Sunday, December 4, 2016 Kislev 4, 5777

Michael Elkin

Mitzvah Hero Allison Aaron
From the age of 12 to just before she started college this semester, Allison Aaron has devoted her Friday nights to helping lead Shabbat services at senior living residence in Montgomery County.
Mitzvah Heroes: the pre-k students at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel
With the help of their teachers and family members, the pre-k students at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park raised more than $300 for the Ronald McDonald House.
Mitzvah Hero Andy Scolnick
Stolen walker or wheelchair? Andy Scolnick is at the rescue, donating replacements from his Feasterville-based medical supply business.
Howard Alber of Haverford, an acclaimed ar­tist and educator, who hobnobbed with some of the biggest names in 20th-century art and whose love of life was reflected somewhat in the fact that he had married four times, died Oct. 17 at the age of 101. He also served as mentor to many artists, drawn to his optimistic spirit and love...
Chamber quartet: Former Court of Common Pleas Judge Harold Berger , managing principal/exec committee member of Berger & Montague, P.C., was one of a quartet of U of P Law School grads saluted at the school’s annual dinner. The honored jurist serves his alma mater in a number of ways, including being on its board of overseers and chairing its...


Michael Elkin worked for the Jewish Exponent for over 40 years.

He has won some 40 national and regional writing awards over his career as well as three fellowships in playwriting and screenwriting from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

His arts articles — including working as a jazz critic for the Evening and Sunday Bulletin; book reviewer for the Philadelphia Inquirer; and rock reviewer/TV writer for the Camden Courier-Post  — and op-eds have appeared throughout North America; his plays have been staged internationally, including runs in Romania — one play running for  five years —  Israel, Germany, Los Angeles and, locally, the Walnut Street Theatre and People's Light and Theatre Company. He is a  Tony Award voter and is a member of a national new play selection committee handing out an annual award to an  up-and-coming playwright.

He worked as a mentor with the Philadelphia Young Playwrights' outreach program to area high schools and at one point headed up the playwriting program at the Walnut Street Theatre School.  His play "Cries in the Night" was cited in the book "The Best Plays of 1992-93," in the "New Plays From Around the Country" category. His travel articles have appeared nationally and he has worked as a travel editor for Fodor's Travel Guides.

As a screenwriter, he  was asked by filmmaker John Frankenheimer ("Birdman of Alcatraz," "The Manchurian Candidate"), with whom he then worked,  to write a script for Frankenheimer to direct.

He has moderated and taken part in national conferences both here and in New York on topics ranging from hip-hop/rap to theater to comedy and has served as a board member of film and theater arts groups.

Elkin has appeared on area TV and radio shows and served as arts critic for the cable program "Our Town." He has been cited in reference books for his investigative work on TV as an influential social medium. For his expertise in film and theater, Elkin was asked to — and did — serve as on-screen interviewer of actor Richard Dreyfuss in a documentary about the American Music Theater Festival, with which Dreyfuss was involved.

A graduate of Temple University — he also studied screenwriting at New York University and attended the University of Houston Bates School of Law — Elkin was honored to be Temple's commencement speaker in the mid-90s. He also taught journalism at Temple as well as screenwriting at La Salle University.

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