The Jewish community in Central Maryland is a vibrant and diverse one, with a range of denominations and backgrounds. According to a recent study, 21% of Jewish adults in Baltimore identify as Orthodox, 19% as Conservative, 18% as Reformist, and 3% as belonging to another denomination. Additionally, 39% do not identify with any particular denomination. In the 21st century, an increasing number of Maryland Jews are Jews of color, including black Jews, Asian Jews, Latino Jews, Indigenous Jews, and other non-white Jews.
Estimates for the country's Jewish population range from 550 to 1200 or more. The Jewish population has shifted since 2003, with more Jews now living in Northern Virginia - particularly in Arlington and Alexandria. Today, 41% of the Jewish population in the area lives in Virginia, 37% lives in Maryland, and 22% lives in the District. Harford County - which is about a 45-minute drive from Baltimore - has a population of about a quarter of a million people.
The county is mostly white (about 80%) and mostly Catholic or Christian. It has one Reformist temple in Havre de Grace and a Chabad center in Bel Air. Only a little more than a quarter of Jewish adults belong to a synagogue or similar Jewish community, and only 15% say they feel very connected to the local Jewish community. This could be due to the lack of offerings available in the area. To combat this issue, Rabbis hope that their respective congregations - and the Jewish community of Harford County as a whole - will grow and continue to commit to their Judaism. Maryland's largest Jewish populations are in Montgomery County and the Baltimore metropolitan area, particularly in Pikesville and northwest Baltimore.
Forty percent of Jewish adults attended at least one Jewish-sponsored program, activity, or class in Baltimore last year, and 13% participated at least once a month. For Jews moving from metropolitan areas to Harford County, it may seem like another planet. However, the Jewish community there offers welcome support. Growing up in Delaware as the only Jewish student in her high school, Schoenberger has made many close friends at the temple. In 1904, Isidor Rayner was elected the first Jewish senator from the United States from Maryland - one of the first Jewish American senators in U. S.
history. Additionally, Rabbi David Einhorn was a strong defender of abolitionism who denounced supporters of slavery within the Jewish community and argued that the Bible could not tolerate slavery because all human beings are made in the image of God. Jewish young adults (18 to 3 years old) live disproportionately in the city of Baltimore compared to older adults. Baltimore's Jewish community is made up of approximately 46,700 homes that house 115,400 people - including 95,400 Jews (74,900 adults and 20,500 children) and 20,000 non-Jews (18,000 adults and 2000 children).The Central Maryland region is home to an incredibly diverse Jewish community, with members from all walks of life coming together to celebrate their faith and culture. From Isidor Rayner's election as one of the first Jewish American senators to Rabbi David Einhorn's defense of abolitionism within the Jewish community to Schoenberger's experience growing up as the only Jew in her high school - there is much to explore about this vibrant community. Whether you're looking for a Reformist temple or Chabad center or just want to learn more about Judaism in Central Maryland - this guide will provide you with all the information you need.