The Chevra Provides Art and Community To Philly 20s And 30s Jews

Monte Carlo Masquerade at The Chevra. Photo courtesy: The Chevra

At 20th and Market, go down the road a little bit, and you’ll find an unassuming brown office building called The Chevra. But unlike the nearby bank and coffee shop, The Chevra’s purpose can’t be defined in one word.

In fact, their website does it in about 24: “multimedia venue & social network feat. a lounge, bar, stage, gallery & loft providing social, educational, spiritual, & volunteer experiences for Young Jewish Professionals & Grad Students.”

Leon Vinokur, Jon Erlbaum and Aryeh Shalom came up with the idea for The Chevra in 2002. According to Vinokur, their goal was to unite a variety of programming for young Jewish adults within one building. “We wanted to do something that was substantive and sophisticated and fun, social, and that had a really big lev, had a really big heart,” said Vinokur, who is The Chevra’s chief operating officer. [Read more…]

Social Group Brings Together Local 20s and 30s Jews

JPSP’s Eagles vs Cowboys Watch Party. Photo courtesy: JPSP Facebook page.

After college, Jews returning to the Philadelphia area are typically set on finding a job and home of their own. But in their 20s and 30s, they might not be as determined or abled to jump back into the Jewish community– too old to go to youth groups, but too young for programming aimed at parents and empty-nesters.

This was the problem confronting Elizabeth Stone in spring 2014. In response, alongside three other members of Maple Glen’s Congregation Beth Or, she helped found Jewish Professionals of Suburban Philadelphia (JPSP). The organization holds social events with Jewish twists across the counties surrounding Philadelphia.

[Read more…]

Slanted Media?

One phrase I have kept hearing from conservatives is about the “left-liberal-slanted news media.” It’s a convenient scapegoat for them to bring up, for when facts don’t go their way, like in how the Viet Nam war fared for our government, or how unpopular the war had become, or of the rightness of the Civil Rights movement or the other freedom movements that came from it, such as for women, LGBT people, Native Americans, Hispanics, etc.

The phrase “working the ref,” from baseball, describes the conservatives attempt to bully and dominate the news media-the coach of a team accuses the referee of bias in favor of the other team, hoping the referee will in future be biased his way. But if the referee knows he’s being “worked,” and if he has a modicum of backbone, he could see through this act and resist it.

The truth is the “mainstream news” media errs to the right, not offending corporations (such as the media are), hinting at us how we should think about issues. Even NPR I notice biases towards the Republicans when it discusses the election and how Congress (mis)handles such issues as the federal budget deficit (rung up under George W. Bush) and not mentioning how the Congressional Republican (mis)leadership just acts out of denying Obama a second term.

For my part, I noticed the “mainstream news” media follow the Occupy movement a couple of weeks after it started at Wall Street; alternative media sites, like Buzzflash and AlterNet, followed it first, and the corporate media picked up on it later. It’s corporate owners who dictate to their editors what the news should be; Fox News is the most horrific example, but it’s the same way with other news outlets. I believe that you read the “mainstream” news first, to get a baseline for what’s going on, but also read alternative media to get deeper into the issue; and try to get hold of foreign media, they would have a far different, maybe better, perspective of events than American media does.