Community Briefs: Film Fest, Food Relief, PPE, More

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“Crescendo” screens at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 24
| Courtesy of Menemsha Films

Film Festival Kicks Off Oct. 24
The Bucks County Kehillah Jewish Film Festival will screen three films virtually over the next three weekends.

There will be interactive discussions via Zoom after each film.

“Crescendo” from 2019 screens at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 24. It tells the tale of a famous conductor who accepts a job creating an Israeli-Palestinian youth orchestra and then deals with the resulting problems. Rabbi Raysh Weiss of Congregation Beth El of Yardley leads the post-film discussion.


“Fiddler, Miracle of Miracles,” which tells the original story behind the beloved musical, follows at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 1. Post-film discussion on the 2019 offering will be led by Rabbi Sigal Brier of Temple Judea of Bucks County.

And 2011’s “My Australia” is slated for 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 7. The film follows two troubled boys in Lodz, Poland, after World War II who fall in with an anti-Semitic organization. The boys’ mother moves them to Australia, where they “become aware of their family’s roots.”

Rabbi Eliott Perlstein of Ohev Shalom of Bucks County will interview Ami Drodz — on whose story the film is based — as part of the post-film discussion.

KleinLife Receives $10K COVID-19 Response Grant for Use in Meal Delivery
KleinLife in Northeast Philadelphia announced Oct. 12 that it received a $10,000 COVID-19 grant from the Truist Foundation through Meals on Wheels America.

KleinLife President and CEO Andre Krug said the money will be used to buy resources for the Home Delivered Meals Program it runs in coordination with RSVP Philadelphia. The program provides 70,000 meals annually to homebound seniors in Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery counties who cannot shop or cook for themselves.

“Since the start of the pandemic we have added hundreds of area seniors to our Home Delivered Meals Program,” Krug said.

Meals on Wheels America said it has distributed $18.3 million in emergency funding to local senior nutrition providers actively responding to pandemic.

RapidMask2Go Supplies PPE in SEPTA Suburban Station
Philadelphians passing through SEPTA Suburban Station are now able to buy KN95 masks, hand sanitizer and gloves from vending machines provided by RapidMask2Go.

The company was founded by David Edelman, a Jewish New Yorker who travels to Philadelphia often because his son is a patient at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

RapidMask2Go installed its first vending machines in Suburban Station in July and there are now four in the transit hub. The company also has installed machines in New York City and more than 10 NJ Transit stations.
Edelman said vending machines seemed like a natural fit for safe, in-person purchases.

“There was no human contact involved, it was something that people could see and it had that immediate gratification versus going online to purchase something and maybe it shows up,” he said.

The idea was also a response to the rampant price gouging that occurred in the earlier stages of the pandemic when people were desperate for supplies, Edelman said
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“People were charging five and 10 times what the average cost for those masks and gloves would be, so we did a standard markup and made it accessible to everybody,” he said.

Dispensing PPE through vending machines is becoming increasingly popular — local startup Philly PPE also sells supplies through vending machines in the area.

JRA’s drive-through system was tweaked for social distancing because of the pandemic. | Photo by Elvera Gurevich

JRA to Celebrate 20 Years with Virtual Annual Event
The Jewish Relief Agency will celebrate 20 years at 10 a.m. on Oct. 25 with “Whatever it Takes: A Livestreamed Show to End Hunger.”

The show, which will be hosted by KYW 1060 reporter Hadas Kuznits, will honor outgoing chairman Daniel Erlbaum.

The show also will feature a cooking demonstration with “Chopped” champion Darius Peacock, who will use JRA food box ingredients.

JRA serves more than 6,000 low-income individuals across Greater Philadelphia, with 500 to 1,000 volunteers participating each month.

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