235 Years of Independence – An Occasion to Celebrate American Jewish Heroes

— by Ken Myers

How many Jewish heroes of the Revolutionary War (or earlier) can you identify? You probably know that Haym Salomon was a key figure in financing the Revolution. Did you know that Francis Salvador was the first Jew to die in the American Revolution, on August 1, 1776, following the signing of the Declaration of Independence? You might know that Philadelphian Rebecca Gratz founded the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society and other relief organizations. Did you know that her family was prominent among revolutionaries here?

It is well known that Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (1870-1938), was a member of the United States Supreme Court. His family already had a glorious record in America: David Nunez Cardozo (1752- ?) was a hero of the Revolution. He led the assault on British-held Savannah, Georgia, in which Count Pulaski was killed. Cardozo was taken prisoner by the British while defending Savannah, but was released at the end of the British stay in that area.

Forty-seven Jewish heroes of the Revolution and other major events in American history are listed and their achievements memorialized on the web site of the Florida Atlantic University Libraries, with credit to
Seymour Brody.

But his major opus is the book, Jewish Heroes & Heroines of America: 150 True Stories of American Jewish Heroism, by Seymour Brody with illustrations by Art Seiden. Spend some time during the Independence Day weekend examining the lives of Jewish heroes during and since our War of Independence.

Arlene Fickler to Receive JSPAN Social Justice Award


— Susan P. Myers

Arlene Fickler will receive the 2010 Social Justice Award of the Jewish Social Policy Action Network, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the advancement of women and her talented, dedicated service to the community.  The honoree is a well known litigator and a leader in Bar programs central to the improvement of the law.  She devotes great effort to building the Jewish community through distinguished service to several key community institutions.

Previous recipients of the reward include:

Flicker’s community service includes the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and several of its constituent agencies.  She chaired the Board of Directors of the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Philadelphia and has served on the boards of the Jewish Publishing Group, HIAS Immigration Services, the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America, and Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel.  She was the co-chairman of the organizing committee that brought 1,750 teenagers from nine countries to Philadelphia for the JCC’s Maccabi Games in August 2001.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania cum laude and Penn Law School where she was Note Editor of the Law Review, Arlene advanced to partner at Schnader Harrison and then co-founded the law firm Hoyle, Fickler, Herschel & Mathes LLP.  Her professional achievements over many years include service as the chair of the Federal Courts Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association, trustee of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation (the charitable arm of the Philadelphia Bar Association), Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, member of the American Law Institute, and a Barrister of the University of Pennsylvania American Inn of Court.  She was the co-Reporter for the American College of Trial Lawyers Manual on Mass Torts published by Lexis-Nexis.

Fickler represented American Jewish Congress and the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council in County of Allegheny v. ACLU, the United States Supreme Court case involving the display of a creche and a menorah on public property.  She is a member of JSPAN’s Church State Committee, which monitors and participates in First Amendment and other federal and state civil rights cases.

In announcing her selection, JSPAN Chairman Jeff Pasek stated: “Arlene is honored for her achievements as an outstanding leadership woman in the community.  We celebrate successful women in the law, and at the same time provide needed support for JSPAN’s unique domestic religious freedom and civil rights program.”

The Jewish Social Policy Action Network is a non-profit organization under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3), formed to advance equality and opportunity for all women and men in our pluralistic democracy, and to protect the constitutional liberties and civil rights of Jews, other minorities, and the vulnerable in our society. JSPAN concentrates its efforts on domestic issues, pursuing social action in such areas as health care, immigration reform, gender equality, gun control, death penalty and other issue of justice in legal proceedings and the courts.  By filing amicus briefs in court cases, articulating progressive principles drawn from Jewish tradition, advocating policy alternatives, and speaking out on timely issues, JSPAN helps shape a better community and nation.

Fickler will receive JSPAN’s sixth annual Social Justice Award at a reception on November 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm at the Visitor’s Center on Constitution Mall.  For a reservation call or e-mail Lynn Gottlieb (610-527-5062 or [email protected]).