Community Briefs: Local Boy Named to Maccabi USA Juniors Swimming Team and More


Concert Explores Influence of Middle Eastern Music on American Pop

Drexel University’s Mediterranean Ensemble will perform “The Middle East Meets American Pop,” an exploration of the influence of Middle Eastern music on American popular song at 7:30 p.m. on June 5.

The concert at Drexel’s Mandell Theater on 33rd and Chestnut streets features two Jewish guest performers in opera singer Donna Morein and entertainer/bandleader Eddie Bruce. They will be honored for their contributions to regional arts and culture.

“The music of the Jews, Arabs, Turks, etc., has always been a major influence on American popular music and can be heard in the synagogue music-influenced songs of composers like Irving Berlin and George Gershwin,” Mediterranean Ensemble Director Bruce Kaminsky said. “It was a Turkish melody that influenced Lebanese surf rock guitar legend Dick Dale to play ‘Miserlou,’ and it was the Jewish Jerry Wexler and the Turkish Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Records who convinced a gospel-turned-jazz singer, Aretha Franklin, to sing rhythm and blues.”

The concert, which will also feature jazz pianist Dave Posmontier, is free and open to the public. For more information, call 215-896-2451 or visit

Four Area Residents Attend OU Union Women’s Initiative Summit

Four Philadelphia-area women participated in the Orthodox Union Women’s Initiative inaugural Leadership Summit May 20-21 in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

The conference was designed to encourage and develop women serving as lay leaders within their communities. The 100 participants were nominated by 56 communities around the United States, Canada, Israel, the United Kingdom and South Africa to attend.

The Philadelphia-area attendees were Judy Pomerantz of Merion Station, Dvashs Stollman from Merion Station, Rebbetzin Adina Shmidman from Bala Cynwyd and Aliza Silverstein from Bala Cynwyd.

“The goals of the program were to nurture lay leadership, enhance leadership skills and create a collaborative space,” said Shmidman, who is the founding director of the OU Women’s Initiative. “It was inspiring to see a group of women, incredibly diverse in age, experience and hashkafa, coming together to share their passion for the Jewish community.”

Local Boy Named to Maccabi USA Juniors Swimming Team

Joshua Sultanik of Bala Cynwyd was one of nine teens named to the Juniors Swimming Team by Maccabi USA in advance of the 15th European Maccabi Games set for Budapest, Hungary, in July and August.

Maccabi USA will bring a team of more than 200 athletes who will join the other 2,000 Jewish athletes from 29 countries, participating in 22 different sports.

The European Games are a high-level athletic competition for Jewish athletes all over the world aimed at connecting Jews from the Diaspora. They are hosted by the European Maccabi Confederation and conducted in cooperation with Maccabi World Union. They are held every four years.

Bryan Rubin
Bryan Rubin

Bryn Mawr Resident Plays All Nine Positions in Baseball Game

Bryn Mawr’s Bryan Rubin, who just graduated from Vassar College, played all nine positions in a baseball game against SUNY New Paltz on April 24.

Hitting in the two-hole, Rubin started the game in center field, moved to left in the second inning and right in the third, followed by first base, third base, second base and shortstop. He then caught the eighth inning before pitching the ninth inning to secure a 14-4 win.

Prior to the game, team captain Rubin had played every position except second base at some point in his college career, primarily serving as an outfielder and the team’s closer.

Rubin was named a first-team utility player by the All-Liberty League.


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