Tuesday, October 13, 2015 Tishri 30, 5776

Michael Elkin

Philly writer Stacia Friedman signs on to the popularity of her novel, Tender Is the Brisket, with its focus on “a Jewish family caring for an aging parent.” The signing took place at a Center City home.
Managing partners of two local law firms are making news: One has been named a Top Rated Lawyer in Labor and Employment by The American Lawyer while the other has been elected chairman of the University of the Arts.
Mickie Levin and Herman Frankel (seated) are two of the appropriately chai (18) number of students comprising an adult Bar and Bat Mitzvah preparatory program of the Klein JCC, under the tutelage of Rabbi Sandra Berliner (standing, left), Klein’s spiritual leader, and Shelley Geltzer, the facility’s director of adult services as well as a Hebrew teacher.
At the suggestion of the soldier who had led their congregation on a tour of Israel two years ago, members of Temple Sholom in Broomall raised $10,000 to purchase sweat-wicking T-shirts, multipurpose tools and therapy beds for the IDF.
The Austrian-born Zionist had activist roots in Philadelphia and was also a major figure in raising money for the local Israel Bonds.


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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