Kahal Kadosh Mikveh Israel, "The Hope of Israel," is the oldest Jewish congregation in the city of Philadelphia, and the second oldest congregation in the United States. It dates its roots back to 1740 when Nathan Levy, upon the death of his child, applied for a grant of land at 9th and Spruce Streets from Thomas Penn, Proprietor of Pennsylvania, to consecrate as a Jewish burial ground.
President Barack Obama met this morning with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and a dozen of his fellow police chiefs and sheriffs:
Police Chief Daniel Oates, Aurora, CO (scene of 2012 movie theatre shooting) seated two to Obama's right,
Police Chief Michael Kehoe, Newtown, CT (scene of 2012 Elementary School shooting) seated next to Biden,
Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, Montgomery County, MD (scene of many of the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks),
Police Chief Robert Villaseñor, Tucson, AZ (scene of 2011 attack on Rep. Gabby Giffords),
Police Chief Chris Burbank, Salt Lake City, UT (scene of the 2007 Trolley Square shooting),
Police Chief Janeé Harteau, Minneapolis, MN (scene of the 2012 Accent Signage Systems shooting),
Sheriff Douglas Gillespie, Las Vegas, NV (scene of the 2010 Federal Courthouse shooting),
Police Chief John Edwards, Oak Creek, WI (scene of the 2012 Sikh Temple shooting),
Sheriff Richard Stanek, Hennepin County, MN (scene of the 2003 Court Tower shooting),
Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Chicago, IL,
Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald from Story County, IA, and
Sheriff Larry Amerson from Calhoun County, AL
They discussed gun violence prevention in the White House's Roosevelt Room, along with Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Biden's chief of staff Bruce Reed.
Obama spoke for roughly three minutes about the importance of hearing from law enforcement leaders on the issue of gun violence and what communities across the country need from the federal government in order to curb the number of mass shootings throughout the the country.
Mr. Obama thanked the police chiefs and sheriffs for coming to the White House today and recalled the executive actions he took earlier this month, as well as his legislative goals, and called on Congress to work with the administration to pass them.
For many spiritual seekers, the complaint about Judaism is that it doesn't seem like it has what it takes to be a springboard for a life of meaningful relevance. The lack of easily accessible contemporary theology seems to create a great divide between honoring the ancient and finding a way to appreciate the practice of Judaism as an integral part of everyday life. Other traditions and practices such as Buddhism, meditation and mindfulness seem to give both solace and a sense of growing personal empowerment that many Jewish practitioners seek in a harried time.
The Food Network is looking for those with a captivating personality who believe they're at the top of the culinary game and want to inspire a Food Network audience through their passion for food and cooking!
Please find the details of our event below:
Philadelphia Open Casting Call
Date: November 8th, 2012
Location: Loews Philadelphia Hotel
1200 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Please go online to apply and for more information on casting events!
The Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter of the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) awarded three veteran progressive women activists at a ceremony held in the home of Bruce and Carol Caswell in West Mount Airy, Philadelphia, on Saturday, October 13, 2012.
The honorees were State Representative Babette Josephs, City Council member Marion Tasco, and Shelly Yanoff, Director of Public Citizens for Children and Youth.
Honorees Bob and Shelby Ford are joined by Gwen Borowsky and Arlene Silver at the National Liberty Museum awards reception and dinner., where the Fords were honored for their devotion to glass sculpture and their support of the museum and its mission. Photo: Bonnie Squires
— by Bonnie Squires
What do you do when your world-class glass scupture collection outgrows your residence? If your name is Irv Borowsky, you buy an historic former bank building in Philadelphia and transform it into the National Liberty Museum. You commission Dale Chihuly to create a four-story glass chandelier which indicates the flame of revolution and the fragility of freedom. And then you hold an annual Glass Art Weekend & Auction Gala, and you honor supporters of the museum who are themselves connoisseurs of glass sculpture. This year's awards reception and dinner honored Shelby and Bob Ford and Inna and Alex Friedman. Artist Therman Statom, who does unique things with glass, was also honored.
Chair of the Philadelphia Museum of Art trustees, the Honorable Constance Williams, joins His Excellency François Delattre, the French ambassador to the U.S., and Michael Scullin, Esq., Honorary French Consul in Philadelphia. Photo: Bonnie Squires.
— by Bonnie Squires
Jules Mastbaum, the Jewish philanthropist who, in the early 20th century, created and donated to the City of Philadelphia his fabulous collection of Rodin sculptures and the "jewel box" of a museum to house it, would have been very pleased with the number of Jewish philanthropists who turned out on September 15 for the Rodin Gala and fundraiser.
Mastbaum, who made his fortune as a movie theater mogul, spared no expense in having his "jewel box" of a Beaux Arts museum designed and built to house his collection.
The Republican Jewish Coalition flew and bused volunteers to campaign yesterday Sunday, September 9 and today Monday, September 10 in three metropolitan areas:
Philadelphia and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
South-Eastern Florida, and
Ron Kampeas reports that this is part of a $6,500,000 microtargeting campaign funded in part by gambling tycoon Sheldon Adelson (pictured right at the RJC "Friends of Israel" reception at the Republican National Convention).
Ohio (1.3% Jewish) and Florida (3.4% Jewish) are once again battleground states and are being hotly contested by the Romney and Obama campaigns. Pennsylvania (2.3% Jewish) has traditionally been a swing state, but lately it has been considered fairly safe for the Democrats, and accordingly Mitt Romney, Karl Rove and the Koch brothers' Super-PACs "Restore Our Future", "Crossroads GPS" and "Americans for Prosperity" all announced last week that they were pulling out of Pennsylvania and Michigan and concentrating their ad buys on more competitive states. We asked the RJC why they were skipping Nevada which is a very competitive state with a 2.8% Jewish population the most of any swing-state other than Florida, but Stu Sandler and Bill Wanger had no comment. (See comment posted below.)
The RJC invited us to observe their outreach effort in work in our area. Local members of the RJC were joined by supporters bused in from Bethesda, Maryland and the New York area. Some volunteers flew in from as far away as California. In all about 400 Republicans were assembled at the Radisson Valley Forge Casino Resort.
During the breakfast, RJC leaders and volunteers were all eager to share the views with us. One deplored a "certain strain of the Jewish community that cares more about the Democratic party than about Israel." I asked if she was referring to extreme elements of the grassroots or about any particular elected officials, and she cited Rep. Alysson Schwartz as an example saying
Allyson Schwartz will be a Democrat [sic] believer until the day she dies even if they start wearing brown shirts
(a reference to the color of the uniforms of the Strumabteilung which played a key role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power). Other members of the crowd echoed Lynne's contempt for the Democratic Congresswomen and cited DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Former Rep. Robert Wexler, Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach, and Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro as "traitor to their faith."
I discussed the Democratic and Republican party platforms with Lynne Lechter, Republican Committeewoman in Lower Merion and former candidate for the Pennsylvania Assembly (shown right at the National Women's Committee of the RJC at the Green Valley County Club in 2009). Asked about the Republican platform which echoes Rep. Todd Akin's support for a blanket ban on abortions without any exception for rape or incest, Ms. Lechter said that to her "platforms are not relevent. People don't always agree with everything in the platform." However, she felt that the original Democratic platform "underscored the hatred of Democrats for religion and Israel."
Once you get your ticket for Jewish Heritage Night with the Philadelphia Soul, sign up for the Major League Dreidel tournament which will be held at 5pm before the game. Test your skills in the "Spinagoguge" - 124 people will compete, first come, first served T-shirts, hats and more to participants.
You are invited to join the Philadelphia Jewish Voice and the Greater Philadelphia Jewish community at the Wells Fargo Center for an exciting, family-friendly evening of arena football as the Philadelphia Soul take on the Pittsburgh Power during the Soul's Jewish Heritage Night, Sunday, June 24 at 6:05 pm. In addition to the non-stop action that arena football brings, the evening will also feature kosher food and Jewish themed entertainment.
Each ticket costs $28.
Ticket prices have been reduced to $19!
Tickets can be used for Jewish Heritage night or for any 2012 Philadelphia Soul regular season home game. A portion of the proceeds will support the Philadelphia Jewish Voice.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
This Thursday, you're invited to the premiere of Academy Award-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim's documentary about President Obama's first three years in office and the tough calls he made to get our country back on track.
Check out the trailer (if you recognize the narrator's voice -- that's Tom Hanks) and join a screening in Philadelphia this Thursday, March 15th. RSVP now to save your seat.
Where: Independent Charter School, 1600 Lombard Street, Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia area Russian citizens vote in Russian Presidential Election at Klein JCC, Saturday, March 3
Russian citizens residing within the Philadelphia area will cast their ballots in the Russian presidential election through a special voting center set up in Room 218 at the Klein JCC, located at 10100 Jamison Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia, on Saturday, March 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Candidates in this presidential election are:
Vladimir Putin (United Russia),
Gennady Zyuganov (Communist),
Sergey Mironov (A Just Russia aka Social Democrat),
Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Liberal Democrat), and
Mikhail Prokhorov (Independent).
The special election center is being established through the Russian consulate in New York City. Voters in Russia will go to the polls on March 4.
(JSPAN) The third Progressive Summit in Philadelphia begins Friday night with a debate between Kathleen Kane and Patrick Murphy at 6:30 pm at Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55 N. Broad St. (just north of City Hall).
On Saturday and Sunday there will be workshops and panels about critical issues progressives are working on this year, and some of the best practices in progressive organizing. Saturday evening is a night of comedy and a variety of parties. The full agenda is here. Here is a link to register for the Summit.
The Summit is a place to build relationships and network with other progressives. Start with JSPAN Board member Marc Stier who will be on two panels, Don't Stop Believing: Managing Activism Fatigue, and Building Coalitions That Win.
A friend recently signed me up for a subscription to Philadelphia Magazine (thanks Doug!) I opened the issue and on the first page was a letter from the Chairman (who knew magazines had chairs?) about an incident on a Philadelphia trolley. The basic story is that there were about 20 people riding a trolley, and a mother started hitting her 2 and 4 year old children. All but one person said nothing. One person said "If you hit that child one more time, I will call the police and follow you home and make sure they arrest you."
I put the magazine and asked myself what I would do in that situation. Take a moment and ask yourself what you would do....
Back to the Chair's letter, which went on to talk about the aftereffects of violence on young children. About how we, as a society, tend to look the other way.
Magazine went down again...how many things do we see every day and do nothing about? The SOPA and Komen uprisings of the past few weeks took very little for people to do: Facebook and Twitter posts, a few phone calls, some checks. One-time deals, for a lot of us, and in a lot of ways an abstraction. There was no immediate threat to our internet access, no woman with a breast lump asking us what to do since Planned Parenthood was her sole option for a mammogram. How many of us stand up and really rail at what the right is doing on their march to take America back to the 1850's? How many would say something when a parent is beating a child?
There are a few other things in the story. The original post from the person who stood up is here. Turns out that the mother, and all the other riders, were black and the author was white. You can use the links in the post to see that a lot of people thought the author did the wrong thing: that he is a racist, and that had the parent hitting the child was white, the situation would have been different.
EEWWW....Is this really a racist thing? I read the comments and wondered if people thought it was somehow okay to hit black children but not white children. I read about the "kindness cure" and wondered...had the author picked up the girl, how many people would have accused him of kidnapping, or pedophilia, or something in that vein?
The whole societal, and political, issue to me has to do with standing up. If you're a long time reader, you know that I believe it is incumbent on decent people to stand up. Both in individual direct situations, and in the overall political realm. The sole time I was in a situation where there was a child in immediate danger I saw a father punch his boy in the face and send him into the canned goods on the supermarket shelf. Without thinking, I attached the boy to my leg (he came up to my knee), covered him with my coat, and told the father (who was twice my size) that he would have to hit me before he hit the boy again. The mother, who was pushing the cart with another child in the seat, started screaming that I was trying to kidnap her son. Things got loud, people came, police came, and then they watched the films from the security cameras. They were white people, but I live in an integrated neighborhood, and we all shop in the same supermarkets. I would have done the same thing had that child been black, or purple, or anything - to me, he was just a little boy with a fist impression on his face.
But I fear there is truth in the idea that as a society, most of us are holed up in our houses, interacting through social media, and less involved in "the neighborhood" than we were a generation ago. I heard a pundit refer to Americans as "the silenced majority" as opposed to the silent majority - the idea being that even if we do things, media has so much power that our actions are kept silent from our fellow Americans. I don't know whether we are silent or silenced, but I'm leaning toward "both of the above" and we need to start thinking about changing that. But maybe you feel differently....
What do April 15th and the Shevat 15th have in common? Both are tax days! Two thousand years ago, the 15th of Shevat was when the twelve Hebrew tribes paid tithes to the Levites in Jerusalem. Tu B'Shevat, the fifteenth day of the month of Shevat, is described in the Mishnah as the New Year for Trees. During the times of the Temple, fruit tithes would be calculated beginning on Tu B'Shevat. Fruit that grew on trees after the fifteenth day of Shevat was counted for the tithes that were due the following year. These tithes supported the Levites, helped feed the poor, and paid for Tu B'Shevat festivities in Jerusalem.
Following the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans, the Jews were exiled from Israel, and tithes were no longer paid. The Jews in the Diaspora preserved the memory of Tu B'Shevat by remembering their connection to the Land of Israel. In the Jewish communities of Bukhara, Uzbekistan, and Kurdistan, Tu B'Shevat developed into the "day of eating the seven species." The seven species are the seven fruits and grains that are listed in the Torah as special products of the Land of Israel. In the 16th century Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, the famous mystic of Safed, and his students collaborated to create the Tu B'Shevat Seder. The observance of Tu B'Shevat has undergone many permutations
since that time.
How can you and your family enjoy this ancient holiday in present day Philadelphia?
Some hands-on ideas to bring your families the warming spirit of Tu B'Shevat this winter follow the jump.
If you're like me, it's a let-down to buy produce flown or trucked in from California, which is what are available these days in the supermarkets, even in Whole Foods, which may have the biggest selection of organic produce around. Some farmers' markets are open on Saturdays, but if you keep Shabbat, your best option is the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. It's open seven days a week, and it's indoors, so you (and the vendors) do not have to freeze in the open air.
When was the last time you've visited this market? You'll be surprised and delighted by the lively changes there. Check out the Reading Terminal Market website for fun events, including the Valentine Day's wedding of four couples in the center court at noon.
"Children are not like roads. They will not remain static over the next few years and they will not get the chance to redo these school years when the economy gets better."
- Debra Fuchs-Ertman, Scarborough, Maine
William Paterson's distinguished career as New Jersey's governor and senator, and subsequently as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, is a tad tarnished by his service as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787.
The framers of the Constitution are habitually hailed as visionaries. Not altogether true. Paterson balked at the Virginia Plan for proportional representation in Congress. He predicted that the most populous states would dominate the agenda in Congress. Proportional representation would leave New Jersey and the other small states on the margins of power.
Paterson ultimately accepted the Connecticut Compromise that affords each state equal representation in the Senate and proportional representation in the House.
With 8.7 million people, New Jersey is today America's 11th most populous state, ranking immediately above Virginia. These days it seems as if the least populous states dominate the agenda, leaving the larger states - New Jersey among them - on the margins of power. Moral of this story? New Jersey and you, congested together.
Bruce Ticker has written a new book American Vision. He has given us permission to publish this work as a weekly series. Here is the prologue.
Even on a day when almost nothing happens, the course of American history can be set for more than two centuries.
One such day was July 17, 1787. The birth of the Connecticut Compromise is customarily dated to July 16, 1787, when the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia approved a fresh but flawed legislative system, as part of a broader package of provisions for the budding Constitution.
Prior to 10 a.m. on the 17th, delegates from the most populous states to the Convention gathered at what is now Philadelphia's Independence Hall to assess the convention's vote from the day before.
The Connecticut Compromise created a split form of government: Each member of the House of Representatives would represent the same number of Americans, on a proportionate basis, and each state would be represented by the same number of senators regardless of population.
It's January! Time to snag a spot in the summer camp of your children's choice! One of Philadelphia's hidden treasures is the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in University City. It offers culinary camps for participants from age seven to fifteen. I sent my three children to The Restaurant School camp a few years ago. How did I decide that this would be a good choice for them? I stopped at the Restaurant School's Allison Mansion one day at lunchtime. There, in the middle of what could have been a courtyard in Florence, I saw a chef instructor, surrounded by his students. In one hand, he held a glass of red wine, in the other, a piece of chocolate. I was ready to move in!
Over 900 Jewish high school students from across North America will gather in Philadelphia December 25-29 for United Synagogue Youth's annual international convention. The convention, the largest annual gathering of Jewish young people, wraps up a year of events marking USY's 60th anniversary, and will include an attempt - expected to be successful - to achieve the official world record for the most dreidels spun simultaneously in the same room; remarks by Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, the highest ranking Jewish member of the U.S. military; and student participation in community service work in Philadelphia.
In the spirit of giving this season, personnel from Jefferson at the Naval Yard worked together with the Jewish Relief Agency's JRAid program to make this Chanukah an extraordinary one for two South Philadelphia Jewish families. Due to the Jewish Relief Agency's large outreach in the Jewish community, Jefferson at the Naval Yard, who had supported a family for Christmas last year, turned to the JRAid program to find a South Philadelphia family to support this year for Chanukah, and wound up supporting two.
One family consisted of a destitute mother with a young child. The father abandoned the family after suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, triggered from his deployment in Afghanistan. The other family was an older couple that was in dire straits and had two grandchildren that were coming a long way to visit for Chanukah.
The response was overwhelming. Not only did the children receive numerous gifts, but the adults as well. Each family also received several gift cards, bringing them to tears over the generosity shown to them. It was literally a dream come true.
Please enjoy this clip I filmed about how chamin (Portuguese cholent) came to Philadelphia. It was filmed at Stenton Mansion, one of the best-preserved colonial homes in Philadelphia. I would like to extend my special thanks to Marlene Samoun for permitting me to use her soulful rendition of the ladino folk song Morenika in this clip.
Jewish contact with Spain may go as far back as the Kingdom of Solomon. It is thought that Southern Spain was the country of Tarshish. Tarshish was the furthest place west that people could sail to from Ancient Israel in Biblical times. There was a continuous Jewish presence in Spain until March 31, 1492.
Finally, kosher and organic can go on a date! I was strolling down South Street, when I stumbled upon Burger.org. and Chicken.org. "Glatt Kosher" was painted in large letters on the windows. Of course I had to try them both! I discovered two places where the standard for both kashrut and food quality meet the expectations of a Higher Authority.
I stepped into the Burger.org restaurant, and was immediately taken by the stylish hardwood floors, granite countertops, and eye popping accent colors. This place is definitely fun! The free-range organic meat is imported from Uruguay. I was impressed with the perfectly cooked to order, juicy lamb burger I had selected, served with a generous portion of French fries. You can order free-range beef, chicken, and turkey patties. They also have wild catch fish and vegetarian burgers. You could go with their selection of sandwiches, hummus, fries, and salads as well. Soon, it will be possible to have the total soda fountain experience. In about a week, Burger.org will begin serving pareve milk shakes and ice cream. If for any reason you become disgruntled while dining here, you can have the experience of the electronics customers in the You Don't Mess With The Zohan movie. You can cross the street and get your dinner at the competing kosher establishment: Chicken.org.
This has been an incredibly exciting summer for Galil! I would be happy to put together an article (together with amazing pictures) on any of the following topics:
- The Amy Adina Schulman Center (which was sent to the Jewish Voice a few months ago, but they did not run anything on it yet...). The premise of an article would be the way that Galil taps into its 65 year history while moving forward into the future.
- Our new shaliach, Oded, a bit about him, and what kind of programming he is available to run for local Jewish synagogues, organizations, and communities.
- Taste of Galil (our four day program for campers going into 3rd grade). We just completed our second year with double the number of campers and it was a hit! Plus the kids are adorable so the photos of them are priceless.
- Alumni Day last week. We had many multi-generational Galil families, including a specific family whose grandmother attended Galil in 1946 and went on the 2nd Workshop (Habonim Dror's year-long program in Israel). Her children went to Galil and now their children are there as well. At Alumni Day we had members of their family from all three generations, including current campers.
Please let me know if any of these topics would be of interest to you and I would be glad to put the story together. Please contact me at email@example.com or (609) 558-1395.
Obama has his polling problems. In Pennsylvania, his approval rating has fallen to 46/48, his approval amoung Democrats is below the national average and PPP says:
Obama's poll numbers are worse in Pennsylvania than they are in places like Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and New Mexico, all states that went Republican in 2004 even as Pennsylvania voted Democratic. The President's persistently poor numbers in a state that's gone Democratic in every Presidential election for the last 24 years probably make Pennsylvania the place where Obama should be most concerned about his current standing.
PPP goes on to attribute Obama's problem to Hillary Democrats. PPP also has bad news for Obama in North Carolina. Florida, even with Rick Scott, is not any more friendly.
There is something more concerning about Pennsylvania than the polling numbers, though, and that's the dollar numbers. First, let's look at the 2008 vote totals by county:
Philadelphia is actually the little blue area where the last "a" in "Philadelphia" is located. The big blue area to the left is Delaware County, To the left of Delaware County is Chester County, Above that, the dark blue is Montgomery County, and the light blue on the right is Bucks County. This is what gave Obama his win of the state with 54.7% of the vote, with, yes, an assist to the north, plus Pittsburgh, Erie and State College.
Let's look at the money raised in 2008: (data from Open Secrets, all numbers rounded)
Totals 2008, Pennsylvania, $25.3 million collected statewide:
Obama $ 11.4 million McCain $ 4.6 million Clinton $ 4.3 million Giuliani $1 .3 million Biden $ 950,000 Romney $ 650,000
Overall for the Philadelphia Region (the counties cited above, plus the counties of Gloucester, Camden and Burlington in Southern NJ):
Obama $ 8.5 million McCain $ 2.7 million
While other candidates received funding (for example, Romeny received $ 476,000) if you look at the ratio of Obama to McCain money, it's about 76% to 24%.
In the top 4 zip codes, these were the Obama/McCain splits:
The Philadelphia Inquirer (17 July 2011, p. A3) took a look at the 2011 Q2 money in the Philadelphia area. (The counties above from PA and NJ.) Overall, Obama collected $ 227,190 and Romney collected $ 204,000. An additional $ 125,000 was taken in, in descending order by Santorum (PA only, he didn't get a dime in south Jersey), Paul, Pawlenty, Gingrich, Cain, Bachman and Johnson. The split here is 53%/47%, Obama to Romney. That's a little concerning.
Also of concern is the money collected in the top ten zip codes. The data is arranged from most to least money, and identical zip codes are highlighted. All cities/town in Pennsylvania unless otherwise noted.
If you do the math, you'll find out that Romney collected $ 117,150 and Obama collected $ 85,193. Now admittedly, Obama tends to raise money from smaller donors, while Romney collects from larger donors. Thus, it's very likely that more humans (and ergo voters) donated to Obama than Romney. Further, it's early and the economy is in a completely different solar system than it was in 2007. But there are these two things...
The two most concerning zips to me are 19103 and 19087. 19103 (map) is part of Center City, and there is a concentration of über rich there, which can account for the relatively large Mittens draw. But it's also a very young area, with the largest proportion of residents being between 25 and 30 years old. (Source) Like I said, concerning.
And then there's Wayne. Zip code 19087 has an interesting history. It, along with zip code 19335 had their geographic areas defined well BEFORE zip codes were designated in the 1960's, by two very enterprising Postmasters. It used to be that the Postmasters were paid based on how many people received mail. These guys took HUGE land areas, back when properties were large, even though the population wasn't there. Currently, 19087 is in three counties (Chester, Delaware and Montgomery). It's rich. It's educated. Data here. Most of all, though, it was an Obama stronghold in 2008. Again, like I said, concerning.
Dignity characterized Philadelphia's Gay Pride Parade yesterday. Each group marching past the review stands at Independence Mall stood tall and in the thousands, reflecting a growing and strong array of social service, religious and artistic, family and corporate support for equality across the full range of gender.
The Philadelphia Jewish Voice was on the scene with a substantial booth at the six hour Penn's Landing party into which the parade participants and observers poured. Why? Rabbi Janet Marder put the matter most succinctly to my mind in the October 1985 issues of the Reconstructionist Magazine: "Reverence for tradition is no virtue when it promotes injustice and human suffering."All afternoon long, Jews and non-Jews of all ages and gender orientations came over to appreciate and explore our Jewish presence. We could see representatives of Beth Ahavah, the Delaware Valley's only gay and lesbian synagogue, as busy as we, across the courtyard.
The progress in GBLTQ acceptance in Jewish life is substantial, albeit incomplete and insufficient. Since the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College led the way with unconditional ordination of gay and lesbian students in 1984, all the movements, save for for Orthodoxy have found their way to inclusive rites and ordinations. A few summers back National Havurah Institute offered programming to raise awareness of the leadership, challenges and needs of transgender Jews. In Jewish Renewal inclusion has long been manifest and encoded within its ethical platform.
"I'm so glad you're here," was what we heard over and over at the parade yesterday. We're offering a free raffle through the end of June with one of the prizes a free commitment ceremony with trimming donated from the flowers, cake, clothes and more.
Enjoy the warmer weather by strolling through Philadelphia's historic Jewish neighborhoods. If you come from Philadelphia, chances are that you once had a close family member living in the Jewish Quarter. Take a tour of memories when South Street was the center of Jewish life in the trendy part of Philadelphia now called Society Hill.
Professionally, I lead tours of Jewish Historic Philadelphia, and this is what LimmudPhilly hired me to do. As a presenter at the LimmudPhilly held in February, I felt like I learned as much as I taught.
The participants were a varied group in age, gender and knowledge. Some added their experience, some simply took in each word with relish.
Hired by AJC in 1995 by Murray Friedman, I am the link with "continuity of identity" that is part of the mission of this great organization. Actually my husband always says my mission is to convince people that everyone in the history of the city is Jewish. He might have a point.
Stephen Von Worley looked at 2010 Census data and compared it to the 2000 Census. Here is Philadelphia. Red indicates blocks whose population went down (solid red is complete depopulation), blue indicates blocks whose population increased (solid red indicates a doubling in population), and white indicates areas that did not have population in either census.
Howard Treatman his wife Ronit , and their three children, Devorah, David and Hannah at their home in Germantown.
Howard Treatman, the newest candidate for City Council in the 8th District, which encompasses the heart of Northwest Philadelphia, filed his candidacy, turning in more than 2,200 petition signatures. Treatman, who has spent his professional life creating jobs and developing quality housing options, is running to increase jobs and community development in the District. Treatman, who has never run for office before and is a respected community leader, will open his campaign office on Germantown Ave. in Mt. Airy later this week.
"I am running for City Council because for too long, political insiders have been more focused on their elections and not on the needs of our residents. We can not keep doing things the way we have been if Philadelphia is going to be a place where people want to live and businesses want to grow. I'm going to work very hard to introduce myself to voters and bring new ideas to the debate. With no incumbent in the race and no clear frontrunner, this could be the most competitive race this year."
Treatman's real estate firm has created jobs and provided quality homes in cities all over America. He recently completed a two-year term as president of Germantown Jewish Centre in West Mt. Airy and he sits on the board and real estate committee of Mt. Airy USA. The organization is currently working with developers to build a new mixed use development on the long-blighted corner of Chew Avenue and Washington Lane. Howard lives with his wife Ronit and three kids in Germantown, where the family has resided for 17 years.
"Across the District, the voters I've been speaking with have been concerned with bringing development back to our vacant land and our empty storefronts," Treatman said. "They want safer streets, better schools and more jobs. They're looking for someone independent in City Hall, someone who will represent their interests, not the same insiders who have stood in the way of progress. I intend to run a very aggressive campaign over the next ten weeks, and I intend to win."
Writing for Philadelphia Magazine's Philly Post blog Wednesday, Mt. Airy resident Sam Katz declared Treatman "a dark horse" in the race and predicted a Treatman victory.
"Howard jumped into the race later than the other candidates, but we're right alongside the frontrunners now in terms of our campaign structure," campaign manager and 8th District native David Scholnick said. "When we got started, the political insiders didn't know who he was, but now there's a lot of interest in the campaign, and our opponents have taken notice."
The week began with a big final push for petitions, and on Tuesday the campaign turned in more than 2,200 signatures-almost triple the 75o required to be on the ballot. The same day, Alan Tu of Newsworks.org wrote, in the first news story about the campaign, "Howard Treatman is basing his bid for Philadelphia City Council on thinking big." The media attention continued on Wednesday when Philly Post praised Treatman's independence in its roundup of the City Council races.
"My campaign is pushing forward and pulling together a lot of support," Treatman said. "From one end of the district to the other, the people I've spoken with are eager for new ideas and a new face in City Council, and that's exactly what I bring to this race."
Open House at Campaign Office
This Sunday, 8th District City Council candidate Howard Treatman will host an open house at his new campaign office on Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy. Voters will have the opportunity to meet the candidate and enjoy light refreshments.
Sunday, March 13, 2011, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Treatman for Council Campaign Office, 7151 Germantown Avenue, 2nd floor, Philadelphia, PA 19119.
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