Metro Briefs April 9

Metro Briefs April 9

The Western Pennsylvania Auxiliary for Exceptional People will host a post-Passover luncheon for its regular members and the Jewish Singles Special Needs Group on Sunday, April 12 from noon to 2 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom. Rabbi Eli Seidman will conduct a program on the Passover holiday and what it celebrates. The Gorek Fund, headed by Sam Klaynberg, will provide entertainment by violinist Aidana Yntykbayeva.

Contact Arthur Spiegel at 412-421-4690 for more information.

Women of Reform Judaism Atlantic Region will hold a program on “Healthy Minds, Healthy Women,” on Sunday, April 12 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Rodef Shalom Congregation. Following a brunch, Dr. Joshua Bernstein, Dr. Sandra Davis, Ellen Freise-March, M.S.C.P. and Dena F. Cullinane, M.S.C.P. will hold a discussion on how to be the healthiest and most capable throughout the three main cycles of a Jewish woman’s life.

The program will also include a docent tour of Rodef Shalom, a mitzvah project of collecting and decorating gift baskets for area shelters and shopping at the Gift Corner for handmade gifts, Judaica and jewelry.

The charge is $10 for Sisterhood members and $12 for nonmembers. Contact Rochelle R. Sufrin, co-area director, WRJ, Atlantic Region, at 412-363-101 or for more information and reservations.

The American Jewish Museum of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh invites the community to “Louise Silk Bubbe Wisdom,” a reception and gallery talk, on Monday, April 13 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The exhibition features Silk’s work and celebrates her 65th birthday. It includes 18 quilts, a children’s spiritual tent and a community quilt made in collaboration with participants at the JCC. The exhibit continues through April 17. Admission is free.

Visit for more information.

Adat Shalom Sisterhood will present a concert with Michael Lindner and Jon Vallercorsa of the band 28 North on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. There is a $10 charge per person.  Adult beverages and light snacks will be served. 

Contact Adat Shalom at 412-820-7000 for more information.

The Squirrel Hill Historical Society will hold the next free meeting on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave. Historian Frank J. Kurtik will speak on the “History of Colonel James Shoonmaker.”

Contact 412-417-3707 or visit for more information.

Temple Emanuel is hosting an online auction fundraiser, opening Wednesday, April 15 at 8 a.m. and closing on Saturday, April 25 at 10 p.m. during a “Take Me Out to the Auction” party.  Auction items include restaurant and retail gift cards, hotel packages, sporting event tickets, spa packages, photography sessions and more.

To register for the auction or for more information about the party, go to and click on the “ticket” on the homepage. Contact 412-279-7600 or with questions.

­Squirrel Hill AARP Chapter 3354 will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, April 15 at 1 p.m. at New Light Congregation at 1700 Beechwood Blvd. at Forbes Avenue. Following the business meeting, accordion player Hank Edwards will entertain followed by refreshments. The community is invited. Contact Frieda D. Safyan at 412-521-2804 for more information.

The Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee will hold the South Hills Christian-Jewish Dialogue, “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? Divisiveness and Unity in Faith,” on Thursday, April 16 from noon to 1:15 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2040 Washington Road. Regular conveners are Dr. Jim Gilchrist, Rabbi Alex Greenbaum, Rabbi Mark Mahler and Rabbi Howie Stein.

The Center for Women Partners Council co-chairs, Paula Garret and Fern Schwartz, invite the community to a spring shopping party benefiting the Center for Women on Sunday, April 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1620 Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill. Light refreshments will be served.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the Center for Women, which provides workshops, mentoring, internships and more for women going through life transitions such as divorce or re-entering the workforce. RSVPs are requested. Contact Samantha Dye at or 412-421-6118.

The Jewish Association on Aging will hold an open house brunch on Sunday, April 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to celebrate the new person-centered dining room. Bloomfield native Nathan Sanchioli, named winner of the Best Teen Chef in America contest, will be the guest chef. Contact Tanya Bielski-Braham at 412-521-2586 to RSVP.

This year’s Lion of Judah Lunch and Learn series, “Lions Give Back,” combines volunteer opportunities with discussions of the social issues and the populations touched by the work completed. 

This session’s volunteer experience will be packing Mother’s Day pampering gift bags for distribution to multiple locations that serve women in need throughout the city. Discussion will be on the values of tzedakah while learning about the dangers that many women face in the community. All items for the gift bags will be collected at the event on Monday, April 20.

Contact Stacy Skiavo at or 412-992-5223 for more information.

Chabad of the South Hills in Mt. Lebanon will hold its spring seniors lunch on Tuesday, April 21 at noon. There is a $5 suggested donation. The building is wheelchair accessible. RSVP at 412-278-2658.

The Creative Nonfiction Foundation, a Pittsburgh-based book and magazine publisher, will publish a series of three books about Pittsburgh over the next five years.

The project, called Writing Pittsburgh, will formally launch at “Neighborhood Stories. Well Told,” an interactive evening of storytelling sponsored by Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures in partnership with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on Wednesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall in Oakland.

The event will feature stories told by leaders of Pittsburgh’s nonprofit, business, and arts communities. Interested writers and audience members will be invited to participate and share one-minute stories as well. A reception will follow.

The “Neighborhood Stories” event theme introduces the first book in the series, which will be an anthology of new work focusing on the ways in which Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods define and fortify the region.

Creative Nonfiction will solicit stories about Pittsburgh later this spring, and writers participating in the project will attend a series of workshops to enhance their skills and collaborate with other writers.

The second book will focus on the role played by the high-tech community. A single author, who will choose the subject, will write the third book. The project also includes a funded publishing fellowship opportunity. Interested writers can learn more about the project at

The foundation’s editorial advisory board includes Dave Eggers, Jonathan Franzen, Susan Orlean and Gay Talese. The Creative Nonfiction Foundation’s Writing Pittsburgh project is funded by a grant from an anonymous foundation.

American Friends of Israel War Disabled will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Sunday, April 26 with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom. There is a $25 charge. Checks for reservations, made out to American Friends of Israel War Disabled, are due by April 15 and should be sent to Dorothy Greenfield, 2867 Fernwald Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15217.

South Hills Interfaith Ministries will host its 36th annual Holocaust Observance on Sunday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Bernard Church, 311 Washington Road. The annual event, which is free and open to the public and one of the oldest in the region, commemorates the lives lost under the Nazi regime.

This year’s remembrance service, “A Good, Ordinary Man: Sir Nicholas Winton and the Kindertransports,” honors Winton, a British humanitarian who organized the rescue of 669 mostly Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II. During the operation, later known as the Czech Kindertransport, Winton found homes for the children and arranged for their safe passage to Britain.

Winton, who will celebrate his 106th birthday in mid-May, kept quiet about his humanitarian exploits for many years, until his wife found a detailed scrapbook in their attic in 1988. The scrapbook contained lists of the children, including their parents’ names and the names and addresses of the families that took them in. The world found out about his work during an episode of the BBC television program, “That’s Life!” when he was invited as a member of the audience.

The evening’s program includes excerpts and stories about some of the children he saved, commentaries from some of the family members who housed them and narrative about Winton’s own feelings, experience and his desire to do what he could to alleviate pain and suffering.

Contact Ann Callen at for more information.

Shalom Pittsburgh South Hills Suburban Outreach will hold a happy hour on Thursday, April 30 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bigham Tavern at 321 Bigham St.

Contact Meryl Franzos at or 412-992-5204 for more information.

Dr. Charles Krauthammer will be the featured speaker and will receive the St. Barnabas Charities Hance Award on Thursday, April 30 at 6 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Marriott North in Cranberry. The Hance Award is presented to a person of national acclaim who exemplifies Hance’s ideals of benevolence, patriotism and service to others.

Contact 724-444-5521 or visit for more information and tickets.

POW! – the Power of Women, a joint venture of Women’s Philanthropy and the Volunteer Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, provides opportunities for hands-on volunteering throughout the city for women who are passionate about their community. The series includes four sessions, with the remaining sessions coming up on May 4 and June 28.

The May 4 session will be at the Jewish Association on Aging; June 28 will be at the Howard Levin Clubhouse Community Garden. Contact Stacy Skiavo at or 412-992-5223 for more information.

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation board of trustees approved three new grants, including a grant to develop a new JHF Champions program that will enhance the skills of regional community health workers to improve the health outcomes for seniors living in the community, a one-year grant to Pittsburgh Filmmakers for PublicSource to expand their health care coverage and a grant to Creative Nonfiction for publication of a volume of personal narratives documenting individual success stories where severe mental illness was not persistent.

The Foundation has funded a number of educational/Champions programs to strengthen the effectiveness of the health workforce. The new grant will support the Community Health Worker Champions to improve the care for community-dwelling seniors.

PublicSource, created in 2011 to cultivate informed communities across Pennsylvania, provides information on selected topics that reaches readers through its website and email newsletter and the websites and airwaves of more than 40 media partners across Pennsylvania.

Creative Nonfiction, through its journal and books, creates nonfiction prose to explore complicated topics. JHF and CNF have collaborated on six anthologies over the past 12 years, advancing the Foundation’s agenda concerning patient safety and quality, workforce and end-of-life issues.

Most recently, JHF and CNF collaborated on “Same Time, Next Week,” which features examples of progress on psychiatric challenges from the perspective of the professionals who treat such disorders. The grant supports the publication of a companion volume that will feature stories of serious but not persistent mental illness from the perspective of patients and families.