Community Briefs: Woidislawsky and Breslow Beat COVID-19

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Maccabiah Games Tennis Player, 80, Beats COVID-19 After 65-Day Hospital Stay

Avrum Woidislawsky, far right, participated in the 20th Maccabiah Games. Now he’s been released from the hospital. | Photo provided

Avram Woidislawsky, who was featured in a 2017 Jewish Exponent article about three generations of tennis players competing in the Maccabiah Games, was discharged from Pennsylvania Hospital after a 65-day battle against the coronavirus, 6abc.com reported.

Woidislawsky, 80, of Philadelphia, was the hospital’s first intensive care unit patient for COVID-19 back on March 22.

“He’s one of the toughest 80-year-old guys I’ve ever seen. I hope I’m in his shape at 80 years old,” said Paul Kinniry, Pennsylvania Hospital’s director of critical care. A few weeks before he got ill, Woidislawsky was zip-lining in in Costa Rica. Last week he was discharged to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation, where he will learn to walk and talk again.
Woidislawsky, who was born in Russia, lived briefly in Poland, then grew up in Israel, joined his son-in-law, Michael Jurick, and his teenaged grandson, Jonah, in competing in the 20th Maccabiah Games in 2017.

“I said to myself, ‘Wow, I have my grandson and my son-in-law playing,’” Woidislawsky told the Exponent then. “Let’s see what happens. I’m in good shape, so I should be pretty competitive. I’m proud to be part of three generations.”

Kohelet to Honor Face Shield-Creating Teacher
Kohelet Yeshiva High School will honor art teacher Daniel Ostrov with its first-ever Community Service Award at its Virtual Gala on June 14.

Ostrov is using the Merion Station school’s 3-D printer and laser cutter to make face shields that are acrylic screen barriers held in place with headbands, an effort described in an April Jewish Exponent article.

Prototypes were approved by the infectious disease prevention team at Lankenau Medical Center for approval. Since then, 6,000 face shields have been created and donated.

“I could make them 24/7 as fast as I possibly can and I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the demand,” Ostrov said in the Exponent article.

South Philadelphia Shtiebel Receives $20k Grant
The South Philadelphia Shtiebel is among seven Orthodox synagogues receiving $20,000 Devorah Scholar Grants from the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance.

The two-year challenge grants were awarded to Orthodox synagogues seeking to increase paid spiritual leadership positions for Orthodox women, according to an alliance news release.

The South Philadelphia Shtiebel is led by Rabbanit Dasi Fruchter, who helped the organization open last year.

Devorah Scholars will deliver congregational sermons, play an active role in youth and adult education and provide lessons and lectures to the broader community, in addition to providing pastoral care and counseling.

“The value added by creating a space for women spiritual leaders who will serve as role models in Orthodox synagogues is incalculable,” said Daphne Lazar Price, JOFA’s executive director. “The positive ripple effects will benefit community members, both young and old for generations to come. Girls can aspire to lead as other synagogues can aspire to emulate this model.”

Jewish American Heritage Initiative Launched
Several Jewish organizations, including the National Museum of American Jewish History, announced the launch of the Jewish American Heritage Initiative.

“JAHI will maximize the impact of Jewish American Heritage Month by developing digital and print curricula, materials and creative content aimed at educating Americans about the Jewish people and its history, about Judaism’s values and traditions, and about the profound ways in which Judaism and Jewish Americans have contributed to building and enhancing the United States of America, from our country’s founding to the present day,” according to a news release.

The initiative will develop those materials over the next 11 months and distribute them throughout the U.S. and via online media use during Jewish American Heritage Month in May 2021.

Aside from NMAJH, participating organizations include the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish American Heritage Month Partnership and the Office of the United States Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.

“Especially during a time of rising anti-Semitism both here at home and abroad, it is all the more important that Jewish American Heritage Month become a vehicle for celebrating the Jewish people, treasuring the values of Judaism that helped shape our country, and promoting philo-Semitism throughout our great land,” said Elan S. Carr, U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.

Parade Welcomes Home COVID-19 Survivor
When COVID-19 survivor Brett Breslow returned home May 28, he was welcomed by more than 100 people with a surprise parade, FOX 29 reported.

Breslow, 50 of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, spent more than nine weeks at Cooper University Hospital for treatment and rehab.

Breslow was featured in an April 2 Jewish Exponent article, where his wife, Amy, asked for the public’s help in donating plasma from a person who had recovered from COVID-19 and developed antibodies to the disease.

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