Tuesday, November 25, 2014 Kislev 3, 5775

Bryan Schwartzman

Freelancer, Former Staff Writer
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With the Stiffel Senior Center in South Philadelphia slated to close -- possibly as early as June 30 -- Jewish communal officials are working to ensure that the needs of a frail, low-income population will continue to be met. The center currently services approximately 450 individuals who depend on the facility for a wide range of services, including a place...
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Birthland Bar Mitzvah sounds like it could be a tour company specializing in trips to Israel -- or perhaps somewhere in Eastern Europe. As it turns out, it's a new company co-founded by a Philadelphia rabbi that seeks to organize Bar and Bat Mitzvah trips to Guatemala, of all places. Admittedly, the overwhelmingly Catholic Central American nation with a tiny...
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A Montgomery County couple met last week with the parents of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who was captured in a 2006 cross-border raid and has been held in Gaza by Hamas ever since. While in Jerusalem, Bernard and Lana Dishler of Upper Gwynedd stopped by the tent the Shalit family has set up outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's...
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Estelle Fleischer can't help but think of the Passover seder in terms of time -- a really long time, to be precise. Her childhood memories involved her stomach rumbling and her eyes glazing over as adults went on and on in incomprehensible Hebrew. "My father was a kosher butcher. We had to say every word of the seder," said Fleischer,...
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U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is slated to visit the Jewish state next month. The freshman lawmaker -- who occupies the seat long held by Arlen Specter -- will take part in a congressional trip organized by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's nonprofit, educational arm. Toomey spoke Sunday night at AIPAC's annual Philadelphia gathering, which drew some 800 people...
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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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