Community Briefs: Survivor, Liberator Honored and More

Ernie Gross

Survivor, Liberator Honored

Survivor Ernie Gross and liberator Don Greenbaum were honored Jan. 20 by American Legion Post 405 at the Union League.

Both men were named honorary members of the post for their past service, as well as a prior program they conducted.

The paths of Gross and Greenbaum first crossed in 1945 at the end of World War II — Gross as a survivor of the Dachau concentration camp and Greenbaum as liberator from the United States.

Following Dachau’s liberation, it was another 66 years before the two men officially discovered each other’s identity, a reunion sparked by a 2011 essay printed in the Jewish Exponent.

Ever since that meeting, Gross, who grew up in Romania but moved to Philadelphia after the war, and Greenbaum, a lifetime Philadelphian, have become close friends and have gone on the road, publicly sharing their story with schools and other groups to raise awareness about the horrors of the Holocaust.

In 2015, the pair returned to Germany to join other survivors and former Army liberators in a May 3 ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of Dachau’s liberation.

Climate Change Call to Action Initiated by Philadelphia Rabbi

More than 500 rabbis and Jewish leaders signed a call to action to fight climate change initiated by longtime activist Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia, according to The New York Jewish Week.

The statement includes suggestions that include “urging our banks and our politicians to … move away from investments in and subsidies of carbon corporations and protect by investing in renewable wind and solar energy,” as well as “persuading ourselves and our congregations and communities to move our own money, create solar energy co-ops, establish carpools to lessen reliance on gas and adopt additional modes of kashrut to include foods and energy sources that heal, not harm, our planet.”

“I think it’s fair to say that many people in the Jewish community have been concerned about the environment for a really long time,” said Ruth Messinger, who served as president of the American Jewish World Service for 20 years. “But in the last few years it’s become sort of a dramatic crisis that’s visible to everyone, that requires the community to be that much more concerned and focused.”

Those who signed the call to action include social justice leaders like Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in Manhattan, Rabbi Sharon Brous of Ikar in Los Angeles and Rabbi Jill Jacobs of the rabbinic human rights organization T’ruah.

JCHAI Plans Open House Jan. 29

Judith Creed Horizons for Achieving Independence, which works with those 18 and older with autism and/or intellectual disabilities, will hold an open house and apartment visits at 6 p.m. on Jan. 29 at its Radnor campus.

At the open house, JCHAI will discuss its Transitions program, which provides social, creative activities and training after school/work and on weekends for young adults 18-30; JCHAI at Home, an individualized support program that provides social workers to train members who are in their own apartments or living with their families to live and work independently; and its JCHAI Supported Apartments, which offer independent living and vocational supports in an apartment setting in the Radwyn Apartments in Bryn Mawr.

For questions or to RSVP, contact Beth Rosenwasser, director of community engagement and program development, at or 215-498-1270.

NMAJH Admission Free of Charge in January and February

The National Museum of American Jewish History announced that there will be free admission for all visitors throughout January and February because of a sponsorship from the Parkway Corp.

Free admission includes access to the museum’s core exhibition highlighting more than 360 years of life in the United States, told through a Jewish lens.


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