynamon is not your run-of-the-mill kollel fellow. The Pittsburgh native joined Boy Scouts when he was 11 years old, and has been juggling his kollel studies at Ner Israel with his passion for Scouting since June 2011. He founded and currently leads Boy Scout Troop 611 for middle and high schoolers and Cub Scout Pack 611 for elementary school boys, both of which meet on Yeshiva Lane. These Scout units are chartered by Shearith Israel Congregation; Rabbi Hopfer, along with two shul board members, approve all activities and adult volunteers. Current Scout members are students at Talmudical Academy and Torah Institute.

 “I had so much fun and grew so much that I stayed involved with Boy Scouts and Sea Scouts through twelfth grade,” notes Dovid, who mentions that Ner Tamid also has a Boy Scout troop and a Cub Scout pack.

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