April 1, 2009 |
A year after crowds of visitors were allowed to briefly tour the haunting ruins of Eastern State Penitentiary's old synagogue, the sacred space is about to reopen for real - the first totally restored remnant of the historic prison fortress on Fairmount Avenue at 21st Street. The Alfred W. Fleisher Memorial Synagogue, and a related exhibit suite featuring artifacts, explanatory materials, and video interviews with former inmates and their last rabbi, will be open for public tours starting Saturday and Sunday.
September 21, 2007 |
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day in the Jewish liturgical calendar. But "hectic" bordering on "frantic" may best describe the days leading up to Yom Kippur, which begins at sundown this evening. "I haven't slept in weeks," Carol Perloff, communications director for Congregation Rodeph Shalom on North Broad Street, said yesterday afternoon. "It's like a meeting of a small nation. " It's a small nation that also swells this time of year, when people who don't usually see the inside of a synagogue "suddenly remember they're Jewish," Perloff joked.
August 30, 2007 |
Fifteen years ago, Bill Kraut placed an ad in a local paper to find other Jewish people who would be interested in starting a Reform congregation in Chester County. To his surprise, he got responses, and 22 people attended the first service at a Methodist church in West Chester. The group has been borrowing space in various churches ever since. But that changed Sunday, when Kraut, wearing a festive orange skullcap and green golf shirt, was among those who strolled into the newly built Beth Chaim Reform synagogue in East Whiteland Township.
February 20, 2007 |
Robert Gelsher is a busy man, a vice president at a big financial-services firm. After he leaves home in the morning, he doesn't have a lot of time. But he can squeeze in 10 minutes. And for Rabbi Alexander Coleman, that's time enough - to share a thought or impart a lesson through a project that caters to the on-the-go, "Ten Minutes of Torah. " Each weekday at 7:30 a.m., Coleman cracks the door of the Etz Chaim center, near the Elkins Park SEPTA station, trying to lure the devout and the merely curious with hot coffee, fresh Danish, and a promise that he'll have them back outside in time to catch their train or finish the drive to work.
March 18, 2006 |
Scholars from one of the largest yeshivas in the world are traveling New Jersey's highways every month in the battle to keep Jews connected to their heritage. More than 100 rabbis and students with ties to the Beth Medrash Govoha of America, a school of Talmudic study in Lakewood, drive to classes throughout New Jersey and in Philadelphia. They teach in recreation centers, synagogues and private homes. The rabbis and students are part of the Torah Links education initiative, a yeshiva-sponsored community effort to encourage Jews to read Jewish texts and increase their knowledge of the faith, history and culture.
February 11, 2003 |
So here's what I did this weekend: The neighborhood Kabbalat Shabbat was in our home; the davenning was wonderful. There was a fine Havurah service the next day at shul, capped by an interesting d'var Torah on the shape of the mishkan and its relationship to the historicity of the Exodus. There was a shiva minyan down the street for a neighbor whose mother died. I don't usually speak like this in mixed company. In public, before non-Jews or even Jews who are not especially observant, I'd say that the prayers and singing at our Friday night service were wonderful.
January 12, 2003 |
Sandy and Shaul Reznik wanted to do something special when they joined Chabad Lubavitch Center of Camden County, an Orthodox congregation in Cherry Hill, about six months ago. After consulting with Rabbi Mendel Mangel, director of the small, intimate congregation, the Rezniks were told that the congregation didn't have its own Torah. The ones in use were on loan from a synagogue in New York, and one of those was in constant need of repair as letters faded or chipped off. "If a Torah is not complete, it can't be used," Sandy Reznik said.
January 24, 2002 |
Area rabbis and educators will share their knowledge on a variety of topics of Jewish interest in the Fifth Annual Jewish Community Kallah on Saturday at the Valley Forge Hilton. A variety of topics will be covered in the two-part event. Topics will include "Hebrew in Early America" and "Let's Laugh Together: Jewish Humor Through the Ages. " Registration will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday. The first session will begin at 8. The second session will open at 9 with a lecture titled "Judaism and Islam: Conflict or Convergence?"
January 13, 2002 |
"Your servant Yaakov is behind us," saith one Torah translation. "Your servant Jacob himself is right behind us," saith another. And a third: "Here is your servant Jacob, behind us as well. " For a timeless text, the Jewish Bible has recently had a bumper crop of new translations and commentaries. Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary, The Five Books of Moses: The Schocken Bible Volume 1 by Everett Fox, and Commentary on the Torah by Richard Friedman are refreshing the way Jews think about sacred text.
October 18, 2001 |
Tales of sex and money provided a snapshot yesterday of the worldly side of the life of Rabbi Fred J. Neulander, a once highly regarded Cherry Hill religious leader on trial for the 1994 murder of his wife. In the sensational murder case's third day of testimony in Superior Court, jurors heard one witness describe how the rabbi told her that he and his wife had an open marriage and that he had had affairs with two members of his Congregation M'kor Shalom. Another witness described a $5,000 business loan from the rabbi that earned him interest at a rate comparable to that of an underworld loanshark.