Thursday, December 18, 2014 Kislev 26, 5775

Bryan Schwartzman

Freelancer, Former Staff Writer
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Do Conservative Jews need a new, perhaps even jazzier way to pray? Rabbi Steven Wernick, executive vice president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, apparently thinks so. During his much-anticipated installation speech at the USCJ's biennial gathering, which concluded earlier this week in Cherry Hill, N.J., he called for the immediate creation of a movement-wide task force to tackle...
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Jeff Penfil, a Chester County dentist, readily admits that some may find it a little hokey that he likes to affix a giant menorah to the roof of his Subaru SUV -- and leave it there for the eight days and nights of Chanukah. As it turns out, the West Goshen resident doesn't have to go far to elicit some...
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Rabbi Joshua Toledano, a scion of a rabbinic family that traces its roots back to Spain before the Inquisition, spent more than 30 years in the Philadelphia region in a variety of roles, including kosher supervisor and congregational rabbi. A major voice in the Sephardic community, the Moroccan-born Toledano -- who spoke seven languages, according to family members -- taught...
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As the congregational arm of the Conservative movement continues its structural overhaul -- brought on, in part, by a decline in membership and a $1.3 million budget deficit -- roughly 500 people are expected Sunday for the organization's biennial convention, this year held in Cherry Hill, N.J. Over the past year, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism has been seeking...
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It's no secret that the Jewish population of Lower Merion has grown by leaps and bounds over the course of several decades. And, little by little, pieces of the Jewish infrastructure, from synagogues to kosher restaurants to an eruv, have proliferated to keep up with the tides. However, to purchase a plot at a Jewish cemetery for burial, residents of...
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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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