Community Briefs: Sharansky Speeches Canceled, Jewish Bulldog Wins and More

Natan Sharansky
Natan Sharansky (Jewish Exponent file photo)

Natan Sharansky Speeches Slated for March 15 Are Canceled

Refusenik Natan Sharansky, who was slated to speak twice locally on March 15, has canceled his appearances because he was unable to leave Israel.

Sharansky, 72, is a former deputy prime minister of Israel, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, human rights activist and author who, as a refusenik in the former Soviet Union during the 1970s and 1980s, spent nine years in Soviet prisons.

The first speaking engagement had been slated for KleinLife in Northeast Philadelphia.

“Power of Protest: Lessons of the Soviet Jewry Movement for Today” was to feature his daughter, writer Rachel Sharansky Danziger, and Soviet Jewry movement leader Connie Smukler.

And that night at the National Museum of American Jewish History, Sharansky was scheduled to speak at “Power of Protest: How the Soviet Jewry Movement Can Influence and Inspire the Movement to Combat Anti-Semitism.”

Others speakers were to include Elan S. Carr, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Sharansky spoke at Kohelet Yeshiva in October 2018.

Noa to Perform at Longwood Gardens

Israeli-born singer-songwriter Noa, accompanied by guitarist Gil Dor, will perform at 8 p.m. in Exhibition Hall at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square.

Noa, who has Yemeni origins, was raised in New York.

She and Dor will perform a selections of songs in English, Hebrew and Yemeni.

Noa’s latest recording, “Letters to Bach,” features both English and Hebrew lyrics on subjects including technology and religion; global warming and feminism; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and relationships in the age of social media.

Noa has performed at the Vatican, the White House, Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center, among other venues, sharing the stage at times with Stevie Wonder, Sting and Andrea Bocelli.

Dor, who also is Israeli-born, has worked exclusively with Noa since 1990. Prior to that, he performed live jazz and rock, performing in jazz festivals in Israel and Europe with his outfit as well as with guitarist Al Di Meola.

Lawyer Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

Disbarred attorney Craig A. Cohen, 55, of Blue Bell received a five-year prison sentence on Feb. 27 for his involvement in scams of product manufacturers and class-action settlements totaling $3.4 million, reported.

Aside from his sentence, Cohen, who pleaded guilty to mail fraud in November — and whose law license was suspended in April — was ordered to pay restitution equal to the defrauded amount.

“Attorneys take an oath to uphold the law and to act in the best interest of their clients — not to use their position to steal,” U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania William McSwain said. “Mr. Cohen went to great lengths to deceive and defraud his employer, its clients, and other entities of millions of dollars. This is illegal conduct for an employee in any line of work, but it is especially reprehensible for a lawyer.”

Cohen, who formerly practiced at White and Williams, created a shell company out of his home and filed fabricated water damage claims to collect settlement money for himself, prosecutors alleged.

Cohen attorney Hope Lefeber said her client’s gambling addiction and substance abuse played a role in the criminal conduct.

benny sinakin
Benny Sinakin (Photo by Kenny Ludwig)

‘The Jewish Bulldog’ Improves to 6-0

Benny “The Jewish Bulldog” Sinakin ran his professional boxing record to 6-0 on March 7 in Atlantic City, according to

A native and resident of Philadelphia, Sinakin, 22, has won three of his six matches by knockout since debuting in 2018.

In his most recent match, he defeated Leroy Jones of St. Louis in a four-round contest, winning every round on the scorecards of the three judges.

Sinakin, who has the Star of David emblazoned on his trunks, was profiled in 2018 by the Jewish Exponent.

Before every fight, Sinakin’s team circles up, putting their arms around one another. Father Lincoln Sinakin and son recite the Shema — in Hebrew and English — before the boxer breaks out into the personal prayer he composed:

“Please give me the strength of Samson; please give me the courage of King David; and please give me the wisdom of King Solomon. Amen.”


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