Metro Briefs August 16

Metro Briefs August 16

Steven Cohen
Steven Cohen

Steven Cohen, a leading sociologist whose current research focuses on the emerging patterns of Jewish identity and community among Jews in their 20s and 30s, will be the next speaker in the “Conversations for a Jewish Future Speaker Series,” Wednesday, Sept. 5, 7 p.m., at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill.

Cohen will speak on the topic, “Enough Talk, Now Prove It: Predicting the Future of our Community with Real Data.”

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and Agency for Jewish Learning are sponsoring the event, which is underwritten by the Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future of the Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation.

An author and educator, Cohen is a research professor of Jewish social policy at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York and director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner.  He has written or edited books and scholarly articles and reports on such issues as Jewish community, Jewish identity and Jewish education.

Other speakers this year will include Alan Hoffmann, focusing on international Jewry; Amy Sales, on Jewish education; and Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay, on social justice.  All sessions will take place at the in Katz Auditorium of the JCC’s Robinson Building.

Register at, or contact Danielle Kranjec at 412-521-1101, ext. 3204 or

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh will offer post-camp J Days, for children in grades prekindergarten to six, from Monday, Aug. 20, through Friday, Aug. 31.

Meredith Brown, program development coordinator for the JCC Children, Teens and Families Division, supervises J Days, formerly called Fun Days. Each J Day includes games, gym time, swimming and snack. Children will participate in icebreakers and have the opportunity to do art projects and no-bake cooking. The August schedule includes daily excursions as follows: Monday, Aug. 20, Kennywood Park; Tuesday, Aug. 21, Wildwood Highlands; Wednesday, Aug. 22, Heinz History Center/Sports Museum; Thursday, Aug. 23, Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium; Friday, Aug. 24, JCC’s Family Park; Monday, Aug. 27, Sandcastle; Tuesday, Aug. 28, Laurel Caverns; Wednesday, Aug. 29, Children’s Museum; Thursday, Aug. 30, Fun Fest; and Friday, Aug. 31, Science Center/Sportsworks.

The days run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Call 412-521-8011, ext. 202 to register; special offers are available.

Poale Zedeck Sisterhood will hold its second summer Wednesday dinner from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the synagogue’s Schwartz Social Hall Aug. 22 — an Italian dinner.  Call 412-421-9786 for more information.

The Pittsburgh Jewish Social Justice Roundtable is hosting a voter ID information session for senior citizens Thursday, Aug. 23, at 1:15 p.m., in Katz Auditorium, at the Jewish Community Center, 5738 Forbes Ave. The afternoon’s program will discuss the implications of Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law and educate seniors so that they can vote Nov. 6.  Speakers will include Rep. Dan Frankel and Barb Feige, deputy director of ACLU of Greater Pittsburgh.  The event is free and open to the public.  Email for more information.