News Briefs: JCRC Director Resigns, ‘Goldbergs’ Gives Camp Ramah a Shout Out, and More


Kessler Leaving JCRC

Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) Director Adam Kessler resigned from his position effective March 16.

The JCRC advocates on behalf of Jewish interests and issues throughout the world.

“I am gratified by the work we did at JCRC, bringing people together by building bridges between the interfaith and inter-group communities,” Kessler said. “We have done much to support our non-Jewish brothers and sisters on their issues as much as I know they have on ours. These connections create a more vibrant, healthy and harmonious community.”

Kessler had been in the position for 10 years and apparently was seeking a change.

“There was no major incident or issue,” said Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia President and CEO Naomi Adler. “He had been thinking about it for a while.”

A listing for Kessler’s position will be posted shortly, Adler said. For now, an interim director won’t be named, as JCRC Assistant Director Abbey Frank and other staff members will fill in.

Adler said the JCRC will remain an important part of the Jewish Federation, noting that its work has become increasingly complex in recent years with the general deepening of philosophical differences.

“No matter how difficult the job is, we are committed to having the best JCRC we can,” she said.

The Goldbergs Give Shout Out to Local Camp Ramah

Camp Ramah got a mention on the March 21 episode of the ABC comedy The Goldbergs, which is set in the Philadelphia area.

During the episode, character Barry Goldberg sprays his cologne near his sister’s roommate, who says, “Oh no. It smells like the boys’ cabin at Camp Ramah before the Shabbat social.”

“When I was growing up, it seemed like every Jewish kid I knew went to Camp Ramah,” said Adam F. Goldberg, the show’s executive producer. “So, to keep it real, we just had to work it into the show.”

Former Educator, Author Dies at 88

Former Philadelphia resident Marion Leventhal Bell, who taught at several colleges and also wrote a book about the city’s history, died March 11 in California. She was 88.

In 1977, Bell published Crusade in the City: Revivalism in Nineteenth Century Philadelphia. She also served as a general administrator for the National Institute on the Holocaust.

Between 1980 and 1996, she served as associate director of the College of General Studies (since renamed the College of Liberal and Professional Studies) at the University of Pennsylvania.

Israel Ranks 11th on Happiness Index

Israel placed 11th out of 156 countries in The World Happiness Report 2018, which was compiled by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, reported.

The countries were ranked on a variety of factors including gross domestic product, social support structures, healthy lifestyles, social freedom, generosity and the absence of corruption.

Finland ranked first, followed by Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia. The United States placed 18th.

The Palestinians placed 104th, while Lebanon was 88th, Jordan was 90th, Iran was 106th and Egypt was 122nd.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here