Newsmakers the Week of September 25, 2014


A local educator has been chosen as a Woman of Note by the Wall Street Journal for her work in autism; and a Cherry Hill woman celebrates her 100th birthday — along with an exhibit of her art at the Katz JCC.

Penn Valley’s Randi Rentz, a consultant and educator, has been chosen as a Woman of Note by WSJ.noted for her authoritative work in the area of autism.

Lynne Abraham, who served Philadelphia as its district attorney for 20 years beginning in 1991, will soon be announcing her run for the city’s mayor. According to several reports, she will make the announcement official this November. Prior to her role as district attorney — serving longer than any other official in that position in city history — she served in a number of government positions, including as leader of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. In later years she would get into public contretemps with her former boss at PRA — Mayor Frank Rizzo — who once labeled her, with admiration, “a tough cookie.” She has been visibly active in the local and national Jewish community. Last year she was honored as one of the city’s top Jewish “Women of Distinction” by American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Philadelphia Chapter. She also had her lighter side: In the ’90s, Abraham served as a judge in a contest to choose the best homemade kugel in the area.

Prominent attorney Thomas R. Kline has made a $50 million gift to Drexel University’s law school, which has been renamed the Thomas R. Kline School of Law. Kline is a founding partner with Shanin Specter of the law firm of Kline & Specter, which has etched out a national reputation for its success in handling catastrophic injury cases. Kline’s awards and honors are many: A past president of the national Inner Circle of Advocates, Kline has been hailed as one of the top 500 attorneys in the nation by Lawdragon and is a member of the National Law Journal “Hall of Fame.” He has been a longtime choice for tops in his field in Pennsylvania, according to Super Lawyers. Among his Jewish communal activities, Kline is a foundation board member of the Louis D. Brandeis Law Society; he and law partner Specter have been longtime supporters of the Perelman Jewish Day School.

Boutique owner Alexander Stadler is the designer of the 2014 Rocky Awards, handed out earlier this month for the past season’s best local accomplishments in the dance field, co-presented by FringeArts and Dance/USA Philadelphia.

Warming Philly, a winter clothing drive started in 2008 by then-Plymouth Whitemarsh student Colin Steinberg, now enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, has just begun its seventh annual collection campaign, with Congregation Or Ami in Lafa­yette Hill one of the drop-off centers for used and new clothing to aid the needy.

Rose Schmukler of Cherry Hill, N.J., has living a long life down to an art: She will be celebrating her 100th birthday on Sept. 26 with a party planned two days later, all happening the same time an exhibit of her art work is being shown at the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill. The newly minted centenarian started studying art at the JCC at age 77.



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