Two of the Democratic candidates for mayor of Philadelphia will speak at 8 p.m. Thursday at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad St. Michael Nutter and Tom Knox also will answer questions.

The public is invited to the free event sponsored by Rodeph Shalom's Men's Club. The congregation is not endorsing any candidate or party in the race.

New use for old site. The Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia has begun work on an affordable-housing facility for seniors, in a place familiar to many: the site of the former St. John Neumann High School at 10th and Moore Streets.

St. John Neumann Place, with 75 one-bedroom apartments as well as community rooms, parking and green space, is slated for completion early next year. Neumann-Goretti High School's sports teams will still play at the adjacent McNichol Field.

Once construction by Domus Inc. is nearly finished, seniors 62 and over will be selected based on age, financial need, and ability to live independently.

Catholic Health Services funded the project, with assistance from Beneficial Savings Bank and PNC Bank.

Emergency preparation. Princeton Theological Seminary will offer a course on Monday evenings beginning next week aimed at helping clergy, first responders and others to be prepared for emergencies.

"Ministry, Conflicts and Cataclysms" will cover how faith communities can help in a large-scale emergency, and how religious institutions have reacted in the past. It will mention all sorts of disasters, from wars and hurricanes to pandemics and acts of terrorism.

There is a $275 registration fee. For information, call 609-497-7990.

Vast wasteland. Television critic David Bianculli will talk about television in a very tongue-in-cheek discussion, "Television: Threat or Menace," at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Temple Beth Sholom, 1901 Kresson Rd., Cherry Hill.

The New York Daily News critic, a former Inquirer staff member and frequent guest host on NPR's Fresh Air, will talk about Jewish television personalities and how Jewish characters are portrayed. For information, call 856-751-6663.

- Phaedra Trethan