June 25, 2016 |
Barbara Cohen, 85, the mother of Comcast Corp. executive David L. Cohen, died late Thursday afternoon, June 23, at her home in Highland Park, N.J. Mrs. Cohen was diagnosed in March with brain cancer, her son said Thursday night from his childhood home. "She was outspoken. I came by my bluntness and candor genetically," said Cohen, who served as chief of staff for former Mayor Ed Rendell. "She was very direct and straightforward," said daughter Nancy, also describing her as principled and resilient.
June 6, 2016 |
Gary Gans' boyhood plan - "I intended to be the first Jewish president" - didn't work out. The plan he didn't make worked out quite nicely. "When I came to the wilds of South Jersey, I didn't know I was going to stay," says the Philadelphia native, who became Congregation Beth Tikvah's first ordained rabbi in 1981. "Looks like it was meant to be. " After "three-plus decades of growing together" with his Marlton flock of about 200 households, Gans will retire Aug. 1 but continue as rabbi emeritus for two years.
April 23, 2016
By Sally Friedman The message was delivered by email, as so many things that affect our lives arrive these days. No envelope as a buffer zone. It was from our synagogue in Cherry Hill. And like its delivery, its message was direct. The synagogue was advising members of increased security measures at this house of worship, this presumed sanctuary from the travails of the outside world. Seems that in this beleaguered time, even access to our synagogues is changing. I guess I shouldn't be surprised - but I am. And sad, too. In this Passover season, when Jews are asked to remember being slaves in Egypt, one has to wonder how free we Jews are. And on the surface, we live freely and move freely, presumably in peace and safety.
February 25, 2016 |
During the weeks before our grandson Zay's December bar mitzvah six years ago, I was preoccupied with several things. I blush to admit one of them was whether the tapestry jacket I'd selected would work well for the Saturday service and luncheon. I worried about the endless details that go into planning these milestones. The one thing I didn't think about much was the weather. This was the Philadelphia area, after all, and it doesn't snow much in Philadelphia in December.
January 30, 2016 |
The rabbinic students had come to the mosque for a lesson on interfaith dialogue, and the West Oak Lane building was perhaps the perfect place. Masjidullah, where Muslims pray daily, was built as a synagogue, later became a church, and now is a mosque. Mimi Polin Ferraro, a student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, had her bat mitzvah there more than 40 years ago, when it was Temple Sinai. On Tuesday, she returned with her classmates, marveling at the building and its history.
December 7, 2015
Hanukkah begins at sunset Sunday, and there will be six menorahs to light at Paula Goldstein's house. "So we actually could set a nice little fire," said Goldstein, 58, president and chief executive of Jewish Family and Children's Service of Greater Philadelphia (JFCS), a $13 million organization celebrating its 160th anniversary this year. "One menorah somebody gave us, one we got when we were married, and then my children each have their own menorah, so we light them all," she said.
October 13, 2015 |
Joining a nascent national movement, three synagogues are joining forces in Elkins Park to tear down walls separating students - and religious traditions. Two Conservative synagogues and one congregation from the liberal Reform tradition have formed one religious school on Old York Road, becoming among the first in the country to take such a step. It is a move that challenges the synagogues to compromise while still preserving tradition, all in an effort to adapt to an evolving Jewish community whose connection to matters of faith often differs vastly from that of previous generations.
September 23, 2015 |
In the empty sanctuary at Richboro's Ohev Shalom synagogue on Friday, the temple's rabbi, cantor, and Hebrew school principal huddled around an iPhone 6. They were critiquing a rough cut of their educational video about the Avinu Malkeinu prayer, a request for God's blessings that is recited during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. "I think we need to hear more of you," Rabbi Eliott Perlstein told the cantor, Annelise Ocanto-Romo. "Your singing needs to be part of the lead-in. " Ohev Shalom's congregants received the four-minute video over the weekend in an email blast that encouraged them to forward it to friends.
September 14, 2015 |
There will be a couple of innovations this Rosh Hashanah at Torah Links of South Jersey, in Cherry Hill: One of the services will be shorter than usual, and there will be more prayers in English. Other than that, as it will be across the region and the world, familiar holiday traditions - prayers, songs, the blowing of shofars, and reflection in synagogues - will be observed as the Jewish high holidays begin with Rosh Hashanah at sundown Sunday. The sound of the shofar - a ram's horn - will announce the start of the holidays.
August 17, 2015 |
Toward the end of his life, Lee Stanley lived in solitude. But that doesn't mean he was alone. His home, a three-story rowhouse on tiny Mole Street in Center City, was filled to the brim with artifacts from a time gone by: baseball cards, sports almanacs, opera scores, orchestra programs. Pieces of his passions, surrounding him every day. A few times a week, he exercised, inconspicuously, by walking up and down the Art Museum steps, his oversize coat draped over his shoulders.