Opening Thoughts: Ordinary Heroes

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Leila Hertzberg of Gaithersburg is a hero. Craig Bober of Randallstown is also a hero. And many abused and neglected horses would agree.

You can visit Leila’s farm in this week’s cover story by JT senior writer Rachel Kohn. Leila’s farm is home to Lifeline Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation, a community resource for abused, neglected or unwanted horses. People contact Hertzberg about horses in need, or reach out to her for placement if they can no longer care for their own.


She also scours the auction websites of “kill pen” brokers, who purchase unwanted horses and try to make a higher profit before selling them to meat processors in Mexico and Canada.

Craig Bober is currently fostering his second horse through Lifeline. Feeling Super is a five-year-old thoroughbred mare, the daughter of a Kentucky Derby winner, who was found in a kill pen about to be euthanized.

Lifeline Horse Rescue, however, is ultimately a story of forming bonds and connections.

In another story along that theme, the Jewish and African American communities last week had a unique opportunity to bond over Shabbat and good food!

Beth Tfiloh Congregation and Liberty Grace Church of God came together for “Breaking Bread and Building Bridges,” the third in a series of events between the two congregations. JT reporter Shani Goloskov was there, and describes a beautiful scene of unity, laughter and fun. The series of events is the result of the friendship between Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg and the Rev. Terris A. King, who connected two years ago through Antero Pietila’s book “Not in My Neighborhood.” The book looks at residential segregation practices towards blacks and Jews in Baltimore.

In local news, Beth Israel welcomes Rabbi Ariel Greenberg-Platt as director of education and engagement, and JT reporter Sydney Kligman gives us the inside scoop. The 33-year-old is a Baltimore native and attended Dickinson College for her undergraduate studies, majoring in psychology. She then went on to the Jewish Theological Seminary where she majored in Jewish thought and was ordained as a Conservative rabbi in 2015.

I’m pleased to introduce you to our newest staff member, Rachel Kohn, senior writer and digital content coordinator for both the JT and Washington Jewish Week. Rachel was formerly editor-in-chief of Kol HaBirah: Voice of the Capital. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Rachel began her journalism career as special correspondent for The Detroit Jewish News, reporting on life in Israel as a seminary student during the Second Intifada and in the shadow of the US invasion of Iraq. She completed her undergraduate studies at Brandeis University and earned her master’s from American University. Her writing has also been published by The Jerusalem Post, The Peace Journalist, Huffington Post, and The Culture-ist.

Shabbat Shalom.

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