Manan Trivedi Fundraiser Hosted by Marjorie Margolies

— by Bonnie Squires

Former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies hosted a fundraiser for Democratic Congressional candidate Dr. Manan Trivedi, with Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL, as the keynote speaker. Michelman recounted her own personal story of trauma and humiliation back in the late 1960s, before Roe v Wade, when she had to appear before a board of male gynecologists and then receive a letter of permission from her estranged husband in order to receive a therapeutic abortion.

Even though Trivedi’s district no longer includes Lower Merion, he is still a favorite of Democratic supporters there.

Photo by Bonnie Squires: Dr. Manan Trivedi, talks to Dayle Steinberg, head of PA NARAL; host Marjorie Margolies; and Kate Michelman at a reception in his honor.

Rodin Museum Gala Attracts 350 Patrons

Chair of the Philadelphia Museum of Art trustees, the Honorable Constance Williams, joins His Excellency François Delattre, the French ambassador to the U.S., and Michael Scullin, Esq., Honorary French Consul in Philadelphia. Photo: Bonnie Squires.

— by Bonnie Squires

Jules Mastbaum, the Jewish philanthropist who, in the early 20th century, created and donated to the City of Philadelphia his fabulous collection of Rodin sculptures and the “jewel box” of a museum to house it, would have been very pleased with the number of Jewish philanthropists who turned out on September 15 for the Rodin Gala and fundraiser.

Mastbaum, who made his fortune as a movie theater mogul, spared no expense in having his “jewel box” of a Beaux Arts museum designed and built to house his collection.

More after the jump.  

Daniele Cohen, her husband Jerry Grossman, and her French-born friend Michele Rosen, who served on the Rodin Gala Committee. Photo: Bonnie Squires.

Committee members Hope Cohen (left) and Richard Green (middle), of Firstrust Bank, join Marina Kats, Esq. (right). Photo: Bonnie Squires.

(Left to right) Roberta and Carl Dranoff join  Constance Williams at the gala. Photo: Bonnie Squires.

(Left to right) Sheldon Margolis, committee members Jeanette and Joe Neubauer, and Marsha and Dr. Richard Rothman. Photo: Bonnie Squires.

Joyce and Dr. Herbert Kean. Photo: Bonnie Squires.

(Left to right) Lyn Ross and Leslie Anne Miller, Esq. Photo: Bonnie Squires

In the Balzac room at the Rodin Museum, Joe Rishel, of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum, welcomes (right) Iris Cantor, of the Iris and G. Bernard Cantor Foundation, and  (left) Iris’ friend Pamela Hoefflin. Photo: Bonnie Squires

The four-year restoration of the Rodin Museum on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway was guided by the original blueprints and now sparkles as it did when it first opened in the 1920s. Joe Rishel, the Art Museum’s curator of the Rodin Museum, escorted Iris Cantor, Chairman and President of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, to the gala. Her foundation, a major collector of Rodin sculptures, has loaned the massive “The Three Shades” to the museum, and it sits in the rejuvenated Rodin Museum gardens.

You could not walk two steps without bumping into either a patron of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which also runs the Rodin Museum, or a genuine Francophile.  In fact, the French Ambassador to the U.S., the Honorable François Delattre, was in cheerful attendance, along with Catherine Chevillot, Director of the Musée Rodin in Paris, and Michael Scullin, Esq., the Honorary French Consul in Philadelphia and Wilmington..

Among the 350 guests who paid a lot of money to attend the gala and to support the Rodin Museum at 22nd and the Parkway were many leaders of the Jewish community.  Many of them are also major donors at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and other arts and culture institutions in the region, including Lynne and Harold Honickman, Richard Green and Hope Cohen, Lyn Ross, and the chair of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Honorable Constance Williams.

After hors d’oeuvres and cocktails in the fabulous gardens, as well as remarks inside the totally restored museum, guests were treated to a gourmet dinner in a tent on the grounds of the museum.  Going from day to night, the sculptures and gardens glowed, first in sunlight, and then in artificial lights after sunset.

Admiring the sculptures are Judge Arlin Adams and his wife Neysa.
Photo: Bonnie Squires.

(Left to right) Alison Perelman, her mother Marsha Perelman, and friend Maya Capellan.
Photo: Bonnie Squires.

(Left to right) Lynne Honickman and Joyce deBoton
Photo: Bonnie Squires.

Obama Rallies Supporters At Franklin Institute

Remarks Yesterday by the President at the Franklin Institute

Well, it is good to be back in Philadelphia.  (Applause.)  It is good to be among so many good friends, including Benjamin Franklin — one of my favorite Founders.  (Laughter.)  I have to admit, I had to restrain myself because this is such an amazing facility, and just wandering around I started reading about all kinds of American history and that the Dead Sea Scrolls were here.  (Laughter.)  Staff was saying, Mr. President, you have some other stuff that you have to do.

There are a couple of acknowledgments that I want to make.  First of all, you’ve got one of the best mayors in the country, Mayor Michael Nutter is here.  (Applause.)  You’ve got a couple of the finest members of Congress in Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah.  (Applause.)  And you’ve got somebody here who’s been one of my dearest friends and one of my favorite people who has always had my back, and he and I share a lot in common — we both pretend to play basketball, even though we’re way too old.  (Laughter.)  We both married up and we both have extraordinary daughters.  He happens also to be one of the best members of the Senate that we have — Bob Casey is in the house.  (Applause.)

So I’m here not just because I need your help — although I do.  (Laughter.)  I’m here because the country needs your help.  When you think back to 2008, a lot of you were involved in that campaign.  You didn’t get involved because you thought Barack Obama was the odds-on favorite to become President of the United States.  Let’s face it.  (Laughter.)  That was a long shot.  The reason we came together was because we shared a belief in the basic bargain that built this country; the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, if you’re willing to take responsibility, that in this country you can make it.  That you can find a job that pays a living wage, and you can save and buy a home.  You can send your kids to college so they do even better than you did.  You can retire with some dignity and some respect.  The idea that no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, no matter what your faith, no matter who you love, that in America you can make it if you try.  (Applause.)

More after the jump.
It’s that idea that builds the broadest middle class in the history of the world — (applause) — and that was and has been the strength of America, the backbone of America — is that everybody had a shot.  And we felt back in 2008 that those ideals were being lost, that we had taken a wrong turn.  We had taken a surplus, left behind by President Clinton, and turned it into deficits as far as the eye could see — not because we invested in our economic future, but because we gave tax cuts to folks who didn’t need them and weren’t even asking for them.  We put two wars on a credit card.  Our economy increasingly was built on financial speculation and a housing bubble.  Manufacturing was leaving our shores.

And although a few people were doing really, really well, that broad-based middle class that built this country, that was the essence of this country, found themselves — you found yourselves — in a situation where wages, incomes were flat-lining, and job growth was the most sluggish it had been in 50, 60 years, and the cost of everything from health care to college education kept on going up and up and up.  And it all culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression — three million jobs lost in the six months before I took office, while we were campaigning; 800,000 jobs lost the month that I was sworn into office.

And so we had to make a series of tough decisions and decisive decisions and quick decisions, and we had to do it without much help from the other side.  But the thing that gave me confidence throughout was what I had learned about the American people as I traveled all across the country — and it is a great privilege just running for President, and obviously a greater privilege being President, because you meet Americans from every walk of life, and they show you their grit and they show you their determination.  And it turns out Americans are tougher than any tough times.  (Applause.)

And so when some people said we should let Detroit go bankrupt, we decided, no, we’re going to make a bet on the American worker and American industry.  And because of the actions that we took, GM is back on top and we’re seeing the auto industry rehiring and producing better cars than ever.  (Applause.)  We helped to stabilize the financial system so small businesses could get help again and get credit and financing flowing again.  (Applause.)  Businesses got back to basics and we created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months; 800,000 this year alone.  (Applause.)

So we’ve made progress.  And the reason we made progress was in part because of our policies, but in part because Americans everywhere figured out how they were going to respond.  And so you had small business owners who decided, I’m not going to lay off these workers because their families are counting on their jobs; that maybe I’ll take out less this year, maybe I won’t even pay myself a salary this year so I can keep my doors open.

And you had folks who were laid off at the age of 45 or 50 and they decided, you know what, I’m not just going to give up, I’m going to retrain and I’m going to find a job for the future, even if it means I’m sitting in a classroom with kids who are my kid’s age.  All across the country people made tough decisions, but they were determined to move forward because, Americans, we don’t quit.  We don’t quit.  (Applause.)

And so we can say that we are in a stronger position, we are moving in a better direction, than when I took office.  (Applause.)  Now, does that mean that I’m satisfied?  Does that mean we are satisfied?  Absolutely not.  Because we have too many friends and neighbors who are still out of work.  We know too many people whose homes are still underwater.  Too many folks who still have too much trouble paying the bills at the end of the month.  These problems that we’ve got, they weren’t created overnight, and we never thought they’d be solved overnight.  But we understand where we need to go.  We understand we’ve got to keep moving forward.  And we understand that the last thing we need is to go back to the very same policies that got us into this mess in the first place.  (Applause.)

And let me tell you something:  That is all the other side is offering.  That’s all they’re offering.  Governor Romney is a patriotic American, he’s got a lovely family and he should be proud of his personal success.  But his ideas are just retreads of stuff that we have tried and that have failed.  Bill Clinton described it well the other day — he said, they want to do the same thing, just on steroids.  (Laughter and applause.)

If you really pay attention — and one of our jobs during this election is to get folks to pay attention to what the other side is actually offering — (applause) — then it boils down to deeper tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, $5 trillion in tax cuts on top of the Bush tax cuts, an average of a 25 percent tax cut for millionaires all across the country, and the elimination of regulations that would make sure that Wall Street doesn’t engage in the kind of behavior that resulted in this crisis; that would roll back the kinds of progress we’ve made making sure insurance companies can’t drop you when you get sick; that would roll back environmental and worker protection and consumer protections that we have been working on not just during my administration, but for the last 30, 40 years.  And that’s it.  That’s the essence of what they’re offering.

And I guess he thinks either it would result in a different outcome than it did when we just tried this 10 years ago, or he and the Republican Congress are counting on the notion that we forgot how it turned out.  (Laughter.)  We didn’t forget.  We remember.  We’re not going back.  We’re moving forward, and that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

I’m running to make sure that we keep bringing manufacturing and industry back to Philadelphia, back to Pittsburgh, back to Pennsylvania, back to Ohio.  (Applause.)  I want to stop giving tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas.  I want those tax breaks to go to companies that are investing right here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

I’m running to make sure that we continue on a path of providing the best education possible for every single one of our children, and make sure that we’ve got the highest rates of college graduates of any country on Earth, because that’s going to be the future.  (Applause.)  We took a student loan program where tens of billions of dollars were being funneled to banks as middlemen in the student loan program; we said, why don’t we just give that money directly to students.  (Applause.)  And as a consequence, we’ve got millions of students who are benefiting from higher Pell grants — more kids are eligible.  We’re able to make sure that we can cap the amount of money that folks have to pay back each month on their student loans, because we recognized that a higher education cannot be a luxury.  You can’t just count on the fact that your parents are paying for your college education — a lot of kids need help.  And that’s good for the country.  We’re not going backwards on that, we’re going to keep moving forward.  (Applause.)

I’m running because I want to continue to see America be the best innovator in the world.  When you think about Benjamin Franklin — I just had a chance to talk to these outstanding students from a science and leadership academy who graduated.  (Applause.)  There are some of them over there, or at least some teachers.  And I told them, what’s America about?  We’ve been about technology and discovery and invention, dating back to this guy.  (Laughter.)

That’s how we became an economic superpower.  So the notion that we would now shortchange our investments in science and basic research, the possible cures for cancer or Alzheimer’s, or the clean energy that can make sure that we’re doing something about climate change and saving money for families — that’s not the answer rolling back those investments.  We’ve got to move forward.  We’re not going to move backwards.  That’s why I’m running for President of the United States again.  (Applause.)

I’m running because I want us to continue to build this country.  We are a nation of builders.  The Mayor and I were talking as we were driving from the airport about all the projects, all the infrastructure, all the folks being put back to work making Philadelphia a more attractive place for people to do business.  (Applause.)

And all across the country, I want us to rebuild our roads and our bridges, our airports.  I want us to build broadband lines and high-speed rail and wireless networks so that we have the platform for businesses to succeed all across this country.  (Applause.)  That’s why I’m running for President.  We’re not going backwards.  I want to put people back to work rebuilding America.  (Applause.)

I’m running because I believe in America’s energy future.  Since I’ve been President — oil production, up; natural gas production, up.  Oil imports, down — under 50 percent.  (Applause.)  So we have focused on traditional sources of energy, but we’ve also doubled fuel-efficiency standards on cars.  (Applause.)  We’ve also doubled the production of clean energy.  I want us to control our own energy future, and we can put people back to work in the process.  And that’s why I’m running for President of the United States of America, because I believe we can achieve that.  (Applause.)

And I’m running for President because I want to do something about our debt and our deficits in a balanced and responsible way.  (Applause.)  And that is as sharp a contrast as we’ve got between my approach and what Republicans are peddling right now.  And I think this is worth focusing on.  They think somehow they’ve got a winner on this issue.  Let’s talk about the facts here.

Remember, when the last Democratic President was in office, we had a surplus.  (Applause.)  By the time I got into office, we had a $1 trillion deficit because of tax cuts that weren’t paid for, two wars that weren’t paid for, a prescription drug plan that was not paid for.  We had baked into the cake structural deficits that were made even worse by the financial crisis.

And so for these folks suddenly to get religion — (laughter) — and say, man, deficits and government spending — when they ran up the tab and are trying to pass off the bill to me — (laughter and applause) — listen, let me tell you something.  (Applause.)  Even after you factor in all the work that we did to prevent us from slipping into a depression, the pace of growth of government spending is lower under my administration than it has been in the last 50 years.  (Applause.)

The two Presidents with the least growth in government spending in the modern era happen to be two Democrats named Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.  (Applause.)  It wasn’t the other guys.  And now you’ve got Mr. Romney proposing a $5 trillion tax cut.  And he doesn’t detail how it would be paid for, but if you go through the possibilities, then one of two things:  Either it’s not paid for, in which case, that’s $5 trillion that’s piled on top of the debt we already have, passed onto the next generation.  Or it’s going to come from middle-class families all across this country.  Those are the only two possibilities.

And I’m running for President because we’re not going to let that happen.  (Applause.)  We are not going to allow another millionaire’s tax cut to result in cuts in basic research and science, and cuts in Head Start programs, and less help to states and cities who are putting folks back to work.  We’re not going to have poor and disabled and seniors who rely on Medicaid having to bear the brunt for another millionaire’s tax cut.  We’re not going to voucherize Medicare.  (Applause.)

We’ve got to do something about the debt and deficits, and the way to do it is by making sure that, yes, we go after waste in government.  Not every government program works.  Not every proposal or program or policy the government offers is ideal.  But what we do have to make sure of is that we do it in a balanced way.  So even as we’re paring back on things that don’t work — and I’ve already signed $2 trillion of cuts into law already and have proposed $2 trillion in additional deficit reduction — even as we’re making sensible cuts, even as we’re reforming our health care system to make sure that the dollars we pay actually make us healthier, what we’re not going to do is to make the most vulnerable people in our society, as well as the middle class, shoulder the burden.  We’re going to ask those like myself who are best equipped to help to do their fair share because that’s part of the American bargain.  Everybody gets a fair shot.  Everybody does their fair share.  Everybody plays by the same set of rules.  (Applause.)

That’s what we mean when we say we’re going forward.  We’re not going to re-litigate Wall Street reform.  That was the right thing to do.  We’re not going to re-litigate health care reform.  It was the right thing to do; 2.5 million young people who can stay on their parents’ plan and now have health insurance who didn’t otherwise have — that was the right thing to do.  (Applause.)  Millions of seniors getting discounts on their prescription drugs — that was the right thing to do.  Health care prevention and women being able to control their own health care decisions — that was the right thing to do.  We’re not going backwards, we’re going forward.  (Applause.)

In 2008, I said I’d end the war in Iraq.  I ended it.  (Applause.)  In 2008, I said we’d go after al Qaeda.  And bin Laden is no longer a threat to this country and al Qaeda is on its heels.  (Applause.)  We are transitioning in Afghanistan, and by 2014, we have set a timeline that war will be over.  And we are going to use the savings that we get from ending these wars — half of it will go to deficit reduction; the other half, we’ll put to work rebuilding America, because this is the nation we need to build.  (Applause.)  That’s what I mean when I say we’re moving forward.  (Applause.)

We’re not going to go back to the days when you couldn’t serve in the military just because of who you love.  (Applause.)   “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was bad for America’s security, and it was wrong, and we believe in the fairness and dignity and equality of all people.  We’re moving forward.  We’re not going backwards.  (Applause.)

We want to move forward and make sure that elections aren’t just about $10 million checks being written by folks who have vested interests in maintaining the status quo.  (Applause.)  We want to move forward to make sure that we’re creating an immigration system that reflects our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.  (Applause.)  Look, we are at our best when every voice is heard, when everybody has a stake.  And that’s not just a Democratic tradition.  That is an American tradition.  That’s a tradition started by folks like Benjamin Franklin.  That’s the essence of our creed.

If you look at our history, when we’ve made progress we’ve done it together.  That’s how this country got built.  That’s how my grandfather’s generation was educated on a GI Bill.  That’s how we built the Hoover Dam.  That’s how we sent a man to the moon.  We believe in individual initiative and the free market.  We believe in entrepreneurs and risk takers being rewarded.  We love folks getting rich — (laughter) — that’s part of America’s success.

But we also understand there are some things we do together as a nation.  (Applause.)  That’s the true lesson of our history.  And that’s the choice that we face in this election.

Now, let me tell you, this election is going to be close — because folks have gone through a tough time.  And no matter how many times you tell them, well, we avoided a whole bunch of really bad stuff — if you don’t have a job, if your house is still underwater, if you haven’t seen your income go up in a decade, you’re still frustrated.  You’re still concerned about your kid’s future.  And rightly so.

And the other side, they don’t have any new ideas.  I am telling you, I want you all to pay attention over the next five months and see if they’re offering a single thing that they did not try when they were in charge, because you won’t see it.  It will be the same stuff.  The same okey-doke.  (Laughter.)  But you know what they do have is they’ll have $500 million worth of negative ads.  And they will tap into and feed into cynicism and a sense of frustration.  And they’ll try to direct blame.  That’s a campaign they know how to run.

The thing is, though, what you guys taught me in 2008 was when Americans, when citizens decide to come together, when they say, it’s time for change; when they start talking to their neighbors and their friends and they’re really starting to pay attention in terms of who’s saying what, and asking themselves, how do we move this country forward — when you decide change needs to happen, guess what?  It happens.  (Applause.)

And so, I have never been more convinced about the strength and the dignity of the American people.  I’ve never been more convinced about our prospects for the future, and the reason is because of you.

As I travel all across this country, the American people constantly give me hope.  They constantly give me cause for optimism.  I still believe in you.  And I told you back in 2008 that I wouldn’t be — I wasn’t a perfect man.  Michelle would tell you that.  (Laughter.)  And I wouldn’t — I’d never be a perfect President, but I did say I’d always tell you what I thought, and I’d always tell you where I stood.  And I promised you I would wake up every single day thinking about how I can work as hard as I know how to make your lives a little bit better and to make the lives of future generations a little bit better.  And you know what?  I’ve kept that promise.  I have kept that promise.  (Applause.)

And so I hope you still believe in me.  (Applause.)  And if you’re ready to go out there and work, if you’re ready to join me and make phone calls and knock on doors, talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors, if you’re willing to work even hard than you did in 2008, we’ll finish what we started.  (Applause.)  We will move this country forward, and we’ll remind the world just why it is the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

Thank you, everybody.  God bless you.  God bless America.  (Applause.)

Photo by Bonnie Squires

Barnes Foundation Opening Gala

Senator Arlen and Joan Specter admired the Barnes Foundation galleries which are exact replicas of the galleries on Latch’s Lane in Merion.

Gala celebrates inauguration of New Philadelphia Campus designed by Tod William Billie Tsien Architects

Star-studded event raises more than $3.7 million. Proceeds support the care and preservation of the world-renowned Barnes Collection.

— by Bonnie Squires

Among the hundreds of movers and shakers who delighted in the Barnes Foundation Gala and celebrated the opening of the museum’s move to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway were many Jewish philanthropists who donated to the $200 million project.

Bonnie Squires greeted Brian Williams as he arrived for the cocktail reception.

Brian Williams, who anchors the NBC network nightly news, served as master of ceremonies for the dinner, following a lavish cocktail reception inside the museum.  The galleries with hundreds of fabulous Impressionist paintings collected by Albert Barnes were open for the gala guests.

The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Court also included an additional set of galleries for visiting exhibits.  The first exhibit is dedicated to the life and times of Albert Barnes, including letters to Barnes from some of the artists whose works he collected.

More after the jump.

Linda Paskin and
Jeanette Neubauer.

David and Helen Pudlin with Sharn and James Rohr, PNC Financial Services CEO.  Mrs. Pudlin served as executive vice president and general counsel for PNC Financial Services until recently.

Aileen and Brian Roberts (shown on the left) co-chaired the inaugural gala.  Mrs. Roberts chairs the Building Committee of the Barnes Board of Trustees and Comcast Corporation, headed up by Brian Roberts, co-sponsors the inaugural year with PNC.

Performances by the Avalon Jazz Band, Enon Tabernacle Mass Choir, and special guest artist and multiple Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter/musician Norah Jones entertained the 900 guests. In addition to Barnes architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, and landscape architect Laurie Olin, Pennsylvania Governor Thomas Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett attended the celebration along with Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Mrs. Lisa Nutter. Premier sponsors of the opening gala and the inaugural year for the Barnes in Philadelphia are PNC and Comcast.

The Barnes Foundation inaugural gala was co-chaired by

  • Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation,
  • Aileen K. Roberts, Chair of the Building Committee of the Barnes Foundation Board of Trustees,
  • James E. Rohr, Chairman and CEO of The PNC Financial Services Group, and Sharon Rohr.

Steve Harmelin, Esq., treasurer of the Barnes Foundation board, with his wife Julia and Dr. David Paskin.

Marina Kats,  Bernard Spain, and Marguerite Lenfest.

Marsha and Jeff Perelman with friends.

Sidney and Caroline Kimmel.

Governor Ed Rendell , Judge Marjorie O. Rendell and Billl Hankowsky.

Sharon Pinkenson had a chance to chat with Sidney Kimmel major donor and also film producer.

(Left to right) David L. Cohen executive vice president of Comcast Corporation and his wife Rhonda Cohen; Dave Watson, COO of Comcast;  Charisse Lillie, Esq., president of the Comcast Foundation, and her husband Tom McGill.

PNC Bank president Bill Mills and Barnes Foundation vice president of trustees Joe Neubauer.

Patrons Joyce and Dr. Herbert Kean; Elaine Levitt; and Gerry Lenfest.  

In addition to gala co-chairs, Barnes Foundation Executive Director and President Derek Gillman, Barnes Foundation Chairman Dr. Bernard C. Watson attended with Mrs. Watson, along with

  • Barnes trustees The Honorable Jacqueline F. Allen and Mr. Roy Beity,
  • Barnes Foundation vice chairman Joseph Neubauer and Jeanette Neubauer,
  • Mr. and Mrs. Steve J. Harmelin,
  • Dr. and Mrs. Neil L. Rudenstine,
  • Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon Bonovitz,  
  • Mr. and Mrs. Donn Scott,
  • Mr. and Mrs. Andre Duggin,
  • Brenda and Larry Thompson,
  • Gwen and Colbert King, Rajiv Savara, and
  • Barnes Foundation Trustee Emerita Agnes Gund.

Philanthropists and art supporters in attendance included:

  • Leonard J. Aube, Executive Director, The Annenberg Foundation,
  • Rebecca W. Rimel, President and CEO of The Pew Charitable Trusts,
  • H. Fitzgerald Lenfest, President of the Lenfest Foundation, and Mrs. Marguerite Lenfest;
  • David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation;
  • Thomas K. Whitford, Vice Chairman, PNC Financial Services Group;
  • J. William Mills, III, Regional President, PNC Financial Services Group;
  • David W. Haas, Chairman, Board of Trustees, William Penn Foundation;
  • Mr. and Mrs. S. Matthew V. Hamilton, Jr., Gala Advisory Committee;
  • Mrs. Samuel M.V. Hamilton, Hamilton Family Foundation;
  • Mrs. and Mrs. John S. “Seward” Johnson II, The Sculpture Foundation;
  • Sidney Kimmel, founder of the Sidney Kimmel Foundation, and Caroline Kimmel;
  • Harold Honickman, Chairman of Pepsi-Cola, and Lynne Honickman;
  • Jane and Leonard Korman, Founders, Jane and Leonard Korman Foundation;
  • Bruce and Robbi Toll, Collectors;
  • Robert B. Menschel, Chairman Emeritus, The Museum of Modern Art Board of Trustees;
  • Mr. Ira Gluskin and Mrs. Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, Collectors and Founders of Gluskin Charitable Foundation;
  • Jeffrey and Marsha Perelman;
  • Mr. and Mrs. Leon Polsky,
  • Mr. and Mrs. Peter Boris and
  • the Roberts Family.

A number of artworld leaders were also present, among them:

  • Glenn Lowry, Director of The Museum of Modern Art, and Mrs. Lowry,
  • Marc Porter, Chairman, Christie’s Americas,
  • Lisa Dennison, Chairman, Sotheby’s North and South America,
  • Jock Reynolds, Director, Yale University Art Gallery,
  • Barbara Guggenheim, partner, Guggenheim, Asher and Associates,
  • Matthew Marks, owner of Matthew Marks Gallery NYC, and
  • artist Ellsworth Kelly, whose 40-foot-tall Barnes Totem ws commissioned by Jeanette and Joe Neubauer and marks the entrance to the new Barnes Foundation museum.

Other notable guests included:

  • Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Judge Marjorie O. Rendell,
  • Senator Arlen and Mrs. Joan Specter,
  • Jeffrey Lurie, Owner, Philadelphia Eagles,
  • Ed Snider, Owner, Philadelphia Flyers,
  • Paul Matisse, Grandson to painter Henri Matisse, and Mimi Matisse,
  • Robert R. Jennings, President of Lincoln University, and Ms. Alma Mishaw,
  • Olivier Serot Almeras, Consul Général de France, Ambassade de France, and Mrs. Almeras,
  • Sharon Pinkerson, head of the Philadelphia Film Office,
  • The Honorable Felix Rohatyn and Mrs. Rohatyn, and
  • John Henry Merryman.

Barnes Foundation CEO Derek Gillman.

The Executive Producers for the event were Fred Stein, the Creative Group, Inc. and Karen Homer, HKH Innovations, LLC. Artistic Producers for the performance were Wayne Baruch and Chuck Gayton, Baruch/Gayton Entertainment Group.

The Barnes Foundation’s 93,000-square-foot building designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, conceived as a “gallery within a garden and a garden within a gallery,” is set within a four-and-a-half-acre site with landscape design by OLIN. The building provides significant new facilities for the Foundation’s core programs in art education, as well as for temporary exhibitions and visitor amenities. At the same time, the legendary Barnes art collection is displayed within a 12,000-square-foot gallery that preserves the scale, proportion and configuration of the original Merion gallery, as well as the founder’s conception of a visual interplay between art and nature.

Ten days of free admission to the Barnes Foundation’s Philadelphia campus began on May 19 and continued through May 28, made possible by the generosity of the premier sponsors of the opening, Comcast and PNC. The inaugural week culminatesd with a Memorial Day festival weekend, from 10 am on May 26 through 6 pm on May 28, featuring a variety of entertainment and programs and offering round-the-clock free admission to the renowned collection and entire campus. Tickets are required for all opening events and are available online or by calling 1.866.849.7056.

The Barnes Foundation was established by Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture.”

The Barnes holds one of the finest collections of Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings, with extensive holdings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine and Giorgio de Chirico, as well as American masters Charles Demuth, William Glackens, Horace Pippin and Maurice Prendergast, Old Master paintings, important examples of African sculpture and Native American ceramics, jewelry and textiles, American paintings and decorative arts and antiquities from the Mediterranean region and Asia. The Barnes Foundation’s Art and Aesthetics programs engage a diverse array of audiences. These programs, occurring at the Philadelphia campus, online, and in Philadelphia communities, advance the mission through progressive, experimental and interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

Betsy Cohen, head of The Bancorp Bank, also serves on The Barnes Foundation Corporate Council.

The Barnes Arboretum, located at the Merion campus, contains more than 2,000 species/varieties of trees and woody plants, many of them rare. Founded in the 1880s by Joseph Lapsley Wilson and subsequently added to under the direction of Mrs. Laura L. Barnes, the collection includes a fern-leaf beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Laciniata’), a dove tree (Davidia involucrata), a monkey-puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana), and a redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). Other important plant collections include Lilacs, Peonies, Stewartias and Magnolias. The Horticulture school at the Barnes Foundation in Merion has offered a comprehensive, three-year certificate course of study in the botanical sciences, horticultural practices, garden aesthetics, and design through a well-grounded, scientific learning experience since its inception in 1940 by Mrs. Barnes.

Photo Credit: Bonnie Squires.

Gov. Rendell & Mayor Goode Leadoff Black Jewish Leadership Series

(left to right) Former Mayor Wilson Goode and former Governor Ed Rendell talk privately before making a presentation and taking questions.

— by Bonnie Squires

The Black Jewish Leadership Series began today with a lunch and discussion on Black-Jewish relations with:

  • Edward G. Rendell, Former Governor of Pennsylvania and
  • W. Wilson Goode, Sr., Former Mayor of Philadelphia

More after the jump.                    

(left to right) Gregory Davis, Rep. Mark Cohen, Derek Green, Esq., Kory Grushka, Esq., Hon. Wilson Goode, Hon. Ed Rendell, and Michael Bronstein.

The Black Jewish Leadership Series is a speaker series where leaders from the Jewish and Black (and other) communities are invited to meet and greet some of today’s leading civic, business and political figures. Featured speakers include elected officials or candidates for federal or
state‐wide offices, civic leaders and prominent business persons.

The event was a collaboration between the Idea Coalition and the Blank Rome Diversity

Photos: Bonnie Squires

(left to right) Timothy Roseboro, Steven Bradley, and David Hyman all talked about the AJCommittee’s Black-Jewish program, Operation Understanding, which brings together Jewish and African American high school students to socialize and learn about each others’ experiences with prejudice.


Delaware Governor Highlights Jewish Political Leadership Luncheon

Delaware Governor Jack Markell (center) was featured speaker at the recent Jewish Leadership Series luncheon.  Hosted this time by the law firm Cozen O’Connor, the Jewish Leadership Series brings together professionals interested in politics and elected officials.  Seen here with Governor Markell are (left to right) Michael Bronstein, the organizer of the event, and Israeli Consul General Daniel Kutner.

— by Bonnie Squires

The latest in the Jewish Political Leadership Series luncheons, organized by Michael Bronstein, featured Delaware Governor Jack Markell, with the law firm of Cozen O’Connor hosting the event.

A bi-partisan group of Jewish leaders, including the Israeli Consul General Daniel Kutner and several elected officials in Philadelphia and the suburbs were among the attendees.

Governor Markell expressed concern about the state government budget cuts in education, contrary to the initiatives and philosophy of the Obama administration.  He pointed out previous working relationships at the federal level, where President Reagan worked with Democrats to pass legislation, and where Bill Clinton worked with Republicans to further his administration’s objectives.

More after the jump.

Cozen O’Connor attorney Gerald Riesenbach (right) welcomes Delaware Governor Jack Markell to the Jewish Leadership Series luncheon.

Among the elected officials attending the luncheon to hear from Delaware Governor Jack Markell were Philadelphia City Commissioner Stephanie Singer (left) and Montgomery County Treasurer Jason Salus (right).

He also expressed concern that the minute Obama was elected, Senator Mitch McConnell voiced the lone goal of the Republican party: to defeat President Obama.  He called this “awful awful awful.”

Governor Markell said that education is one of the most important reasons that businesses can thrive in his state or any other state.

Governor Markell is currently the only Jewish governor in the country. He has an impressive national profile and is the former chair of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) and currently serves as the National Governors Association (NGA) vice chair, slated to become chair in July.

He also has broad experience in the private sector, helping lead the wireless technology revolution as the 13th employee at Nextel (a name he coined), where he served as Senior Vice President for Corporate Development. His other prior business experience includes a senior management position at Comcast Corporation in Philadelphia, working as a consultant with McKinsey and Company, and as a banker at First Chicago Corporation.

He was elected Delaware State Treasurer in 1998, winning three consecutive terms, including his last re-election as treasurer in November of 2006 with an overwhelming 70 percent of the vote.  As State Treasurer, Governor Markell worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Delawareans through innovative programs aimed at cutting spending and improving fiscal responsibility.  He has been recognized in Delaware and across the country as a leader in promoting policies to help all people achieve their economic potential.

Photos: Bonnie Squires.

Bruce Springsteen Exhibit at the National Constitution Center

David Eisner, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, admires the 1975 simultaneous Springsteen covers of TIME and NEWSWEEK magazines, part of the new exhibit, “From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen.”

— by Bonnie Squires

The National Constitution Center is the only venue to host the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s must-see exhibition, From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen, outside of Cleveland, where the exhibit has been housed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum.  The first major exhibition about the American songwriter will run at the Center from February 17 to September 3, 2012.

The opening reception attracted 1100 friends and supporters of the Center, including the Honorable Joan Specter, who serves as Director of Major Grants for the Center, and her husband, Senator Arlen Specter.  Mayor Bob Johnson, of Asbury Park, New Jersey, was also in attendance and greeted the guests from the bandstand.

The B Street Band entertained party-goers with rousing Springsteen renditions, and the food was typical boardwalk-seashore variety, including hot dogs, pop corn, cotton candy, and hamburgers.

More after the jump.

The Honorable Joan Specter, Director of Major Gifts at the Center, and her husband Senator Arlen Specter, admire some of the extraordinary photos of Springsteen included in the exhibit.

“It is fitting that the Center – the only museum dedicated to America’s constitutional freedoms – is the first and only venue in the nation to host this exhibition from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum,” said National Constitution Center President and CEO David Eisner.  “We are certain that our visitors, from the most devoted Springsteen fans to those experiencing his music for the first time, will be inspired by his commitment to illuminating the struggles and triumphs of `We the People.'”

“I worked very closely with Bruce and his organization to put this exhibit together,” said Jim Henke, vice president of exhibitions and chief curator at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.  “It’s a comprehensive look at Bruce’s entire career and contains numerous items that have never been seen by the public.  The exhibit was a huge hit when it was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I am very happy that even more people will be able to see it now that it’s at the National Constitution Center.”

From Asbury Park to the Promised Land takes a comprehensive look at Springsteen’s career and catalog, from such early bands as Child, the Castiles and Steel Mill through his work with the E Street Band and as a solo artist.  Throughout the 5,000-square-foot exhibition, visitors will have the rare opportunity to view more than 150 items, including:

Robin and David Alpher were among the 1100 people enjoying the opening beach party for the Springsteen exhibit, on loan from the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum.

  • Family photos of Springsteen’s childhood in Asbury Park, N.J.
  • Scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings, photos and handbills from Springsteen’s early music endeavors
  • Handwritten lyrics from all phases of Springsteen’s career
  • Saxophone used by the late Clarence Clemons to play the solo in “Jungleland” from Born to Run
  • Springsteen’s 1960 Chevrolet Corvette
  • Springsteen’s Fender Esquire from the cover of Born to Run
  • The outfit Springsteen wore on the cover of Born in the U.S.A.
  • Springsteen’s 1993 Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Streets of Philadelphia”

The exhibition also features several listening stations where visitors can hear never-before-released songs by the Castiles; Springsteen’s successful 1972 audition for Columbia Records; and interviews with Springsteen on topics such as his songwriting process, his first recording session, and some of his best known albums.  Video footage throughout the exhibition includes archival performances, an edited version of Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run, and clips of Springsteen’s appearance on MTV Unplugged in 1992.

To complement the exhibition, the Center’s public programming staff is developing a variety of interactive programs and activities for students, teachers and families about the importance of free expression.  The Center also is planning a series of special events celebrating the music of Bruce Springsteen.

Celia Feinstein (third from the right), director of Temple University’s Institute on Disabilities, brought her colleagues along who love Springsteen’s music.

Admission to From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen is $24.50 for adults, $23 for seniors and students and $12 for children ages 4-12.  Group rates also are available.  Admission to the Center’s main exhibition, The Story of We the People, including the award-winning theater production Freedom Rising, is included.  For ticket information, call 215.409.6700 or visit

CBS 3 and The CW Philly are the local media partners for the exhibition.  CBS 3 (KYW-TV) and The CW Philly 57 (WPSG-TV) are part of CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corporation.

Photo Credit: Bonnie Squires.

Bob and Sybie Brassler paid tribute to the rock and roll music icon.

Herschel and Betsy Richman enjoy the Asbury Park-like treats at the opening reception, while enjoying the sounds of Springsteen’s rock and roll hits.

Academy of Music 155th Anniversary Concert and Ball

Major movers and shakers in Philadelphia’s economy were among the 1500 supporters at Saturday night’s 155th Anniversary Academy of Music Concert and Ball, including (left to right) Ron and Rachelle Kaiserman, Robert and Caroline Zuritsky, and Renee and Joe Zuritsky.

— by Bonnie Squires

Philadelphia’s premier white-tie event took place at the historic Academy of Music, preceded by receptions and dinner at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue.

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 155th Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball featured the debut on the Academy of Music stage of. Music Director Designate Yannick Nézet-Séguin , with special guests multiple Grammy Award®-winners singer/pianist Diana Krall and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Tipping its hat once again to the first Academy concert, the program was a mix of popular and classical music, just as the 1857 opening concert was.

Jazz performer Krall surprised the audience by calling back on stage her friend and collaborator, Yo-Yo Ma, to the delight of everyone.

More after the jump.

Terese Casey, wife of Senator Bob Casey, and Felice Wiener

Yannick also had the Philadanco dancers, reflecting the rainbow of colores which lit the stage and columns of the Academy, perform to the strains of the orchestra.  A surprise finish was the appearance of the Society Hill Dancers, dressed in formal attire of the 1850s, doing a waltz.

The Jewish community was among 1500 supporters of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Academy of Music, an historic monument to music, opera and dance. The Gala evening began with a pre-concert dinner. Guests could choose from two exciting offerings this year: the President’s Cocktail Party and Dinner at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue, or a Dine Around option, which allows patrons to dine at selected restaurants along the Avenue of the Arts, or on their own. In a nod to the Academy’s early years, and in a unique departure from recent history, both the Anniversary Concert and the Academy Ball were held entirely within the Academy of Music. A “symphony in three movements,” this unique evening gave attendees the chance to celebrate the “Grand Old Lady of Locust Street” within her very walls.

Public officials attending the evening included Governor and Mrs. Tom Corbett, Senator and Mrs. Bob Casey, a number of city and state officials, and corporate, cultural, arts organizations and philanthropic foundation leaders.

Christina and John Saler

The gala was co-chaired by Joanna McNeil Lewis, president and CEO of the Academy of Music,  and John R. Saler, chairman of Stradley and Ronon’s Government Affairs Practice Group, who also serves on the board of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Corbetts greet Richard Worley, chairman of the Philadelphia Orchestra, with Joanna McNeil Lewis and John Saler, co-chairs of the Academy of Music Concert and Ball, in the background.

In the receiving line with the co-chairs and the Corbetts were Richard Worley, chairman of the Philadelphia Orchestra board of trustees, and Allison Vulgamore, CEO of the Orchestra.

The energy of Yannick, the Orchestra, the guest artists and the dancers enthralled the audience.  And the impressive program journal, reflecting the support of various segments of the community, was the parting gift as people finally left the Academy balls, held in various sections of the Grand Old Lady of Broad Street.

Photos credit: Bonnie Squires.

More photos
David and Susan Lipson Ken and Nancy Davis Ron and Marcia RubinHelen and David Pudlin, Esq.
Sandy and David Marshall, with Dianne and Jeff Rotwitt Scott and Lynne Mason with friends Pat and Rob Schaffer Harmelin Group

Historic Montgomery County PA Inauguration

— by Bonnie Squires

For the first in 140 years, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, now has two Democratic Commissioners, making the Honorable Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards the first Democrats to hold the majority posts.  In addition, both Shapiro and Richards are Jewish, another historic first for the county seat in Norristown.  Shapiro had served for years as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, once serving as Deputy Speaker, and Richards had served as chair of the Whitemarsh Township Board of Commissioners.

More after the jump.
The third county commissioner, Bruce Castor, former District Attorney, and Shapiro and Richards have all pledged to work together cooperatively for the good of the county, reversing the former board’s often public fights and accusations.  In an era of economic downturn and tax shortfalls, the commissioners will be challenged to maintain the level of civility which they displayed during the Inauguration and celebratory luncheon which followed.  In a show of good faith, Castor, the Republican, even attended the Montgomery County Democratic Committee’s luncheon, and Castor even came to the podium when the Democratic Chairman Marcel Groen invited  him to say a few words.

“Paper Clips” Documentary Shown at Har Zion Temple

— by Bonnie Squires

The award-winning documentary, Paper Clips, was shown Sunday, at Har Zion Temple in Penn Valley, and Sandra Roberts, the eighth-grade teacher from Whitwell, Tennessee, who supervises the project, spoke to several hundred Har Zion Hebrew High School students, parents, friends and community members.  Seen here welcoming Ms. Roberts are (left to right) student Seth Selarnick, his mother Nancy Selarnick, both of Penn Valley; Ms. Roberts; and Norman Einhorn, co-principal of Har Zion’s Hebrew High School.

Ms. Roberts  was asked by her principal in the late 1990s to create an after-school project to each tolerance and understanding, particularly in light of the lack of diversity in their small-town middle school.  When Roberts learned that her students just could not fathom what 6 million would be, in studying the Holocaust and the extermination of Jewish communities in Europe, she challenged them to come up with a collection of 6 million somethings so they could touch and feel the enormity.

The students did research and learned that Norwegians wore paper clips on their collars during Wolrd War II as a way of showing quiet sympathy for the Jews who were perishing in concentration camps.  So Whitwell students began writing letters to famous people, journalists, companies, asking everyone to donate a paper clip in memory of someone lost in the Holocaust.

The Holocaust Project mushroomed, and an article in the Washington Post really helped launched the project.  The film, which was done about ten years ago, criss-crosses the country, raising awareness and teaching students and their families to work to stamp out prejudice.