Metro Briefs

Metro Briefs

The Rauh Jewish Archives will hold “Finding Your Family’s Story: Genealogy and the Rauh Jewish Archives,” a day of genealogy programming and discussions of online resources, Sunday, Feb. 17, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Senator John Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman St.

Presentations will include “Finding and Using Naturalization Records” (Debbie Kapp); “Searching for Your Family in the Old Country” (Evan W. Wolfson); and “Learning to Use the ‘New’ Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project Website” (Bernard Newman).  Presenters will be available to answer questions about your research during an open house session.

There is no charge to attend; participants can bring a brown-bag lunch or order from the café before the program begins.  Refreshments will be served during the open house. The program  is underwritten with support of the William M. Lowenstein Genealogical Research Endowment Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

Call 412-454-6364 or email for more information and to RSVP.

The Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, Shalom Pittsburgh and J’Burgh will present Meet the Artist Series Part 3, featuring poet Judith R. Robinson and painter Kara Ruth Snyder.

Robinson has published a new book of poetry, “The Blue Heart,” which is dedicated to the Holocaust Center, the theme of which is the Holocaust and it includes poems that relate to aspects of that tragic history.

The image on the cover is a detail of one of Snyder’s paintings, “Painting for Patrick,” an abstract acrylic painting.

The Meet the Artist event will be held at Tamari Restaurant and Lounge in Lawrenceville, Thursday, Feb. 21, 6:45 p.m. There is a suggested donation for the event.  

Contact Jennie Pelled, program/development assistant at the Holocaust Center, at 412-421-1500, ext.106 or for more information or reservations or visit  Due to limited space, reservations must be made by Monday, Feb. 18.  Copies of “The Blue Heart” will be available for purchase at the event.  

Beth El Congregation of the South Hills is celebrating the achievements of those with special needs as well as highlighting Beth El’s mission of inclusion for all its members and guests in all aspects of synagogue life.

Saturday, Feb. 16 at 9 a.m., Beth El members — some with special needs, others who are family members and those who are volunteering or working with those with special needs — will participate in the service. Students from the Spiegel Religious School will sign parts of the service. Special English prayers will be recited that highlight how inclusion makes life meaningful for all members.

Dr. Laura Marshak, a clinical psychologist whose specialty is working with families who have children with special needs, will be the guest speaker. She is a professor in the counselor education department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Marshak also serves as professional advisor to Friendship Circle. She is the author of “Married with Special Needs Children: A couple’s guide to keeping connected.”

Guests are encouraged to bring prewritten questions to be submitted during the Q&A following her address from the bima.

A Kiddush luncheon sponsored by the inclusion committee will follow the service.

Call the synagogue office at 412-561-1168 for more information.

The Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee next meeting of the South Hills Christian-Jewish Dialogue will be Thursday, Feb. 21, at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, at  311 Washington Road, at noon.  The topic will be “Responding to Tragedy,” presented by Rabbi Howard Stein and Father Brian Noel. Jewish and Christian texts will be studied.  The regular monthly conveners are Father Brian Noel, Rabbi Mark Mahler, Rabbi Alex Greenbaum, Rabbi Howard Stein and Rev. Jim Gilchrist.  The program is free and open to the public.  Contact the PAJC office at 412-605-0816 or at for more information.

NA’AMAT USA, Pittsburgh Council and Jewish Family and Children’s Service are co-sponsoring Lunch and Learn along with members of the Jewish Domestic Abuse Task Force. The program will take place Wednesday, Feb. 13, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Labor Zionist Educational Center, 6328 Forbes Ave.

In recognition of February being Teen Abuse Month, Jodi Cuccia will be the speaker. Cuccia’s daughter Demi Brae was murdered by her boyfriend.

Bring your lunch; drinks and snacks will be provided. In the event of inclement weather, if the Pittsburgh Public Schools are canceled, the event will be canceled. If there is a two hour delay, contact Marilyn Asimow at 412-362-9130.

Contact Bari Benjamin at 412-521-3800 or Asimow for more information or to make an optional reservation.

Hadassah invites the community join their bus trip Philadelphia, to tour the National Museum of American Jewish History April 9-10.

There will be a free afternoon in Philadelphia, with a choice of three restaurants for dinner and an overnight stay at the Holiday Inn Express in the Historic District. The price includes transportation, hotel, breakfast and admission to the museum. The community is welcome to join the trip.

For those who have already seen the museum, there will be an alternate trip to see the art collection at the Barnes Foundation, or you can create your own itinerary.

Call the Hadassah office at 412-421-8919 to register or for more information. A deposit will be required.

The Jewish Women’s Center and Beth El Sisterhood will celebrate Rosh Hodesh Adar together Sunday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. In anticipation of Purim, the program will focus on “The Two Female Faces of Purim: Esther and Vashti.” Email for more information.