Metro Briefs August 25

Metro Briefs August 25

HaZamir Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh’s chapter of HaZamir: The International Jewish High School Choir, has opened for the 2016-2017 season with a new conductor, Molly May. May, who takes over the position from conductor Doug Levine, also serves as the cantorial soloist at Rodef Shalom Congregation and founded the Rodef Shalom choir.

New members can join at any time. An information session will be held on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. at the South Hills Jewish Community Center or those interested can attend the first open rehearsal of the year at the Squirrel Hill JCC on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 4:30 p.m.

HaZamir is an international network of Jewish high school choirs that learns a common musical repertoire and then performs at regional, national and international events. HaZamir is a program of the New York-based Zamir Choral Foundation.

Pittsburgh’s local chapter is open to eighth- through 12th-grade students and meets at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh each week and performs locally in concerts. HaZamir teens work toward a gala performance of the repertoire with other HaZamir teens from around the world at the International HaZamir Festival at Lincoln Center in New York.

HaZamir Karmiel/Misgav will visit Pittsburgh from Monday, March 27 through Tuesday, April 4, with a free, joint community concert on Monday, April 3. The HaZamir Karmiel/Misgav Chapter was established by and is supported by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Partnership2Gether.

Contact Carolyn Gerecht, director of teen engagement and experiences at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, at 412-339-5400 or for more information or to visit a rehearsal.  

Front Porch Theatricals will present “Floyd Collins” from Aug. 26 to Aug. 28 and Sept. 1 to Sept. 4 at the New Hazlett Theater at 6 Allegheny Square East.

Discounted parking is available to Hazlett patrons in the garage around the bend from the theater. Tickets are $35 at the door and $30 in advance. There is a $24 ticket for students, artists and groups. Visit to purchase tickets and for more information.

J Line will hold an open house on Tuesday, Aug. 30 from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on the Second Floor, Robinson Building of the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill. Dinner and ice cream will be provided. Call 412-697-3518 or visit the Centerfit fitness center desk at the JCC during open hours to register or for more information.

A community town hall meeting on the opioid epidemic will be held on Thursday, Sept. 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Beth El Congregation of the South Hills. Ken Rice, KDKA TV news anchor, will be moderating the panel discussion that will include the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mt. Lebanon’s Police Department, Mt. Lebanon/ Dormont’s Magisterial District Judge Blaise Larotonda, and health specialists in addiction, treatment, recovery and prevention. The program is free and open to the community. Visit to register.

The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh will welcome Father Patrick Desbois and his work “Holocaust By Bullets,” starting with a preview reception on Thursday, Sept. 1 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 pm.  Light refreshments will be served; an RSVP is required. The cost is $25 per person. From Sept. 2 to Sept. 26 the Holocaust Center will present the traveling exhibit, “Holocaust By Bullets” in its main gallery. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance for a selected date and time. Due to the graphic nature of the exhibit, the exhibit is not recommend for children younger than 14 years of age.

Desbois will lecture at Carnegie Mellon University on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. All access tickets are $72 and include a private reception prior to the lecture, reserved seating and a copy of the book “The Holocaust By Bullets.”  General admission tickets for the lecture only are $25.  

For group reservations and pricing, or to book a free school group tour, call Rachel Herman at the Holocaust Center at 412-421-1500 to make special arrangements.

Admission to all events is free for survivors and students with a valid ID presented at the door. Desbois will sign copies of his book after the lecture. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

The Pittsburgh Folk Festival will celebrate its 60th anniversary over Labor Day weekend on Saturday, Sept. 3 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 4 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Schenley Plaza between the Hillman and the Carnegie libraries.

There will be stage performances all day, ethnic foods, and cultural booths, including one from Israel. There is no charge. Contact Lee Feldman at 412-561-0321 or for more information.

The Ladies Hospital Aid Society will be hosting the Brain Gain Gala – A Night on the Seine! on Thursday, Sept. 8.  The gala will kick off with a VIP champagne reception in the Carnegie Museum Founders Room, where sponsors and patrons can mingle with distinguished scientists and physicians who have dedicated their careers to better understanding and treating neurological conditions. Additional guests will be greeted in the Carnegie Music Hall for the presentation of the 2016 Doctors of Distinction awards. After the awards, a street scene party will feature classic European cocktails, light hors d’oeuvres and entertainment, followed by a French bistro dinner and dancing.

The University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute is one of four research centers nationally, established partially through funding from the new Presidential Initiative for Brain Research. UPMC’s new Neurological Institute, a constituent, is on the cutting edge of clinical research and treatment modalities. The proceeds from this event will be used to bring new and innovative science more directly into patient care.

The 2016 LHAS distinguished doctors and awardees are: Robert M. Friedlander, M.D.; David A. Lewis, M.D.; Peter L. Strick, Ph.D.; and Lawrence R. Wechsler, M.D. The Distinguished Medical Education awardee is Freddie H. Fu, M.D., D.Sc. (Hon), D.P’s. (Hon). The LHAS Excellence in Education awardee is Marlene Behrmann, Ph.D.; and the Patient awardees are Carol Massaro and Carol Kinkela.

Contact LHAS at or 412-648-6106 for more information and tickets.

All are welcome to Temple Sinai’s Open House and celebratory 70th anniversary Mostly Musical Shabbat on Friday, Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. Temple Sinai’s founding families, Intergenerational Choir, band and clergy will join in a fun look back at the last 70 years with ’70s music, food and friendship. Ellen and Robert Katzen are the honorary chairs of SINAI AT 70. Contact 412-421-9715 or visit for more information. 

The Friendship Circle will hold its grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 11 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 1922 Murray Ave.

Meyer “Skip” Grinberg will be honored at the Jewish National Fund Western Pennsylvania Guardian of Israel Award Reception on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom. The guest speaker is Yossi Kahana, director, JNF Task Force on Disabilities.

The reception will include heavy hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and program; dietary laws will be observed.

Grinberg has been a community activist for more than 30 years. A tireless advocate for the State of Israel, Grinberg has traveled to Israel more than 20 times. He served as Partnership2Gether (P2G) chair of regional development and as co-chair of P2G from 2009 to 2012. He is a member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Community Relations Council and served as its chair from 2012 to 2015. Grinberg is an active supporter and fundraiser for the Melanoma Research Alliance and is a member of the Melanoma Action Coalition. He also serves as a member of the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition, chair of the Aging and Human Needs Commission, is a Federation board member, and chairs the Pittsburgh Advisory Council of Repair the World.

Contact Jason Rose, associate executive director, Midwest, at to RSVP or for more information.

The East End Christian-Jewish Dialogue will continue at Rodef Shalom Congregation on Thursday, Sept. 1 from noon to 1 p.m. This 2016-2017 theme will explore the vocabulary of Christian-Jewish dialogue. The first discussion will explore the word forgiveness, and Rabbi Jamie Gibson of Temple Sinai and Rev. Linda Theophilus of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Eastmont will lead the dialogue. Discussions will take place the first Thursday of the month from September to May, from noon to 1 p.m. at Rodef Shalom.