To launch Beth Sholom’s 100th anniversary year of celebration, join us for an informative and engaging presentation on the history of the Philadelphia Jewish Community. We’ll quickly set the stage, with the founding of the community in 1740 through the thriving successes of the German Jews during the Gilded Age, just before the turn of the 20th Century. Then we will focus on the experience of the Russian Jewish immigrants, their neighborhoods, synagogues, schools and organizations during the period of mass immigration, 1882-1924. We will share the rich Jewish life experienced by the immigrants’ children: our parents and grandparents, as they established the second and third settlement Jewish neighborhoods like South, West, and North Philadelphia, Strawberry Mansion, Logan, West Oak Lane, Wynnefield, and Oxford Circle. The program will conclude with the fascinating and locally significant rise of Elkins Park as a paradigmatic Jewish suburb of the post-war period. The presentation will be accompanied by a powerpoint slide presentation, and your comments and contributions of memory are welcome!
Dr. Michael Schatz, fifth generation Philadelphian and lifelong Beth Sholom congregant, has created a program of tours and presentations about the fascinating and rich history of our community. He has guided both local and out of state adult and student groups through some of Philadelphia’s former and current Jewish neighborhoods, has lectured widely, and has created an interactive Facebook page “Philadelphia Jewish History Tours” where local sites of Jewish interest, particularly synagogues and former synagogues, are featured. Michael is an accomplished Jewish educator, having taught and served as educational director at several area synagogues, Gratz College, and KleinLife, the former Klein JCC, and served as national president of the Jewish Educators Assembly. He holds degrees in education and Jewish studies, including an Ed.D., from Vassar College, Arcadia University, and Gratz College, and will be receiving the degree Doctor of Pedagogy, honoris causa, from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in November.