Friday, November 21, 2014 Heshvan 28, 5775

Bryan Schwartzman

Freelancer, Former Staff Writer
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On a section of the wall in Rabbi Albert Gabbai's book-lined living room hang images that conjure up moments in the life of Egypt's vanished Jewish community. In one photograph, taken in the early 1940s, a group of men dressed in traditional Ottoman hats hover over a swaddled infant, Gabbai's older brother, following his brit milah. But don't expect the...
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The idea seemed simple enough: invite a knowledgeable speaker to the synagogue who could offer the congregation a more in-depth understanding of Islam and the Muslim-American community. But Rabbi Jim Egolf waded into a minefield when, on the advice of a local Muslim leader, he asked a representative of the Council on Islamic-American Relations to shed light on the faith...
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Standing before an auditorium filled with 130 high school students -- many of whom seemed to be stuck in a post-lunch lull -- Alan Luxenberg pointed to a screen where an unlabeled map of the Middle East appeared. He zoomed in on a portion of the image, then asked, "What are we looking at?" He was met with silence. "It's...
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Dressed in flame-resistant boots and wearing a gray uniform adorned with various patches and insignias, Moshe Geffen came across like a mischievous Boy Scout who seemingly can't get through a sentence without cracking a joke. But the 34-year-old Israeli firefighter's demeanor suddenly turned serious when the topic switched to the deadly Carmel Fire. The blaze made international headlines in December...
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Dribbling the soccer ball at a full sprint across the expanse of green turf, Zach Pfeffer treads so lightly and moves so quickly that the ball passes almost imperceptibly from one foot to the other. The 16-year-old makes the drill appear as effortless as breathing. Normally, such a display of skill and fitness would make the Upper Dublin High School...
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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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