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Imagine a USO party from the World War II era, with the band on stage playing swing music, uniformed servicemen and women doing the jitterbug, and comedians like Bob Hope giving the troops a few well-needed laughs.

Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel will try to recapture the past by throwing an old-fashioned USO Canteen party at 5 p.m. on Nov. 13 in honor of Veterans Day.

The event will feature the Brian Pastor Big Band – a 17-piece ensemble that boasts some members from the Philly Pops – which will summon up memories for some of the guests by playing music associated with such artists as Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, and Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey.

The evening also plans to feature Boogie Rhythm, a group that looks and sounds like the Andrews Sisters, a USO staple from the 1940s.

The only thing missing will be Bob Hope, who unfortunately died two years ago.

"We expect 1,000 people and have room for many more than that," said Ellen Bildersee, chairperson of K.I.'s Music Arts Committee.

For the most part, Bildersee foresees that the attendees will be veterans of World War II – like 1st Lt. Lillian Toll (now Tekel) – and the Korean war, with a smattering of soldiers who served in Vietnam.

K.I. plans to donate a portion of proceeds to the Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey USO, as well as collect phone cards to send to men and women now serving overseas.

To learn more, call at 215-887-8700.


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