Newsmakers the Week of May 7, 2015


An area native daughter has just captured the Pulitzer Prize for Music; and two local Jewish-comic book creators make their presence known at the Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con.

Lansdale native Julia Wolfe has won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her composition,  “Anthracite Fields,” an oratorio commissioned by the Meet the Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA program, with added funding provided by the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia’s Alan Harler New Ventures Fund; and the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage/ Philadelphia Music Project. The piece was premiered last year by the Mendelssohn Club. Now a resident of New York, Wolfe, the daughter of Janet Fink, is co-founder and co-artistic director of the music group Bang on a Can.

Jewish comic book entrepreneurs Al Wiesner, creator of Shaloman, and Joshua H. Stulman (Israeli Defense Comics) will head up a panel discussion of “Jewish Super-Heroes and the Golem” on May 10 at the Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con coming to the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will make appearances throughout the convention, which begins May 7.

B’nai B’rith Educators Unit #5290 has picked its 2015 communal award recipients, to be feted May 7 at the Philmont County Club: Ann F. Tuteur, president, A & B Educational Enterprises; and Jill A. Solar, organizational coordinator, Baldi Middle School, winners of the Dr. Alan H. Barson Service to the Profession Award; Eric Blaustein, teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Hopkinson School; Leslie Kirshner-Morris, multilingual program manager, School District of Philadelphia, for Service to the Jewish Community; and the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia, Humanitarian Award.

Becky Troodler, who has spent the past 13 years in a variety of teaching and administrative positions at Yehivat Noam in Paramus, N.J., has been named founding principal of the Yeshivat Lab School, slated to open in September in Lower Merion. The goal of the Modern Orthodox school, funded  by the Kohelet Foundation, whose guiding force is the local philanthropist David Magerman, and which will start with kindergarten its first year, is, according to its mission statement, to “advance the field of Jewish education by utilizing only replicable, empirically supported, student-centered methods of pedagogy in a mission-based curriculum.” Meanwhile, Troodler has just won the Community Service Award of Areyvut, a nonprofit group that offers community service programs for youth.

Phil Balderston, principal of Odin Properties LLC, will be feted by the Steinhardt Jewish Heritage Programs at its Spring Mentor and Young Professionals Networking Gala on May 28.



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