Catherine Pugh announcement, Natty Boh’s new look and more

Catherine Pugh
Catherine Pugh (Handout photo)

Catherine Pugh Press Conference

(UPDATE: Mayor Catherine E. Pugh submitted her written resignation to the Baltimore City Council on May 2.
Her resignation is effective immediately, attorney Steven Silverman said at a news conference. Pugh did not attend, and Silverman took no questions.) The attorney for embattled Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh promised a major announcement on her future Thursday, May 2, according to WJZ-13. “At that time, I will be in a position to tell you what her intentions are,” Steve Silverman told reporters gathered outside Pugh’s Ashburton home. He said he would hold a press conference at his office in downtown Baltimore but declined to say whether the mayor would be resigning or whether she would even be present.

Read more: Major Announcement On Embattled Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh Set For Thursday

Baltimore eruv
At the “Downtown Eruv District” proclamation ceremony at City Hall, Rabbi Etan Mintz (right) of B’nai Israel Congregation presents a ceremonial payment of $1 to Ex Officio Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young (second from left) as Police Commissioner Michael Harrison (third from left) and City Comptroller Joan M. Pratt (fourth from left) look on. (Photo by Steve Ruark)

A new eruv for Baltimore

For Rabbi Etan Mintz, walking on an overcast morning May 1 from his East Baltimore home to City Hall was a journey more than five years in the making. Rabbi Mintz — who since 2012 has served as spiritual leader of the historic B’nai Israel Synagogue in the Jonestown neighborhood — has long championed the installation of a downtown eruv. (An eruv is a ritual enclosure enabling observant Jews to, among other things, carry items or push baby strollers on Shabbat and holidays in accordance with Jewish law.) Rabbi Mintz’s dream came a step closer to reality when Ex Officio Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young signed a proclamation at a City Hall press conference marking the upcoming installation of “The Downtown Eruv District.” The project was approved at a Board of Estimates meeting that morning. Spearheaded by B’nai Israel, a modern Orthodox congregation of approximately 120 members, the eruv will stretch more than a mile, covering from the World Trade Center and Harbor East to Little Italy and Jonestown, and from Johns Hopkins Hospital to Upper Fells Point. It will include B’nai Israel, the Little Italy headquarters of Chabad of Downtown, and Tikva House, a home base for Jewish families caring for loved ones receiving treatment at Hopkins.

Read more: City Hall Approves Creation of a Downtown Baltimore Eruv

Day Beer from Natty Boh (Photo courtesy
Day Beer from Natty Boh (Photo courtesy

Natty Boh’s got a brand new vibe

National Bohemian Beer Company has updated its iconic Mr. Boh logo and can design. The updated design includes the phrase, “Live Pleasantly!” and features work done by Baltimore’s Mission Media, according to a company press release. The beer company has also launched a new lighter alcohol content and lower calorie “Day Beer,” to be enjoyed during “life’s bright and breezy everyday moments.” The can encourages drinkers to “Come Play in the Light” and “Have Yourself a Day.” Additionally, the Crab Shack Shandy offers a Tabs for Crabs program, in which National Bohemian will donate to The Chesapeake Bay Foundation 10 cents for every crab tab returned by Oct. 1 (up to $10,000).

Find out more about the Tabs for Crabs program and “Live Pleasantly.”

Also see: Natty Boh launches light beer, adopts new ‘Live Pleasantly’ mantra

Local Student Wins National Honor for Artistic Rendering of Social Reformer

Alana Zunikoff, a home-schooled eighth grade student who lives in Reisterstown, has received second-place honors in the junior division in the national Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes ArtEffect Project competition.

Alana Zunikoff’s “From Labor to Liberty”

Alana, who won a $1,500 prize for her piece “From Labor to Liberty,” submitted a hand-drawn portrait of social activist and reformer Florence Kelley (1859-1932), which features pencil drawings based on Lewis Hine’s early 20th-century photographs of child and women laborers.

Alana wrote in her artist statement, “[Kelley’s] fierce countenance portrays her power and desire to help the oppressed. The crown of her head blends into the brick frame, depicting her sympathy for the laborers. On the top left is my illustration of child laborers confined within a brick framework. Their faces are a bit distorted, expressing the traumatic effects of child labor.”

The competition’s judges praised Alana’s artwork for presenting a “good balance in the composition and interesting use of paper collage that adds dimension.”

Alana is the daughter of Jennifer Rudick Zunikoff and Rob Zunikoff.

The competition’s five winning students were selected out of hundreds of middle and high school students who participated in the international creative visual arts competition. The judging panel consisted of LMC’s executive leadership, distinguished professionals in the art history, design, and museum education fields, and representatives from the Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Art Center College of Design.

For information about the competition, visit

New York Times cartoon
The New York Times published a cartoon that depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a guide dog wearing a Star of David collar and leading President Donald Trump, who is wearing a black kippah. (New York Times)

New York Times to discipline editor who OK’d anti-Semitic cartoon

The New York Times is taking disciplinary measures against a production editor who OK’d an anti-Semitic cartoon. “We are taking disciplinary steps with the production editor who selected the cartoon for publication,” publisher A.G. Sulzberger said in a note sent to staff, according to CNN reporters posting excerpts May 1 on Twitter. “We are updating our unconscious bias training” to include “direct focus on anti-Semitism,” said the note. The cartoon, which appeared April 25 in the opinion section of the newspaper’s international print edition, depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dachshund-breed guide dog wearing a Star of David collar and leading a yarmulke-clad President Donald Trump. The newspaper has apologized for the cartoon and on April 30, The New York Times editorial board said in an editorial that the newspaper’s publishing of “an appalling political cartoon” is “evidence of a profound danger — not only of anti-Semitism but of numbness to its creep.”—JTA

Michael David Lukas
Michael David Lukas, shown reading at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco in 2014, won for “The Last Watchman of Old Cairo.” (Wikimedia Commons)

Novel on a Muslim-Jewish scholar’s quest wins $100K Prize for Jewish Literature

Michael David Lukas is the winner of the 2019 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for his book “The Last Watchmen of Old Cairo.” The $100,000 prize, a program of the Jewish Book Council, was announced April 30. It recognizes emerging writers who articulate the Jewish experience, as well as the author’s potential to make significant ongoing contributions to Jewish literature. Lukas was among five finalists for the prize. Dalia Rosenfeld, author of “The Worlds We Think We Know” was picked as the Choice Award winner, which carries an $18,000 prize. The remaining finalists — Rachel Kadish, Mark Sarvas and Margot Singer — each receive $5,000. Last year’s winner was Ilana Kurshan, author of “If All the Seas Were Ink: A Memoir.”

Read more: Novel on a Muslim-Jewish scholar’s quest wins $100,000 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature

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