Saturday, November 1, 2014 Heshvan 8, 5775

Bryan Schwartzman

Freelancer, Former Staff Writer
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Protracted budget fights have been a mainstay of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's tenure in office. Last year's battle went into deep innings, creating months of fiscal uncertainty for some Jewish groups that depend on crucial state dollars. But this year's negotiations with the General Assembly, Rendell's last, was settled on time -- albeit with one major wrinkle. Jewish groups said...
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Just a few months ago, InterFaithways seemed like the next big thing. The one outlet in the region devoted exclusively to helping interfaith families feel more welcome in the community had secured prior funding from the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. With the release of the 2009 "Jewish Population Study of Greater Philadelphia" -- and its startling statistics on intermarriage...
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A somber darkness envelops the sanctuary; prayers are read in muted candlelight, and the Torah scrolls are draped in black. At the 31/2-hour service on erev Tisha B'Av at Congregation Mikveh Israel in Center City, the normal prayer melodies are "replaced by the monotonous and heart-wrenching cadence" that evokes a sense of mourning, explained Rabbi Albert Gabbai. The holiday, a...
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A new effort to attack U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak's record on Israel has gone viral. A debate that has long been playing out in the pages of the Jewish Exponent has now made its way to MSNBCs "Morning Joe," and Web sites such as Politico, The Atlantic, Commentary, the Huffington Post and YouTube. But the stakes are now higher for...
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Deciding which Jewish organizations and programs receive communal funding -- and how much -- has always been a difficult call. This year, volunteers and professionals described the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia's allocation process as downright "impossible." That's because the funds -- which comes from unrestricted dollars raised from the Jewish community -- shrank from last year by 14 percent,...
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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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