News Briefs, the Week of April 13, 2017


Professor Retires After 42 Years at Gratz College

Saul Wachs, the Rosaline B. Feinstein Professor of Education and Liturgy at Gratz College, is retiring after 42 years there, the college announced.

His career at Gratz started in 1975 with five years as dean. He also chaired the Department of Jewish Education for 41 years and helped establish a doctorate in Jewish education — Gratz’s first doctoral program.

Over the course of his career, Wachs lectured on five continents, authored nearly 90 publications and was a scholar-in-residence at more than 100 institutions. He also was a national field consultant for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Wachs’ history with Gratz dates to 1948 as a student in the Gratz Hebrew teachers programs. Before returning to Gratz as a teacher, Wachs spent 22 years as an educator, including two years as an adjunct professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary and three years as an associate professor of Jewish education at Brandeis University.

Gratz will honor Wachs on May 16 at its annual Jeffrey B. Plevan Gratz Gala. And the college faculty voted to award him an honorary doctorate at commencement.

NMAJH Offers Free Admission on Select Days to 1917 Exhibit

The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) announced that it will offer free admission to its special exhibit “1917: How One Year Changed the World” on select days.

The free days coincide with first Fridays of each month, as well as momentous days in history related to the exhibit’s content. The exhibit runs until July 16.

Free first Fridays include May 5, June 2 and July 7.

Other free days include April 6 (centennial of U.S. entry into World War I), April 19 (Wake Up America Day — which boosted recruiting in 1917), May 11 (Irving Berlin’s birthday; some of his artifacts are on display), June 1 (the day the Senate confirmed Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis; his robes are on exhibit), June 14 (ringing of the Liberty Bell on this day in 1917 to encourage war bond purchases) and June 28 (when the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919; a copy of the treaty is on display).

Podiatrist Sheldon Weintraub Dies at 82

Podiatrist Sheldon Weintraub, whose career ended because of an eye injury sustained while playing basketball, has died at the age of 82.

As a podiatrist, Weintraub was chief of podiatric surgery at Warminster General Hospital and Albert Einstein Medical Center. During his career, he appeared often on Captain Noah and His Magical Ark to talk about children’s feet.

After he retired, Weintraub took courses in stand-up comedy, later performing at comedy clubs in New York and teaching courses on the topic in the Philadelphia area.

Weintraub was a certified tour guide in his native Philadelphia, working both independently and with Tours By Locals.

And Weintraub nurtured his interest in art by becoming a docent at both the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Barnes Foundation.

BBYO Liberty Region Holds WOW Weekend in Delaware

About 250 Jewish teens from eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware and western New York converged on Newark, Del., for the BBYO Liberty Region’s WOW Weekend.

The program included a Havdalah service, as well as a keynote speech from Ryan Devlin, host of MTV’s Are You the One and CEO of the nonprofit This Bar Saves Lives.


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