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The Jewish Community of Baltimore

Baltimore

Largest city in the state of Maryland, USA, founded in 1729

Early History

The first Jews in the city at the start of the 19th century were from Germany and Holland and by 1860 the Jewish population numbered more than 8,000, with both Orthodox and radical Reform. With the arrival of Jews from Eastern Europe many landsmannschaft synagogues were opened.

The first Jewish school was opened in 1842, and ten years later a society was formed to provide education for poor and orphaned children. At the start of the 20th century the running of the schools passed to the community, but by the 1950s it had returned to synagogal auspices. Samson Benderly was among those who worked to further Jewish education in Baltimore, and at the start of the 20th century Louis l. Kaplan served as Director of the Board of Jewish education. Several Jewish newspapers appeared in the city in English, German, and Yiddish; a monthly - "Sinai" - edited by David Einhorn, a Reform radical (1856); and the first American Hebrew weekly “Ha-Pisgah” (1891-1893).

Famous rabbis include David Einhorn, Abraham Rice, Benjamin Szold, Bernard Illowy and Jacob Agus. Outstanding in Baltimore's cultural life were the sculptor Ephraim Kaiser, the painters Saul Bernstein and Louis Rosenthal, the writer Gertrude Stein, and the poet Karl Shapiro.

There were two wealthy families, the Ettings and the Cohens, among the early settlers who came from Bavaria. These settlers were mainly peddlers and small traders until they rose to become traders in the garment industry. The German Jews did all they could to stop the influx of east European Jews to their city and employed them in harsh conditions which led to the formation of the needle trade unions after strikes and lockouts had occurred. The Sonneborn firm, one of the largest men's clothing factories in the USA, was forced into collective bargaining in 1914. The immigrants lived in overcrowded poor conditions, but they organized a rich social and cultural life - also involving the Zionists, the Bundists and Anarchists, Orthodox and Maskilim. A night school was started in 1889 by Henrietta Szold and became the prototype of night schools in the country. Many Jews opened their own enterprises and achieved wealth, including Jacob Epstein, who built a successful mail order business.
Jews have served at all levels of city, state and federal government; Etting and Cohen were members of the city council in 1826, Isidor Rayner served as a member of the US Senate 1904-1912, Philip Perlman was solicitor-general, the first Jew to hold this post, and after him Simon Sobeloff. Marvin Mandel was Governor of the State of Maryland.

Baltimore was an important Zionist center. In the 1880s one of the first Hibbat Zion groups arose in the city. The only American delegate to the first Zionist congress in Basel was R. Shepzel Schaffer from Baltimore and the ophthalmologist Harry Friederwald was the second president of the American Zionist Federation. Henrietta Szold, a native of Baltimore, began the Zionist work there, and in 1905 the founding convention of Poalei Zion in the United States took place. The local Hadassah organization had no less than 6,300 members.

In 1970 there were in Baltimore 92,000 Jews with 50 synagogues and a community center, among the largest in America. More than 90% of Jewish children went to Jewish schools. In addition to part-time schools, Baltimore had three Jewish day schools with 1,500 students - 15% of all local Jewish students, a higher percentage than the national average of 10%. Two institutions of higher learning are Hebrew college, founded by Israel Eros with 800 students, and a rabbinical college "Ner Israel" founded in 1933 by Rabbi Jacob I. Ruderman, with about 500 students. Thousands of adults attended various courses run by the Hebrew college and by large synagogues and in 1960 the Jewish Historical Society of Maryland was organized. From 1919 the weekly "Jewish Times" appeared. A central philanthropic organization was set up, also operating in educational fields. Of all the patients treated at the organization's Sinai hospital, 70% are non- Jews.

In 1997 there were 100,000 Jews in Baltimore.


Early 21st Century

In 2010, according to a study sponsored by the Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, the city’s Jewish population was numbered at 93,400 people. By 2013, Baltimore and the surrounding metropolitan area boasted a community of nearly 100,000 Jews, approximately four percent of the city’s total population. Almost half of the Jews living in Baltimore were born in other locations in the United States.

Following the Islamic revolution in 1979, many Jews from Iran began to settle in Baltimore. In 1981, ten immigrants from Iran established the Ohr HaMizrach Congregation and Sephardic Center. By 2010, it served an estimated one hundred fifty Persian-Jewish families. During the late 1980s and 1990s, a large number of Jewish families from the former Soviet Union immigrated to the United States. By 2012, they comprised nearly four percent of Baltimore’s Jewish population.

In the Greater Baltimore area are a number of non-profit, community-based organizations which serve more than 43,000 Jewish households. These organizations work to promote Jewish values and to strengthen the Jewish community. They sponsor a variety of programs for children, families and adults. They also provide a wide range of services including healthcare, food, housing, education and financial support. Such organizations include the Hebrew Free Loan Association, Jewish Community Services, the Counseling, Helpline & Aid Network for Abused Women, the Pearlstone Center and the Comprehensive Housing & Assistance Inc. Educational programs and support can be found at the Louise D. and Morton J. Macks Center for Jewish Education, the Baltimore Hebrew Institute, and Shemesh. Many of these organizations are directly sponsored by or are in partnership with The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. The Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC) for example is one such program. Similar programs are organized by the Jewish Community Center and the Baltimore Jewish Council.

Providing medical care to thousands throughout Greater Baltimore is two of the city’s most prominent medical centers, the Sinai Hospital and the Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center & Hospital. Additional healthcare facilities include the Jewish Caring Network, the Hachnosas Orchim Program and Bikur Cholim.

By 1999, there were more than sixty synagogues, representing every branch of Judaism, from Orthodox to Reconstructionist. There are thirty-two Orthodox congregations, eight Conservative, four Reform, two Reconstructionist, and possibly sixteen or more who identify as independent. The results of the 2010 Baltimore Jewish Community Study revealed that seventy-four percent of Jewish Baltimore felt that being Jewish was important to them. According to the same study, forty-six percent of Jewish households reported to be members of a congregation, while seventy-six percent reported to attend services weekly and on High Holidays.

Since the end of the 20th century, Baltimore has seen a rise in the number of Jewish schools. The Baltimore Jewish community includes a wide range of Jewish educational programs and institutions. As of 2009, there were more than twenty preschools or daycares and over a dozen day schools for children from the elementary school to high school level. These schools are affiliated with the many branches of Judaism, particularly the Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative movements. As are the city’s fourteen Jewish children’s camps. Baltimore is also home to institutions of higher learning, such as the Ner Israel Rabbinical College and Hebrew University, which was founded by Israel Efros in 1919. The Baltimore Hebrew University was active until 2009 when it merged with Towson University, becoming the Baltimore Hebrew Institute. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Judaic studies.

As a way to promote Jewish life and values, the Jewish community of Greater Baltimore established various cultural centers for children, families and individuals. One in particular is the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore. A constituent agency of The Associated (The Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore), the JCC offers a variety of cultural and social activities and programs including family events, a fitness center and a center for performing arts.

Located in downtown Baltimore is the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Founded in 1960 to restore the Lloyd Street Synagogue, the museum commemorates the history, culture and experience of the Jewish community of Baltimore. It is the largest regional Jewish museum in the United States. Another prominent cultural site is the city’s Holocaust memorial –the Holocaust Memorial Park. The center plaza was designed to resemble the two triangles which form the symbol of the Star-of-David.

Additional Jewish landmarks can be found throughout the city. Reisterstown road is home to the Jewish shopping district, a thriving area full of Judaic gift shops, book stores and several kosher restaurants.

The historic Park Circle district is a frequent attraction for walking tours as it had been the home to an early community of Jews from Eastern Europe. From the early 20th century to the 1960s, Park Circle had been a predominantly Jewish neighborhood.

An important icon of Baltimore’s Jewish history is the site of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. Built in 1875, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.

Included on the campus of the Jewish Museum of Maryland is the Lloyd Street Synagogue. Founded in 1845, it is America’s third-oldest surviving synagogue.

At the turn of the 20th century, nearly ninety-two thousand Jews lived in Greater Baltimore. Approximately six percent of all households were Jewish. At the time, one quarter of the Jewish population lived within the city limits while seventy percent resided in suburban areas. Many Jewish households lived in predominantly Jewish areas. Major Jewish enclaves were established in Northwest Baltimore neighborhoods like Upper Park Heights, Mount Washington and Pikesville, which is home to one of the largest Jewish communities in all of Maryland.

The Jewish community of Baltimore has a long history of philanthropy and community aid. According to the 2010 Baltimore Jewish Community Study, nearly eighty-seven percent of Jewish households donate to a charity. Sixty-three percent donate to Jewish organizations, programs or causes. In the late 19th century, several charities were established by the German-Jewish community. Many of these charities developed to support the incoming waves of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, many of whom were very poor. As Eastern European Jews established themselves in Baltimore, they began to develop their own charities and communal programs. By the 20th century, two philanthropic networks existed. German Jews created the Federated Jewish Charities and Eastern European Jews established the United Hebrew Charities. In 1921, the two merged, forming the Associated Jewish Charities.

The Sinai Hospital and the Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center were created by the United Benevolent Society which was founded in 1834. One of the largest and most successful philanthropic organizations in Baltimore is The Associated. Also known as the Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, they fund a variety of programs which benefit the Jewish community including financial and social services, healthcare, education, recreation and cultural activities.

Providing Baltimore’s Jewish community with news and entertainment is the Baltimore Jewish Times, a subscription-based weekly publication founded in 1919 by David Alter. It is the largest and oldest Jewish publication in Maryland and one of the premiere independent Jewish newspapers in the United States. The Baltimore Jewish Times is also the publisher of the Washington Jewish Week and Jewishtimes.com. Another source of Jewish news is the Baltimore Jewish Life, a website developed by professionals in the Orthodox Jewish community of Baltimore. Like the Baltimore Jewish Times, Baltimore Jewish Life publishes articles and content of local and international interest. Both function as educational tools and work to promote Jewish values in the Baltimore community.

Place Type:
City
ID Number:
237607
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
Nearby places:

Related items:
Glass, Philip , composer. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, he studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Glass wrote many of his compositions for his own ensemble which consists, in the main, of keyboard instruments, synthesizers, woodwind instruments and singers. He is regarded as one of the founders of minimal music, characterized by numerous repetitions of short melodic figures influenced by Indian music which Glass studied with Ravi Shankar and others. He composed an opera trilogy: EINSTEIN ON THE BEACH (1976); SATYAGRAHA(1980) and ECHNATON (1983). He also composed incidental music for the theater and film.

Larry Adler (1914-2001) , harmonica player , born in Baltimore, Maryland (USA), surnamed Lawrence . He first performed in revues and films and developed the technique of the chromatic mouth organ. Between 1934 and 1939, Adler worked in England but returned to the US upon the outbreak of World War II. During the war he performed before US servicemen. Simultaneously, he embarked on a career as a concert performer and appeared as a soloist with symphony orchestras.
Adler’s ambition was to establish the harmonica as an instrument worthy of the performance of serious music. Upon Adler’s initiative, Darius Milhaud composed his SUITE for harmonica and orchestra (1945), Ralph Vaughan-Williams wrote his ROMANCE for harmonica and orchestra (1952) and Oedoen Partos wrote DIALOGUE (1963) for him. Adler is the author of How I Play (1936) and Harmonica Favourites (1944). Died in London.

Albert Siegfried Aharon Bettelheim (1830-1890), rabbi, born in Hlohovec, Slovakia (then in the Austrian Empire). He studied in the Pressburg (now Bratislava, Slovakia, then in the Austrian Empire) and other yeshivot and at Prague University. He was Austrian correspondent for a number of foreign newspapers and then became director of a Jewish school network in Temeszvar (now Timisoara, Romania) and editor of a political journal. He was then rabbi in Komorn and Kaschau where he also edited a political journal which aroused so much opposition (including a threat of excommunication) that he emigrated to the United States where in 1867 he was rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Philadelphia, PA. In 1869 he became rabbi of congregation Beth Ahabah in Richmond, Virginia, where he also edited a weekly journal and received a medical degree. From 1875 Bettelheim was rabbi of Ohabei Shalom in San Francisco and from 1887 of the first Baltimore Hebrew congregation. He wrote extensively, both on scholarly subjects and stories of Jewish life in Europe.

Felix Albert Bettelheim (1861-1890), physician, born in Galgoc on the Vag, Hungary (then in Austria-Hungary), son of Rabbi Aaron Siegfried (Albert) Bettelheim, a physician and journalist. Brought to the United States by his parents as a young boy, he graduated from the University of California with honors at the age of seventeen and was awarded his degree in medicine from the San Francisco Medical College in 1880. The same year he was appointed resident physician of the San Quentin State Prison. From 1883 until a year before his death he served as surgeon-general of the Panama Railroad and Canal Company.

Bettelheim discovered a germ which caused certain tropical diseases. The reputation he gained with his discovery enabled him to conduct research at major European clinics in 1889. He contributed to the Lancet in London, England, and was the author of "On Contagious Diseases of Tropical Countries". He was decorated by the United States Government in recognition of his efforts in the building of the first hospital in Panama. Bettelheim died in Baltimore, MD, in 1890

William Frisch (1854-1910), reporter and managing editor, born in Bohemia, Czech Republic (then part of the Austrian Empire). He immigrated to the USA. with his parents when he was eleven years of age and attended school in Baltimore. At the age of fourteen he became a bookkeeper and later a printer. When he was eighteen, he began to provide items of local news to the newspapers and in 1872 was given a place on the staff of the Baltimore American as a reporter. He made politics his special study, and introduced the systematic reporting of City Hall news. When the American began to publish a Sunday edition, he wrote a series of articles, the first weekly political review in Baltimore; this was a feature of the paper until 1889. Frisch was the Washington correspondent in 1880 and 1881. He became managing editor of the American in 1881 and remained in that position for almost thirty years. He was editor-in-chief when he retired in 1910.

When the Jewish immigration from Russia after the pogroms of 1881 reached Baltimore, Frisch conducted free classes for the immigrants in the history and literature of the United States.

"Bais Lubavitch" synagogue,
Baltimore, Maryland, USA, 1984
Photo: Harold M. Deutsch, USA
(Beit Hatfutsot Photo Archive,
courtesy of Harold M. Deutsch, USA)
Jewish American festival at an ethnic happening.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 1981..
Photo: Alvin A. Shangold, USA.
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Alvin A. Shangold, USA)
Julius Spyer, relative of the Schmidt family,
Soldier in the Union Army during the American
Civil War,Baltimore, Meriland, USA, 1861.
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
Courtesy of Suzi Kirsch, Israel)
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The Jewish Community of Baltimore

Baltimore

Largest city in the state of Maryland, USA, founded in 1729

Early History

The first Jews in the city at the start of the 19th century were from Germany and Holland and by 1860 the Jewish population numbered more than 8,000, with both Orthodox and radical Reform. With the arrival of Jews from Eastern Europe many landsmannschaft synagogues were opened.

The first Jewish school was opened in 1842, and ten years later a society was formed to provide education for poor and orphaned children. At the start of the 20th century the running of the schools passed to the community, but by the 1950s it had returned to synagogal auspices. Samson Benderly was among those who worked to further Jewish education in Baltimore, and at the start of the 20th century Louis l. Kaplan served as Director of the Board of Jewish education. Several Jewish newspapers appeared in the city in English, German, and Yiddish; a monthly - "Sinai" - edited by David Einhorn, a Reform radical (1856); and the first American Hebrew weekly “Ha-Pisgah” (1891-1893).

Famous rabbis include David Einhorn, Abraham Rice, Benjamin Szold, Bernard Illowy and Jacob Agus. Outstanding in Baltimore's cultural life were the sculptor Ephraim Kaiser, the painters Saul Bernstein and Louis Rosenthal, the writer Gertrude Stein, and the poet Karl Shapiro.

There were two wealthy families, the Ettings and the Cohens, among the early settlers who came from Bavaria. These settlers were mainly peddlers and small traders until they rose to become traders in the garment industry. The German Jews did all they could to stop the influx of east European Jews to their city and employed them in harsh conditions which led to the formation of the needle trade unions after strikes and lockouts had occurred. The Sonneborn firm, one of the largest men's clothing factories in the USA, was forced into collective bargaining in 1914. The immigrants lived in overcrowded poor conditions, but they organized a rich social and cultural life - also involving the Zionists, the Bundists and Anarchists, Orthodox and Maskilim. A night school was started in 1889 by Henrietta Szold and became the prototype of night schools in the country. Many Jews opened their own enterprises and achieved wealth, including Jacob Epstein, who built a successful mail order business.
Jews have served at all levels of city, state and federal government; Etting and Cohen were members of the city council in 1826, Isidor Rayner served as a member of the US Senate 1904-1912, Philip Perlman was solicitor-general, the first Jew to hold this post, and after him Simon Sobeloff. Marvin Mandel was Governor of the State of Maryland.

Baltimore was an important Zionist center. In the 1880s one of the first Hibbat Zion groups arose in the city. The only American delegate to the first Zionist congress in Basel was R. Shepzel Schaffer from Baltimore and the ophthalmologist Harry Friederwald was the second president of the American Zionist Federation. Henrietta Szold, a native of Baltimore, began the Zionist work there, and in 1905 the founding convention of Poalei Zion in the United States took place. The local Hadassah organization had no less than 6,300 members.

In 1970 there were in Baltimore 92,000 Jews with 50 synagogues and a community center, among the largest in America. More than 90% of Jewish children went to Jewish schools. In addition to part-time schools, Baltimore had three Jewish day schools with 1,500 students - 15% of all local Jewish students, a higher percentage than the national average of 10%. Two institutions of higher learning are Hebrew college, founded by Israel Eros with 800 students, and a rabbinical college "Ner Israel" founded in 1933 by Rabbi Jacob I. Ruderman, with about 500 students. Thousands of adults attended various courses run by the Hebrew college and by large synagogues and in 1960 the Jewish Historical Society of Maryland was organized. From 1919 the weekly "Jewish Times" appeared. A central philanthropic organization was set up, also operating in educational fields. Of all the patients treated at the organization's Sinai hospital, 70% are non- Jews.

In 1997 there were 100,000 Jews in Baltimore.


Early 21st Century

In 2010, according to a study sponsored by the Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, the city’s Jewish population was numbered at 93,400 people. By 2013, Baltimore and the surrounding metropolitan area boasted a community of nearly 100,000 Jews, approximately four percent of the city’s total population. Almost half of the Jews living in Baltimore were born in other locations in the United States.

Following the Islamic revolution in 1979, many Jews from Iran began to settle in Baltimore. In 1981, ten immigrants from Iran established the Ohr HaMizrach Congregation and Sephardic Center. By 2010, it served an estimated one hundred fifty Persian-Jewish families. During the late 1980s and 1990s, a large number of Jewish families from the former Soviet Union immigrated to the United States. By 2012, they comprised nearly four percent of Baltimore’s Jewish population.

In the Greater Baltimore area are a number of non-profit, community-based organizations which serve more than 43,000 Jewish households. These organizations work to promote Jewish values and to strengthen the Jewish community. They sponsor a variety of programs for children, families and adults. They also provide a wide range of services including healthcare, food, housing, education and financial support. Such organizations include the Hebrew Free Loan Association, Jewish Community Services, the Counseling, Helpline & Aid Network for Abused Women, the Pearlstone Center and the Comprehensive Housing & Assistance Inc. Educational programs and support can be found at the Louise D. and Morton J. Macks Center for Jewish Education, the Baltimore Hebrew Institute, and Shemesh. Many of these organizations are directly sponsored by or are in partnership with The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. The Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC) for example is one such program. Similar programs are organized by the Jewish Community Center and the Baltimore Jewish Council.

Providing medical care to thousands throughout Greater Baltimore is two of the city’s most prominent medical centers, the Sinai Hospital and the Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center & Hospital. Additional healthcare facilities include the Jewish Caring Network, the Hachnosas Orchim Program and Bikur Cholim.

By 1999, there were more than sixty synagogues, representing every branch of Judaism, from Orthodox to Reconstructionist. There are thirty-two Orthodox congregations, eight Conservative, four Reform, two Reconstructionist, and possibly sixteen or more who identify as independent. The results of the 2010 Baltimore Jewish Community Study revealed that seventy-four percent of Jewish Baltimore felt that being Jewish was important to them. According to the same study, forty-six percent of Jewish households reported to be members of a congregation, while seventy-six percent reported to attend services weekly and on High Holidays.

Since the end of the 20th century, Baltimore has seen a rise in the number of Jewish schools. The Baltimore Jewish community includes a wide range of Jewish educational programs and institutions. As of 2009, there were more than twenty preschools or daycares and over a dozen day schools for children from the elementary school to high school level. These schools are affiliated with the many branches of Judaism, particularly the Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative movements. As are the city’s fourteen Jewish children’s camps. Baltimore is also home to institutions of higher learning, such as the Ner Israel Rabbinical College and Hebrew University, which was founded by Israel Efros in 1919. The Baltimore Hebrew University was active until 2009 when it merged with Towson University, becoming the Baltimore Hebrew Institute. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Judaic studies.

As a way to promote Jewish life and values, the Jewish community of Greater Baltimore established various cultural centers for children, families and individuals. One in particular is the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore. A constituent agency of The Associated (The Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore), the JCC offers a variety of cultural and social activities and programs including family events, a fitness center and a center for performing arts.

Located in downtown Baltimore is the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Founded in 1960 to restore the Lloyd Street Synagogue, the museum commemorates the history, culture and experience of the Jewish community of Baltimore. It is the largest regional Jewish museum in the United States. Another prominent cultural site is the city’s Holocaust memorial –the Holocaust Memorial Park. The center plaza was designed to resemble the two triangles which form the symbol of the Star-of-David.

Additional Jewish landmarks can be found throughout the city. Reisterstown road is home to the Jewish shopping district, a thriving area full of Judaic gift shops, book stores and several kosher restaurants.

The historic Park Circle district is a frequent attraction for walking tours as it had been the home to an early community of Jews from Eastern Europe. From the early 20th century to the 1960s, Park Circle had been a predominantly Jewish neighborhood.

An important icon of Baltimore’s Jewish history is the site of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. Built in 1875, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.

Included on the campus of the Jewish Museum of Maryland is the Lloyd Street Synagogue. Founded in 1845, it is America’s third-oldest surviving synagogue.

At the turn of the 20th century, nearly ninety-two thousand Jews lived in Greater Baltimore. Approximately six percent of all households were Jewish. At the time, one quarter of the Jewish population lived within the city limits while seventy percent resided in suburban areas. Many Jewish households lived in predominantly Jewish areas. Major Jewish enclaves were established in Northwest Baltimore neighborhoods like Upper Park Heights, Mount Washington and Pikesville, which is home to one of the largest Jewish communities in all of Maryland.

The Jewish community of Baltimore has a long history of philanthropy and community aid. According to the 2010 Baltimore Jewish Community Study, nearly eighty-seven percent of Jewish households donate to a charity. Sixty-three percent donate to Jewish organizations, programs or causes. In the late 19th century, several charities were established by the German-Jewish community. Many of these charities developed to support the incoming waves of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, many of whom were very poor. As Eastern European Jews established themselves in Baltimore, they began to develop their own charities and communal programs. By the 20th century, two philanthropic networks existed. German Jews created the Federated Jewish Charities and Eastern European Jews established the United Hebrew Charities. In 1921, the two merged, forming the Associated Jewish Charities.

The Sinai Hospital and the Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center were created by the United Benevolent Society which was founded in 1834. One of the largest and most successful philanthropic organizations in Baltimore is The Associated. Also known as the Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, they fund a variety of programs which benefit the Jewish community including financial and social services, healthcare, education, recreation and cultural activities.

Providing Baltimore’s Jewish community with news and entertainment is the Baltimore Jewish Times, a subscription-based weekly publication founded in 1919 by David Alter. It is the largest and oldest Jewish publication in Maryland and one of the premiere independent Jewish newspapers in the United States. The Baltimore Jewish Times is also the publisher of the Washington Jewish Week and Jewishtimes.com. Another source of Jewish news is the Baltimore Jewish Life, a website developed by professionals in the Orthodox Jewish community of Baltimore. Like the Baltimore Jewish Times, Baltimore Jewish Life publishes articles and content of local and international interest. Both function as educational tools and work to promote Jewish values in the Baltimore community.

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
Glass, Philip
Glass, Philip , composer. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, he studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Glass wrote many of his compositions for his own ensemble which consists, in the main, of keyboard instruments, synthesizers, woodwind instruments and singers. He is regarded as one of the founders of minimal music, characterized by numerous repetitions of short melodic figures influenced by Indian music which Glass studied with Ravi Shankar and others. He composed an opera trilogy: EINSTEIN ON THE BEACH (1976); SATYAGRAHA(1980) and ECHNATON (1983). He also composed incidental music for the theater and film.
Larry Adler

Larry Adler (1914-2001) , harmonica player , born in Baltimore, Maryland (USA), surnamed Lawrence . He first performed in revues and films and developed the technique of the chromatic mouth organ. Between 1934 and 1939, Adler worked in England but returned to the US upon the outbreak of World War II. During the war he performed before US servicemen. Simultaneously, he embarked on a career as a concert performer and appeared as a soloist with symphony orchestras.
Adler’s ambition was to establish the harmonica as an instrument worthy of the performance of serious music. Upon Adler’s initiative, Darius Milhaud composed his SUITE for harmonica and orchestra (1945), Ralph Vaughan-Williams wrote his ROMANCE for harmonica and orchestra (1952) and Oedoen Partos wrote DIALOGUE (1963) for him. Adler is the author of How I Play (1936) and Harmonica Favourites (1944). Died in London.

Weisgall, Abba Yosef
Albert Siegfried Aharon Bettelheim

Albert Siegfried Aharon Bettelheim (1830-1890), rabbi, born in Hlohovec, Slovakia (then in the Austrian Empire). He studied in the Pressburg (now Bratislava, Slovakia, then in the Austrian Empire) and other yeshivot and at Prague University. He was Austrian correspondent for a number of foreign newspapers and then became director of a Jewish school network in Temeszvar (now Timisoara, Romania) and editor of a political journal. He was then rabbi in Komorn and Kaschau where he also edited a political journal which aroused so much opposition (including a threat of excommunication) that he emigrated to the United States where in 1867 he was rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Philadelphia, PA. In 1869 he became rabbi of congregation Beth Ahabah in Richmond, Virginia, where he also edited a weekly journal and received a medical degree. From 1875 Bettelheim was rabbi of Ohabei Shalom in San Francisco and from 1887 of the first Baltimore Hebrew congregation. He wrote extensively, both on scholarly subjects and stories of Jewish life in Europe.

Felix Albert Bettelheim

Felix Albert Bettelheim (1861-1890), physician, born in Galgoc on the Vag, Hungary (then in Austria-Hungary), son of Rabbi Aaron Siegfried (Albert) Bettelheim, a physician and journalist. Brought to the United States by his parents as a young boy, he graduated from the University of California with honors at the age of seventeen and was awarded his degree in medicine from the San Francisco Medical College in 1880. The same year he was appointed resident physician of the San Quentin State Prison. From 1883 until a year before his death he served as surgeon-general of the Panama Railroad and Canal Company.

Bettelheim discovered a germ which caused certain tropical diseases. The reputation he gained with his discovery enabled him to conduct research at major European clinics in 1889. He contributed to the Lancet in London, England, and was the author of "On Contagious Diseases of Tropical Countries". He was decorated by the United States Government in recognition of his efforts in the building of the first hospital in Panama. Bettelheim died in Baltimore, MD, in 1890

Kaiser, Alois
William Frisch

William Frisch (1854-1910), reporter and managing editor, born in Bohemia, Czech Republic (then part of the Austrian Empire). He immigrated to the USA. with his parents when he was eleven years of age and attended school in Baltimore. At the age of fourteen he became a bookkeeper and later a printer. When he was eighteen, he began to provide items of local news to the newspapers and in 1872 was given a place on the staff of the Baltimore American as a reporter. He made politics his special study, and introduced the systematic reporting of City Hall news. When the American began to publish a Sunday edition, he wrote a series of articles, the first weekly political review in Baltimore; this was a feature of the paper until 1889. Frisch was the Washington correspondent in 1880 and 1881. He became managing editor of the American in 1881 and remained in that position for almost thirty years. He was editor-in-chief when he retired in 1910.

When the Jewish immigration from Russia after the pogroms of 1881 reached Baltimore, Frisch conducted free classes for the immigrants in the history and literature of the United States.

"Bais Lubavitch" synagogue, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, 1984
"Bais Lubavitch" synagogue,
Baltimore, Maryland, USA, 1984
Photo: Harold M. Deutsch, USA
(Beit Hatfutsot Photo Archive,
courtesy of Harold M. Deutsch, USA)
Jewish American Festival at an Ethnic Happening, Baltimore, 1981
Jewish American festival at an ethnic happening.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 1981..
Photo: Alvin A. Shangold, USA.
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Alvin A. Shangold, USA)
Julius Spyer, Soldier in the Union Army, Baltimore, USA, 1861
Julius Spyer, relative of the Schmidt family,
Soldier in the Union Army during the American
Civil War,Baltimore, Meriland, USA, 1861.
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
Courtesy of Suzi Kirsch, Israel)