Community Briefs: Food Drive, New Book, More


High Holidays Food Drive Underway
The Mitzvah Food Program of Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s largest food drive of the year is underway, with collections sought for nutritious and kosher non-perishable proteins such as nut butters, canned fish and canned beans.

Aside from being kosher, all donations must not be expired and must be properly sealed. No bulk sizes are accepted nor are glass items.

The food drive is held at more than 30 area synagogues and community organizations, with donations to be collected the week of Oct. 12. Other people are personally bringing canned goods to food program pantries.
Last year’s High Holiday food drive collected 46,000 pounds of food, which supplemented pantry locations for three to four months.

“Last year, we helped 3,222 households, and so far this year we’ve seen a 10% increase over that and recipients have been coming more often due to COVID-19-related unemployment,” said Deirdre Mulligan, the food program’s senior manager. “We anticipate this continuing and needing to help more families as this pandemic stretches into the winter and into 2021.”

The program runs five pantries in the Philadelphia area.

The SHARE Food Program is not a partner in this year’s food drive because of the pandemic.

For additional details, how to donate and for a list of participating organizations, visit

Temple Judea Museum Hosts Virtual Exhibit ‘Exploring Judaism and Spirituality”
Temple Judea Museum at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel will host virtual exhibit “Exploring Judaism and Spirituality” by Marlene D’Orazio Adler through Dec. 15.

A resident of Glenside, Adler is an art educator and has taught art in both public and private schools.

The exhibit may be viewed at

The exhibit may also be viewed in person by appointment only by calling 215-887-8700.

Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El Members Blow Shofar for Community
Members of Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El in Wynnewood spent the week before Rosh Hashanah blowing the shofar each night at various public locations around Lower Merion.

“This is an opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah of listening to the shofar during Elul. Please welcome people and do your favorite series of shofar blasts,” synagogue Executive Director Ken Krivitzky told the shofar-blowing volunteers in an email. “This is a great opportunity for our members to feel a sense of community and hopefully to meet a neighbor or two.”

Teacher Releases Book About Raising Son with Down Syndrome
Teacher Nancy M. Schwartz of Conshohocken has published “Up, Not Down Syndrome,” her story of raising her son, Alex, who was diagnosed with Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome).

Schwartz, who is a longtime educator, said the book published by Loving Healing Press consists of three parts — the overall stories, the lessons her son taught her and Alex’s perspective.

“I wanted the book to allow the reader to understand my story, learn from what I learned and gain insight from Alex’s voice,” Schwartz writes on the book jacket.


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