Community Briefs: Holocaust Exhibit, Howard Asher Dies, More

Frank Root sculptural relief Courtesy of the Temple Judea Museum

New Exhibit Opens at the Temple Judea Museum
A new Holocaust-centered exhibit entitled “Journey into Darkness … Heal with the Beauty of Life” debuted March 19 at the Temple Judea Museum within Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park.

The exhibit, which is on display through June 30, marks the museum’s first collaboration with the Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center, or HAMEC.

The exhibit includes objects from Temple Judea’s Holocaust and Acts of Oppression and Resistance collections, as well as paintings from Harry Somers and sculptural reliefs by Frank Root provided by HAMEC.

The guest curator is Lisa Marlowe, a teacher at Elkins Park Middle School who won the History Channel’s first Teacher of the Year award in 2006.

“The idea for this exhibition came to me from the impact I witnessed among my students when they saw Frank’s work and heard Harry’s story,” Marlowe said. “I wanted the community beyond our school to experience the same power of art as a component of Holocaust education.”

The exhibition may be visited in person by prior appointment and masks must be worn. Call 215-887-8700 to make a reservation.

CPA Firm Founder Howard Asher Dies at 87
Howard Burman Asher, who co-founded CPA firm Asher & Asher in 1957, died March 19 at his home in Center City. He was 87.

Asher & Asher grew to employ 100 people and become the largest independent CPA firm in Philadelphia. It later merged with BDO USA.

Asher served on many professional committees with the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and chaired Philadelphia’s Tax Review Board during both the Green and Rendell administrations.

Asher was a fourth-generation member of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, where he served in many capacities. He was a trustee and volunteer for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia for more than 60 years.

Scientific Researcher Beatrice Novack Engelsberg Dies at 95
Beatrice Novack Engelsberg, who spent 50 years as a scientific researcher, died March 8 at her Center City home, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. She was 95.

In the 1960s and 1970s at the University of Pennsylvania, she studied enzymes known as cytochrome P450 that are vital in metabolizing medication. She conducted lab experiments and edited conclusions for publication.

At various times during her career, she worked at Penn, Hahnemann Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Rutgers University.

She was a member of Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel in Philadelphia and often discussed the importance of Jewish culture in American life. Causes she supported included Doctors Without Borders and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

GoPuff Raises $1.1B for Expansion
Philadelphia-based beer and snacks delivery service GoPuff — whose founders Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola are Drexel University alumni who spent time at Drexel’s Chabad — announced that the company raised $1.1 billion more to expand its deliveries, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The lead investor is D1 Capital Partners, a $20 billion New York-based hedge fund run by University of Pennsylvania graduate Daniel Sundheim. The investment doubled its previous money-raising efforts.

GoPuff will add to its 250 local warehouses as well as its 161 BevMo!-brand beer stores, while hiring more engineers to improve its ordering technology. The company also is considering adding foreign stores and bolstering the number of kinds of items it delivers.

GoPuff employs more than 7,000 people.

The company said its value is now $8.9 billion.

Lindy CineMondays Starts April 5
The eighth year of the Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival’s Lindy CineMondays kicks off April 5 with the first of six films.

Films cost $15 each and are available for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware residents for a seven-day streaming period. Tickets are available at

The opening night film is “Love It Was Not,” a documentary about a Slovakian woman at Auschwitz and an Austrian SS officer.

“Here We Are” follows on April 12, telling the tale of a father “emotionally unprepared to let go of his autistic young adult son.”

“Shtetlers” airs starting April 19. The Russian documentary explores the lost world of shtetls in the 19th century Pale of Settlement in the former Soviet Union.

“Outremont and the Hasidim” follows on April 26 and focuses on tension in the Central Montreal borough of Outremont between 7,000 Chasidic Jews and Quebec’s Francophone elite.

On May 3, “If You See My Mother” begins to air. The film follows mama’s boy Max, who keeps seeing his recently deceased mother, who refuses to leave his side.

The final film, “Mish-Mish,” is slated to air on May 10. The documentary examines the Frenkel Brothers — three Jews who pioneered Egyptian cartoon animation in the 1930s.

— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb


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