Thursday, December 18, 2014 Kislev 26, 5775

Bryan Schwartzman

Freelancer, Former Staff Writer
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Despite the state’s announced intent to shut down Solomon Charter School, the publicly funded cyber school in Philadelphia’s Chinatown section actually expanded in its second academic year. The school still teaches Chinese and Hebrew and offers kosher food, even though no Jewish students have enrolled.
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A soccer match or table tennis tournament involving Jewish and Arab children surely won’t solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but Israeli Tami Hay thinks peace has to start somewhere, so why not with sports?
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Drawing on two decades of outreach experience, a Main Line couple is building up their own following: a diverse group of families who meet up for holidays, in-home educational seminars and even trips to Israel.
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Hoping to turn the B'nai Mitzvah experience from a graduation ceremony to a true entry point to Jewish life, two local congregations are participating in a national pilot project organized by the Reform movement while others are experimenting with their own strategies.
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Two years after closing, a former Jewish senior center in South Philadelphia has been designated as a historic structure by the city, making it virtualluy impossible for a developer to legally tear down the building.
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Profile

Bryan Schwartzman has been reporting on the Jewish community of Philadelphia since 2003. After 10 years as a staff writer, he now occasionally freelances for the Exponent. He writes about trends in politics, religion and spirituality, philanthropy and sometimes dabbles in sports and the arts. 
 
He has received numerous awards from the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Journalists, the Jewish American Press Association and other organizations.
 
A native New Yorker, he earned a master’s degree in modern Jewish history and literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He is also a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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