“Plant One Million” Campaign Reaches Halfway

SEMINARY Bishop and tree and seminarians

Bishop Senior gets ready to bless the white oak tree, planted in honor of Pope Francis. Photo by Bonnie Squires.

(left to right) Bishop Timothy Senior; Margaret McCarvill, Interim Executive Director of the PA Horticultural Society; and Alan Jaffe, PHS Director of Communications, at the tree planting at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. photo by Bonnie Squires

Left to right: Bishop Timothy Senior; Margaret McCarvill, Interim Executive Director of the PA Horticultural Society; and Alan Jaffe, PHS Director of Communications, at the tree planting at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. Photo by Bonnie Squires.

Bonnie Squires talks with BIshop Senior before the tree blessing ceremony. photo by Jimmy Owens

Bonnie Squires talks with BIshop Senior before the tree blessing ceremony. Photo by Jimmy Owens.

Plant One Million, the largest multi-state tree-planting effort in the nation, is a regional partnership to plant 1 million trees throughout 13 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and the state of Delaware. The goal is to restore the tree canopy cover — the area of land shaded by trees — in the Greater Philadelphia region to 30%.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) reached a major milestone in the Plant One Million campaign this month, when it planted the 500,000th tree at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood.

The white oak tree was planted at the Seminary, located at 100 East Wynnewood Rd., Wynnewood, PA, in honor of the visit of Pope Francis, whose recent encyclical urges everyone to take responsibility for care of the environment. Bishop Timothy Senior blessed the tree on the grounds of the seminary, after Vespers services. Margaret McCarvill, Interim Executive Director of PHS, also spoke at the ceremony.

The September 1 tree planting coincided with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation established by Pope Francis to remind us of our role as custodians of creation.

Plant One Million is led by PHS, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the TreeVitalize program of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, the New Jersey Tree Foundation, and the Delaware Center for Horticulture. Residents throughout the region are being asked to add at least one tree to their home landscape, and to “count” their tree on the Plant One Million website to strengthen research and the impact of the tree canopy.

Kerry: Iranian Nuclear Bomb Prohibited Forever

 Secretary Kerry gave a detailed analysis of the reasoning behind the Iran Nuclear Deal, as well as the concern for Israel's feelings about Iran.  He firmly stated frequently that Iran would be prohibited "forever" from creating a nuclear bomb. photo by Bonnie SquiresSecretary of State John Kerry spoke passionately and firmly in support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran in a speech at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center.

Secretary Kerry analyzed the reasons why the Congress and the U.S. must approve the deal. He gave a detailed analysis of the reasoning behind the deal, as well as the concern for Israel’s feelings about Iran. He stated frequently that Iran would be prohibited “forever” from creating a nuclear bomb.

Senators Bob Casey (PA) and Chris Coons (DE) had already gone public with their support of President Obama and Secretary Kerry. However, right before the speech began Jeffrey Rosen, the CEO of the National Constitution Center (NCC), had gotten word that Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD) had become the 34th Senator to indicate support, guaranteeing the failure of the Republicans to override the expected veto by President Obama for the projected negative vote by Senate Republicans.

Jewish Adoption Agency Holds Fundraiser in Longport, NJ

 Donna Greenberg (Co-chair of the event), her husband Lou Greenberg, and Rana Bell, Development Director. were delighted with the success of the reception.

Event co-chair Donna Greenberg, her husband Lou Greenberg, and development director Rana Bell were delighted with the success of the reception.


Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options (JAFCO) was founded 22 years ago in Sunrise, Florida. The Emergency Shelter at JAFCO welcomes infants and children of all ethnic, religious and racial backgrounds and even finds foster homes for those children and infants who have medical needs.

The JAFCO “Cocktails for a Cause” reception and silent auction, on August 6, in a private residence in Longport, New Jersey, attracted 140 people. The evening included a fabulous buffet with food donated by dozens of the best caterers and restaurants on the island, and a few in Philadelphia; dozens of themed raffle baskets with great items and restaurant coupons, and a silent auction.

 Standing (l to r) at the registration table: Susan Green, Debbie Casnoff, and Cindy Schlossberg; seated (l to r) Mimi Lapat, Linda Peltz, Beverly Victor, and Michele Gelman

Standing left to right at the registration table: Susan Green, Debbie Casnoff and Cindy Schlossberg. Seated left to right: Mimi Lapat, Linda Peltz, Beverly Victor and Michele Gelman.

The highlight of the event was the showing of a video, featuring a young girl whose life was saved by her being placed in a group home at the JAFCO campus in Sunrise, Florida, as well as a young man who grew up at the JAFCO Children’s Village and is now a practicing physician.

JAFCO recently opened the Ability Center in Florida, which offers respite care for children with special needs so their parents can have some respite time, knowing their children are receiving efficient and compassionate care.

Hostess Linda Brodie; Michelle Simon, Esq.; her daughter Lisa Simon; and Rana Bell, Northeast JAFCO Development Director, at the Cocktail for a Cause reception in Longport on Thursday, August 6.

Hostess Linda Brodie; Michelle Simon, Esq.; her daughter Lisa Simon; and Rana Bell, Northeast JAFCO development director, at the Cocktail for a Cause reception in Longport on Thursday, August 6.

JAFCO opened a Northeast Office in Bryn Mawr, PA, to offer counseling and referral services. Many of the JAFCO supporters have primary residences in Philadelphia and South Jersey, as well as spending winters in south Florida, where they may have first gotten involved with JAFCO’s mission.

Co-chairs of the Longport event were Donna Greenberg, and Carol Sussman. Mrs. Linda Brodie, the hostess, her daughter and daughter-in-law are among the “JAFCO Godparents” – those who have pledged $1800 per year for ten years to support one of the JAFCO children at the Children’s Village.

 (left to right) JAFCO NE Development Director Rana Bell prepares for the JAFCO event with co-chair Carol Sussman, hostess Linda Brodie, and co-chair Donna Greenberg.

Left to right: JAFCO NE Development Director Rana Bell prepares for the JAFCO event with co-chair Carol Sussman, hostess Linda Brodie, and co-chair Donna Greenberg.

Michelle Simon, Esq., hosts JAFCO teen girls each summer at the shore for three or four days, in between the girls’ camp sessions at the Golden Slipper Camp in Pennsylvania. Simon is on the Golden Slipper board of directors and made the original arrangements a few years ago.

For information call Rana Bell, Northeast development director, at 610-397-8688, or visit JAFCO’s website.

JAFCO Cocktails for a Cause 2015 Food Donors

 (l to r) Enjoying the evening were (left to right) committee members Arlene Singer, Debra Greenwald and Mimi Lapat, joining JAFCO "godparents" Phyllis and Herb Victor.

Enjoying the evening were (left to right) committee members Arlene Singer, Debra Greenwald and Mimi Lapat, joining JAFCO “godparents” Phyllis and Herb Victor.

Aversa, Betty the Caterer, BF Mazzeo, Bonefish Grill, Catch, Chef Vola, Circle Liquor Store, Cricket Caterers, Domenico’s, Hannah G’s, Infinity Caterers Inc., Johnny’s Cafe, Johnson’s Popcorn, Sage, Sofia’s, Stella, Steve and Cookies, Supper/The Global Dish Caterers, Scratch Biscuits and Tomatoes.

Photo Credit: Bonnie Squires

 Elaine Friedland, Elaine Silverstein, Bonnie Squires, Susanne Shuster, and Carol Sussman (Co-chair of the event), all of Ventnor, enjoyed the JAFCO evening.

Elaine Friedland, Elaine Silverstein, Bonnie Squires, Susanne Shuster, and Carol Sussman (Co-chair of the event), all of Ventnor, enjoyed the JAFCO evening.

Obama, Congresspersons Call for Justice System Reform at Local NAACP Convention

President Barack Obama pressed the 10,000 conventioneers at the NAACP to help him effect domestic reforms, including the criminal justice system, as well as investments in education.

President Barack Obama pressed the 10,000 conventioneers at the NAACP to help him effect domestic reforms, including the criminal justice system, as well as investments in education.

The thousands of NAACP delegates, alternates and supporters who descended on the Philadelphia Convention Center for the 106th national convention of the NAACP were rewarded for their travels and loyalty. Many members of Congress spoke at the plenary sessions and themed workshops.

President Barack Obama, just on the heels of the successful negotiation with Iran, flew from Washington to Philadelphia to address the NAACP convention. His speech focused on domestic priorities, with no mention of the Iran deal, but the news spread and no one needed to be reminded that the President has had a couple of really good weeks.

Speakers like Congressman James Clyburn (SC-6) and U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger, spoke passionately about the need to reform the criminal justice system, to root out discrimination and profiling and unequal sentencing for African Americans.

President Obama, in his speech, explained why he commuted sentences for dozens of prisoners who, if they had been charged and sentenced today, would have received far less severe prison terms for non-violent drug offenses or possession of drugs like marijuana. He gave examples of ex-offenders he had just met, who had served their sentences and then redeemed their lives. They are now tax-paying citizens.

Right before I came out here, I met with four former prisoners, four ex-offenders. Two of them were African American, one of them was Latino, one of them was white. All of them had amazing stories. One of them dropped out of school when he was a young kid. Now he’s making film about his experience in the prison system.

One of them served 10 years in prison, then got a job at Five Guys — which is a tasty burger — and they gave him an opportunity, and he rose up and became a general manager there, and now is doing anti-violence work here in the community.

It was a treat to watch the NAACP session on resolutions, the debates from the floor, the challenges to the chair, the re-counts, the urging of the NAACP member from Georgia to pass a resolution requiring the removal of ALL Confederate flags from every single state’s public grounds. This amended resolution, or “game-changer,” as the NAACP calls them, passed overwhelmingly.

And it was heartening on the day of the first plenary session to hear Cornell Brooks, the national president of the NAACP, tell a story about a baby born down south who weighed only three pounds and was not expected to survive until night-time. But the doctor who delivered the baby told the mother to pray, if she believed in God. Brooks said the woman called for a chaplain in the hospital, but no preacher or minister was available. But here was a rabbi serving as chaplain, and he came and prayed with the mother.

Senator Bob Casey was featured at the NAACP Convention opening plenary session.  He urged the 8000 attendees from around the country to contact their members of Congress and push for Casey's funding bill for universal early education.

At the NAACP Convention opening plenary session, Senator Bob Casey urged the 8000 attendees to contact their members of Congress around the country and push for his universal early education funding bill.

Then Brooks delivered the punch-line: “And that is why I am standing here today!”

Although I did not hear a mention of the three martyred civil rights workers, Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney, I thought about them often as I traveled the halls of the Philadelphia Convention Center from plenary session to workshops. Listening to heroes like Congressman Jim Clyburn, Senator Bob Casey (PA), Congresswomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) and Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), and Senator Corey Booker (NJ), was inspirational.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who heads up the Democratic National Committee, urged the conventioneers to register to vote and get involved in politics.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who heads up the Democratic National Committee, urged the conventioneers to register to vote and get involved in politics.

Wasserman Schultz, from Florida, who heads up the Democratic National Committee, focused on voting rights reform in her address to the entire corps of NAACP members. She told me about the unfairness of the voter ID laws in many states and of her intention to increase registration and voting patterns of African Americans.

I bumped into Joyce Kravitz, the president of Tikvah/AJMI, the Philadelphia region’s nonprofit agency for families with members dealing with mental illness. Kravitz, a social work professor, has been an NAACP member for many years, and she attended this year’s convention with her former student, an African American social worker.

Pennsylvania state Representative Jim Roebuck, who has been advocating for Governor Tom Wolf’s budget which restores funding for pre-K and public education, was in attendance. Congressmen Chaka Fattah (PA-2) and Brendan Boyle (PA-13) accompanied President Obama on Air Force One from D.C. to the convention.

NAACP has made national news every day of the convention, and President Bill Clinton and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch made the closing day of the convention memorable.

Photo credit: Bonnie Squires

Bart Blatstein Opens “The Playground” in Atlantic City

— by Bonnie Squires

Bart Blatstein, the Philadelphia-based real estate developer, believes in Atlantic City. He has created a new magnet to attract crowds to Atlantic City: The Playground. He previewed the first floor, T Street, recently, and wowed the huge crowds with his transformation of the back half of the first floor of what had been The Pier Shops at Caesars into seven different but inter-connected pub restaurants with performing space in each one. There is a different theme, music and menu for each of the restaurants, and the catering is all done by Chef Jose Garces. Butlered hors d’oeuvres were offered for hours as servers roamed the restaurants and hallways.

At the media preview, there were musical groups performing in every single space. You can find something for every musical taste, from rock to country to folk to blues, and everything in between. And at the very end of the pier there is a 2000-seat concert venue, called 39 North, which will book major musical acts, thanks to Philly-based music promoter Bonfire Entertainment.

Woman One Honors Philanthropist Lynne Honickman

This year's Woman One award-winner is the philanthropist and crusader Lynne Honickman.

Lynn Yeakel, director of Drexel’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership; Lynne Honickman, and Dr. Daniel Schidlow, Dean of the Drexel College of Medicine.

For the thirteenth year, Drexel University’s College of Medicine’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership bestowed its Woman One award on a community leader recently at the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia. This year’s Woman One award-winner is the philanthropist and crusader Lynne Honickman, who, with her husband Harold Honickman and The Honickman Foundation and its affiliate, The Honickman Charitable Trust, are dedicated to supporting projects that promote the arts, education, health, social change and heritage. Lynne Honickman was recognized for her dedication to Project H.O.M.E. and its Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Labs; for her founding of Moms Against Guns and her merger with CeaseFire PA, working to end violence; for her dedication to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, including the Honickman Photography Gallery, and myriad other projects supported by Lynne and her foundation.

Dianne Semingson, Laurada Byers, Stephanie Naidoff and (seated) Suzanne Roberts. photo by Bonnie Squires

Several of the former Woman One award-winners were present to welcome Lynne Honickman to their ranks. Seen here are Dianne Semingson, Laurada Byers, Stephanie Naidoff and (seated) Suzanne Roberts.

The annual reception and award ceremony raises funds for scholarships for women medical school students.

Lynn Yeakel, director of Drexel’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership, announced that $500,000 had been raised for the scholarship fund at this Woman One event. Among the beneficiaries of Honickman’s expertise and generosity who spoke about her amazing efforts were Dr. Daniel Schidlow, Dean of the Drexel College of Medicine; Sister Mary Scullion, founder of Project H.O.M.E., and Shira Goodman,executive director of CeaseFire PA.

A number of medical school women students were presented, all of whom receive scholarships through the Woman One program.

All photos by Bonnie Squires.

Adele Schaeffer and Carol Fitzgerald

Attending the Woman One award ceremony in support of their friend and honoree Lynne Honickman were Adele Schaeffer and Carol Fitzgerald.

The Honorable Constance Williams and Judge Marjorie O. Rendell  know how important is Lynne Honickman's support for the arts in the region.

The Honorable Constance Williams and Judge Marjorie O. Rendell know how important is Lynne Honickman’s support for the arts in the region.

David Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast, and his wife Rhonda.

David Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast, and his wife Rhonda were among the attendees.

Steve Shller, Esq., and his wife Sandy Shellter, and Renee and Joe Zuritsky.

Among those gathered to congratulate Mrs. Honickman were Steve Sheller, Esq., and his wife Sandy Sheller, and Renee and Joe Zuritsky.

Margie Honickman and Lisa Vetri Furman

Margie Honickman and Lisa Vetri Furman.

 Dean Schidlow congratulates Lynne Honickman and her husband Harold Honickman.

Dean Schidlow congratulates Lynne Honickman and her husband Harold Honickman.

Wolf Hosts Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony in State Capitol

Governor Tom Wolf (at mcrophone)hosted the annual Civic Commemoration of the Holocaust Ceremony in the Capitol on Monday, April 20, 2015.  Some of the dignitaries who also spoke included (shown here) Pastor Earl L. Harrris, President of the Interdenominationl Ministry Conference, and Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack.   photo by Bonnie Squires

Left to right: Governor Tom Wolf, Pastor Earl L. Harrris, President of the Interdenominationl Ministry Conference, and Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack. Photo by Bonnie Squires.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf  hosted the annual “Civic Commemoration of the Holocaust” ceremony in the Governor’s Reception Room on Monday, April 20.

Michael Sand, chairman of the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalitions’ committee which helped plan the event, had assembled several Holocaust survivors and children of survivors from Harrisburg and York to be present to light candles in memory of the six million who had perished.  Lt. Governor Michael Stack was also one of the speakers.

 Before the ceremony began, Governor Tom Wolf greeted (left to right) Bonnie Squires, board president of the PHILADELPHIA JEWISH VOICE;  Laura Adler Princiotta, CEO of SpArc Philadelphia; and Tanya Regli, Executive Director of The Arc of Philadelphia.

Before the ceremony began, Governor Wolf greeted (left to right) Bonnie Squires, board president of The Philadelphia Jewish Voice; Laura Adler Princiotta, CEO of SpArc Philadelphia; and Tanya Regli, Executive Director of The Arc of Philadelphia.

There was standing-room only, with almost all of Governor Wolf’s Cabinet officials attending, including, among others, Leslie Richards, Secretary of Transportation, and Kathy Manderino, Secretary of Labor. Dozens of members of the House of Representatives and Senate were also in attendance, including Senators Andy Dinniman and Daylin Leach, and Representatives Tim Briggs, Frank Dermody, and Dan Frankel, who presented  the House resolution in observance of the Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Can Tunisia Remain a Tourist Haven After ISIL Attack?

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The Bardo National Museum. Photo by Alexandre Moreau.

I take the terrorist attack on tourists outside the Bardo Museum in Tunis personally. Very personally.

My husband, a Tunisian national, who has been an American citizen since 1999, happened to be in Tunisia, visiting his parents, when the gun-toting attackers started mowing down day-tourists as they exited their bus in front of the world-famous museum.

When I finally got through to my husband to find out where he was, in relation to the attack, he was shocked to hear the news. He knew nothing about it until I shared the information.

My sister-in-law Diane had called early in the morning, after watching CNN, to find out if my husband was safe. It was a frantic morning till I was able to get through to him.

Since tourism is the main component of Tunisia’s economy, ISIL, or whoever is responsible for the murderous attack, surely hit their mark. The tourist trade was finally coming back after the “revolution” that set Tunisia on the path to democracy, but created a lot of questions and challenges and slowed down tourism for several years.

My first trip to Tunisia was in 1995 with a delegation of twelve national leaders of American Jewish Congress. In fact, The Philadelphia Jewish Voice’s vice president, Ken Myers, his wife Susan and I represented the Pennsylvania region on that trip, which had us meeting with leadership in Tunisia, then Jordan, and finally in Israel.

I always have a distinct advantage in visiting Tunisia, the former French colony, as I speak French fluently. And although in recent years, English classes have been included in Tunisia’s education system, back in 1995, very few of the leaders, most of whom had attended university in France, spoke English. So I was usually the interpreter.

Who would ever have suspected that violence of this level, the attack on people simply getting out of a tourist bus and entering the Bardo to admire the world’s greatest collection of Greek and Roman mosaics? Oh, yes, the head of an opposition party had been gunned down in front of his home about a year ago, which was shocking enough. But 19 or 20 victims at one time? And dozens more wounded? Tourists from a dozen countries? Spreading fear across all of Europe — and America? This was some vicious act out of a “B” movie.

The Charlie Hebdo and Cacher Hyper Marche murders in Paris had just about faded when Tunis was moved to front and center of the international attention. Because things had settled down in Tunisia in the past couple of years, even with a revolving door of government officials, the security detail for the museum, which is next door to the Parliament building, was relaxed. There were still guards for the Parliament, but the museum was not seen as a “target.”

My visits to Tunisia subsequent to the AJC delegation included five more trips, two of them as a guest of the government’s tourism agency, designed for journalists. But I must confess that I have declined my husband’s invitations to accompany him to visit his parents, ever since the revolution in 2011. Yes, the Tunisian Arab Spring is referred to as the model for Muslim countries, throwing off dictatorships and opting for democracy. But you cannot just paste a layer of “democracy” over centuries of non-participation in government decisions.

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El Ghriba synagogue. Photo by Chapultepec.

The reaction of the president and prime minister of Tunisia was instant and strong, vowing to fight against terrorism and terrorists in their country and elsewhere. The U.S., England and France joined in their support for Tunisia’s official reaction to the horror.

Only about 1100 Jews are left in the Tunisia, but many of them, like some of our Tunisian friends, also own homes in Paris and spend half the year there. Others travel to the U.S., Israel, England and France on business. Basically, the Jews in Tunisia are located in two main areas: Tunis, the capital, and the island of Djerba, with one of the world’s oldest synagogues.

Djerban Jews are quite insular, and Orthodox, with schools for girls and schools for boys. I have visited these and admired them, although the girls are not encouraged to pursue higher education. Most of the Djerban Jews are shopkeepers, craftsmen, jewelers, and leather goods impresarios.

However, the dozens of wounded tourists from many countries, those who survived the Bardo assault, will probably serve as a warning to lots of others who wanted to go to Tunisia, either for a day-trip off their cruise ship, or for a week or two at a lovely, and very reasonable hotel, with everything included.

We have to wait and see what the ramifications are for the U.S. and European countries, now that ISIL has decided that killing sprees spread their message and attract new killers. But the instant demonstration by thousands of Tunisians who spilled into the streets of the capital to tell the world that they will not tolerate ISIL in their country, and will hunt them down and punish them, was a heartening scene. I hope to be able to return to Tunisia in the near future.

Arkoosh Sworn as Montgomery’s Newest Commissioner

Jeff Harbison (right) looks on as his wife Dr. Valerie Arkoosh (center) is sworn-in as Montgomery County commissioner by Judge Steven Tolliver.

Jeff Harbison (right) looks on as his wife Dr. Valerie Arkoosh (center) is sworn-in as Montgomery County commissioner by Judge Steven Tolliver.

— by Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro

Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh of Springfield Township was sworn in as Montgomery County’s newest commissioner, after the county’s board of judges voted to appoint her.

Arkoosh will fill the vacancy left by Commissioner Leslie Richards, who was recently named Pennsylvania’s secretary of transportation.

Arkoosh is a longtime resident of Montgomery County with an educational background in medicine, public health, and economics.

[Read more…]

Philadelphia Bar Association Honors Mark Aronchick

The Philadelphia Bar Association honored Mark Aronchick, Esq., with the PNC Achievement Award at the Association’s annual luncheon on December 9 at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Philadelphia.

DANDRIDGE Mark Aronchick honored

PNC Wealth Management, John Conaway (left), and Abe Reich, Esq., who chaired the PNC Achievement Award committee (right), present the award to Mark Aronchick. Photo: Bonnie Squires.

The Award honors “significant accomplishments in improving the administration of justice.” Aronchick was cited for his work defending same-sex marriage with the successful Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case in Pennsylvania, as well as for his service to the city of Philadelphia years ago as the city solicitor.

In 1996, Aronchick became the first attorney to simultaneously serve as president of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation and vice chancellor the Philadelphia Bar Association. In 1998, he became the youngest city solicitor in Philadelphia’s history.

A partner at Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, Aronchick was instrumental in this year’s Whitewood lawsuit, which successfully overturned Pennsylvania’s exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Aronchick’s law partner, Daniel Segal, praised his commitment to equality when nominating him:

Mark has an unstinting commitment to provide all citizens, poor and rich, black and white, gay and straight with a fair, equal and honest system of justice. Whether in litigating Whitewood, promoting the Bar Foundation, teaching Penn law students, or serving on the Judicial Conduct Board, this commitment has been and remains the focus of his intense devotion.