News Briefs: Exponent Wins Awards, Mexico City Elects Jewish Mayor, and More

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Exponent Wins Two Journalism Awards

The American Jewish Press Association (AJPA) honored Jewish Exponent Editor-in-Chief Joshua Runyan with a first-place Simon Rockower Award for Excellence in Jewish Journalism at its annual conference in Cleveland on June 17-19.

Runyan received The Louis Rapoport Award for Excellence in Commentary for three of his “The View From Here” columns written in 2017.


In addition, former staff writer Rachel Kurland received a second-place award for excellence in feature writing for a Feb. 23, 2017 story titled “African-American Synagogue Thrives, Is Honored With City Street Sign” about Congregation Temple Beth’El in West Oak Lane.

Philadelphia Police Seek Help in Finding Person Connected to Israeli Flag Desecration

The Philadelphia Police have taken to Twitter to ask for the public’s help in finding a man connected to the May 15 desecration of the Israeli flag on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

On July 2, Det. Paul Guercio tweeted that while one person desecrated the flag, a second person was seen videotaping the crime. Photos of both suspects are included in the tweet.

Antoine Guyton of Philadelphia was arrested and charged with institutional vandalism, criminal mischief and related offenses on the day of the incident. Employees of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia witnessed the incident and pointed out Guyton after he returned to the scene.

Those charges were dismissed and later reinstated.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police department’s Central Division Special Investigations Unit at 215-686-3093 or 215-686-3047.

Swastika Found in Ardmore

A swastika was found chalked July 2 on a newspaper box outside a store along Lancaster Avenue in Ardmore.

Past Present Future store owner Sherry Tillman said a customer alerted her to the swastika, which was then wiped off. She said she didn’t file a police report.

“I don’t want to be a victim,” she said. “I don’t think it was targeted at me personally.”

Tillman covered the newspaper box with chalkboard paint and provides chalk so passersby can write messages. At times, those messages have included obscene drawings and off-color remarks.

“There are hateful people in the universe,” she said. “We’re living in a world where that’s OK.”

Jewish Woman Elected Mayor of Mexico City

Mexico City on July 1 elected its first female mayor — and she’s Jewish as well, according to Haaretz.

Scientist Claudia Sheinbaum, 56, who represented the National Regeneration (Morena) Party, received more than 48 percent of the vote.

Of the seven candidates for mayor, five were women.

Mexico City has about 9 million residents, including about 45,000 Jews, according to The Jewish Chronicle.

Sheinbaum is the granddaughter of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania and Bulgaria. She earned a doctorate in energy engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

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