Looking Back at Triumphs and Trials


As is often the case in the Jewish world, the past year was filled with both triumphs and tribulations. With history, both local and international, unfolding before and around us, the Jewish Exponent made its own mark by celebrating its 125th anniversary.

The year 5772 was a time of transitions, with local communal institutions weathering storms, reimagining themselves or changing leadership. The Jewish Publication Society, just a year younger than the Exponent, partnered with the University of Nebraska Press and considerably scaled down its staff and its operations.

Several beloved communal and religious leaders died over the past year, including Rabbi Harold Romi­rowsky, Joseph Smukler, Ann Spain and Kenneth Kaiserman, all of whom had affected the course of events in our region and throughout the world.

On the educational front, some schools shrunk in size while others expanded. The I.S. Kosloff Torah Academy High School for Girls opened in new quarters in Bala Cynwyd, while the Solomon Charter School opened in Center City with an emphasis on Hebrew and Chinese.

Political turmoil stirred our community, with some Jews engaging in the Occupy protests and others pro-actively trying to defuse the effects of the anti-Israel BDS conference at the University of Pennsylvania. The presidential election, of course, also made its mark, with lots of energy and outreach aimed at courting our votes.

Among the personal triumphs of babies born and weddings blessed came the heralded release of Josh Fattal of Cheltenham, whose time in an Iranian jail had sparked international outrage.


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