Jewish Community Festival showcases synagogues

More than 4,000 people enjoyed live music, food and fun last Sunday as part of the annual Jewish Community Festival in Lower Makefield. The event, sponsored by the Bucks County division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, was a showcase for the county's 16 synagogues and other communal agencies.

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The festival featured performances by Rachel Getz and Emily Green, students at Gratz College in Melrose Park and winners of a "Jewish Idol" talent competition. Music also was provided by Shir Klez, a klezmer group from Shir Ami, Bucks County Jewish Congregation in Newtown; Rabbi Jeff Schnizter, of Congregation Tifereth Israel of Lower Bucks County, and his Uma Numa band; and teen rock group Principa.

The event was held at Shady Brook Farm. For information about the Bucks County division of the Jewish Federation, call 215-579-9300.

Doylestown Rotary raises money for project in Kenya

The Rotary Club of Doylestown has helped to secure $30,000 in donations that will be used to fund a water project for the Maasai people of Kenya.

The project includes the drilling of a well in the village of Ereteti. The Rotary Club has worked with the Maasai for three years.

The Maasai region suffers from an acute water shortage, and residents must use swamp water and other sources that have led to an increase in diseases such as typhoid and dysentery. The $30,000 donation is made up of funds from an anonymous member of the Doylestown community, the Doylestown Rotary Club, and a matching grant from the Rotary Foundation International. For information about the Rotary, visit

. For information about the Maasai Cultural Exchange Project, visit

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Noted historian retires from library of Revolution

Richard A. Ryerson, author, editor, and expert on American's colonial history, has retired as senior historian at the David Library of the American Revolution.

Ryerson joined the Washington Crossing library in 2002 as academic director. He is the author of books including

The Revolution Is Now Begun: The Radical Committees of Philadelphia, 1765-1776

and edited

The Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War: A Political, Social and Military History

. A successor has not yet been named.

Learn proper approach to composting at workshop

Gardeners can learn how to make their gardens greener at a composting workshop Saturday in Wrightstown.

The Hortulus Farm Nursery and Gardens and the Heritage Conservancy will host the workshop, which will offer lessons on proper composting methods and making a wire compost bin. Master gardener Bonnie Olliver will lead the workshop.

The workshop is free, but registrants must pay a $10 materials fee. Preregistration is required. The workshop is at Hortulus Farm and Nursery, 60 Thompson Mill Rd. For information or to register online, call 215-598-0550 or visit

(click "Events).

Insurer shows teens dangers of distracted driving

Allstate Insurance Co. hosted an Action Against Distraction Driving Challenge on Monday to show teens that activities such as texting and talking on the phone while driving are dangerous.

The challenge, which was held at Central Bucks High School East in Doylestown, included sessions led by driving instructors on the ways that making phone calls and texting impair driving ability. Students then drove along a closed driving obstacle course to put the lessons to the test.

The event was part of an nationwide public-awareness campaign launched recently by the insurance company during a time of year which statistics show is the most dangerous for teens. More than 50 people attended the event. For information about the campaign, call 610-251-3480.

Doylestown Hospital honored for stroke work

Doylestown Hospital has received an award from the American Stroke Association in recognition of the facility's success in stroke treatment.

The hospital received the association's GWTG (Get With the Guidelines) - Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award, which focuses on time-saving procedures. The hospital was honored for meeting the association's set of nationally accepted standards and recommendations in developing a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department.

Bensalem resident to lead county YWCA's board

Marnicia DeVore of Bensalem has been elected president of the YWCA of Bucks County board of directors. DeVore previously served on the board as finance chairperson.

DeVore has been involved with the YWCA for 12 years. The organization provides educational and social service programming to underserved families. DeVore is a branch manager with Third Federal Bank in Philadelphia and will serve a two-year term as board president.

Pennridge schools honor alumnus fallen in Iraq

The Pennridge School District held a memorial service and plaque dedication Tuesday in memory of Sgt. First Class Shawn M. Suzch, a 1994 graduate of Pennridge High School.

Suzch and three of his men were killed when they were approached by a suicide bomber in Mansour, a section of Baghdad. Suzch, a 14-year Army veteran, was on his third tour of duty in Iraq. He is survived by wife Angela, eight month-old daughter Alyssa and foster father Rick Pforter, who attended the plaque dedication.

Girl collects $330 to help low-income people achieve

Ten-year-old Melissa Gabriele of Newtown presented a check for $330 to the Bucks County Opportunity Council last month in a donation collected at her birthday party.

Gabriele asked friends and family at her birthday celebration to make a donation to the council, a nonprofit organization that helps low-income people achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. Gabriele's parents matched the donations collected for a total contribution of $330. Gabriele presented the check to the council at a volunteer recognition ceremony. For information about the council, visit

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- Kristin E. Holmes