Baltimore, MD – Maryland Gov. Appoints Orthodox Woman To District Court

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    Baltimore, MD – For nine years, Judge Karen Friedman has served her city on the bench of the Orphan’s Court.

    On Friday afternoon, the calling got bigger, much bigger.

    The Judge, a beloved figure in the Jewish community and across the city and region, received a phone call from Governor Martin O’Malley.

    According to the Baltimore Jewish Times Calling her by her Hebrew name, the Governor said, “Chaya, this is Martin O’Malley. “I am calling to appoint you as a Judge to the District Court of Baltimore City.”

    With the appointment, Judge Friedman will be leaving the decisions of probate and moving into judicial arenas that include criminal law.

    The Judge is married to Jewish leader and philanthropist Howard “Tzvi” Friedman. The couple has four children.

    Read the full story at Baltimore Jewish Times

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    35 COMMENTS

      • You can’t have it both ways. If the husband is learning all day the women actually have to leave the house so there will be bread and water on the table. All you ar eproving is that the way of the world is that the husband should be out of the house at a job supporting his family.

      • We’ve had Jewish women as leaders in all of our history. Just because you’ve decided to live in your own world forcing women to stay in the kitchen making you kugel doesn’t mean anyone has to listen to you. In another few years you’ll be demanding that Jewish women wear the burqua and no one will be able to distinguish you from the Muslims…that’s the direction you’re heading in. Shame on you.

      • Somehow in the nowadays in order to support a orthodox Jewish family with sky-high tuitions and camp bills; and than marrying off your kids you only have three choices:
        1) Send your wife to work and earn a decent legal living income.
        2) Get on Food stamps, Section 8, Medicate, WIC and Welfare and when you would need to marry off your kids you would snorr and collect money from your family! And your friends will have to make Tea Parties for you!
        3) Just be a crook and steal money.

        I would guess that you’re either in the second or third category.

        • Sorry, you don’t know what you’r talking about!
          Her mother and grandmother wear a shaitel, but she doesn’t, and she shakes hands with other men! She has 2 very chushive brothers who are sitting and learning! One wrote some great seforim on haloche! Her grandfather is R’ Yosef Mordche Berkowitz, one of the choshive Satmer chassidim, I’m sure he is shepping a lot of nachas!

      • By making that moronic comment you have shown that if anything you are the one that’s not orthodox – if you don’t know why ask your rabbi.

    1. Mazel Tov to you! May you continue to do the fabulous work that you do in helping to preserve the law in our State. You are a true inspiration to the citizens and community of Baltimore.
      Best wishes!
      Jonathan Lasson

    2. The toughest female Jewish judge in the USA is Judge Judy. I don’t agree with the way she humiliates and verbally abuses the litigants. However, she knows the law. Her husband, Judge Jerry, as well as Mayor Koch (The People’s Court), were much nicer to the litigants.

    3. Do you think her husband had anything to do with it? Maybe he needs her to earn a little more parnasa. I am sure her appointment is soley based on her qualifications not her husbands small time connections. Go howie

      • No, there are at least two Orthodox judges on the Supreme Court: Hon. Edmond Levy and Hon. Elyakim Rubinstein. I know that there are Orthodox judges on lower courts, too — I have a friend who had a court case in front of one.

        Mazel Tov to Judge Friedman!

      • There is at least one orthodox judge on the Israeli supreme court (he’s also American birth) and I am sure there are other orthodox judges within the system.

    4. She will hopefully be a role model for other Bais Yaakov grads. Not everyone needs to be a teacher, secretary, Speech Pathologist, or OT. There is room for frum female Doctors, Lawyers, Scientists, Engineers, Accountants, IT Professionals, and even Judges. Every profession has its challenges for either gender, and they should be not be overblown. Careers should be objectively presented as having postive opportunities and the challenges should be put into perspective.

        • What he is bringing out seems to be logical and demonstrates the true ideals of Bais Yaakov education. Rabbi Steinberg OB”M always encouraged those students who were interested in professional careers. He was not into cookie cutter education that we so often see where girls are locked into one Derech that should work for all students. May other communities replicate this philosophy with the hope that girls have more freedom to do what they are truly capable of and talented at.

          • That model is long gone. Today the girls are encouraged to fast-track their education through CLEP, online classes, and segregated seminary classes of dubious value. They all have to get their “degree”, get a job, date, and get married all within about a 2-year window of high school. They all have to totally financially support their husbands and families in Kollel, rather than providing a supplementary income that is along the lines of their objective worth in the job market.

    5. I agree with 32! Baltimore Voters, don’t fall for it! Remember the BOAST bill which was changed last minute to only help Catholic Schools. Remember that Ehrlich is pushing for school vouchers that will greatly reduce our tuition bills. We had a budget surplus with Ehrlich, now a whooping deficit which will mean higher taxes. Mazel Tov to Judge Friedman! BUT vote with your wallet!!

    6. To all you petty and ignorant people who have nothing better to do then talk Loshon Harah- let’s set the record straight. Chaya graduated in the top 10 percent of her class at University of Maryland School of Law.Besides for being a judge on the Orphans Court she is also a Professor at that law school. In her nine years on the bench she has NEVER been overturned on appeal. Find another judge who can say that. I guess the appealate judges cared about who her husband is and what religion she practices too right? O’ Malley could not just pick any candidate he wanted. He was given a short list of names to chose from. This list is compiled by a Commission made up of 13 prominent Baltimore lawyers. 30 lawyers applied for the position. All applicants had to be interviewed by many specialty bars- for example the black bar, Asian bar etc- who then give their choice to the large Commission. The large Commission then interviews all the applicants and compiles a short list that is submitted to the Governor. This Commission UNANIMOUSLY voted Chaya on to the short list based on her incredible Qualifications. Only 4 out of 30 made the short list. Chaya was the only one who got a unanimous vote. The Commission didn’t know or care about her husband or her religion. You should be ashamed of your assumptions. Besides for being a judge and a Professor, Chaya is raising two sets of twins and is verY active in numerous charities. She hosts in her home yearly many parlor meetings including for Lakewood Yeshiva and Yad Lachim. Many of you owe Chaya an apology. Kudos to you Judge Friedman

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