Saturday, October 25, 2014 Heshvan 1, 5775

Bryan Schwartzman

Freelancer, Former Staff Writer
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For the leaders of Temple Brith Achim, a 275-family Reform congregation in King of Prussia, scrapping membership dues two years ago in favor of a pay-what-you-wish approach was a bit like stepping off a cliff. But after overhauling how members fund the entire synagogue operation -- in part, by trading the word "dues" for the more altruistic-sounding term "gift" --...
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How did a New York-born academic and Jerusalem Post columnist come to play a key role in the most celebrated, and criticized, prisoner swap in Israel's history -- the deal to free Gilad Shalit in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinians? Since the 1980s, Gershon Baskin, a 55-year-old Jerusalemite, has cultivated contacts among Palestinian academics and civic leaders in the...
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What would happen if two 20-something Jews were asked to entertain hundreds of restless Ramah campers for an hour on a rain-soaked summer day? As it turned out, it was something like midrash meets Monty Python, with a little bit of Mel thrown in -- Brooks, that is. That's how Andrew Davies and Aaron Friedman -- who both spent the...
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Jewish groups are bracing for the impact that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed $27.1 billion budget could have on poor and elderly constituents. The budget includes hundreds of millions of dollars in potential cuts and no tax increases. Corbett has stressed the need to instill greater fiscal responsibility and to cut down on fraud and waste in state government. In...
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Did the National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Conference at the University of Pennsylvania over the weekend backfire for organizers and illustrate the strength of the pro-Israel community on campus? Or did BDS speakers like Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah reveal how much pro-Israel students need to learn in order to counter arguments that are steeped in the language of universal...
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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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