News Briefs, the Week of April 6, 2017


Autism, Brain Tumor Drove Teen Arrested for Bomb Threats, Mother Says

Michael Kaydar, who was arrested March 23 in connection with dozens of bombs threats against JCCs, Jewish day schools and other organizations — including those in the Philadelphia area — suffers from autism and a brain tumor, according to his mother, the Jerusalem Post reported.

“When someone has a brain tumor, in the middle of their brain, there is no reason, there is no logic, there is a dysfunction,” the mother, who was not identified, told the Post.

The woman said that despite her son’s mental and social disabilities, he has high cognitive abilities. That made him unaware of the consequences of the threats, she said.

The Post said Kaydar was the only son of an American mother and an Israeli-born father. He was born in Israel, yet lived in California until the age of 6.

Kaydar, who was living in Askelon, Israel, is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, the paper reported.

Reconstructionist Rabbis Commit to Full Inclusion for All Genders, Also Discuss Refugees

The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA) approved a resolution “affirming the full inclusion, equality and welcoming of all transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals” during its annual meeting.

The resolution was passed at the Wyncote-based association’s gathering last month in Portland, Ore.

The RRA said it will work for full inclusion of all gender identities “in Jewish life and society at large.” It also advocates for equal protection under the law for all gender identities in both North America and Israel.

In addition, the Reconstructionist movement said it is encouraging its congregations, rabbis and social media follower to incorporate refugees into their Passover seders. The association has created a YouTube video and a written supplement offering suggestions how to incorporate refugees.

The video can be viewed at

Online Funding Campaign for Deceased Business Owner Tops $25,000 in Five Days

An online campaign to raise $25,000 for burial and related expenses for Wynnewood’s Maxi Senderowitsch — owner of Max & Fink landscaping company and husband of Nana’s Kitchen owner Gladys Senderowitsch — generated more than $42,000 in a week.

More than 400 people contributed to The Chesed Fund campaign.

Maxi Senderowitsch, who was an Israel Defense Forces veteran, died March 25 after a brief illness. He was 55. He is survived by his wife and four daughters.

AJC Philadelphia Hosts Young Leaders from 10 Cities

AJC Philadelphia hosted AJC leaders from 10 cities on April 3 and 4 as part of the sixth annual AJC Advocacy Day.

About 30 young Jewish professionals engaged in advocacy meetings with diplomats and local elected officials during the 26-hour program. The program included a private tour and community dinner at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Participants also met with diplomats from Chile, Italy, Mexico and the United Kingdom. They discussed issues such as combating anti-Semitism and the BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement, promoting Israel’s place in the world and its security in the Middle East, and issues of bilateral concern.

Penn State Hillel Named Top Student Organization

Penn State Hillel received the 2016-’17 Outstanding Student Organization of the Year from the university’s Office of Student Activities.

Hillel received the award based on achievement collaboration with other student organizations, faculty and staff; programming a variety of purposeful events; positive promotion of mission and purpose of organization to the university community; and building a sense of community.

Penn State Hillel will receive its honor April 23 during the Office of Student Affairs’ awards ceremony.


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