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The Philadelphia Jewish Voice

The Delaware Valley's Progressive Alternative

Volume 1 - Number 1 - July 2005

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Around Our Community

Around Our CommunityBruce Ticker

This column strives to concentrate on geographical regions or demographic segments of our community overlooked in the Exponent.

Send your comments and suggestions to Around Our Community editor Bruce Ticker community @ pjvoice.com.

Ward 14 Commissioners Race between Exponent Watch members

Andy Tanzer and Felice Wiener, valued members ofFelice Wiener Exponent Watch, ran against each other in the Democratic primary for Commissioner (Lower Merion, Ward 14). These local races are not very well covered in the media but the results were:
Felice G. Wiener 251 41.97%
Andrew Tanzer 347 58.03%
Total 598 100.00%
Source: Montgomery County Bureau of Elections.

I want to take this opportunity to commend Felice on her dedication and many years of devoted service to the community. I will miss her.

Also, good luck to Andy in the General Election this November. Andy will be running against Lance Rogers, a Bush Republican who will be running as an Independent.

Lance Rogers' campaign mailings paint him as a centrist. However, the Federal Election Commission reports Lance Rogers was a strong supporter of Melissa Brown and especially Bush-Cheney '04, and the Pennsylvania Department of State reports that Lance Rogers was a strong supporter of Republican Attorney General candidate Tom Corbett. One wonders why Lance is running as an independent. Did he missing a filing deadline or is he trying to hide his true party loyalties behind the cloak of independence.

We look forward to seeing many good things from Andy.

The Mensch who Saved Rosh Hashanah in Edison, New Jersey

Robert Eichert can go down in his town's history as the man who saved Rosh HaShanah in Edison, N.J.so to speak.

The Edison school board proposed ending a decades-long tradition last January 24 when it announced plans to eliminate both days of the Jewish New Year as school holidays next October.

The school board's plan drew 300 unhappy Jewish campers to a school board meeting on March 3 to protest the proposed elimination of the holidays. The board suggested a compromise: retain the first day as a school holiday but hold class the second day.

Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg of Congregation Beth-El in Edison told New York Jewish Week that he was advising the Jewish community to accept "no compromise. The entire community is outraged. They feel their Jewish rights are being violated."

Why would the school board end such a tradition? They wanted to find two days between September 6, the day after Labor Day, and June 15, the scheduled date for graduation exercises at the Rutgers University athletic center (RAC) in nearby New Brunswick, to meet the state requirement to hold classes for a minimum of 180 days.

The school board softened its heart completely at its March 22 meeting when the board introduced a third school calendar to restore the Jewish New Year as school holidays both days, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. A final vote was scheduled for April 18, but the school board's position was fully expected to remain kosher in time for Passover.

Who changed their minds? Robert Eichert. As an Edison resident and a member of the Rutgers Board of Trustees, Eichert worked to make the RAC available for graduation exercises four days later, to June 19.

"I wanted Rutgers to be a good neighbor and to help resolve the issue to benefit the entire community," Eichert told the Star-Ledger. 

What a mensch.

Disengagement Plan for Manhattan Tenant Dashed

A Hasidic congregation in midtown Manhattan pursued its own disengagement plan by trying to evict a tenant named Vicki Ross from her rent-stabilized one-bedroom apartment. Take a guess as to why:

1) The congregation, which holds its services elsewhere, wants her space for a nonresidential use, such as a library for its members. After all, the congregation can refuse to renew her lease "given such an educational use," as congregation lawyer James E. Schwartz is quoted in The New York Times.

2) The congregation's rabbi, Joshua Metzger, wanted her apartment so he could expand the space his family had moved into below her. That is no valid reason to kick her out, says Ross's lawyer, Bruce H. Wiener.

A Civil Court judge, Peter M. Wendt, ruled in Ross's favor in February, according to the Times story, and Schwartz said the congregation, B'nai Abraham Mordechai, will not appeal.

Ross, who lived in the $1,090-per-month apartment for 25 years, was the only holdout of four tenants whom the congregation tried to evict when it bought the five-story townhouse on East 38th Street between Madison and Park avenues in 2000.

Community Calendar

A Community Calendar is being created on our website. Please email calendar @ pjvoice.com with details on any event you care to have listed.

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