Author: Bonnie Squires

Filmmaker and Philadelphia native Jennifer Fox was back in town recently for interviews and an HBO screening of her latest work, The Tale, her autobiographical story of sexual abuse that took place when she was just 13 years old. A reception was held for Fox at the Prince Theater, where her mother, Geraldine Dietz Fox, and hundreds of well-wishers gathered to see her film. HBO joined with the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Mission Kids, The Childhood Residence Foundation, the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival and Michael Coleman to sponsor the reception and the screening of the powerful film. Fox’s first documentary,…

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Vice President Joe Biden seated with Ron Rubin, co-chair of the gala committee and a presenting sponsor. The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) honored Vice President Joe Biden at the museum’s annual Only in America Gala, held at The Bellevue Philadelphia on April 24. The gala paid tribute to Biden as a supporter of Pennsylvania’s efforts to defend and embrace the American Jewish community and the freedoms to which Americans of all backgrounds aspire. Every day, the museum is dedicated to exploring the American Jewish experience — how an immigrant community and religious minority shapes and is shaped by America. Echoing the museum’s mission,…

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At the press preview for the “Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music” exhibit at NMAJH. From left to right: Ivy Weingram, Alexander Bernstein, Nina Bernstein, and CEO and Gwen Goodman Director of NMAJH Ivy Barsky. Photo credit: Bonnie Squires Maybe you thought you knew a lot about Leonard Bernstein — or maybe just the Broadway show or film “West Side Story.” But you will learn a lot more about the legendary Jewish-American composer’s history and accomplishments after a visit to “Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music,” the  latest exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH). Ivy Weingram, is…

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By now you must have seen all the ads announcing Lenny’s Revolution: A Centennial Bernstein Celebration, with David Charles Abell and The Philly POPS. Maestro Abell, the principal guest conductor of the 65-piece Philly POPS orchestra, is flying back from London for the Leonard Bernstein celebration concerts, which will be held on February 2 – 4 at the Kimmel Center. I was able to interview Mr. Abell (pronounced “uh-BELL”) by phone while he was in London. During our conversation, he shared his Philadelphia roots with me, and mentioned that he still has relatives who live in Chestnut Hill. From ages…

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Kay Lokoff. Kay Lokoff, 81, of Philadelphia, was the founder of the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation (TLLCCF), a nonprofit, nonsectarian 501 (c)(3) organization. She created the foundation with her husband, Fred, in August of 1987 to honor the memory of their daughter, Terri, who died tragically in a car accident in July 1986. The foundation became Kay Lokoff’s life raft. It kept her afloat and enabled her to live the second half of her life, which ended suddenly on December 28 while she was on vacation in Florida with her family. Lokoff learned about the importance of quality…

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This year, The Pennsylvania Society held its 119th annual awards dinner. At these dinners, the society honors an individual, from the commonwealth or beyond, with the Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement “in recognition of leadership, citizenship and contributions to the arts, science, education and industry.” Among its other functions, the society also contributes to Pennsylvania-based charities and provides awards and scholarships to deserving students within the state. Sen. Bob Casey with Pa. Attorney General Josh Shapiro and his wife, Lori. The Pennsylvania Society has always held its annual awards dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, though this year,…

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Dan and Sarah Keating with Nydia Han. The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) was once again the beneficiary of the annual Party with a Purpose fundraiser, with over 450 guests attending the event this fall. Dan and Sarah Keating received the Humanitarian Award for their dedication to cancer research. Dr. Stephen Rubin, of Fox Chase Cancer Center, was awarded the Scientific Achievement Award. Nydia Han, a newscaster with TV station 6abc, served as emcee. Beverly Goldberg, co-chair of the gala, announced that funds raised this year would go toward the research and treatment of ovarian cancer. Dan and Sarah Keating…

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Gary Frank with Dottie and Frank Giordano. More than 250 people danced to Frank Sinatra tunes played by the Philly POPS’ 65-piece orchestra at the group’s fifth annual ball. During this major fundraiser, held at the Hyatt at the Bellevue, former POPS board chairman Sal DeBunda was honored for his service, and his successor, Gary Frank, was officially welcomed into his new role. Beth Botel and Bob Green. Among the speakers was Mayor Jim Kenney, who praised DeBunda and Frank Giordano, president and CEO of the POPS, as well as the orchestra as a whole, for their contribution to children…

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Program book featured a photo of Cantor Wall and his late wife, Sheva, z”l. This summer, at Atlantic City’s Rodef Sholom, a hundred people paid tribute to Har Zion Temple’s cantor emeritus, Cantor Isaac Wall, in celebration of his 100th birthday. After serving at Har Zion Temple for more than four decades, Cantor Wall moved to Ventnor, where he has spent the last 25 years of his “retirement” as cantor of Rodef Sholom. Blessed with musical talent and exposed to Jewish education at a young age, Cantor Wall was conducting services by the time he turned 13. During World War…

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Bonnie Squires. This article was originally published in the Main Line Times.  The Bill Cosby trial was an international fascination, not just a Philadelphia-Montgomery County-Pennsylvania obsession. I even received a request from a French magazine reporter who was in the region, covering the trial for his readers before he returned to Paris. He forwarded to me a column I had written in the Main Line Times about Cosby’s having received the Marian Anderson Award in Philly some years ago. The French reporter thought I might be able to give him contact information for three people whom I mentioned. I answered…

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