Dear Readers,

As guest editor of JBiz, the special 13th issue of Jmore coming in June, it’s been fun to meditate on the concept of the American entrepreneur.

The dictionary defines entrepreneur as a business operator who takes on “greater than normal risk.” Can you relate?

As a longtime freelance writer and editor, I know risk week to week, but I also know freedom and feel good about my job choices. I so admire those who create and carve out their own career paths because personal passion dictates the professional gamble.

We’ve packed the issue’s pages with savvy and talented Jewish Baltimore business owners and innovators, even if we’ve merely scratched the surface. Look around at the vast Jewish community in our large town, and you’ll note that Jewish citizens have been at the vanguard of many new business models for centuries.

In our cover story, “Family Store,” for example, Jill Yesko profiles three of the most dynamic multi-generational business-owning families in Baltimore: the Attmans, Frumans and Footlicks. Maybe you know their products, but check out their moving stories of pioneering courage and longstanding consistency.

What’s the next big business for the intrepid entrepreneur on trend and on a mission? Medical cannabis. Maybe that doesn’t surprise you, but did you know that many Jewish businesspeople in Baltimore are staking a claim on the new model? Planting seeds to capitalize now and later on the legalization of medical weed.

Some of my favorite stories in JBiz are about small business stars, like Alan Hirsch, who helped found Baltimore City Paper and later Donna’s, and who’s now looking for his next act. Or Laura Wexler, who this year debuted (with her writing partner) a virtual-reality short film at Sundance.

Oh, and not forgetting someone like quirky Chaim Silverberg, who caters kosher lamb bacon and meanwhile makes short films about boutique kosher cuisine.

I hope you enjoy the spirited issue, and I hope you’ll check in soon and let us know how you fulfill your own entrepreneurial yen.

Betsy Boyd

Look for JBiz out on newsstands in early June and online now.

See Betsy Boyd on Jmore’s Need to Know — JBiz edition: