Community Briefs: New PBA Prez, Controversy at Penn State, More

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Wilkes-Barre Lawyer Becomes PBA President
David E. Schwager, a partner in the Wilkes-Barre law firm of Chariton, Schwager & Malak, became the 126th president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association effective May 8.

Schwager serves as president of the S.J. Strauss Housing Foundation and treasurer of Ecumenical Enterprises Inc. He is a past president of the Jewish Community Center of Wyoming Valley, Temple Israel of Wilkes-Barre and the S.J. Strauss Lodge of B’nai B’rith.
He served as chair of the United Hebrew Institute School Board and the 2007 Jewish Federation campaign.

Prior to becoming the PBA president, Schwager served as president elect and vice president. He also served three years at the organization’s treasurer and chaired the PBA Finance Committee and PBA Investment Committee.

Penn State Students Petition for Discipline Against Swastika-Wearing Students
Penn State students are circulating a petition calling for disciplinary action against alleged students who posted a social media post featuring swastikas, the Collegian reported.

In the photo, two women have swastikas drawn on their shoulders; a third person is in the photo, but only her head is visible. The Collegian identified one of the women with a swastika as a student.

More than 1,600 people have signed the petition, which was created anonymously.

“Allowing her to remain a student of Penn State is a disservice to all Jewish people, living or dead,” the petition said. “It sends the message that (anti-Semitic) actions and ideals are accepted by the university, and that Penn State doesn’t care about protecting its Jewish students, as well as other oppressed and underrepresented minorities.”

Penn State authorities responded, saying contact had been made with the identified student, The Algemeiner reported.

“The reported anti-Semitic post is deeply disturbing and sickening,” Penn State wrote on Twitter. “The (university) is contacting the individual alleged to be involved … We will continue to speak out against hatred and intolerance.”

Stockton Survivor Film Wins Seven Awards
A film produced by the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center at Stockton University received seven awards from the 41st Annual Telly Awards Judging Council.

“There Were Good People … Doing Extraordinary Deeds: Leo Ullman’s Story,” tells the life story of Leo Ullman and his family. They were hidden in the Netherlands and saved by Righteous Gentiles during World War II.

“Now, more than ever, we need to continue recognizing creators like you and those that bring global stories to our screens,” the council said in its notification letter.

The Telly Awards showcases the best work in television and video.

Toby Rosenthal of Margate, a visiting instructor of communication studies, was the film’s editor, director and story producer.

“This film was produced with our students in mind,” Toby Rosenthal said. “We always considered what elements and themes of the story would resonate with our young community. Some of those themes include the comfort of Leo’s dog, the value of having a strong peer network, and the idea of honoring everyday people making extraordinary and heroic choices.”

The film received “silver” awards in the following categories: Non-Broadcast: History, Non-Broadcast: Information and Branded Content: Series: Non-scripted/Documentary.

It received “bronze” awards for Non-Broadcast: Biography, Non-Broadcast: Education, Non-Broadcast, Diversity & Inclusion, and People’s Telly Bronze Winner in Non-Broadcast. The film’s seven awards were among 13 won by Stockton University for various campus projects.

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