News Briefs: Accolades Aplenty for Rabbi, Einstein Medical, Nobel Prize-winning Scientist

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Rabbi Ambassador Speaks at, Honored by Muhlenberg College

Rabbi Ambassador David N. Saperstein presented the annual Raoul Wallenberg Tribute Lecture on Oct. 8 at Muhlenberg College and also received the college’s Wallenberg Honors.

Saperstein, who is the ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom in the State Department, spoke on the topic of “Being the Hands of God: Our Social Justice Agenda in a Time of Crisis.”

Later that day, Saperstein — the former executive director of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism — was presented the Wallenberg Honors “in recognition of the way his own service has embodied the courageous moral action that characterized Wallenberg,” a Swede credited with saving numerous Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary.

Einstein Medical Center Receives State Historical Marker

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission on Oct. 11 dedicated a state historical marker at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia.

The marker at 5501 Old York Road commemorates the 1866 start of Einstein as The Jewish Hospital — a 22-bed farmhouse in West Philadelphia. The hospital outgrew the farmhouse and moved to its North Philadelphia location in 1872.

Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council members Cherelle L. Parker and Cindy Bass were on hand for the ceremony, along with Ruth Lefton, chief operating officer for Einstein Medical Center.

Israeli Actress Hosts SNL, Speaks Hebrew

Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot hosted Saturday Night Live on Oct. 7, and the Israeli actress switched to Hebrew during her monologue to speak with family and friends in Israel, according to JTA.

“Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you know that this might be a big mistake,” she said in Hebrew, while her comments were subtitled in English. “The writers here clearly know nothing about Israel. In every sketch they had me eating hummus. I mean, I love hummus, but there’s a limit. They are very nice, but not very intelligent. I think they think that I am the real Wonder Woman. So in short, wish me luck.”

The show was aired lived for the first time in Israel.

On Oct. 5, Gadot appeared on The Tonight Show.

Russian-Jewish Pianist Dies During Performance

Jewish pianist Mikhail Klein died on stage Oct. 3 in his hometown of Irkutsk, Russia, while performing a jazz composition he wrote called “This is All Russia,” according to JTA.

Resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful on Klein, 72, who was named an Honored Artist of Russia in 1987.

Aside from his interpretations of Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Brahms and others, Klein was a jazz composer.

Scientist Who Fled Nazis Wins Nobel Prize in Physics

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Rainer Weiss was one of three scientists who won the Nobel Prize in physics Oct. 3 for their discovery of gravitational waves, according to JTA.

Scientists explore objects via gravitational waves, which are ripples in space and time.

Berlin-born Weiss, 85, fled Germany for Prague as an infant because his father was Jewish and a Community Party member.

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