Remembering Barbara Bush in “the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”

On April 17, former First Lady Barbara Bush died at age 92. During her long and illustrious life, Mrs. Bush championed the cause of literacy — a passion that Bonnie Squires, board president of The Philadelphia Jewish Voice, had the privilege of witnessing in action. Squires covered the former first lady during a stop at the Free Library of Philadelphia, where Mrs. Bush was reading to a group of children. Squires specifically recalls the touching moment when the first lady put one of the children on her lap while she read. [Read more…]

Lenny’s Revolution: A Centennial Bernstein Celebration With David Charles Abell

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. [Read more…]

Catching Up With Elected Officials at the Pennsylvania Society Event

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, ongoing renovation at this storied old hotel required a change of venue to the New York Hilton Midtown. Given the venue change, as well as a date change, there were some absences at this year’s annual dinner — but not among elected officials or hopefuls running for office next year. They seemed to be well represented at the event. [Read more…]

Fighting to Make Our Votes Count

Carol Kuniholm addressing the press at the Pennsylvania Capitol, with supporters of redistricting reform behind her.

Now that the Pennsylvania General Assembly has returned from summer recess, advocacy groups, like Fair Districts PA and March on Harrisburg, are intensifying their fight for redistricting reform. Explaining the importance of their mission, Carol Kuniholm, chair of Fair Districts PA, said at a recent press conference in Harrisburg:

For the first time in generations, many of our fellow citizens are questioning the underlying premises of democracy itself. … We feel our votes no longer count and our voices are no longer heard. When we look for causes, we see our gerrymandered districts and our lack of choice at the polls.

[Read more…]

Village View: My Last Column About Donald Trump

Reprinted with permission from The Main Line Times.

Bonnie Squires

Bonnie Squires

Since the deadline for my column was a few days before the third and final presidential debate, there was no way that I could be up-to-the-minute with the latest developments. But then, with bombshells dropping seemingly every 15 minutes, even the 24-hour cable channels have had trouble keeping up with developments. [Read more…]

Hillary’s “Three Million Stronger” Initiative Brings Her Back to Philly

Current PJVoice President Bonnie and Future US President Hillary.Hillary Clinton came to West Philadelphia High School as her latest stop in her campaign’s “Three Million Stronger” Initiative, to register and commit three million Americans to vote this November and the Philadelphia Jewish Voice’s president and publisher were on the scene live tweeting from the event.

votePennsylvanians are now able to register to vote online, thanks to the efforts of Governor Tom Wolf’s administration.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney was the first speaker to the standing-room only capacity crowd. Congressman Bob Brady then introduced Clinton. She highlighted her five-part economic plan to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top, and contrasted her agenda for tax fairness and investing in Pennsylvania with Donald Trump’s plan to give large tax breaks to the wealthy.

He wants to eliminate the estate tax, which does nothing for 99.8 percent of all Americans, but if Trump is as wealthy as he claims to be, it would save his family $4 billion. Now, I’ve got to tell you I could find a much better use for that $4 billion; early childhood, helping our veterans, helping our law enforcement do what they need to do, helping more people get the jobs training and the skills training. In fact, we could hire 95,000 public school teachers for $4 billion. We could actually double health care for our veterans for $4 billion. And we could invest in more infrastructure, affordable housing, and small businesses for $4 billion right here in Pennsylvania.

[Read more…]

Alliance Francaise Announces Bastille Day Event on Thursday, July 14, 2011

Anne Ewers, President and CEO of Kimmel Center, to be Honored

–by Bonnie Squires

Parlez-vous Francais?  If so, then you will want to be part of the fabulous Alliance Francaise de Philadelphie annual Bastille Day Celebration on Thursday, July 14, at 6:30 PM at the Independence Seaport Museum on Columbus Boulevard in Philadelphia.

And even if you don’t speak French but love French food and French wine, then the Alliance Francaise Bastille Day Celebration is the place you want to be on July 14!!

Diana Regan, president of the Alliance Francaise, announced that Anne Ewers, the President and CEO of the Kimmel Center, will be honored with the inaugural Ambassador of the Arts Award, to recognize her leadership of this spring’s three-week Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, focusing on France.

Nancy Gabel, vice president of the Alliance Francaise, and chair of the Bastille Day committee, said there will be a cocktail reception, a buffet dinner, music and dancing under the stars, fabulous silent auction items, including round-trip tickets to Paris, and exciting raffle prizes.

Sponsors include St. Gobain Corporation, Arkema Inc.,  Lillet, Trois Petits Cochons, and Delta KLM Air France Alitalia.

More after the jump.

Members of the Honorary Committee include Senator Bob Casey, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, Congressman Patrick Meehan, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, Leslie Anne Miller, Esq. and Richard Worley, Lynne and Harold Honickman, Rep. Jim Roebuck, and Georges Perrier.

For information and reservations see, or call the Alliance Francaise at 215-735-5283.