Metro Briefs December 19

Metro Briefs December 19

Ilene Rinn
Ilene Rinn

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has added four new professionals to its staff.

The new hires are Ilene Rinn, manager of human services, planning and allocations; Bradley Stamm, campaign associate; Shimon Zimbovsky, marketing associate; and Pia Naiditch, marketing/campaign associate.

Rinn works with Federation beneficiary agencies to ensure that resources and programs are in place to meet human needs across the community’s age spectrum. She previously worked for the New York Public Library and for nonprofit organizations in New York and Washington, D.C., areas.

Stamm is responsible for implementation of the Federation’s annual campaign at the community level. He previously worked for the Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), Greater Boston’s Jewish Federation. Before that, he was a technical assistant in the Pennsylvania State Climatology Office. In Boston, he was a Big Brother in the Jewish Big Brother Big Sister Program. As an undergraduate, he was vice president of Penn State Hillel.

Zimbovsky is responsible for marketing for the annual campaign, the Jewish Community Foundation and other areas of financial resource development. His background in landscape architecture led him to undergraduate work in Haifa, Israel, and to post-graduate fieldwork in Israel that investigated new approaches to water sensitive planning. He is fluent in Hebrew and Russian.

Naiditch is responsible for specific areas of annual campaign marketing and professional support for Women’s Philanthropy. She was active in the Jewish community in Agoura Hills, Calif., where she worked as program coordinator for The Friendship Circle, which helps individuals with special needs integrate into the community.

All four work in the Federation offices in Oakland and can be reached at 412-681-8000.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has begun a study process to gauge facility needs within the Jewish community in the future while exploring existing opportunities.

“Engagement and participation in the services and programs provided by local Jewish agencies, synagogues and organizations is greater than ever,” William C. Rudolph, chair of the Federation’s Community Facilities Study Committee, said in a prepared statement.  “But it’s a mixed blessing. It means some of our community facilities are taxed beyond what they can sustain for much longer.”

Agencies and organizations wishing to be part of the Facilities Study process — or seeking more information — should contact Deborah Baron at 412-681-8000 or

Temple B’nai Israel in White Oak is planning to launch an adult education program in January. The sessions are designed to improve understanding of Israel.

“This program will combine speakers with, I hope, plenty of discussion, films and two other forums I hope you will find equally stimulating,” Rabbi Paul Tuchman wrote in a message to his congregants in the TBI newsletter.

Speakers will be invited on Sundays; a light breakfast will be served.

The Chronicle will publish more details as they become available.

Vanessa Hidary, a New York-based slam poet who goes by the moniker, The Hebrew Mamita, will be performing about the Holocaust and other Jewish themes when she visits Pittsburgh Thursday, Feb. 6.

Hidary’s performance is part of the Meet the Artist series, a program of the Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. She will perform at the Union Project, 801 Negley Ave., Highland Park.

A poetry slam is a competition in which poets perform original work, alone or in teams, before an audience, energetically and forcefully — not reading from a book. The audience serves as judge. Poetry slams are believed to be igniting new interest in poetry recitation among young people.

The cost for tickets will be $75 per person for VIP seating and $30 for general admission. Contact Zac Zafris at 412-421-1500 or for more information.

David Harris-Gershon, Moth Storyhour Grand Slam winner, will appear at City of Asylum to read from his newly published memoir, “What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?” Thursday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m., 330 Sampsonia Way.

This event is free; reservations are required and can be made at or 412-323-0278.

Chabad of the South Hills Women’s Circle will hold an evening of visual and musical highlights of Batya Rosenblum’s recent trip to Israel on Sunday, Dec. 29, at 7:30 p.m.

Contact or call 412-344-2424 for reservations.

The Helen Diller Family Foundation announced that it has expanded the number of recipients for its 2014 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards from 10 to 15 socially conscious teens to each receive $36,000. The program will also extend its deadline through Jan. 19, 2014. Additionally, it will grant three $360 donations on behalf of randomly selected nominators for the nonprofits of their choice.

Created by Bay Area philanthropist Helen Diller in 2007, the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards have recognized 40 Jewish teens nationwide with nearly $1.5 million to support their education and philanthropic visions.

Contact or 415-512-6432 for more information or visit to complete the nomination form.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh will hold a concert for families by Jewish rock musician and educator Sheldon Low on Tuesday, Dec. 24, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at 5738 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. Light snacks will be served.

Tickets are $8 per person by Dec. 23; $10 per person at the door; and $7 per person for groups of 10 or more (must register in advance). Children under 2 are free.

Call Lauren Goldman, (412) 521-8011, ext. 852 for tickets.

Squirrel Hill Active Senior Network, “Connecting Seniors to Great Social/Civic Destinations,” holds meetings every Friday from 3 to 4 p.m. in Room C of the Squirrel Hill Library.

The social/civic destinations will be generated from the calendars of sharing active seniors as a way of building friendship networks; participants are asked to bring their calendars.