News Briefs, Week of Jan. 19, 2017


Vegans to Meet in Israel on Birthright Trip

The first-ever vegan Birthright Israel trip is being organized and slated for Aug. 13 to 23.

Jewish Veg, a national nonprofit, is planning the trip in conjunction with Mayanot Israel, a longstanding tour organizer.

Aside from traditional Birthright activities such as climbing Masada and Shabbat at the Western Wall, highlights will include meetings with vegan leaders, visits to farms and meals at vegan restaurants.

For details, contact Naomi Davis of Jewish Veg at

ADL Establishes Beau Biden SHIELD Award

The Anti-Defamation League announced it is honoring law enforcement in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware by establishing the ADL Beau Biden SHIELD Award.

Named after late Delaware Attorney General Joseph R. “Beau” Biden, “the award recognizes local, state and federal officers who have made strides against hate in the tri-state region, including: combating hate groups, extremism and terrorism; preventing and/or responding to hate crimes and bias-motivated activity; and promoting civil rights,” according to an ADL news release.

“The ADL Beau Biden SHIELD Award will recognize the brave officers in the region who have honored his memory through protecting those who cannot protect themselves,” said ADL Regional Director  Nancy K. Baron-Baer.

An inaugural awards ceremony will be held March 29 at the Chase Riverfront in Wilmington, with WPVI-TV Philadelphia news anchor Jim Gardner serving as master of ceremonies.

Founding Rabbi at Congregation Kol Ami to Retire in 2018

Rabbi Elliot J. Holin, 70, who has been the Congregation Kol Ami spiritual leader since its 1994 founding, will retire in July of 2018, the Elkins Park synagogue announced.

The synagogue’s board of trustees said it “began an engagement process which will include the entire congregation” to locate a successor.

“As is his way, Rabbi Holin has given all of us an incredible gift by providing us with so much time to make this important transition,” Kol Ami President Shelley Chamberlain said.

Philadelphia Rabbi Wins National Jewish Book Award

Rabbi Mike Uram, the executive director and campus rabbi at Penn Hillel, won a 2016 National Jewish Book Award for Next Generation Judaism: How College Students and Hillel Can Help Reinvent Jewish Organizations.

The book won in the category of education and Jewish identity.

Uram’s book focuses on how Jewish community can be reinvented in a post-institutional world. It examines programs developed on the University of Pennsylvania campus, then discusses how they can be applied to synagogues, federations and JCCs.

‘Season of Wellness’ in Netivot Marked With Three Races

The “Season of Wellness” in Netivot, Israel, launched Jan. 6 with more than 1,000 people participating in races of 2, 5 and 10 kilometers.

The races were made possible by a grant from the Negev Now Initiative, a project of the Negev Funding Coalition in which the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and its Partnership2Gether communities of Netivot and Sdot Negev play a leading role.

Students equipped with Fitbit devices participated as part of the Healthy & Smart Classroom project led by Partnership 2Gether and the funding coalition.


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