Opening Thoughts: It’s Back to School Time


It’s that time again. Soon the yellow buses will be rolling and children will be carrying backpacks laden with books and notebooks.

Deciding on the right school for your children is not easy – especially when you are weighing the costs and benefits of a private school education. The JT staff investigated some local private schools in the Baltimore area and summarized them for you in our cover story.

You’ll also find helpful back-to-school organizing tips and tricks from Baltimore’s own
Tanya Klein of Precision Organizing, a professional home and home office organizer in Pikesville.

In local news, people came out in force in Howard County on Sunday to protest the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility at Jessup. Prominent rabbis were in attendance, including Rabbi Sonya Starr of Columbia Jewish Congregation; Rabbi Jeremy Kridel of Machar; the Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism; Rabbi Daniel Burg; Rabbi Jessy Dressin from the JCC of Greater Baltimore; Rabbi Deborah Wechsler of Chizuk Amuno Congregation; and Rabbi Andy Gordon of Bolton Street Synagogue.

The protest was hosted by Baltimore Jews Against ICE and co-sponsored by numerous organizations, including Jews United For Justice, CASA, Columbia Jewish Congregation, Baltimore Jewish Cultural Chavurah, Torah Trumps Hate, March on Maryland, Hopkins Coalition Against ICE and Sanctuary Streets Baltimore.

From Howard County, we travel across the world to Tokyo with Bracha Strimber of Pikesville as she meets her lifelong penpal for the very first time. It was a life-changing experience for both women, who had shared 56 years of their lives with each other only through written letters and photographs.

This fall, Etz Chaim Young Jewish Professionals is starting the Mother-Daughter Brunch Club, a monthly event for Jewish mothers and their young professional daughters to “share meaningful conversations about connection, relationships, Judaism and more.” From September through April, Jewish mothers and their daughters between the ages of 21-35 can come together on one Sunday each month. The kickoff event is set for September 8. Each brunch will be hosted at the home of a participating mother, daughter or guest speaker. Check out the details right here in the JT.

Rosh Hashanah is coming, and in a new column called “Brenda Says,” Brenda Footer, director of PJ Library at the Center for Jewish Education in Baltimore, offers her recommendations for books to get children of all ages into the High Holiday spirit.

As we move from the mourning and sadness of Tisha B’Av into the season of renewal and hope for the future, the JT staff wishes you all a Shabbat Shalom.

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