Metro Briefs August 9

Metro Briefs August 9

Rabbi Walter Jacob, rabbi emeritus of Rodef Shalom Congregation, is out with a new book — his 40th.

At 59 pages, it’s hardly Jacob’s longest book, but it may be his most personal.

“Benno Jacob: Scholar and Fighter,” part of the Jewish Miniatures series, is the story of a leading German rabbi — Jacob’s grandfather — who was an outspoken foe of anti-Semitism. He escaped Nazi persecution to resettle in London and became one of several leading figures who shaped modern Jewish biblical studies.

The book, which is published by Hentrich & Hentrich in Berlin, is available in German and English, and can be obtained in Europe, where Benno Jacob was better known, as well as North America.

Rabbi Ron Symons has publicly criticized the new draft Wet Water Plan just released by the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) for its lack of green component.

The plan lays out ALCOSAN’s strategy for checking sewage overflows into waterways, as it is required to under a 2008 consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

But environmental groups, including one with which Symons is associated, have criticized the draft plan ALCOSAN has put forward.

According to Essential Public Radio (EPR), Symons said the plan is too expensive and doesn’t include any green infrastructure.  

“I believe that we need to have green options that will help us to better appreciate the world in which we live, to better protect it,” Symons, a partner in the Clean Rivers Campaign, was quoted by EPR as saying.

Clean Rivers Campaign is an education and advocacy program that raises awareness of the storm water runoff and sewage overflow issues in Allegheny County.

Indeed, even ALCOSAN is not happy with the $3.6 billion plan, which would triple rates on its customers while meeting all EPA standards. It hopes to renegotiate the consent decree to use the less expensive $2 billion plan, which would fall short of the standards while still doubling rates.

ALCOSAN is taking public comments through Oct. 19. The next public meetings on the draft are set for Thursday, Aug. 16, 6:30 and 9 p.m., at the Sheraton Station Square. Refreshments will be provided. 

Jeffrey Katzenberg, a Jewish American film producer and CEO of Dreamworks Animation, is behind the critically acclaimed show, “How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular,” which will premiere this month in the Consol Energy Center, Downtown.

Based on the Academy-Award nominated movie, “How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular,” it features 23 dragons, some with wingspans of up to 46 feet, Viking warriors and world-class circus artists and acrobats, to perform against a state-of-the-art, wall-to-floor immersive projection measuring more than 20,000 square feet.

The show will run from Aug. 23 to 26. In addition to his work in the animated film industry, Katzenberg is a trustee of many nonprofit organizations, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Together with DreamWorks Animation, Katzenberg founded the DreamWorks Animation Academy of Inner-City Arts in 2008. Among his film credits are “Shrek,” “Madagascar” and “Kung Fu Panda.”

Contact Dicks Sporting Goods, the Consol Center or Ticketmaster for tickets and show times.

Several Jewish Pittsburgh couples have established education funds benefiting area agencies, schools and congregations, according to the Jewish Community Foundation.

The Foundation reported in a recent e-letter that Robert and Lillian Brent, Barbara and David Burstin, Dr. Solomon and Sarah Goldberg (z”l), Woody and Nancy Ostrow, the Rudolph Family, and Edgar and Sandy Snyder have created funds to support Adat Shalom, Community Day School, Hillel Academy, Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center, Temple Sinai and Yeshiva Schools.

The funds are intended to ensure that Jewish schools will have the funds they need to attract and retain excellent educators, provide strong programming, and make scholarships available so that every child has the opportunity for a quality Jewish education.

Chosky Family Foundation is sending 43 area incoming high school juniors to Israel as counselors-in-training (CITs) for a three-week Israel adventure.

The CITs will be in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Caesarea and the Jewish Federation’s Partnership2Gether communities of Karmiel and Misgav.

Through the program, the CITs will develop leadership skills, preparing them for their work ahead as counselors and advisors at Emma Kaufmann Camp next summer.

The trip is also being subsidized by I-Connect, a scholarship program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, administered by the Agency for Jewish Learning. Each CIT is eligible for a $1,750 merit-based scholarship for this opportunity.