Tuesday, September 30, 2014 Tishri 6, 5775

Bryan Schwartzman

Freelancer, Former Staff Writer
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The Dec. 20 federal-court decision ruling that the teaching of intelligent design is unconstitutional may not have the far-reaching authority of a U.S. Supreme Court decision, but the lead attorney who successfully opposed the Dover Area School District's efforts believes the case has significantly shifted the ongoing debate concerning the teaching of evolution in public schools. "It certainly doesn't control...
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Five years ago, several adult members of Adath Israel in Merion Station realized that the Conservative congregation had let its United Synagogue Youth chapter lapse into inactivity. A group of eighth-graders, alerted to the problem, decided to take up the task and restart the chapter; among them was Matan Silberstein, who became the group's president. Now 18 and set to...
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Conservative Judaism is struggling, according to the 18-year-old leader of its youth group, and it's up to Generation Y to re-energize the 100-plus-year-old movement. Mordy Greenspan, president of United Synagogue Youth, made this assessment Monday night in front of nearly 1,200 of his peers at the group's 55th annual international convention at the Philadelphia Marriott. "The movement," stated the Oceanside,...
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Gradually, they return, to a New Orleans that needs an utter rehaul
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The carpet, or what was left of it, was hidden somewhere beneath the pine-cone sprinkled mud. Piles of prayerbooks and Talmud volumes, warped and corroded, lay on the ground. The arks were disconcertingly empty; 10 feet of water had filled the synagogue and decomposed the Torah scrolls beyond the possibility of restoration. Dampness pervaded Congregation Beth Israel, an Orthodox shul...
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A light, freezing rain had driven nearly everyone underneath the protective awning attached to the Independence Mall Visitors Center. Awaiting the kindling of the 37-foot-tall menorah - which sat next to a scene of the three Magi put up by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia - folks began dancing the hora to Chanukah melodies supplied by a nearby keyboardist. Lois Yampolsky,...
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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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