Before a declared cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, Jewish Philadelphians spent the past week coming to the country's defense. Area day schools held special assemblies and prayer services, students sprang into action at local campuses and pro-Israel supporters turned out for a recent rally outside the Israeli Consulate.
As Philadelphia-area Jews grappled with an uncertain and fluid situation in southern Israel and braced for the possibility of a protracted conflict, pro-Israel activists echoed a common theme: Israel must be allowed to defend herself. Noah Feit, president of Penn Friends of Israel, said his group was “preparing for the worst on campus,” as the conflict between Israel and Hamas...
Bryan Schwartzman has been reporting on the Jewish community of Philadelphia since 2003. 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.