Park Heights investment, Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame, James Beard finalists and more

Park Heights

The entranceway of the Park Heights corridor at Park Circle.

City Unveils Plan for Investment in 4 Zones, Including Park Heights

With an array of new funding sources and a Department of Housing and Community Development that’s now independent of the Housing Authority, the city plans to work with communities to fulfill their visions for short-term growth. Mayor Catherine Pugh and Housing Commissioner Michael Braverman announced their planned “new era of neighborhood investment” at her weekly press conference Feb. 27. One of the key points of the “new vision” is designated impact investment areas in four areas of the city. Each one is generally low-income, has a strong culture and local history, existing for-profit and nonprofit organizations to help push for redevelopment, borders an area with “strong markets/and or anchor institutions and have strong assets such as high-quality architecture,” according to the newly published plan. All of the areas also have, or are working on a consensus for, a long-term vision, and are places where DHCD has amassed or can assemble “a critical mass of vacant properties.”

Read more: City unveils plan to promote investment in four zones, including Park Heights and East, West and Southwest Baltimore

Also see: ‘Totally Unacceptable’ is an Apt Phrase for Today’s Baltimore

Mark Greenberg

Former JHU lacrosse star Mark Greenberg (Provided Photo)

Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore announced Feb. 27 the next round of inductees for the Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame. Every other year, up to 10 Jewish Baltimoreans — alive and deceased — are honored for their contributions to the local and global community in such fields as science, education, business, politics, law and sports. This marks the JCC’s seventh set of biennial inductions. This year’s reception will be held May 15 at 7 p.m. at the Gordon Center For Performing ArtsDeborah Weiner, co-anchor of WBAL-TV, will serve as master of ceremonies.

See the list of inductees here.


Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen arrives with his wife and daughter at federal court in New York City for his sentencing hearing, Dec. 12, 2018. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Michael Cohen calls Trump a ‘racist’

In prepared testimony honed to deliver deep wounds to his onetime mentor and employer, Michael Cohen said President Donald Trump was a con man and a racist, and once again cited his father’s survival of the Holocaust to explain why he turned on Trump. “My father survived the Holocaust thanks to the compassion and selfless acts of others,” Cohen said in a statement set to be delivered Feb. 27 in dramatic testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives. “He was helped by many who put themselves in harm’s way to do what they knew was right.” Cohen was Trump’s longtime lawyer and his fixer. He has pleaded guilty to fraud and violating campaign finance laws when he paid off Trump’s alleged mistresses to keep silent and to lying to Congress about how long into the presidential campaign Trump was working on a business deal in Russia.

Read more: Noting Father’s Holocaust Survival, Michael Cohen Calls Trump a ‘Racist’ and ‘Con Man’

Also see: All the Jewish moments from Michael Cohen’s dramatic House testimony


Bari Weiss

Bari Weiss at her desk in The New York Times office in Midtown Manhattan. (Josefin Dolsten)

New York Times editor Bari Weiss writing book on anti-Semitism

“How to Fight Anti-Semitism” will address the “alarming rise of antisemitism in this country and in Europe,” as well as offer solutions, the Jewish writer posted Feb. 25 on Twitter. Weiss said the book will be released in September. She is also working on another book, part of the same deal for Crown Publishing, called “The New Seven Dirty Words.” Since starting at The Times last year, Weiss has risen to prominence for her commentary on issues such as Israel, the #MeToo movement and cultural appropriation. Her writing often criticizes what she sees as hypocrisies among progressives, which has earned her both praise and vilification.–JTA



Israeli flag

Israeli flag (File photo)

Israeli ranked 10th healthiest

Israel is the 10th healthiest country in the world — 54 spots ahead of the United States, which ranked 64th. The Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, published Feb. 24, ranked 169 nations based on factors such as life expectancy and access to sanitation and medical care. Countries were penalized for tobacco use and obesity, among other health risks. Unsurprisingly, the Mediterranean diet — common in Israel, as well as Spain and Italy, numbers one and two on the list — was noted in Bloomberg’s analysis. The rest of the top 10, in order, are: Spain, Italy, Iceland, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Singapore and Norway.

Read more: Israel Ranked 10th Healthiest Country in the World

Baltimore has a couple James Beard finalists

Remington mezcaleria Clavel and local star chef Cindy Wolf are representing Baltimore on the list of semifinalists for this year’s “Oscars of the food world,” according to Baltimore Fishbowl. The James Beard Foundation, which every year honors culinary professionals across the country through its annual awards, picked Clavel for its nationwide Outstanding Bar Program category. The W. 23rd Street taqueria, which specializes in cocktails made with mezcal, is among 20 bars across the country picked for the semifinal round. It’s a repeat honor for Wolf, executive chef and co-owner of Harbor East mainstay Charleston. She’s been nominated for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic region eight times—each of the last five years, as well as in 2006 and 2008—and is now pursuing her ninth.

Read more: Baltimore’s James Beard Award semifinalists: Charleston’s Cindy Wolf and Remington taqueria Clavel

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