About 60 people gathered in a former Elkins Park train station Sunday for a free children's concert and kosher bagel brunch intended to showcase the area as a great place for Jewish community.
Amy Cuker, a Beth Sholom Congregation board member who lives down the street from the station with her two young boys, said she was inspired to put together the event after attending an Old York Road Community Organization meeting. A former West Philly resident, Cuker said she wanted to do something to make other families in the city aware of her neighborhood "and what a great place it is to raise a Jewish family." After all, she said, the huge variety of Jewish resources was one of the main reasons her family decided to move there. They live within walking distance of multiple synagogues as well as Ramah Day Camp.
"There's sort of this default among city dwellers, especially Jewish city dwellers, to just consider the Main Line," she said, recalling how some of her friends didn't even know where Elkins Park was when she first told them she was moving. "They were like, 'Oh, where is that?'"
Since many people also don't realize how easy it is to commute from Center City by train, Cuker decided to highlight the ride as "part of the fun of the event." So, in addition to sponsoring the food and music, the Old York Road Community Organization provided free tickets for children of families who hopped aboard a regional train to the event. Only four families took advantage of the free ride, but Cuker's optimistic that maybe some of them will be consider moving there one day or at least tell their friends about the good time they had.
"It's the kind of thing like the game of telephone where it spreads from one person to the next."
The Old York Road Community Organization also made a donation to the Cheltenham Township Community Development Corporation's fundraising effort to convert the former train station into a performance and gallery space, Cuker said. The station served just that purpose on Sunday as local band Peanutbutter and Jerry entertained dozens of kids.