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Ellicott City: Howard High alums enjoy free trip to Israel

Colleges and UniversitiesIsraelThe Salvation ArmyKen UlmanSaving Private Ryan (movie)

Students enjoy free Israel 10-day educational trip

Shepherd University student Joshua Castelbaum and St. Mary's College of Maryland student Adam Ross recently returned from a 10-day educational trip to Israel where they enjoyed hikes to watch the sunrise at the Masada, "floating" in the Dead Sea, riding camels, rafting down the Jordan River and visiting the Western Wall and Yad Vashem Holocaust museum.

Sponsored by Taglit-Birthright Israel, the young men's trip was free, offered as a gift to Jewish adults between the ages of 18 to 26. According to Castlebaum, he and Ross, 2009 Howard High School alumni, were only responsible for lunch daily, a $250 deposit and spending money.

Since 2000, Taglit-Birthright Israel has sent nearly 300,000 Jewish adults to Israel with the goal of strengthening the participants Jewish identity by experiencing firsthand the land and people of Israel. Participants come from all over the world representing 54 countries, all 50 states of the U.S., Canadian provinces and nearly 1,000 North American colleges and universities.

"Under the direction of excellent Israeli tour guides, this experience of a lifetime allows students to tour places in Israel such as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Tiberias (and) The Negev (Desert)," said Castlebaum, a 2008 Centennial High School graduate.

To learn more about this free trip to Israel go to the Birthright Israel website at http://www.birthrightisrael.com and the Israel Outdoors website at http://www.israeloutdoors.com

Bob Leepa, longtime Ellicott City resident and active past president of the Hearing Loss Association of Greater Baltimore (HLAGB), informed me that the organization will hold its annual summer picnic at Centennial Park in covered pavilion A on Saturday, July 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rain or shine). Leepa, who also serves as HLAGB picnic coordinator, says this event is for group members, friends and family and is open to anyone in the community with hearing loss.

Attendees are asked to bring a picnic lunch and a potluck side dish to share. HLAGB will provide paper goods, cups and ice, bottled water and soda. A donation of $5 per adult is suggested to cover the cost of the pavilion. For more information about the picnic or HLAGB, go to their website at http://www.hearinglossbaltimore.org or contact Bob Leepa at rfleepa@comcast.net.

Tara Rya of Alta at Regency Crest, an active adult community for ages 62 and better, invites the community to their free July events.

On July 20, at 3 p.m., Alta will offer a Facebook 101 class. On Saturday, July 21, from noon to 4 p.m., a Christmas in July program will be offered. Guests are asked to bring one new children's book to donate to the Salvation Army to gain free entry to the event that includes free holiday themed food and drinks, ornament decoration demonstration sponsored by Ellicott City's Michael's Arts and Crafts store, holiday themed karaoke and movies and an "ugly" holiday sweater contest for which the winner receives a prize.

Three additional Alta events for the month of July include Monday, July 23, at 5 p.m., Game Night (Apples to Apples), Tuesday, July 24, from 3 to 6 p.m., Movie Night ("Saving Private Ryan") and Monday, July 30, at 5 p.m, Bingo Night.

For more information about free active adult ages 62 or better events at Alta at Regency Crest call (410) 418-4666, visit Alta at 3305 Oak West Drive in Ellicott City or go to its website at http://www.AltaAtRegencyCrest.com,

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman is hosting his sixth annual public forum Monday, July 23, at 7 p.m., in the Robinson Nature Center Auditorium located at 6692 Cedar Lane in Columbia. This forum provides county residents an opportunity to ask the county executive questions, make comments or offer suggestions on any topic.

Executive Ulman will be joined by County department heads. For those who wish to speak at the forum, signup will begin at 6:30 p.m. Questions or comments are limited to two minutes. For more information contact the Howard County Office of Public Information at 410-313-2022.

The Sixty Plus Legal Assistance program is coming to the Ellicott City Senior Center on Wednesday, July 25, from 1 to 4 p.m., to assist Howard County residents over 60 with limited assets and income. An appointment is required.

Attorney Lawrence J. Brill will be available to help with services including simple wills, powers of attorney, advance health care directives and living wills, small estate administration and simple deed changes. Document preparation is provided at a reduced fee.

Sponsored by the Howard County Department of Citizen Services, Office on Aging, the Sixty Plus Legal Assistance program is a reoccurring program available on the fourth Wednesday of every month except December. Appointments often must be scheduled one or more months in advance. To schedule an appointment, call the Office on Aging at (410) 313-1400.

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