Our most-read stories from 2020


By Selah Maya Zighelboim and Jesse Berman

This past year, we saw a major election, Black Lives Matter protests and, of course, coronavirus. From the toll it took on our mental and physical health, to its financial hardships, to learning to do all our socializing via Zoom, to even just the day-to-day drag of spending enormous amounts of time at home, we found our lives utterly transformed. We’ve also had more time to focus on our hobbies, give back to the community and be with our families.

Many of our stories reflected the trends and events that defined this year. As we look back on 2020, we figured we’d let you know what Jewish Times stories you, the readers, read the most, according to Google Analytics.

Baltimore Community Experiences Historic Lockdown in Response to Coronavirus

“Across the Baltimore Jewish community, everything is quiet.”

So begins our cover story from March 20, and our most-read story from 2020.

Halfway through March, our circumstances felt surreal. We were canceling events, postponing weddings, unable to attend the funerals of our loved ones. This article noted some of the ways our lives were being disrupted in the earliest days of the pandemic.

“We just don’t know what to expect or how long it will last,” Baltimore Jewish Council Executive Director Howard Libit said at the time.

Ain’t that the truth?

Nine Jewish Movies to Watch in Quarantine

Days blurred into weeks, weeks into months. Those of us who were lucky found ourselves, especially earlier on in the pandemic, spending unending time at home with our families, staring into our computer screens as we tackled remote work and school. In response,
the Jewish Times put together a few pieces on finding ways to stay occupied at home.

One of those was on some Jewish films to watch in quarantine, featuring options ranging from the 2016 historical drama “Denial,” which chronicles the fight of a scholar to prove in court that the Holocaust took place, to the 1986 animated classic, “An American Tail,” a children’s adventure about a young mouse who immigrates to America. Readers clearly appreciated the recommendations, because this piece was our second-most-read story of the year.

The Etymology of Hate

If you’re a person who consumes the Jewish Times only from the print magazine, here’s a piece that may make you want to take a look at our website, too.

“The Etymology of Hate” was our third-most-read story from this past year, and it was an online-only listicle that explained the history behind some of the words that have been used against Jewish people. In a year that continued to see anti-Semitism, perhaps it’s no surprise that people wanted to read more about the history of hate.

French Kosher Cafe Opens in Pikesville

2020 wasn’t only a year of trials. There were also triumphs. Despite the difficulties facing the restaurant industry, some new kosher restaurants opened in the Baltimore area this past year. One of them was Croustille Café, a French cafe selling kosher pastries to one and all in the Pikesville area. Started by the Jewish French immigrant Moshe Mimoun, the cafe offers crepes, danishes, cheesecake and other authentic French cuisine to its customers.

Our story about the cafe opening comes in at our fourth-most-read story of the year.

Covenant Guild Women Knit Hats for Babies

A silver lining of 2020 is that many saw it as a calling to step up and do more, to help each other shoulder the added burdens thrust on us.

In comes this story, our fifth-most-read article for the year. It covered Covenant Guild, a 74-year-old philanthropic sisterhood, where this giving back took the form of almost doubling the number of baby hats they knitted during the pandemic for area newborns. Since 1996, the group has normally averaged knitting some 400 hats per year. Between January and August of 2020, however, the group was able to churn out at least that many, thanks in part to all the extra time they’ve had at home.

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