News Briefs, the Week of March 9, 2017

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Jewish American Heritage Month to Honor Medical Researchers

The 12th year for Jewish American Heritage Month will recognize American Jews who made an impact in the medical research field, the National Museum of American Jewish History announced.

The May event will recognize researchers such as Jonas Salk, who developed the first vaccines against polio and Gertrude Elion, who developed lifesaving drugs; those included the first chemotherapy for childhood leukemia and treatments for lupus, hepatitis, arthritis and gout.

Mitzvah Circle Foundation Reports More Than Doubling of Volunteer Service

The Mitzvah Circle Foundation said 2,211 volunteers gave 59,789 hours of service in 2016, more than doubling the 994 volunteers who provided 25,810 hours of service in 2015.

The nonprofit, which works to meet the needs of those struggling with crisis, poverty, serious illness and homelessness, said it was able to make 8,630 donations of essential items in 2017.

In recognition of its volunteers, the organization presented awards at its March 4 Casino Night, an annual fundraiser. Merck was recognized for its 482 employees who contributed 1,281 hours of service. Also recognized were Gen3 Marketing and volunteer Mark Greene.

Student Organizes Fundraiser for Live Connections Nonprofit

Maxie Mandel, a 12-year-old student at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, organized a fundraiser March 5 at Congregation Beth Israel in Penn Valley dubbed Maxie’s Hot Chocolate House to support the Live Connections nonprofit organization.

About 10 singers and bands performed at the event, which raised money through a $5 admission charge, chocolate refreshment sales and a GoFundMe campaign for Live Connections. The nonprofit provides interactive music educational opportunities for underserved Philadelphia school students and people with disabilities.

As of early on March 7, the GoFundMe campaign had raised $977 toward a $1,000 goal.

Maxie, who studies voice, drums, piano and drama, served as both host and performer at the event. 

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