The Philadelphia Jewish Voice's Networking Central column features different groups which make a difference in our community.
This year, I have been fortunate enough to participate in the Center for Progressive Leadership's 2011 Pennsylvania Political Leaders Fellowship program. Over the coming months, I hope to share some of the lessons that I have learned, but first I would like to give you an opportunity to learn about CPL.
The Pennsylvania Political Leaders Fellowship is a nine-month, part-time leadership development program for a select group of organizational leaders, future candidates, community organizers, and progressive activists from across the state.
The CPL Fellowship Class of 2011
Each fellow has his or her own unique experience, background, passion and vision, and I appreciate the chance to get to know them and learn from them. Some want to help protect the environment, others want to end discrimination based on sexual orientation, or mentor disadvantaged youths in their community, or strength public schools, etc. CPL does not tell people what kind of progressive change to be passionate about, but it help people get it touch with their own values, hone their message and learn the political skills necessary to bring about change.
The Center for Progressive Leadership is building local, state-based leadership institutes across the country to develop diverse progressive leaders that are the networks for progressive change. Through long-term investments in targeted recruitment, training, and mentorship, CPL is building the foundation for that change with thousands of new future candidates, political staff, and organizers taking leadership roles in their communities.
My training has taken me to Philadelphia, Reading, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. I have been forced to identify the values I stand for, relate those values to the progressive change I seek, and use effective messaging techniques to advance my values.
We are also learning fundraising skills, and I would like to pay back CPL for all I have learned by urging you to support the Center for Progressive Leadership.
Help CPL keep the program affordable to people who have a vision for change but lack the resources to make that vision a reality. CPL charges fellows a nominal $1,050 tuition for the nine-month, and even that is reduced via scholarships where appropriate. However, tuition only represents a small part of training costs, individual and group coaching, food and facilities.
CPL is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and counts on charitable contributions to make up the difference.
For our final weekend with CPL, we are organizing a fundraiser
Saturday, September 24, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
Ethical Society, 1906 South Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA
Keynote speaker: Former Lt.-Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D-MD)
The best part? Every donation will be matched dollar for dollar by a national donor.
On Manhattan's Lower East Side, in a series of four nondescript brick tenement buildings, sits the Streit's Matzo factory. In 1925, when Aron Streit opened the factory's doors, it sat at the heart of the nation's largest Jewish immigrant community. Today, in its fifth generation of family ownership, in a rapidly gentrifying Lower East Side, it remains as the last family-owned matzo factory in America. This place is filled with history and tradition, and not only in the sense that the recipe for their product is 3,000 years old.
Let's face it: some of the most fascinating places in the world are located in some of the most impoverished places in the world. You can't visit the Pyramids of Giza without driving through the slums of Cairo. The Taj Mahal, arguably the most beautiful building ever built, sits amid some of the worst poverty anywhere. Even vacationing on a beautiful Caribbean island, your luxury resort is an anomaly; the ugly truth is all around you.
I've been traveling for most of my life and, in fact, I lived in Tehran, Iran as a young woman back in the mid 1970's. Poverty was all around me there. I had a beggar friend that I passed every day on the street. We were warned not to give money to beggars because if you did, they wouldn't leave you alone and you might draw an unwanted crowd. So I didn't give him anything, and for his part, he never asked. We just had a friendly salaam and a smile for each other each day. But I always felt bad about it.
The Passover League of Philadelphia a not for profit charitable organization founded in 1933 with a mission to raise funds to help needy individuals and families celebrate the Passover holiday. It is supported by volunteers and many Philadelphia charitable organizations.
Seders funded by The Passover League are conducted at various community locations throughout the Delaware Valley. These Seders reach thousands of individuals who would normally be unable to celebrate the traditional Passover holiday. The Passover League serves Jewish veterans in various local hospitals. In addition, The Passover League helps fund the delivery of Kosher meals to homebound individuals and assists many people who are referred through crisis networks.
In order to make a donation, send a check to The Passover League, 215 N. Presidential Blvd, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 or call 610-660-0530.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger will host Members of Congress, Administration officials, school children, and other national faith, anti-hunger and anti-poverty leaders for the National Hunger Seder on March 20, 2013 at the US Capitol Visitor's Center.
The National Hunger Seder is an adaptation of the traditional Passover Seder, telling the story of the Exodus with emphasis on the moral imperative to end hunger in America. The National Hunger Seder is the kick off to the 5th Annual MAZON/JCPA Hunger Seder Mobilization taking place in 27 communities around the country, which are designed to encourage participants to advocate to restore the 5.1% cut to the WIC program mandated by the sequester.
After the jump: JSPAN issues a Haggadah Supplement on immigration.
1. Did you see Anat Hoffman's tag line in her outreach for support of victims of Hurricane Sandy. "We are family," she writes and cites Haaretz that "Israelis have followed no event in the United States as closely as Hurricane Sandy...and fact, New York City is the metropolitan area with the second largest Jewish population of any city after Tel Aviv." Perhaps you have also seen the organization that serves Holocaust survivors soliciting Hurricane relief funds targeted for them. Never did it occur to me to fund raise based on the Jewishness of those affected — we are a human family during emergencies.
Local Congregations Featured Tour Stops in the First Annual Tour de Shuls PA/NJ Bike Ride to Benefit Camp Ramah
— by Leonard Abrams and Bruce Tomar
Middle Atlantic Region of Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs proudly presents the inaugural Tour de Shuls a bike ride to benefit Camp Ramah on Sunday morning, September 23, 2012. Cyclists will enjoy a choice of a 45 mile, 20 mile or family friendly 3 mile ride. All rides begin and end at Temple Sinai in Dresher, PA. The ride will feature tour stops at
Beth Sholom in Elkins Park, PA and Tiferet Bet Israel in Blue Bell, PA. The cost to ride is $36 ($54 after 9/9). Check-in begins at 7:00 AM.
Every dollar raised from rider fees, contributions and sponsorships will be donated directly to Camp Ramah. This will be a great day for the Shuls of the Middle Atlantic Region, the Ramah movement and the Jewish community at large. All participants will be treated to a catered lunch by Temple Sinai Men's Club's acclaimed "Men in the Kitchen."
A similar event is planned for September 2 in Indianapolis to benefit Hillels on eight university campuses across Indiana. On June 24, rides were held in Massachusetts and Connecticut rides to support the Tikvah special needs program at Camp Ramah New England.
(Left to right) Roy Kardon, president of the Golden Slipper Center for Seniors, Stephen H. Frishberg, president of Golden Slipper Club & Charities, board member Gil Klein, member Barbara Frishberg, and Burt Rose, past president of Golden Slipper Club & Charities with assistant to the president, Celeste Rose (seated).
— by Scott D. Bluebond
The Golden Slipper Clubs & Charities is well known in the community for its unmatched summer camp for children, a college scholarship fund for deserving students, a welcoming center for senior citizens, and many other initiatives. It has now added yet another new endeavor: delivering challah on Friday evenings and Jewish holidays to hospitalized Jewish patients at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP). Challah is a special often braided bread that is eaten on the Jewish Sabbath and on holidays; it is being provided by Jewish Family and Children's Service of Greater Philadelphia.
Under the leadership of Roy Kardon, president of the Golden Slipper Center for Seniors, Golden Slipper members are training at HUP, located at 3400 Spruce Street in Philadelphia, prior to the commencement of the delivery program. It is expected to be fully operational in August. The GSC executive director is Paul Geller and the chair of the board is Stephen H. Frishberg.
"Our mission is wide, and this is yet another wonderful family service charitable program" states Paul Geller. Adds Steve Frishberg: We've provided assistance in so many ways. This new initiative is one designed to warm the heart."
Honorary gala co-chairs (L) Ron Rubin of Narberth and (R) Ed Rosen of Bryn Mawr with
(C) gala co-chair Jerome Muchnick of Philadelphia.
— by Scott D. Bluebond and Ann Hilferty
On the evening of Thursday, June 7, 2012, the Golden Slipper Club & Charities (GSC) hosted its 90th annual anniversary gala at Vie at 600 N. Broad Street in Philadelphia. The gala co-chairs were Jerome N. Muchnick and Barbara Frishberg, the tribute book co-chairs were Nanci and Ken Gilberg and Joseph H. Levine, the honorary co-chairs were Edward H. Rosen and Ronald Rubin, the young gala co-chairs were Megan and Brian Gilberg and Rachel Giuliano and Matthew Bagell, and the executive director is Paul Geller. Approximately 213 guests enjoyed fabulous food, cocktails, live music with Eddie Bruce, dancing and more, all to benefit GSC.
The evening looked back throughout Golden Slipper history by honoring past presidents, gold medallion recipients, and Horatio Alger honorees. These individuals created the Golden Slipper overnight camp, the Center for Seniors, a scholarship program for college students, and the human needs and services program. They also celebrated the induction of the second term of club president, Stephen H. Frishberg and the incoming officers and board members.
As Part 4 of a sporadic series on Creating Community, I write about an effort that spans the Atlantic Ocean and connects us with Eretz Yisrael.
In May, a friend, Ari, contacted me to find an organization that could use three dental chairs and two x-ray machines, donated by a dentist who was retiring from his practice in New York. (We're foodie buddies and he knows about my networking instincts.) His father, Bob Schwell, coordinates donations for Yad Sarah in New York (while shuttling between Israel and the United States) and these items were deemed not suitable for shipping to Israel. By the end of the day, I was able to identify two organizations interested in the equipment: Columbia's dental school which runs a clinic in New York and Partners in Health which would like to send them to Haiti.
Collaboration between Golden Slipper Club & Charities and Samost Jewish Family & Children's Service Brings 253 Volunteers Together to Help the Cause
Volunteers line up to prepare boxes of food for those in need in South Jersey.
— by Scott D. Bluebond and Lara Barrett
(VOORHEES, NJ) Golden Slipper Club and Charities and Samost Jewish Family & Children's Service of Southern New Jersey (JFCS) hosted the first Family Food Distribution Day in Voorhees on Sunday, June 3, 2012. Volunteers traveled to warehouse space donated by NFI Industries in Voorhees, New Jersey to help to pack and deliver supplemental food boxes to over 220 families in need in Camden, Gloucester, Burlington and Cumberland Counties in South Jersey. The day represented a way to give back to the community, family style, for volunteers from toddlers to senior citizens.
Looking for something different to delve into for a community service project? Most Jewish pre-teens who are about to reach their milestone in becoming a bar or bat mitzvah are confronted with the difficult task of selecting a meaningful endeavor to serve as their "mitzvah" project. They become easily frustrated when trying to come up with an original idea to fulfill their obligation in performing a good deed. Some popular opportunities that many families are already familiar with in the tri-state area are volunteering with a food bank, teaming up with a non-profit organization to do a walk or helping out at a senior retirement home. However, there are numerous experiences that b'nai mitzvahs can embrace. They may simply be unaware of what's out there to discover.
Two years ago, Valerie Franklin and Cheryl Friedenberg, two Jewish moms from the suburbs of Philadelphia, decided to launch The Mitzvah Bowl website when they realized that there was no central database in the tri-state area listing mitzvah projects. The site connects bar/bat mitzvah students to social action projects.
This one-of-a-kind website offers kids the chance to find the perfect match for a meaningful enriching experience. Recently the website was revamped to make browsing easier. Students are much more motivated to engage themselves if it's something that interests them.
Enjoy dancing? Consider working with individuals in wheelchairs and guiding them as their dancing partner.
Do you get a thrill from shooting hoops? Organize a basketball tournament with PeacePlayers International to help further peace in the Middle East.
The Genealogy Fair is coming to South Jersey. Sponsored by the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Philadelphia (JGSGP), the Fair will provide information for beginning and experienced researchers. The Fair will be held of Sunday, June 10th from 1:00 to 5:00 PM at Temple Beth Sholom, 1901 Kresson Road in Cherry Hill. The Fair is open to the public; there is no admission charge.
The Genealogy Fair brings together agencies, organizations and resource people to assist with genealogical searches. The Mid- Atlantic Region of the National Archive and Records Administration will explain how to find census, immigration, land and military records through their offices. The Division of Archives and Records Management of the New Jersey State Archives will provide information and direction in obtaining birth, marriage and death records for New Jersey, as well as other types of records retained by the State.
Participants at the first Limmud FSU conference in the U.S. dance at the conference's May 12 gala in Princeton, NJ. Credit: Puder PR.
PRINCETON, NJ - A gap remains between young Russian Jews and the larger American Jewish community, even as organizations like Limmud FSU and others work to build bridges between them.
Sandy Cahn, co-founder of Limmud FSU, suggests that the only way to ultimately bring these two communities together is to continue, at least for now, having separate organizations and events for Russian Jews. "There is something very special about Russian culture where they have an affinity of wanting to be together," she says. "Having their own Limmud empowers them to be stronger and encourages them to enter in a more impactful and empowered way on the American Jewish scene."
Over 400 guests enjoyed this year's Golden Slipper Club Seder.
The Golden Slipper Club of Philadelphia's tradition of holding a Passover Seder for the senior Jewish community continued in 2012. This year's Seder took place at Har Zion Temple in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania on Monday, March 19, a short time before this year's actual Passover holiday on April 6-12, 2012. Passover is a holiday in which Jews celebrate their liberation from slavery to freedom.
This year's Seder committee members, along with events coordinator, Ann Hilferty and executive director, Paul Geller, worked hard coordinating the various entities to make the Seder run smoothly. The 2012 committee includes co-chair Jackie Gilberg and Michael Simon, as well as members Chuck Barsh, David Biloon, Jeffrey Brenner, Robin Cohen, Bob Gilberg, Jessica Gomel, Charlie Hoffmann, Roy Kardon, Howard Levin, Linda Ostach, Barry Sacks, Dan Singer, Shelby Simmons, Lee Tabas, and Scott Wechsler. Stephen H. Frishberg is Club president.
The good news for developing nations is that many are beginning to get some of the infectious diseases that have long plagued their populations under control. Unfortunately, the burden of disease is shifting to chronic diseases. Of particular concern is cardiovascular disease. From 1990 to 2020, it is expected to increase by 137%. It is impacting people in developing countries at younger ages than here which affects their economic productivity and therefore the well being of their families.
In the United States, when someone develops a heart condition, pacemakers and defibrillators (ICDs) provide fairly easy remedies. In developing nations these devices are not an option when they cost upwards of $8,000 and the average wage is between $50 and $100 a month. It is estimated that 1 to 2 million lives could be saved or enhanced with a pacemaker or defibrillator.
"How can we get these people pacemakers?" you may be asking yourself. Well, there is something we can do to help. People may opt to donate their pacemakers. A study conducted by the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center found that 90% of their participants would be willing to donate their device to be sent overseas, but few knew that the option existed or how to go about doing so. If a person is receiving a device upgrade (i.e. from a pacemaker to a defibrillator) and the device has enough battery life left, a patient can request to have the device and donate it to charity.
Penny Kardon, Director of Career Strategies for the Jewish Employment and Vocational Service (JEVS) in Philadelphia, explains the Helping Hands program as "a program for underemployed or unemployed Jewish individuals up to the age of 65. They are given intense vocational assessment, ongoing career counseling, and opportunities for us to pay for training programs. There's a free computer program, workshops, lots and lots of support with job placement, (and) it's a one-year program, it's of no cost to the participants, and it's completely funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia."
Hearts have their own natural biological pacemaker that allows them to beat on their own accord even when the brain dies.
— Robby Berman
People don't like to talk about death. But I can't help it. It's my job. I encourage Jews to donate organs upon death to the general public. It is a difficult profession and journalists are constantly making my job even tougher. Recently a four-month-old Israeli baby boy died. Some Israeli media reported he died on Friday while others reported he died on Sunday. Why were they confused? Because his brain died on Friday and his heart died on Sunday.
These grants and scholarships ensure that more children realize the dream of an education rich in Jewish values and responsibility, where they achieve academically, while connecting to the world through a Jewish lens. Engaged, passionate and committed, they are tomorrow's leaders.
Each student will receive up to 33% of tuition at day schools throughout Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey, up to $5,000 for lower and middle school and up to $8,500 for high school.
These grants and scholarships are multi-year and are offered to new and existing day school students of all denominations. Qualifications and details vary based on grade level.
Don't wait another minute to give your child a Jewish day school education.
A limited number of grants and scholarships available at all day schools in Greater Philadelphia/South Jersey:
JRAid is a new program of the Jewish Relief Agency (JRA), the food distribution program founded by Rabbi Menachem Schmidt, of the Chabad Hasidim.
JRA Director Amy Krulik describes JRAid as
A brand new program...launched on September 18, 2011. The goal of the program is for our JRA volunteers to provide additional assistance and support to people in the community. It's a way to go beyond just providing food support, but to help people with everyday tasks, (such as) changing light bulbs, doing minor home repairs, providing rides to the doctor, (making) friendly phone calls or friendly visits to home bound seniors, really trying to fill in the pieces, primarily for people who don't have family or support networks in the area.
Barack Obama, Glenn Beck, Ed Koch and Ehud Barak will headline the premiere of Shalom TV Live
Jews throughout North America will have a new channel available for viewing beginning today, February 1, 2012, as "Shalom TV Live" premieres with a wide array of programming.
Shalom TV Live can be viewed online on any computer or mobile device by visiting the Shalom TV Web site. The channel will also be premiering in New York City and in Miami on Hotwire Communications and will soon be carried on cable systems throughout the country.
The new television channel will compliment Shalom TV's extremely successful Free Video On Demand programming which is currently available in more than 40 million homes on virtually every cable system in the United State and on Rogers Cable in Canada.
A Jewish "PBS-style" channel in the breadth of its programming, the first week of Shalom TV Live features:
the annual dinner of the Zionist Organization of America in NY and the addresses of ZOA President Morton Klein and keynote speaker Glenn Beck;
the Union For Reform Judaism's Biennial in Washington, DC, with President Barack Obama, Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Jewish Agency Chair Natan Sharansky, and outgoing URJ President Rabbi Eric Yoffie,
an interview with former New York City Mayor Ed Koch
an interview with the recent past chairman of the Presidents Conference, Alan Solow, a longtime friend of President Obama.
And viewers will share in the fiftieth anniversary of the Foundation For Jewish Culture as its CEO, Elise Bernhardt, presents Jewish Cultural Achievement Awards to individuals who have made major cultural contributions, including Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt.
In addition, Shalom TV Live will feature a daily newscast from Israel, children's programming every morning and afternoon, a series profiling the hottest Israeli musical artists ("Muzika"), and an "HBO-like" series following Jewish singles in their search for that special someone ("From Date To Mate").
Last week, the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces began a new tradition here in Philadelphia with their first annual Gala. Everyone enjoyed the music under the direction of Udi Bar as well as the drinks and fine food.
However, the real reason everyone came out was to show their support for the soldiers of the IDF. Their jobs is to look after Israel, and it is the job for the Friends of the IDF to look after them.
Keynote speaker former Governor Ed Rendell explained that he and his brother Robert were not raised in a religious home, but his father told them to remember that they are Jews, to remember how Jews have been treated over the years, and to support Jewish causes like FIDF whenever they could.
Although Rendell has had many titles: Governor of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Mayor of Philadelphia and Philadelphia District Attorney, he said the title of which he is most proud is that of 2nd Lieutenant from his service in the reserve from 1968 to 1974.
The Friends of the IDF supports Israeli soldiers in many ways:
The IMPACT! program grants full scholarships to soldiers who come from a disadvantaged socioeconomic background and seek a higher education. Each scholarship recipient is required to complete 130 hours of community service annually. IMPACT! Student Maru Gete, an Ethiopian Jewish immigrant, came to tell us how the FIDF allowed him to realize his dream of going to medical school.
The Legacy Program supports thousands of widows, orphans and other family members who have suffered the devastating loss of a loved-one fallen during military service. Galit Cochva was on hand to speak courageous of her husband Ron who died when his helicopter crashed in Lebanon.
The Lone Soldier Program supports the 2,800 determined young men and women from all over the world who choose to leave the comfort of their homes and families to travel to Israel, become proud IDF soldiers and make Israel their home. Friends of the IDF is a family to Lone Soldiers who have no family of their own in Israel.
Wynnewood native Shoval Dorani returned to Philadlephia to tell us about her life as a lone soldier and the support she received from the Friends of the IDF.
Here is what she had to say:
Good evening. My name is Shoval Dorani and for the past year I have been serving as a proud lone soldier in Oketz, the independent canine special forces unit of the Israel defense force.
I was born in North Miami Beach, Florida and raised in beautiful Wynnewood, Pennsylvania along with my brother Omri and my sister Liat. I had the privilege of receiving a Jewish Day School education and was raised in a home where the state of Israel was constantly in our hearts and in our minds. My father was born in Israel and my mother has always considered Israel her second home, so we traveled to Israel often. Each time I stepped onto Israel soil, I felt a sense of belonging. I was home.
The remainder of Shoval's remarks follow the jump.
It's not embarrassing to meet a girl online. It's embarrassing to meet a girl at a bar. Imagine knowing the only reason you have a girlfriend is because you met her when she was drunk and now she feels trapped. Tell that story to your 8-year-old son one day.
"How did you and mommy meet?"
"Well son, it was dollar shot night. Your mother looked so beautiful as the neon "Pabst Blue Ribbon" sign hit her while she was dancing on the bar. I got her to come down with a few shots of Jack Daniels, we went back to her place, one thing led to another, and that's why your name is Jack."
Twelve adorable stuffed bears departed from the Union for Reform Judaism's (URJ) New York offices on a journey to over 100 early childhood centers in Reform congregations throughout the United States and Canada.
Izzy is looking at the Torah with some Ganon Gil Preschool friends while we were learning about Simchat Torah (Beachwood, Ohio).
Each of the bears — Bernie, Benny, Goldie, Hannah, Herbie, Izzy, Lily, Moishe, Rose, Sadie, Saul and Sylvia — will visit these centers over the 2011-2012 school year to teach young children about the importance of doing mitzvot (good deeds) and the value of hachnasat orchim (hospitality/welcoming the guest.) Each bear comes with a journal, the book Bim and Bom: A Shabbat Tale and ideas about what to do with the bears.
This fall, as the leaves change color and the record-breaking heat and humidity are a thing of the past, parents begin carting back and forth to synagogue for bar or bat mitzvah lessons.
Many of these Philadelphia-area families are preparing their soon-to-be 13-year-old children for their bar/bat mitzvah. While four to eight months seems like a lifetime away, these young adults will reach this important Jewish milestone.
Before the big day, students will practice prayers, Torah and Haftorah portions, write their D'var Torah speech and select a mitzvah project. Mitzvah projects are becoming very creative and individually tailored, as more resources online are available. One local resource is The Mitzvah Bowl, which targets teens/parents that are searching for a meaningful mitzvah project. The website allows families to search hundreds of mitzvah project ideas that are easily organized by interest.
He is only twelve but he knew his way around the large building with its many offices. He came every day and was known by the staff. He approached the entrance today. Tense. Anxious. His fists clenched in anticipation of what he would hear. His shoulders sagging in discouragement. But yet a tiny glimmer of hope in his eyes. The sign at the office door read Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Registry. It was a simple sign but it contained the world. His world. He entered. "Have you found a match for my mother today," he asked.
The staff found it so difficult to answer the boy. He knew he would receive an official call from the office if there was good news but he couldn't wait for that. And so he came every day. His mother was dying of cancer but a bone marrow transplant could produce the cure. It was her only chance. And it was a good chance. With the transplant, his mother would bake him cupcakes again. She would grin with joy when he brought home a 100 on a test and join him on a trek through the mountains on a family trip. She would remind him to do his homework and he would beg to go out to play and promise to do it later. She would get angry at him and scold him and it would be wonderful. But now? Now she just lay there on the hospital bed. She didn't even smile when he handed her his report card full of A's. A button had come off his shirt and she didn't even notice.
You see, the transplant can only take place if a donor who is a genetic match can be found and Ezer Mizion, the largest Jewish Bone Marrow Registry in the world, had none. Genetic testing, unlike blood group testing, is very expensive. Ezer Mizion has close to 600,000 registrants but it is not enough. Many are saved but many are... not. Compassionate Jews the world over have become aware of the need for an enlarged Jewish registry as an insurance policy for worldwide Jewry and they contribute generously. As funding comes in, more are tested. Every day, new potential donors join the registry. The young boy will be there tomorrow again. He'll ask his question again. And tomorrow the answer will be...
Foundation for Jewish Camp Presents Summer 2011 Trends
As summer 2011 winds down and record numbers of kids are coming home from Jewish camp, parents all over North America are wondering: What did my child do this summer at camp? The Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) is pleased to share that amidst the lip dubs and flash mobs, campfire sing-alongs and Maccabiah competitions, kids of all ages were participating in a variety of amazing and inspiring activities at nonprofit Jewish overnight camps this summer.
More than 70,000 children and 10,000 counselors experienced overnight Jewish summer camp this year. Over 10,000 of these campers did so with a need-blind incentive grant from FJC's One Happy Camper program (OHC). OHC works in partnership with over 67 organizations including Jewish federations, foundations, national camp movements, individual camps, the Jim Joseph Foundation (JWest), and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation's PJ Library program (PJ Goes to Camp) to provide $700-1500 to families for their first, and sometimes second, summer at one of over 150 nonprofit Jewish overnight camps.
-- by Amy Krulik Senator Arlen Specter will keynote this National Day of Service Event
The Jewish Relief Agency (JRA) will hold its monthly September food distribution on Sunday, September 11th, 2011 as part of the National Day of Service to recognize the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Senator Arlen Spector will give the keynote address and will be joined by area civic and political leaders. Volunteers from throughout the 5-county Philadelphia area, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware will join together to pack and deliver food to struggling families throughout the Greater Philadelphia area.
Jane Slotin, executive director of Partnership for Effective Learning and Innovative Education (PELIE); Helene Tigay, former executive director of the Auberbach Central Agency for Jewish Education in Philadelphia; and David Waksburg, executive director of the Bureau of Jewish Education in San Francisco, (BJE) at the BJE's Annual Celebration. Photo credit: Yulia Goldshtrakh
PELIE Recognized for Bringing Successful Jewish Education Program to San Francisco
-- by Katie Stinchon
Recently, more than 200 lay leaders, clergy, educators, and volunteers gathered at the Bureau of Jewish Education's Annual Celebration to honor five congregations for participating in a pilot program called NESS (Nurturing Excellence in Synagogue Schools), which initially took root in Philadelphia before being expanded by PELIE (Partnership for Effective Learning and Innovative Education) in San Francisco. PELIE was also recognized for their work transforming Jewish education at the local synagogues.
PELIE is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve complementary Jewish education in North America, change the perception the public has about the field, and attract new investors.
In 2008, PELIE awarded a grant to the Bureau of Jewish Education in San Francisco to bring NESS to Congregation Beth Jacob in Redwood City, Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael, Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco and Peninsula Temple Shalom in Burlingame. Since rolling out NESS in these schools, enrollment has increased 22 percent.
The NESS process engages parents as partners and results in a shared conversation throughout each synagogue. It creates religious school education that is aligned with the mission and values of the synagogue, and that ultimately educates parents alongside their children. NESS consultants provide on-site intervention and work with synagogue lay and professional leadership to develop custom-design plans to fit the needs of each synagogue. The goal of NESS is to provide Jewish youth with a meaningful educational experience in order to foster and develop a positive Jewish identity and increase community involvement. Its key components include adapting best practices for teachers from both secular and Judaic standpoints; professional training; school assessments; and leadership, organizational, and curriculum development.
"Save Our Stiffel" is the name of a newly-formed group dedicated to keeping the Jacob & Esther Stiffel Senior center, 604 Porter Street in South Philadelphia, from closing due to lack of funds.
Programs held at the Stiffel Center include classes in Yiddish; art, poetry and music classes; cultural and travel experiences; health and exercise programs; traditional holiday programs; daily hot kosher lunches; fitness and wellness classes; medial and legal advice; chaplaincy services; and a thrift shop.
Laurel Katz, actor and radio host, is part of the effort; "No one had organized," she recalls, "a committee to raise the funds that are needed, because we found out fairly recently that that Stiffel is operating on a $200 thousand annual deficit, and they need $200 thousand by June 30th, and a promise for future funding, because they want to close it." The Stiffel Center is a branch of the Klein JCC.
The Philadelphia Jewish Voice is an online non-profit volunteer based community newspaper serving the Philadelphia Jewish Community since 2005. We are dedicated to addressing the important social, political and cultural issues facing our community in a spirit of honesty, integrity and diversity.
Your tax-deductible donations will help give Voice to the Greater Philadelphia Jewish Community.
To pay by credit card or paypal, click here:
or send a check to:
Eric Smolen, Treasurer,
Philadelphia Jewish Voice,
327 Pembroke Road,
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
The Philadelphia Jewish Voice is organized pursuant to
Pennsylvania's non-profit corporation law. We have tax-exempt status under IRS
Code Section 501(c)(3). Contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of
For more information about the Philadelphia Jewish Voice visit