Community Briefs: Artist Dies, Dayenu Circle Rallies, More

Samuel Dion holds an illustration he drew of Golda Meir. Courtesy of the Dion family

Artist, Illustrator Samuel Dion Dies at 91
Samuel Dion, whose career as an artist and illustrator included drawings that appeared in advertisements run in the Jewish Exponent, died Sept. 6, daughter Judy Londa said. He was 91.

The Philadelphia native began showcasing his talents from an early age by drawing portraits of passersby on the Atlantic City boardwalk, Londa said. His pastel “Bread, Cheese and Wine” earned him a scholarship to The University of the Arts in 1948, then called The Museum School of Industrial Arts; later in his career, he taught there. He was an illustrator for the Army while stationed in Kentucky during the Korean War.

From his home in Wyndmoor, Dion drew storyboards for magazines and advertisements, editorials, pharmaceutical and fashion illustrations, album covers and commissions for newspapers.

Dion drew a series of portraits of famous Jewish figures that appeared in Goldsteins’ Rosenberg’s Raphael-Sacks ads that ran in the Exponent, Londa said. He also illustrated a cover for The Saturday Evening Post during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

In the 1990s, Dion moved to Bloomsburg, where he returned to landscape and portrait painting.

After his second wife died, he returned to Philadelphia and continued to paint. Throughout the years, Dion won many awards, and his work was exhibited at museums and galleries that include The Woodmere Art Gallery, Cheltenham Center for the Arts, North Mountain Art League and Artspace Gallery.

In 2020, Dion had a retrospective at The Plastic Club, a historic Philadelphia gallery where he gave their first Zoom COVID-era presentation. He has an exhibition at Artspace Gallery in Bloomsburg through Oct. 2, Londa said

He is survived by children Jeffrey Dion, Judy (Bruce) Londa and Alan Dion; step-children Marshall (Barbara) Cohen, Gary (Shirley) Cohen and Josh (Jen) Cohen; and three grandchildren.

Dayenu Circle Rallies to Push Sen. Casey to Support Climate Crisis Measures
Dayenu Circle of Philadelphia rallied Sept. 12 outside U.S. Sen. Robert Casey’s Center City office to push for him to support federal action that combats climate change.

Jews and other interfaith partners gathered to sound the shofar to symbolize a call to action for investments in clean energy infrastructure, green technology, resilient buildings and electrification of transportation, among other things.

“As the Jewish New Year begins, Jewish Americans and other neighbors of faith are raising their voices at their senators’ doorsteps, calling them to action with the blasts of the shofar,” the organization said in a news release. “Through these public-facing actions, they aim to give the senators the courage and moral clarity needed to make big and bold investments in climate mitigation, at the scale that science and justice demand.”

Other participants included PA Interfaith Power & Light, Jewish Earth Alliance, the Shalom Center, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and Penn Hillel Dayenu Circle.

Rutgers Alumni Call for Action Against SJP
More than 400 Rutgers University alumni recently sent a letter to university President Jonathan Holloway condemning an anti-Israel statement made by Rutgers Mutual Aid and Students for Justice in Palestine.

Alums for Campus Fairness say the statement demonizes the state of Israel, alleges white supremacy and Zionism are the two biggest threats to the Jewish community and targets Rutgers Hillel.

“Due to SJP’s history of making Jewish and Pro-Israel students feel unsafe through intimidation, violence, and veiled antisemitism, we see the purpose of this recent statement is to isolate Rutgers Hillel for embracing Zionism as a central part of Jewish identity,” the letter reads.

The letter calls on Rutgers’ administration to investigate and recognize SJP’s history, adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism and meet with Jewish and Zionist students and community members to help foster a safer, inclusive campus.


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