June 20, 1998 |
Harvey J. Penson, 93, a retired businessman who celebrated his bar mitzvah in February - 80 years late - died of aspiration pneumonia Thursday at the Philadelphia Geriatric Center, where he had lived for the last year and a half. The founder of Penson & Co., a New York firm that shipped works of art around the world for museums, art galleries and collectors, Mr. Penson had been retired since the mid-1970s. Until very recently, Mr. Penson had not been religious. Mr. Penson's father had rebelled against the Judaism of his own father, a rabbi, and the grandson simply ignored it. When his wife, Sylvia, attended services, he would wait for her outside the synagogue.
March 23, 1998 |
"Hava Negila" was in the third verse, the temperature was 34 degrees, and Howard Stulman was leaning on his walker and dancing. "The feet still have it," said Stulman, 80. "But the spine isn't what it used to be. " The sentiment, however, hasn't changed. Not in a few thousand years. Congregation Ohev Shalom welcomed a new Torah to its synagogue yesterday with a 1,000-person parade down Second Street and all the nachus of a new grandparent showing off a wallet full of snapshots.
February 22, 1998 |
It took Harvey Penson almost 80 years. Yesterday, surrounded by family and friends at the Albert A. Light Memorial Chapel at the Philadelphia Geriatric Center, he read a transliterated section of the Torah to become a bar mitzvah - a "son of the commandments. " The traditional rite of passage affirms the faith of young Jewish boys and girls and launches them toward adulthood. Penson turns 93 today. His daughter, Andrea Block, said he was never actively religious, but demonstrated his faith in his treatment of others.
February 19, 1998 |
So. Is it any surprise a bar mitzvah boy should be interested in girls? "Oh, I love to dance," Harvey Penson exclaimed Tuesday as the music started and he began tapping his foot. A minute later he was on the dance floor, twirling Brenda Martin, his "girlfriend. " She laughed. He laughed. With time out of mind, Penson was in heaven, and for the moment he had forgotten about . . . well, so many things. There have been some important losses for Harvey Penson. Among those losses is time.
January 12, 1998 |
To commemorate the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Main Line Reform Temple, 410 Montgomery Ave., Wynnewood, will hold an interfaith Sabbath service beginning at 8:15 p.m. Friday. In addition to Rabbis Paul Citrin, Max Weiss and Max Hauser of the temple, speakers will include the Rev. James Pollard of Zion Baptist Church in Ardmore and Rabbi Marc Margolius of Beth Am Israel Congregation in Penn Valley. Choirs from Main Line Reform, Beth Am Israel, Zion Baptist Church and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Wynnewood will provide the music.
September 15, 1997 |
The elders of the Beth Israel congregation started the procession yesterday by carrying the Torahs, the sacred scriptures of the Jewish faith, out of the cramped lobby of their old synagogue in Media. They followed a tree-lined road along a stream and crossed a lawn still damp from the morning dew, heading toward their new synagogue at 542 S. New Middletown Road, Middletown Township. There, the 2 1/2-mile parade ended with the recently bar- and bat-mitzvahed carrying the Torahs into their new home.
June 15, 1997 |
With black letters on aging gray parchment, the wood-handled scroll appears to have come straight from Mount Sinai. In spirit, say leaders of Shir Ami Congregation, it did. "It is the original," said Rabbi Gedaliah Druin, a scribe who just finished restoring the synagogue's Torah scroll, one of many such documents to survive the Holocaust. Members of the congregation paraded the Torah scroll, which contains the five books of Moses, through the streets of Newtown last week to mark the end of the yearlong restoration project.
September 14, 1996 |
To step into Congregation Rodeph Shalom at 615 N. Broad St. is to step out of ordinary space and time. But can such a place survive? Push open those leather-embossed vestibule doors and enter the mauve, Byzantine-style, 1,600-seat sanctuary. Here, a high rotunda intersects with a series of massive arches over the marble ark. Tall brass menorahs flank the ornate, half-ton bronze Torah doors, above which a small, red flame flickers. The visual effect is awesome, holy.
September 6, 1996 |
A new Jewish congregation is scheduled to hold its first service tonight in a suburban church, but ownership of its torah has become the object of a lawsuit. The new congregation, Temple Isaiah, grew out of the ashes of Temple Zion, of Huntingdon Valley, a synagogue so wracked by controversy that it disbanded last spring after 39 years and sold its synagogue on Pine Road. The synagogue's corporate entity filed suit in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court demanding that Temple Zion's former spiritual leader, Rabbi Daniel Parker, return a torah, a piece of needlepoint and a fax machine.
August 19, 1996 |
Cheeks stretched, face reddening, Karen Neff blew into the ram's horn without effect. "Purse your lips," advised Charles Salinger, putting aside his clarinet to demonstrate. Neff blew again, emitting a satisfying bleat that pierced the Sunday morning quiet in the canyon of Walnut Street. "I did it!" Neff exclaimed. "Oh wow. " With that, Rabbi Rayzel Raphael commanded the members of congregation Leyv Ha-ir (Heart of the City) to resume their parade: "We march!" For Rabbi Raphael and her tiny Reconstructionist congregation, yesterday was moving day, the day to carry their 80-year-old Torah from their former base - a basement classroom at Temple University's Center City campus - to their new home at the Gershman Jewish Community Center.