pRiSm: The mission of pRiSm is to Strengthen Jewish LGBTQA life and identity at RS and in the world. It works to create an inclusive congregation through education, advocacy, and celebration.

Chair: Heshie Zinman ([email protected])
Advocacy: Chair: Henry Patterson ([email protected])
Celebration: Chair: Susan Pultman ([email protected])
Education: Chair: Jocie Block ([email protected])

Article In Jewish Exponent quoting Gloria Becker:"Groups Come Together to Embrace LGBTQ Jews"


Remembering Our Fallen Friends and Congregants:
World AIDS Day Commemoration

Please join us in remembering, learning, and hearing stories from Jerry Silverman, Beth Ahavah’s Founder and first President, and Heshie Zinman, President of pRiSm and the founder of the AIDS Library.

The cost of the dinner is $25/person. Register here. For more information, contact Steve Mirman.

As part of our remembrance, the section of The AIDS Memorial Quilt (with a panel made in memory for the Beth Ahavah men) will be on display in the Community Room during the month of December. The Quilt is a powerful visual reminder of the AIDS epidemic. It serves both as a memorial for those who have died and a way to understand the devastating impact of the disease.

Since 1988, World AIDS Day has provided an opportunity for people across the globe to unite in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Beginning this year, Rabbi Maderer will honor
the memories of the 13 men of Beth Ahavah who died of AIDS, by reading their names aloud.

This event is sponsored by pRiSm and the Beth Ahavah LGBTQ Heritage Fund which was created from the remaining assets of Beth Ahavah upon its merger with Rodeph Shalom.

We Remember:

Robert Bambrey 

Howard Davidson
Howard purchased a Torah and donated it in honor of his mother to Congregation Beth Ahavah. This Torah was marched here from Olde City and is now part of Congregation Rodeph Shalom. It is in our Sanctuary’s Ark. (by Joan Levin)

Marc Frank

Michael Greenberg

Bob Lupin 
Bob was a pioneer when he moved into the Fairmount section of Philly, confronting violent rejection of gentrification at that time. He taught middle school French at the Baldi School in the Northeast, was an opera fanatic, and loved to throw lavish parties. (by Jerry Silverman)

Cid Perez-Randal 

Paul Powell 
Paul was a real-estate mogul in Queen Village and South Philadelphia. He enjoyed breaking rules, saying and doing outrageous things, and hardly a shrinking violet. Paul had a huge, devilish grin at all times, was a generous man, and a loving son and nephew. (by Jerry Silverman)

Howard Reses  

Harvey Robbins
Harvey sported long, thick jet-black hair and was easily recognizable. He was an early regular on American Bandstand with Dick Clark in 1957. A recent publication explains that many guys on the show were secretly gay, as Clark was determined to keep them in the closet. (by Jerry Silverman)

Randy D. Schley 
Randy was a happy, bright, gay man in his mid 30s, who brought joy to so many of us. In March of 1993 he won the 'non-traditional' Hamantashen contest -- a yellow sponge cake dough filled with melted chocolate. Yummy. He was living with AIDS, but he seemed fine. Then in September he was hospitalized at Graduate Hospital with PCP -- Pneumocystis Pneumonia -- no good treatments then, and was dead 3 weeks later. His funeral was huge; I remember a poster full of photos, I couldn't look, I just stood nearby and sobbed. (by Naomi Segal)

Ted Stomel 

Ed Traitman
Ed was an early President of Beth Ahavah, as well as the chairman of the 1981 Conference of LGBT Jews which met at RS. He worked for the federal government and was an Army veteran. Ed loved theater, loved life, and had a most wicked sense of humor. (by Jerry Silverman)  

Alan Saul Uhr
Alan was an identical twin. When he was diagnosed with AIDS his doctor was aware of a study at the National Institutes of Health near Washington D.C. which was studying the effects of a bone marrow transplant between identical twins. Alan made the decision to become involved, not only with the possibility of helping him in his journey, but he very much wanted to provide his part on the research for a treatment or cure for AIDS to help those who would come after him.  During his illness, he was very instrumental in bringing people in his family together, who were separated for many years. Our relationship was only 3 years long in total, half of which we were dealing with his illness. Through this short time, I was included in his family with a relationship, which is still active, 31 years later and grows closer each year. Alan was a “people person” with many close friends and was very concerned about his friends. Many of his friends are still in touch with his family. He would be very happy to know so many people were connected in his honor, 31 years later. His short life of 33 years was very influential. (by Larry Sutter)