Author: Elkin, Michael
Date published: June 30, 2011
Journal code: JWEX
With 2011 officially half-over today, June 30, it's time to get the whole picture of what awaits the rest of the year. Where better to look for "Stars" than in the burbs? Some broom biz in Broomall, sweeping in new players at Temple Sholom, where Cantor Kerlth Spencer-Shapiro gets to know the trill of it all beginning July l while Liz Z. Sussman steps in as the Etta Rosenblatt Preschool Early Childhood Education director. A clap of erasers to the new head teach and a CD of uninterrupted applause for the new cantor. ... Is Leslie Kritzer "The Greatest Star"? Well, she does make today's "Stars," but can she land the title role in the much-discussed Broadway revival of "Funny Girl"? Inside word - and you wouldn't expect "Stars" to have anything but, would you? - has the Livingston, N.J., native daughter on the short list to nab the role which catapulted someone with a misspelled first name to fame. (But, then, there's also a certain glee among musical theater cognoscenti in envisioning Lea Michele in the role.) Still, producers of the show have just announced they're also welcoming hopefuls to get in touch online. This all sounds like a theatrical version of "The Voice." How about Streisand judging a sing-off? Yeah. That'll happen. . . . They are indeed jolly good fellows! Who says? Taglit-Birthright Israel, which just handed out summer fellowships for the best of the best college students, including these regional scholars roarin' and rarin' to go: Native son Max Gilbert, Amherst College; Jersey boy Brett Levine (Cherry Hill), University of Pennsylvania; Benjamin Birnbaum - also from Cherry Hill - at Penn State; L.A.'s Avery Rosin, Penn; Jeff Lowenstein of Armonk, N. Y, Penn; Kimberly Gordon of Tenafly, N.J., Penn; Rebecca Sassoon, hailing from Pelham, NY. , Penn; and Todd Arfman, of Syosset, NY. - you guessed it - Penn! ... Parliamentary procedure: After business with AJPAC in Washington, D.C., Israeli Knesset member Yohanan Plesner offered the pleasure of his company to a group of locals with a visit to Philly. Among those hosting his arrival were Daniel Kutner, Israel consul general in Philly, as well as his deputy, Raslan Abu Rukun; and Sharona Durry and Gregg Epstein of Phillylsrael. . . . Can't we all get along? Proof wecari: Ed Goldberg's Odessa Klezmer Band has connected with the Kutztown Folk Festival for performances on July 2 and 8, yoking the distinctive Jewish- wedding sound of yore to the popular yearly Pennsylvania Dutch event heavy on German influence. So when you're biting into that flavorful funnel cake at the fest (running July 2 to 10), maybe it would be a good time to give a listen to the group's Grammy Award-nominated CD from 2008: "Who Stole the Kishka?" ... Hey, there, you with the schmutz on your face: Philly's npt-so-dirty secret: It finished second in this year's tabulations for "America's Dirtiest City," according to Travel and Leisure. (At least we're on an upward spiral; last year, we were number four!) The mag besmirched Philly filthies because "the locals may not be helping . . . they ranked near the bottom of the style category, as well as in the bottom five for being environmentally aware." Guess "Stars"ripping up the article into a thousand pieces and tossing it onto the street didn't help much.
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