One Jewish man from South Baltimore, the son of Orthodox Ukrainian immigrants, graduated from Talmudical Academy of Baltimore, became a rabbi and went on to forever change the world of politics and interfaith relations.
Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum died in 1992 at the age of 66, but his life and impact still resonates today, 27 years after his death. A human rights and social justice activist, Tanenbaum was a confidant to presidents and popes alike. And he devoted his entire life to building bridges between faiths, and finding common ground in order to create mutual respect and eliminate stereotypes based on ignorance and fear.
In this week’s cover story, JT reporter Susan Ingram explores Tanenbaum’s Baltimore roots on Light Street and speaks with his widow, Dr. Georgette Bennett, in anticipation of the first complete biography of Tanenbaum’s life. “Confronting Hate: The Untold Story of the Rabbi Who Stood Up for Human Rights, Racial Justice, and Religious Reconciliation,” by Deborah Hart Strober and Gerald S. Strober, is set to be released on June 25.
Ingram writes that the book is divided into five parts: Tanenbaum’s early life in Baltimore and influential years in college and yeshiva; his time on the Synagogue Council of America and the American Jewish Committee; the years he spent fomenting change with the Vatican Council II, Catholic Church dogma and anti-Semitic tropes; his work with powerful Christian leaders, the civil rights movement and aiding Soviet Jewry; and his private life, describing “Tanenbaum the man and Tanenbaum the great humanitarian.”
JT reporter Connor Graham writes how a shopping trip in Pikesville after Shabbos resulted in an international friendship between Ros Glaser of Australia and Hinda Moskovitz of Pikesville.
JT reporter Victoria Brown covers how Jewish educators and partners gathered in May to discuss the future of Jewish education and how to help Jewish children fully embrace Judaism. The conference was organized by the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC), a program of the Mayberg Foundation.
“JEIC is providing a platform for Jewish educators and innovators in the field to really test new models of conveying Jewish education and really providing a source of leadership for the Jewish education field,” said Manette Mayberg, trustee of the foundation. “What we see now is that there’s often an emphasis on evaluative processes in Jewish schools that focus on grades and scores and rankings,” Mayberg said. “But it doesn’t capture at all whether that student is building a lifelong love of Jewish learning, of Jewish life, participation, leadership. A strong Jewish identity that will carry them through life.”