Coming up

Coming up

Chabad of the South Hills will hold Mommy and Me classes taught by Batya Rosenblum Tuesdays through Jan. 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at 1701 McFarland Road, Mt. Lebanon. There is a charge. Contact or call (412) 341-1494 to register or for more information.

Hosts Shirley and Morris Shratter lead the WIN book club in a discussion of the novel “Out of the Furnace” by Thomas Bell. The author grew up in the steel mill town of Braddock, Pa. His novel is about immigrant labor in the turn of the century. The program airs every Tuesday in January at 8 p.m on cable TV — Comcast or Verizon 47 in Pittsburgh only.

Jewish Family & Children’s Service’s Cognitive Enhancement Institute is looking for 10 older adults to participate in its winter Brain Builders Club. Participation in this program is free and open to seniors between the ages of 65 and 85. Brain Builders includes instructor-led workshops on creative writing, Tai Chi stretching exercises and computer training. The eight-week program begins Tuesday, Jan. 4, and continues through Tuesday, Feb. 22. Classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at JF&CS, 5743 Bartlett St., Squirrel Hill. Contact Ellie Eisenstat at or (412) 904-5960 for more information on Brain Builders and to apply. A short, five-minute telephone interview is required to confirm your eligibility for the program.

Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh in Squirrel Hill will present its Youth and Family Wellness Fair Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011, from 1 to 4 p.m. The fair, which will be held in the Kaufmann Gym at the JCC, 5738 Forbes Ave., is free and open to the community. Some of the activities will be zumba, yoga and Irish step dancing classes, interactive games, and youth fitness assessments. Also, more than 15 health and wellness vendors will be on hand. Hula-Hoops will be presented by Steel City Hoop Union. Participants also can sign up for the JCC’s We Can! Energize Our Families fitness program that will be held for eight weeks from 2 to 3:30 pm beginning Sunday, Jan. 23. Parents and children together learn about improved nutritional choices, increased physical activity and reduced screen time. Contact Marsha Mullen at (412) 521-8011 Ext. 380 or for more information.

The Squirrel Hill Historical Society will present Post-Gazette Columnist Brian O’Neill, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m., on “The Paris of Appalachia — Pittsburgh: Past, Present and Future,” at the Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave. There is no charge to attend. Contact Mike at (412) 417-3707 or visit for more information.

Chabad of the South Hills will hold a pre Tu B’shevat luncheon will be held Wednesday, Jan. 12, noon at 1701 McFarland Road, Mt. Lebanon. There is a suggested donation. Contact or call (412) 341-1494 to register or for more information.

Agency for Jewish Learning’s annual Board Phone-A-Thon will take place Thursday, Jan. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. at AJL, Beechwood Boulevard, Squirrel Hill. This year, the goal is to make 500 phone calls to raise money for student and teacher scholarships.

Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh will hold its free Family Fun Night, Sunday, Jan. 16, 6:30 to 9 p.m., at the FunFest Entertainment Center, 2525 Freeport Road, Harmarville. The evening is for anyone who has been to a JCC camp or is thinking about coming. The activities include laser tag, pool, arcade games, bowling and camp videos. Signup for Emma Kaufmann Camp will be available that evening. Contact Liza Baron, J&R Day Camp director, at (412) 521-8011 Ext. 241 for more information.

Rabbi Danny Schiff, former Agency for Jewish Learning scholar in residence, will visit Pittsburgh the week of Jan. 17. Schiff’s schedule will include: • A free public lecture, Monday, Jan. 17, at Rodef Shalom Congregation, on “American and Israeli Jews: The State of Our Union is Shaky;” • A session for attorneys at the Alan Papernick Continuing Legal Education Seminar on “The Strange Case of Reyes v. Reyes from a Jewish Perspective;” • A class on WikiLeaks, Facebook and Privacy in Judaism Wednesday, Jan. 19; • A program for alumni and students of the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School Wednesday, Jan. 19, on “It’s Time to Stop Pretending: Judaism is Not a Religion.” All programs are sponsored by the AJL and the host venues. Contact Amy Karp at (412) 521-1101 Ext. 3204 or for more information.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh-South Hills, 345 Kane Blvd., Scott, will celebrate its 12th birthday Sunday, Jan. 30. Activities will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and the JCC will be free and open to everyone in the community from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The JCC-South Hills, built in 1999, houses state-of-the-art fitness and wellness facilities, 25-yard heated indoor swimming pool, doublecourt gymnasium, and accessible outdoor playground. Comprehensive programming includes the Early Childhood Development Center, private and group swim lessons, summer camps, group exercise classes, personal training, sports and recreation programs for all ages, and one of the largest SilverSneakers senior fitness programs in western Pennsylvania. Contact JCC at (412) 278-1975 Ext. 204, or for more information.

Rabbi Norman M. Cohen of Bet Shalom Congregation, Minnetonka, Minn., will appear at Rodef Shalom Congregation, Monday, Jan. 31, 7 to 8:30 p.m., for study and conversation to kick off Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month. The program, titled “What an Inclusive Jewish Community Looks Like, and Why Including People With and Without Disabilities is our Jewish Way,” is designed to further inclusion in the Jewish education and in the Jewish community. The Agency for Jewish Learning and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh are co-sponsoring the program. Contact AJL at (412) 521-1101 Ext. 3207 or for more in information.

The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute will present Toward a Meaningful Life: A Soul-Searching Journey for Every Jew, the institute’s new six-session winter 2011 course that will begin during the week of Feb. 6, 2011. Rabbi Simon Jacobson, head of the Meaningful Life Center in New York City and author of “Toward a Meaningful Life,” prepared the sessions, but they are freestanding and no prior familiarity with the book is assumed. Rabbi Mendel Rosenblum of Chabad of the South Hills is the course instructor. The sessions will be held at Chabad of the South Hills, 1701 McFarland Road in Mt. Lebanon on Sundays and Wednesdays. Call (412) 344-2424 or visit <a for registration and other course-related information.

Congregation Beth Shalom will host over 100 Jewish teenagers from western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and West Virginia for Central Region USY (CRUSY) Specialty Kinnus, a regional convention that focuses on social action projects. Teenagers will visit the city from Thursday, Feb. 24 to Sunday, Feb. 27. Friday will be spent volunteering at various nonprofits around the city and participants will then return to the synagogue for the remainder of the weekend for Shabbat and other educational programming. Contact Carolyn Gerecht, Congregation Beth Shalom’s youth director at (421) 421-2411 or for more information.

Sherree Hall will lead a Jewish Community Center sponsored bike trip through Israel from March 6 to 17, 2011. Hall, JCC Sports and Wellness division director, will take the group from the Golan Heights to Masada, traveling nine to 32 miles a day, depending on the difficulty of the terrain. Part of the ride will be on the new Partnership 2000 Bike Trail in the Karmiel/Misgav region. The trip cost includes bikes, security, support cars, maps, insurance, accommodations, bike guides and all the logistics. Partnership 2000 and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh are co-sponsoring the ride. Contact Hall at (412) 521-8011 Ext. 374, or for more information.

JFilm: The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum will hold its 18th annual film festival from March 24 to April 10. Narrative and documentary films from around the world will be screened at the SouthSide Works Cinema and other venues throughout the city and suburbs. Film titles will be released in January. Tickets for all events go on sale March 3. JFilm is a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Contact Kathryn Spitz Cohan at (412) 992-5256 or for more information.

(Angela Leibowicz can be reached at