Newsmakers, the Week of May 21, 2015

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Philabundance, the area's largest food relief agency, gets a new executive director; and a communal leader returns from an American Jewish Committee  leadership program in Germany.

Effective June 1, Glenn Bergman will become the new executive director of Philabundance, the area’s largest food relief agency. He comes to the position after spending 11 years as general manager of Weavers Way, the co-op in Mount Airy.

Communal leader Sally Cooper Bleznak recently took part in an American Jewish Committee leadership exchange program visiting Germany, where she met up with political leaders to discuss and assess Israel’s security, and with Jewish communal officials to focus on the renaissance of Jewish life in that nation. The trip was held through the auspices of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation,  and celebrated the AJC-Foundation program’s 35th anniversary. The highly selective mission included just eight AJC members selected out of an application pool exceeding 100.


Matthew Rublin of the University of Pennsylvania has been chosen recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant, which will fund his stay in Spain, where he is slated to assume an English teaching assistantship. Matthew is the son of Burt and Harriet Rublin of Wynnewood.

Immediate past president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Sherrie Savett has become associate chair of the Philadelphia Chapter of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
In his role as chairman of Lubavitch’s Agudas Chassidei Chabad, Rabbi Abraham Shemtov attended a White House meeting with President Barack Obama recently, reflecting the annual observance of the Education and Sharing Day Proclamation, a project spearheaded by the late Lubavitcher rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson. At the meeting, marking a first, the nine-member delegation included a woman, Chave Hecht, a rebbitzin and educator.

Rabbi David J. Wolpe, a grad of Akiba Hebrew Academy. now Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, wrote the preface for and is featured in photographer Bill Aron’s The Triumphs of 120 Cancer Survivors. Wolpe, the son of Rabbi Gerald Wolpe, the late iconic religious leader of Har Zion Temple in Penn Valley, writes about dealing with and surviving his cancer and that of his then-wife, Eileen Ansel Wolpe. Longtime religious leader of Sinai Temple on the West Coast, he writes of “a story that could only happen in Los Angeles. While I was bald, a guy came up to me and said, ‘I know how you feel because in two movies I was a stunt double for Patrick Stewart.’”

Vivian Isaak, president as well as founder of the Magnum Group, Inc., a communications company, has been accorded a top honor for female entrepreneurship, the Women’s Business Enterprises Award by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. The award was presented at the council’s annual Summit & Salute, held recently in Baltimore.
Scott Barry Kaufman of the University of Pennsylvania, where he serves as scientific director of the Imagination Institute of the Positive Psychology Center, has authored a piece on “Shades of Sensitivity” for Scientific American.

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