Jewish Exponent

Jewish Exponent Jewish Exponent: What It Means To Be Jewish In Philadelphia Since 1887, the Jewish Exponent has informed, connected and engaged Greater Philadelphia's vibrant Jewish community through our weekly newspaper, special sections and website.

We are the go-to resource for local, national and international Jewish news, op-eds, blogs, calendar listings, mazel tov announcements and exclusive features. The Exponent truly is what it means to be Jewish in Philadelphia. We may use Facebook comments in our print issue's Kvetch 'N Kvell letters to the editor section.

Operating as usual

09/17/2021

JEWISH EXPONENT READERS: Jarrad Saffren wants to talk to you about the Phillies making a Twitter post wishing the Jewish community a happy Rosh Hashanah. If you're interested in discussing this real quick, comment here or send him a private message.

"If a creature is a nuisance or doing damage, then there’s no problem killing it," said one rabbi. https://www.jewishexp...
09/17/2021
A New Commandment: Killing Spotted Lanternflies? - Jewish Exponent

"If a creature is a nuisance or doing damage, then there’s no problem killing it," said one rabbi.

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/17/a-new-commandment-killing-spotted-lanternflies/

Under the shoes of many-a-Philadelphian, you may find a squished spotted lanternfly: black-speckled gray and red wings, splayed limply across one’s outer sole. The spotted lanternfly made its Delaware Valley debut in 2014 when it traversed from Southeast Asia to the United States. Making their hom...

Congregation Mikveh Israel has a new event space, a new assistant rabbi and a long-term plan for member expansion.https:...
09/17/2021
Congregation Mikveh Israel Plans to Expand - Jewish Exponent

Congregation Mikveh Israel has a new event space, a new assistant rabbi and a long-term plan for member expansion.

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/17/congregation-mikveh-israel-plans-to-expand/

Congregation Mikveh Israel has a new event space, a new assistant rabbi and a long-term plan for member expansion. On Sept. 6, the Philadelphia synagogue announced the hiring of Rabbi Yosef Zarnighian. He will assist the temple’s senior religious leader, Rabbi Albert Gabbai, who has been in his po...

A new girls basketball league is starting up at the Kaiserman JCC in Wynnewood. https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/1...
09/17/2021
Teen Creating JCC Girls Basketball League - Jewish Exponent

A new girls basketball league is starting up at the Kaiserman JCC in Wynnewood.

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/17/teen-creating-jcc-girls-basketball-league/

In elementary school, when Evyn Stone started playing basketball, it seemed as if she did the same thing on every possession: Dribble to the wing, pull up for a jumper and drill the shot. Her mother, Holly Stone, was amazed. “I said, ‘How do you do that?’” the mom recalled. “‘You’re so...

“There’s only one Bob Rovner.” https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/17/philadelphia-fixture-bob-rovner-dies-at-77/
09/17/2021
Philadelphia ‘Fixture’ Bob Rovner Dies at 77 - Jewish Exponent

“There’s only one Bob Rovner.”

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/17/philadelphia-fixture-bob-rovner-dies-at-77/

Bob Rovner spent every summer of his life down the shore, according to his son, Dan Rovner. As a kid, he went with his parents on trips to Atlantic City, their childhood home. Then, as an adult, he took his own family to their vacation house in Margate. Rovner loved the shore because he loved […]

The National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia will emerge from bankruptcy on Sept. 17.https://www.jewis...
09/17/2021
NMAJH Exits Bankruptcy, Looks Forward - Jewish Exponent

The National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia will emerge from bankruptcy on Sept. 17.

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/17/161989/

After filing for Chapter 11 in March 2020, the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia will emerge from bankruptcy on Sept. 17. NMAJH’s exit from bankruptcy largely stems from a $10 million commitment from former longtime trustee Mitchell Morgan, who bought the museum’s buildi...

Upon entering the Jewish Community Services Building at 2100 Arch St. early on Sept. 2, one could hear the sound of wate...
09/17/2021
Ida Floods Jewish Community Services Building, Sports Hall - Jewish Exponent

Upon entering the Jewish Community Services Building at 2100 Arch St. early on Sept. 2, one could hear the sound of water rushing beneath the ground floor.

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/17/ida-floods-jewish-community-services-building-sports-hall/

Upon entering the Jewish Community Services Building at 2100 Arch St. early on Sept. 2, one could hear the sound of water rushing beneath the ground floor. The remnants of Hurricane Ida the day prior caused flooding along the Schuylkill River, mere blocks from the building, which is home to the Jewi...

#YomKippur
09/15/2021

#YomKippur

#YomKippur

Bucks County native Ross Lefkowitz is modernizing tzedakah. https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/09/digital-platform-p...
09/10/2021
Digital Platform ‘Pushka’ Modernizes Tzedakah - Jewish Exponent

Bucks County native Ross Lefkowitz is modernizing tzedakah.

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/09/digital-platform-pushka-modernizes-tzedakah/

Ross Lefkowitz doesn’t carry cash with him anymore, and he doesn’t think other millennials do, either. The Bucks County native no longer walks past a tzedakah box at shul and stuffs in a dollar bill or slides in a few loose coins, but he still believes that fulfilling the mitzvah of tzedakah is ...

Author David Baddiel builds his argument on the idea that antisemitism is racism.https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/...
09/10/2021
Books: Losing Count, Dealing with Home Envy - Jewish Exponent

Author David Baddiel builds his argument on the idea that antisemitism is racism.

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/09/books-losing-count-dealing-with-home-envy/

Progressives’ Blind Spot Sasha Rogelberg | JE staff “Jews Don’t Count” David Baddiel Harper Collings David Baddiel’s new book “Jews Don’t Count” wasn’t reviewed by The Guardian, Great Britain’s premier — and progressive — daily newspaper. The Times, The Independent and The Te...

Nachman Shai: "I’ve lived long enough to see how Israel has turned from a point of pride to tension."https://www.jewishe...
09/10/2021
Has Israel Let You Down? Its Minister of Diaspora Affairs Wants You to Talk About It Over The High Holidays - Jewish Exponent

Nachman Shai: "I’ve lived long enough to see how Israel has turned from a point of pride to tension."

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/09/has-israel-let-you-down-its-minister-of-diaspora-affairs-wants-you-to-talk-about-it-over-the-high-holidays/

To the rabbis and religious leaders putting the finishing touches to your High Holiday sermons, I’d like to make a suggestion:

Throughout 2020, she raised almost $1,300 and collected more than 600 care items for the PA Breast Cancer Coalition. htt...
09/10/2021
Teen Wins Award for Bat Mitzvah Project - Jewish Exponent

Throughout 2020, she raised almost $1,300 and collected more than 600 care items for the PA Breast Cancer Coalition.

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/09/teen-wins-award-for-bat-mitzvah-project/

For many Jewish kids, the bar/bat mitzvah project is an obligation. But for Jemmi Seeherman, it was a revelation. Throughout 2020, she raised almost $1,300 and collected more than 600 care items for the PA Breast Cancer Coalition. After the Wyndmoor resident had her bat mitzvah in November, the coal...

Yom Kippur is next week. Here are some tips for getting through the fast. https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/09/fast...
09/09/2021
Fasting on Yom Kippur? Follow this Playbook - Jewish Exponent

Yom Kippur is next week. Here are some tips for getting through the fast.

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/09/fasting-on-yom-kippur-follow-this-playbook/

Fasting on Yom Kippur is an ordeal. After all, God designed it that way. As Jews, we’re supposed to repent for our sins from the previous year. Unless you have a medical condition that requires you to eat or drink, you probably do this every year, too. So, after all these years, you likely have [....

Babette Josephs, a stalwart progressive and a representative of the 182nd Pennsylvania House District from 1985-2012, di...
09/09/2021
State Legislator Babette Josephs Dies at 81 - Jewish Exponent

Babette Josephs, a stalwart progressive and a representative of the 182nd Pennsylvania House District from 1985-2012, died Aug. 27 of cancer.

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/09/state-legislator-babette-josephs-dies-at-81/

Babette Josephs, a stalwart progressive and a representative of the 182nd Pennsylvania House District from 1985-2012, died Aug. 27 of cancer in Eugene, Oregon. She was 81. Josephs was a longtime fighter for reproductive rights, LGBT rights, racial equality and environmental sustainability, serving 1...

“We’re all human beings,” Jubelirer said. “Why should we be defined by our worst behavior?”https://www.jewishexponent.co...
09/09/2021
Teshuvah on the Inside: Jewish Alternatives to the Prison System - Jewish Exponent

“We’re all human beings,” Jubelirer said. “Why should we be defined by our worst behavior?”

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/09/teshuvah-on-the-inside-jewish-alternatives-to-the-prison-system/

Frank Jordan has wanted to visit his sick friend for a while now. Jordan has been incarcerated for 36 years on homicide charges and is living at State Correctional Institution-Phoenix in Montgomery County. Jordan hasn’t been able to see his friend, who’s being treated at a hospital on the outsid...

Barrack Hebrew Academy has a new leader. He sat down with the Exponent to discuss his vision. https://www.jewishexponent...
09/09/2021
New Barrack Leader Discusses School’s Future - Jewish Exponent

Barrack Hebrew Academy has a new leader. He sat down with the Exponent to discuss his vision.

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/09/new-barrack-leader-discusses-schools-future/

For Rabbi Marshall Lesack, who took over as head of school at the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr on July 1, it’s a dream job. He graduated from the institution in 1997, when it was still the Akiva Hebrew Academy and located in Merion Station. And, unlike many, the rabbi loved high [.....

Twenty years ago, 9/11 happened right before Rosh Hashanah. Rabbis rushed to change their sermons and make sense of the ...
09/09/2021
Rabbis Reflect on Changing Sermons After 9/11 - Jewish Exponent

Twenty years ago, 9/11 happened right before Rosh Hashanah. Rabbis rushed to change their sermons and make sense of the moment.

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/09/rabbis-reflect-on-changing-sermons-after-9-11/

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Rabbi Eliott Perlstein was working at home on his Rosh Hashanah sermon. After a while, the Ohev Shalom of Bucks County leader decided to take a break, so he walked into the kitchen and flipped on the television. “The first tower had already fallen,” Perlstein sa...

#RoshHashanah
09/07/2021

#RoshHashanah

#RoshHashanah

Happy #LaborDay2021
09/06/2021

Happy #LaborDay2021

Happy #LaborDay2021

In 2015, Daniel Israel was working odd jobs. Now he's one of the biggest caterers in Philadelphia. https://www.jewishexp...
09/05/2021
Philly Faces: Daniel Israel - Jewish Exponent

In 2015, Daniel Israel was working odd jobs. Now he's one of the biggest caterers in Philadelphia.

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/02/philly-faces-daniel-israel/

In 2015, Daniel Israel was working odd jobs and looking for a direction. He knew just one thing for certain: He wanted to marry his girlfriend, Amanda Ross. But to get Ross’ father’s approval, Israel needed to find a path. And, one day, Israel’s girlfriend asked him what he wanted to do. “Co...

She pretended that she had been raised by wolves. Now her story is on Netflix. https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/02...
09/05/2021
‘Misha’ a Tale of a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing - Jewish Exponent

She pretended that she had been raised by wolves. Now her story is on Netflix.

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/02/misha-a-tale-of-a-wolf-in-sheeps-clothing/

“Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years” was supposed to be Misha Defonseca’s magnum opus. The memoir, published in 1997, recounts Defonseca’s supposed escape from N**i clutches as a child after her parents’ deportation to Germany. After leaving her foster home, Defonseca wanders through...

Sheila Katz and Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg: "We are, once again, in a season of reckoning with sexual abuse in the Jewish co...
09/03/2021
In Our Season of Reckoning, What to Remember When Abuse Stories Break in Jewish Communities - Jewish Exponent

Sheila Katz and Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg: "We are, once again, in a season of reckoning with sexual abuse in the Jewish community and in the country."

https://www.jewishexponent.com/2021/09/03/in-our-season-of-reckoning-what-to-remember-when-abuse-stories-break-in-jewish-communities/

We are, once again, in a season of reckoning with sexual abuse in the Jewish community and in the country.

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Eddie Bruce's Friday Nightclub, broadcast live on Eddie's page this Friday night and every Friday night at 8pm, is THE spot to be each week. Join 3,000 other music lovers who delight in Eddie's songs, and fall in love with music...again.
I suspect most of us watched the life run out of George Floyd while one policeman's weight-thru-the-knee pressed the life out of him. Onlookers begged — as Mr. Floyd begged himself — for his life. As Jews, did we not think of Daniel Perl's ex*****on? The Gestapo? Egypt? Pogroms? R. Akiba publicly incinerated. We then watched people gathering … a strong majority out of a need to mourn-together, some maybe who wanted out-of-the-quarantine, many who were equally mourning what they saw as a sick nation, some angry and a small percentage criminally piggybacking on the situation. The Kitty Genovese clause of Leviticus 19:16 warns us not to stand idly by as our neighbor bleeds. It doesn't tell us not to do so only for our Brother or Sister but like the Torah says in Exodus, Leviticus 7:7 and in Numbers 15:16 and 15:29: One law shall there be for the stranger and the visitor and the neighbor … Equal protection under the Law. Equal requirements to abide by the Law. Rabbi Norman Lamm, President Emeritus of Yeshiva University who died during the past ten days, in a speech for Shabbos B'ha'aloscha given during the primary elections following the Nixon debacle noted: "We suffer from … economic difficulties which, in their complexity, are probably unprecedented. We are in the category of Isha Maksheh Lay'layd (a woman struggling to birth): a new World is bloodily and painfully emerging from the womb of the present, and we cannot tell whether our World will survive, or whether the new one will be a healthy World or a monster … our society is largely a rudderless and leaderless ship: storm tossed, uncertain and unsure." Could this have really been written in 1976? Near the end of the same week's parsha that Norman Lamm addressed, we see Miriam and Aharon's perfidy. They publicly spoke, it would appear "about the matter of the black woman he (Moses, their sibling) married: (they spoke) because she was a black woman. In the rules for biblical exegesis passed down, when a particular statement follows a general one, only the particular applies. Aharon and Miriam were chastised for casting aspersions on a woman because she was Black. All this prefatory to my singular query: what do we Jews do with our biases … against people who are other to us. Black or Black Hat … or otherwise? Disclaimer: I've lived as a freier yid in Melrose Park for 43 years and have learned among other things that: more or less, only Black People speed on Old York Road (for they are the only ones who are stopped). In my clinical practice, I've discovered that my Black and Brown visitors are followed in Bloomingdale's and stopped by the Police at the bottom of the path leading to my office. I hear how their sons and spouses are rousted by the police; White folk don't report that to me. I recognize, too, that I open the door more hesitatingly to Black People. Then there's the argument of my White Privilege. Painful to hear and communicated out of their own pain. My Black colleagues and friends think they know what I'm made of … my original sin, of sorts. Bias and Prejudice are all around me. I'm learning about it and it all and much more makes me uncomfortable. The word I hear in my Heart and my Patients' Hearts is, … indeed, heartbroken. I know, equally well, that each year, as a Jew, I read of the destructive sequelae of preferential treatment and biases … whether it be Miriam accusing Moses of bringing a Black Woman into their family … the denigration of Cham, Noah's Brown Baby … the choosing of Abraham over Lot, Sarah over Hagar, Isaac over Ishmael, Rebeka's preferring Jacob over Eisau and Isaac choosing Esau over Jacob, Rachel the Pretty chosen over Leah the Plain even in modern prayer books, and Joseph chosen over them all. It's almost a relief that in the end of the story, a new Pharaoh arises in Egypt who doesn't give a rat's taches about Chayim over Shmeryl or Shmeryl over Beryl … All are slaves, all objects, none are Subjects in their Own Right. I wonder. Is the Geneological Book of Genesis that was written after our emancipation from slavery written as a corrective? Could it have been named: Jewish Lives Matter! Could it be a compensatory saga that both reminds us and helps us forget that we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt? Helping us to forget our shaming past by constructing a new and quite convoluted narrative? Consider our own post slavery experience?… After pillaging Egypt, we hightailed it out of there as an acting out and violent collection of mobs, spewing at our leader who spewed pretty good back at us, needing to be separated by tribes lest we slaughter each other, a mob complaining about the menu like spoiled diners one sees at restaurants returning the not-hot-enough mashed potatoes … rioting in the desert. Did we not satisfy a bloodlust by killing the resident tribes? … sometimes even the women and children and cattle? When we got to the Holy Land, we hired sons-of-whores (Jepthah in Judges 12) to lead us into battle and wondered why one of them killed his nameless daughter. We elected b***y and violent kings … one wrote the rap music of his day while his son wrote some pretty erotic stuff; most bedding a whole bunch of baby-mamas. The kids fought and split up the Nation … Civil unrest and war ensued. Invading hordes enslaved us, again. We did, in time, substitute a scholarly class for our warrior-class and came to live among the nations …. betimes tolerated, accepted occasionally and not infrequently persecuted? We were among the so-called Sub-Whites in America and maybe still are. Then came 1948; that's another narrative. I will end with a very brief thought about hatred and disdain for the other. I once wrote that it came in three varieties; racism comes in these three flavors, to. I don't like thinking of Racism as "You have it" or "Y'don't." I feel the same about antisemitism. So, here are the three flavors, as I see them: The most primitive is N**iism: The Dominants tell the Subjugated not to convert, just to die or to be slaves with no sense of agency and subject to abuse and murder; Slightly less sadistic is Crusaderism: Here, the Powerful demand that the subjugated convert or die; and finally, there is … American Tolerance: A system in which I may think you're a worthless fool … but I'll let you play your game if you let me play mine. American Slavery, unlike the indentured slaves mentioned in Torah, felt free to utilize all three forms of malignant intolerance. It seems to me that the notion of 'One Torah shall there be for you and the stranger in your midst' is our aspirational goal as Jews. We seek to move towards a place of understanding that the predominant reason I think "mine is better" is the same reason that you think "yours is better" … just because! Jew to Jew … Jew to White … Jew to Black and all permutations, thereof. Somewhere in the mix, I feel a personal need come to grips with the way I and MY COUNTRY have treated the Black and the Brown. L'Shannah ha'Ba … next Passover I will, for the first time, perhaps, be able to feel that I was indeed a slave to Pharaoh in Egypt. I was subject to objectification. I and my children were gratuitously murdered, there. Harangued and Rousted! … I'll need, then, to put away my Maror (horseradish) and Salt Water and stop pretending that symbolic tastes and genealogical preferences can ever approximate the pain or remove the shame of slavery or its aftermath.
Your page does such an excellent job of educating on the past while shaping the present of your community. I recently have been learning a lot about the current Israeli community by watching the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema on the streaming platform Film Festival Flix. The virtual festival is showing comedies, dramas, and documentaries all about the current trends and events happening in Israel. I personally like how they even included a TV series into the festival. Film Festival Flix also offers many channels filled with independent films of all kinds (they even have a whole channel designated to Jewish films). I love this platform because it offers so much more than your typical streaming site. Let me know if you end up watching any of the films in the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema on Film Festival Flix!
Why Did Jesus say… Pick Up the Serpent and Drink All Deadly Things? Why did Jesus tell the rich man… To see Heaven, you must obey the Ten Commandments and give to the Needy, yet preachers tell you that you are forgiven for your sins? Why did Jesus say… Don’t call me Good Master for there is none good but God. but later said I am the way and the light, and you can only get to Heaven through me? If Jesus is God why when he was on the cross, cry out God, God, why have you forsaken me? If Jesus was dying for our sins (which the Bible never said so) then why would he say God forsaken him? A God can move mountains and hold back seas, why was Jesus not able to remove a small nail from his hand. How did Mary walk right pass Jesus and not notice him? Why did his disciples go up to him and ask Stranger, have you seen Jesus? What really happened to Jesus when he went up on the mountain with Satan? There are many questions about the Bible and finally there is a book that explains all. “ I LOVE GOD by Gregory St. James Mundy”
DID THE JEWISH MESSIAH ALREADY CAME? The tanakh(the Jewish scriptures) foretold about the promised Messiah Micah 5:2 foretold that Bethlehem Judah would be the birthplace of the Messiah.“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”Micah 5:2. Isaiah 53:5 foretold that the Messiah would suffer, bore our sins and died. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 psalms 16:10 foretold The Messiah would rose from dead.For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.psalms 16:10 THE FULFILLMENT OF THE MESSIAH’S BIRTH, THE MESSIAH’S DEATH AND THE MESSIAH’S RESURRECTION The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! Luke 2:11. Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the cross, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.1 Peter 2:24 He is not here; for He is risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Matthew 28:6 WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE THAT HE COME INTO EARTH? God loves us and wants us to have a personal relationship with Him,but there was a problem. Problem was sin(bad things which is liying cheating and stealing.) According to God's Word, sin is what separates us from God.But your iniquities have separated you from your God Isaiah 59:2. For the wages of sin is death Romans 6:23. Yeshua died on the cross for our sins, so that we could be in relationship with The God of Israel. God is the one who made it possible for us to have a relationship with Him. God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16. Yeshua is the way to God and Yeshua the way to get into heaven. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.John 14:6. All you have to do is ask Yeshua to come into your heart. Dear Lord Yeshua, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. ... I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Yeshua' Name amen. To say that Yeshua is not the Messiah is to call Yeshua a liar. It would be the same as someone telling you that Moses was a liar.If Yeshua is the Messiah, are you willing pay a price to follow him? To follow the Messiah is the most Jewish thing anyone can do. If you become a believer in the Messiah, You will become more Jewish like before.