Community Briefs: Jewish Teacher Among Those Honored and More


Two Jewish Chefs, Zahav Restaurant Named James Beard Finalists

The James Beard Foundation named its annual award finalists on March 27 — and those include Israeli restaurant Zahav and Jewish chefs Rich Landau and Marc Vetri.

Perennial nominee Zahav is owned by Jewish restarateurs Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook and is part of their CookNSolo restaurant group. It’s up for the Outstanding Restaurant award.

Meantime, Vetri, whose empire has included, at various times, Vetri Cucina, Osteria, Amis Trattoria and Pizzeria Vetri, is a finalist for Outstanding Chef.

And Landau, a repeat nominee, is a finalist for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic, for his vegan restaurant Vedge.

Speaking of CookNSolo …

CookNSolo’s restaurant The Rooster launched a “Hoagies for Hope” campaign to benefit the Broad Street Ministry.

Through April 30, customers can visit 15 Center City Wawas or The Rooster to sample the Broad Street Meatball sandwich created by Solomonov and Wawa chef Farley Kaiser.

The decidedly non-kosher sandwich includes a toasted Amoroso roll, provolone cheese, garlic aioli, cherry pepper relish, meatballs and Parmesan cheese, served warm.

“I consistently call Wawa the gastronomic security blanket of Eastern Pennsylvania — and I stand by that,” Solomonov said. “Wawa’s meatball hoagies have been a solid staple of my diet since as far back as I can remember. But what truly stole my heart is their social advocacy programs through The Wawa Foundation.”

Up to $10,000 will be contributed to the Broad Street Ministry.

Jewish Teacher Among Those Honored

Andrea Green, a teacher at the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy in University City, is among 13 winners of the 13th annual Teacher as Hero Awards, the National Liberty Museum announced.

Green writes and directs an annual original musical that frames the basis of a musical exchange with third- and fourth-graders at Germantown Friends School and students at HMS. The musicals are often metaphors for finding similarities despite differences and resolving conflicts, and in accepting and celebrating diversity.

Green will be honored at an awards ceremony at the museum on May 11.

Taali Performs at World Café Live

Singer-songwriter Taali, who recently released her debut album I Am Here, will perform at 8 p.m. on April 9 at World Café Live.

Taali’s work is described as Jewish contemporary pop music.

“I grew up with these beautiful Judaic harmonies all around me, but for the longest time I left my heritage out of my music,” said Taali, who was born Talia Billig. “A good friend recently told me the best thing you can have in life is culture, and she was right. The more I make this music, the closer I feel to my ancestry and myself.”

Taali said her parents taught her about radical Jewish women such as labor activist Clara Lemlich and anarchist author Emma Goldman, and along with folk and soul music, she heard Israeli singers like Ofra Haza.

Volunteers Sought for Mid-Atlantic Junior Maccabi Games

Volunteers are needed for the Mid-Atlantic Junior Maccabi Games taking place in May at the Kaiserman JCC in Wynnewood.

More than 4,000 people (athletes as well as families and friends) are expected for the one-day sporting event on May 5.

Volunteers are needed for set-up on May 3 and 4, as well as event day on May 5, with a minimum commitment of two hours requested. Volunteer positions include setting up event sites, distributing lunches to athletes, monitoring buses and helping with the management of event sites.

Visit to register. Contact Sam Schuman at or Nan Latona at with any questions.

NPR Host Ophira Eisenberg to Appear in Bucks County Playhouse Production

Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg will perform Leaving a Mark at 8 p.m. at the Bucks County Playhouse.

The NPR host will lead “the audience through this imaginative and funny examination about the marks and scars life experiences can leave behind, especially the ones that make us who we are,” according to a press release. Eisenberg will be joined by storytellers Mike Albo and Michaela Murphy.

Eisenberg also appeared at the playhouse in September as part of a Word of Mouth: Whoops storytelling event.


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