The Jewish community in Central Maryland is a vibrant and diverse one, with people from traditional and liberal religious backgrounds, secular Jews, interfaith couples and their families. The Baltimore Jewish Community (BJC) is an independent organization that takes a transdenominational approach to Jewish worship and thought, allowing everyone to fully engage with their traditions regardless of their level of knowledge or practice. The city's Jewish Heritage Center is a one-block museum dedicated to the community that once flourished in the area. It houses the largest collection of artifacts related to regional Jewish history in the country, as well as permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Visitors can explore the synagogues and exhibits on Jewish life in Maryland, learning about the history of the Jewish population from 1656 to 1929. The first wave of Jewish immigrants arrived from Germany in the mid-19th century and settled just east of downtown Baltimore, north of what is now Little Italy. On Lloyd Street, in the heart of the old Jewish Quarter, stands the Lloyd Street Synagogue, built in 1845 by Robert Carey Long in the popular Greek Renaissance style with no religious symbols on its façade. Today, tens of thousands of Russian Jews have arrived in Baltimore and are attracted to the growing Jewish neighborhood around Lombard Street. Here, homes, clandestine workshops, markets and synagogues line the blocks between Central Avenue and Fallsway.
The BJC celebrates spirituality, Jewish tradition and Jewish life through Shabbat and holiday services rich in songs and prayers. They also believe in the principle of L'dor v'dor - transmission of Jewish values, wisdom and traditions from generation to generation through exploration of spirituality within the broad framework of Jewish tradition. Central Maryland is home to many popular places of worship for Jews from all backgrounds. The Baltimore Jewish Community provides a unique opportunity for everyone to engage with their traditions regardless of their level of knowledge or practice. The city's Jewish Heritage Center is a one-block museum dedicated to the community that once thrived there, with permanent and temporary exhibitions that trace the history of Maryland's Jewish population from 1656 to 1929. The rich heritage of Central Maryland's Jews can be explored through its many places of worship.
From traditional synagogues to modern centers for spiritual exploration, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to learn about this vibrant culture and its history. Whether you're looking for a place to pray or just want to learn more about this fascinating community, Central Maryland has something for everyone.