Thursday, July 31, 2014 Av 4, 5774

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Purchasing plots and headstones is the next thing Lisa Toll plans to do once money allows. But not for herself -- for her 29-year-old twins, both of whom have Asperger's syndrome, coupled with other mental disabilities. She's already paying for multiple life-insurance policies so they'll have something to live on once she's gone. It's not that Toll is preparing to...
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As he prayed in a packed Northeast Philadelphia congregation, with the clear morning light filtering through the windows, Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar's long white beard appeared to become one with the tallis that was enshrouding his head. At a traditional break in the service, the Moroccan-born Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel -- on a rare visit to Philadelphia -- began...
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Time seemed to slow as a lone actor in a stained tallis commanded the Gershman Y auditorium, beseeching God -- in Yiddish -- not to break the souls of his people as they died fighting the Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto. An hour later, the somber mood lifted as a Turkish/Eastern European-infused harmonica ensemble took over the stage. This was...
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Two Jewish Democratic lawmakers who sit on the State Senate's education committee recently found themselves on opposite sides of a heated Harrisburg debate over taxpayer-funded school vouchers. State Sen. Andy Dinniman's support for the voucher bill helped pass it out of committee, but he's got serious reservations about the measure and says he may ultimately oppose it. State Sen. Daylin...
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Young professionals and college students still thirsty for learning after Limmud can find all sorts of "Topics on Tap" brewing at a Center City bar. For 10 weeks this spring, participants cram into the upstairs room at the Raven Lounge for free sessions on subjects ranging the gamut of Jewish life. The program has evolved since it started 21/2 years...
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