Helen Gottstein sits at the head of the room with her legs crossed and a scarf draped over her head. She tells the Philadelphia audience seated before her that she lives in Jerusalem and is a mother of 10 children, none of whom she wants serving in the Israeli army.
After 75 years, the Jewish cops and firefighters who make up the local chapter of Shomrim still gather for monthly meetings and social events. But their ranks have thinned — and aged — considerably in recent years.
Eric Berger has been a staff writer for the Jewish Exponent since August 2012.
Prior to that he spent six months interning at the Jerusalem Post and two years as news and online editor of the Boonville Daily News, a community newspaper in Missouri. He has also written for the St. Louis Beacon, an online newspaper covering the St. Louis area.
He is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.