What a Year!

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It’s been a busy year for the JT and for all media outlets — between the eternal national drama on Capitol Hill; the unfortunate barrage of anti-Semitic incidents; the midterm elections; and a number of major local news stories, there have been few quiet days in the JT newsroom.

To help remind our readers just what a jam-packed year this has been, this week’s cover story reviews 10 of the year’s biggest news stories we covered in Baltimore and beyond. Towering Baltimore figures died, a beloved bakery closed its doors, Israel turned 70 and tragedy struck in Pittsburgh and Annapolis. If this roundup whets your appetite, we hope you’ll visit our website to reread some of the articles.

While there may not be any grand lesson to draw from such a tumultuous year, many of the events served as reminders of the awesome power of Jewish Baltimore. Rereading our coverage of the post-Pittsburgh solidarity gatherings again brought tears my eyes, for I remember how crowded those events were and how moving the speeches and songs were. No incident of consequence went unnoticed by advocates, police, politicians and community leaders, who took public action, held vigils, denounced anti-Semitism, and most importantly, continued the work.

This week’s issue also brings you three major stories that broke last week. Seasons kosher market in Pikesville, which has been the subject of much community speculation since the chain declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September, is under new ownership, as Connor Graham reports. An investment group that includes members of the Rubashkin family has purchased the Baltimore store. With three generations in the kosher meat industry, a family member told the JT they didn’t want to see the store close.

The subject of our Dec. 14 cover story, the Towson and Goucher Chabad, just filed a federal lawsuit against Baltimore County alleging religious discrimination. As Susan C. Ingram reports, Rabbi Mendy Rivkin, his wife Sheiny and Friends of Lubavitch, Inc., which owns the embattled property, are seeking an injunction on the order to demolish their $800,000 addition, to recover personal and court costs and to be able to use the building as a religious center.

And in sadder news, Baltimore lost one of its biggest fans when storyteller Gil Sandler died on Dec. 19. Known for his whimsical tales of old Baltimore and deep knowledge of its Jewish history, Sandler was an institution whose warmth and knowledge are recalled in Connor’s obituary.

Happy (Gregorian) New Year, and happy reading!

mshapiro@midatlanticmedia.com

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