Friday, December 26, 2014 Tevet 4, 5775

By:
Aaron Passman, JE Feature
Talk about your wake-up calls! On April 8, hundreds gathered atop the roof of the Fels Planetarium at the Franklin Institute, waiting under a pre-dawn sky to celebrate Birkat Hachammah, or the "Blessing Over the Sun," an obscure talmudic ritual that occurs only once every 28 years, when the sun is said to return to the same place as at...
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Coming to a shul near you -- "Jihad Unveiled." The title doesn't refer to the latest cinematic spy thriller or to a secret government report that's just come to light. Instead, "Jihad Unveiled" is a regional, ongoing film-and-lecture series put together by the Zionist Organization of America's Greater Philadelphia District. As opposed to cultural programming, ZOA is best known for...
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By:
Aaron Passman, JE Feature
Call it the fifth question: Why is this holiday so much more expensive than all other holidays? In the aisles at the Genuardi's Family Market in Wynnewood, 35-year-old Ellen Novick's shopping cart was stocked with kosher-for-Passover standards such as cooking wine, matzah-ball soup mix, cheeses, and cake and brownie mixes. "I tried to look at all the flyers and see...
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African-American shul dedicates new scroll
By:
Aaron Passman, JE Feature
At the start of the ceremony dedicating the congregation's new Sefer Torah, Rabbi Debra Bowen of Congregation Temple Beth'El in Philadelphia summed up the situation: "I'm beside myself, as are most of Congregation Temple Beth'El," she said. "We've been unable to sleep, unable to eat -- and our medical personnel have told us that we have 'Torah fever.' " When...
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Jewish leadership rose in a firm that stressed the idea of giving back
By:
Aaron Passman, JE Feature
Before its announcement this week that it would disband, the law firm of Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen LLP was known for producing mayors, judges, academics, chancellors of local and national bar associations, and more. But to hear members of the city's Jewish community tell it, what WolfBlock beget more than anything was leaders in Philadelphia's Jewish community. "Because WolfBlock...
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