News Briefs: Swarthmore Student Government Approves Israel Divestment Resolution and More

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Session Drummer Hal Blaine Dies at 90

Legendary session drummer Hal Blaine, the son of Jewish immigrants, died March 11 of natural causes at his California home, according to the Associated Press. He was 90.

Born Harold Simon Belsky in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Blaine was playing professionally by the time he was 20 and eventually because a member of “The Wrecking Crew.” That Los Angeles-based group of studio musicians played on numerous pop music hit recordings.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame said Blaine played on 40 No. 1 hits, 150 top-10 tunes and eight songs that were Grammy winners for record of the year. Those include Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel. The AP said it is believed Blaine is the only drummer to perform with Sinatra, Elvis Presley and John Lennon.

Student Government at Swarthmore Approves Israel Divestment Resolution

Swarthmore College’s Student Government Organization approved a resolution that requests the school divest itself from companies doing business in Israel’s West Bank, JTA reported.

The organization previously rejected the measure at a closed meeting vote, but held a second vote March 3 after it decided student groups hadn’t provided enough input.

Swarthmore President Valerie Smith and other school officials haven’t responded to the resolution.The college’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter proposed the resolution; it asks Swarthmore to divest from seven companies doing business with Israel.

Oskar Schindler Items Sell for $46,000

A Longines watch, a compass, a 1938 Sudetenland Medal, a business card and two fountain pens owned by Oskar Schindler fetched more than $46,000 at a March 7 auction in Boston, JTA reported.

The German businessman, who is credited with saving more than 1,200 Jews who worked in his factory during the Holocaust, was the subject of the 1993 film Schindler’s List and the 1982 novel Schindler’s Ark.

Auction House RR Auction said the items came from the estate of Schindler’s wife, Emilie. She died in 2001.

The compass sold is believed to have been used by the Schindlers as they fled from Russian troops in 1945 and moved toward American-occupied territory. The medal was awarded, in part, for Schindler’s role in spying for the German government and assisting in the Sudetenland annexation and occupation.

Polish Newspaper Runs Article About ‘How to Recognize a Jew’

Polish-language right-wing weekly newspaper Tylko Polska (Only Poland) ran a front-page article about “how to recognize a Jew,” JTA reported.

The article mentions “Names, anthropological features, expressions, appearances, character traits, methods of operation” and “disinformation activities,” as well as text that said “How to defeat them? This cannot go on!”

Fringe political candidate Leszek Bubl publishes Tylko Polska. Bubl, who is also a musician, has sung in the past about “rabid” rabbis.

The paper was included in periodicals distributed March 13 at the Sejm, Polish parliament’s lower house. After lawmaker Michał Kamiński protested, the Sejm Information Center said the chancellery of the Sejm will ask that the publication be removed.

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Andy Gotlieb is the managing editor of the Jewish Exponent. He holds 31 years of experience in communications, mostly in journalism, with a decade in public relations, too. Prior newspaper stops include the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Tampa Tribune and the Philadelphia Business Journal. The first 17 years were spent in print journalism, where I covered, at various times, business, politics, crime and government, among other beats. The final 2.5 years in that stretch was an editor at the Philadelphia Business Journal, where my responsibilities included complete control over a weekly section and working with both staff writers and freelancers. In late 2005, I switched gears and began working in public relations for the next decade. I learned the ins and outs of public relations -- including being on the other side of the media-PR equation -- and made numerous contacts. I rejoined the ranks of journalism in March 2016, starting as the managing editor of the Jewish Exponent.

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