December 12, 2012
By Mark Robbins Growing up in New England, I associated Philadelphia with a small but potent mixture: My aunt, uncle, and two cousins; the Phillies of the late '70s; my dad's alma mater, Penn; and the movement for Soviet Jewry that culminated 25 years ago. Through their leadership in the movement to free Soviet Jews, my aunt and uncle, along with thousands of other Philadelphians, were writing another chapter in the story of the cradle of American...
May 13, 2011 |
Florence Sack Gilbert, 92, of Bala Cynwyd, director of volunteers at Hahnemann Hospital from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, died Monday, May 9, at Lankenau Hospital. Born in West Philadelphia, Mrs. Gilbert graduated from West Philadelphia High School and earned a medical technician's diploma at the former Philadelphia Normal School. A daughter, Beth Reisboard, said Mrs. Gilbert worked briefly at the former Mount Sinai Hospital in South Philadelphia. In 1949, Reisboard said, Mrs. Gilbert was among the founders of the former Yeadon Jewish Community Center, a synagogue and service organization, where she established and helped run youth social groups.
November 10, 2006 |
George Edward Preston, 92, who survived the Holocaust and afterward came to America, where he thrived, died of multiple organ failure Wednesday at home. He lived in Hyde Park near Wilmington. In 1985, Mr. Preston and his son, David Lee Preston, who was an Inquirer staff writer at the time, took a monthlong trip to France, the Soviet Union, Poland and Germany to revisit his past. The younger Preston wrote an article for Inquirer Magazine that chronicled the trip. The article was a finalist for the 1986 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing.
March 15, 2006 |
Rabbi Morris V. Dembowitz, 90, of Cherry Hill, former president and executive director of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia, died Monday at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. An Army chaplain in Europe during World War II, Rabbi Dembowitz counseled Holocaust survivors from the concentration camps, and the experience profoundly affected his rabbinate. He returned to the United States and worked for causes that promoted interfaith understanding and helped in efforts to resettle Soviet Jews who had been prevented from practicing their religion.
March 19, 2003 |
Saddam Hussein won't be tooling his way up Interstate 95 through Port Richmond in the next couple of days. But the folks at Steen Outdoor Advertising have some advice for him anyway. Saddam Hussein, reads the message on seven Steen billboards around the area, Give Peace A Chance. Go Into Exile. The billboards show the Iraqi leader holding a cup of coffee. On the right is a dove. It is a message even a dictator accustomed to getting advice from a clique of yes-men could understand.
December 6, 1997 |
Opposing religious persecution overseas might seem easy, but a congressional-style hearing in Philadelphia yesterday showed some of the right-left, Jewish-Christian balancing that's required. U.S. Rep. Jon Fox, R-Pa., of Montgomery County, and two House GOP colleagues heard a Philadelphia Catholic bishop, a local Jewish leader and others describe the new wrinkles of persecution in Europe, the old Soviet Union and parts of Asia. It's not always a totalitarian government, they said, but ethnic nationalist leaders, local bigots, or the formerly persecuted themselves, who persecute.
May 12, 1997 |
This is a story about Soviet repression, Jerry Seinfeld and Chelsea Clinton. But mostly it's about Daniel Lipkin, 17, who is living the American dream and wants to help others live it, too. "It was my parents' dream to raise their children in America," says the Monterey (Calif.) High School senior and co-valedictorian, who's been accepted at such hallowed halls as the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford, Duke and Yale. "My parents are pretty happy, both for me and my older sister.
August 3, 1995 |
A federal judge stripped a Lithuanian emigre of U.S. citizenship yesterday, concluding that he concealed his participation in a Lithuanian army battalion that helped the Nazis round up and massacre hundreds of thousands of Jews during World War II. Jonas Stelmokas, 78, of Lansdowne, a retired architect and prominent member of Philadelphia's Lithuanian community, now faces deportation. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois said Stelmokas "misrepresented or concealed his wartime activities" when he applied for immigration and later for citizenship.
February 11, 1994 |
The Soviet Jewish filmmaker Michael Kalik has lived a life so dramatic, so buffeted by the forces of communism and anti-Semitism, it is no wonder that he felt compelled to chronicle his struggles in the memory film And the Wind Returneth . . . . When Kalik was born in 1927, the Soviet Union was still in a dynamic phase. He characterizes himself as one of those Jews who fervently believed in the communist faith, then was disillusioned by Stalinism (but no more than Stalinists were disillusioned by him)
December 2, 1993 |
They were not a good mix, the Soviet regime and artists whose Jewish heritage it worked vigorously to repress. In the old Soviet Union, the artists often worked surreptitiously because of the very real possibility of government persecution. Many took jobs in related fields, as graphic artists and book illustrators. And after hours, they painted secretly in their homes, using whatever materials could be scrounged, no matter how inferior. Their only audience was a few trusted friends and relatives.