Metro Briefs February 19

Metro Briefs February 19

Shalom Pittsburgh South Hills Suburban Outreach and PJ Library will hold a PJ Library Purim Party for children up to age 8 on Sunday, Feb. 22 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, South Hills at 345 Kane Blvd.

Rachel Golden, South Hills, PJ Library administrator, will lead singing, stories, rhyming and crafts. Children should come dressed up in their favorite Purim costume.

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

The New Community Chevra Kadisha annual dinner will be on Sunday, March 1. The community is invited to an afternoon of learning with Reb Simcha Raphael, who has written and teaches on Jewish views of the afterlife.  

Contact Malke Frank at for more information.

“I Inherited What??? You and Your Genes: The Explosive New World of Genetics,” a communitywide symposium, will be held Sunday, March 8 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC auditorium, 300 Halket St. in Oakland.

The science of genetics has immediate importance for Jewish people with European ancestry. Carriers for a recessive disease are found in one in four Jews, who personally will never have the disease or a specific cancer gene mutation BRCA 1 or BRCA 2.

The symposium will focus on why personal history and that of ancestors is important for generations to come. Learn the language, understand the risks and spread the knowledge.

Panelists are Kara Levine, genetic counselor; Dr. David N. Finegold; Dr. Harold Wiesenfeld; Sue Steele, JHF HPV Initiative; and Rachel Golden, Bright Pink.

The program and parking are free; a light breakfast will be served. Seating is limited; registration is required. Register at

Contact Dee Selekman at NA’AMAT at 412-521-5253 or for more information.

Symposium sponsors are Bright Pink, the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh, the Ladies Hospital Aid Society, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, the National Council of Jewish Women Pittsburgh Section, the Jewish Community Center, NA’AMAT USA, Hadassah, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Women’s Philanthropy, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, JGenesPgh and the Stern Family Foundation.

The second annual Children & Youth Disability & Mental Health 2015 Summit will be held at Beth El Congregation of the South Hills on Wednesday, March 11 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Thursday, March 12 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 1900 Cochran Road. Volunteers are needed.

The free summit will include a full resource fair with some 100 vendors and 12 breakout sessions throughout the day.

State Rep. Dan Miller (District 42) is a sponsor along with local nonprofit organizations, the South Hills school districts and other government agencies.

Visit to register and for more information.

The Jewish Federation Volunteer Center will be hosting several volunteer sites, each geared toward a specific Jewish value for the Third Annual Pittsburgh Good Deeds Day on Sunday, March 15.

Volunteer activities will include:

Acts of loving-kindness (g’milut chasadim) Crafting for a Cause at the South Hills JCC. This is a family-friendly site.

Caring for the sick (bikur cholim).

Feeding the hungry (ma’achil r’evim).

Honoring the elderly (kibud z’keinim). This is a family-friendly site.

Providing for those in need (tikkun olam).

Good Deeds Day will also accept donated items for the Toy and Toiletry Drive, benefiting area charities, which will be the main service project at the tikkun olam site. The collection runs now through March 12. Visit for suggestions of what and where to give.

The 71st Annual Dinner of Yeshiva Schools will be held Tuesday, March 17 at 6 p.m. at the Westin Convention Center. Louis Plung will be the honoree. Visit for more information.

Congregation Dor Hadash members have produced a compilation of writings entitled “HINEINI,” meaning, “Here am I.”

This is the third in a series of personal essays and poems. The book is available for $5. The entries include a poem by a high school senior and memories from Holocaust survivors who are now in their 90s as well as memories from members who grew up in other cultures.

Twenty-eight members wrote — some pieces are brief, others three or four pages long. Subjects range from childhood memories, painful Holocaust memories, accounts of uncertainties about belief and practice and many others.

The book provides a wide scope of experiences with and responses to Jewish involvement and identity. Contact Ruth Drescher at, 412-521-5978 or 412-260-7997 for more information or to purchase the book.

Michael Alexander is the new director of governmental affairs and press at the Consulate General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Alexander brings to the position background and knowledge of both Israel and the Philadelphia community. For the past two years he has worked

at Rep. Mark Painter’s office in Montgomery County. Alexander spent a year in Israel teaching English at the Neve Oz School in Petach Tikvah.

Alexander graduated from Wash-ington College and while there was a Roy Ans Fellow in Jewish American Studies. He wrote his undergraduate thesis on American-Israeli relations during the Cold War.

The Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh has established an endowment fund for Family Place, a Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh program.

Family Place provides a Jewish context for helping new parents develop a social network and build parenting skills through the My Baby and Me program, which currently facilitates social support groups and community events for nearly 500 families. Family Place also serves as a home base for the local PJ Library, which distributes free Jewish children’s literature and music to more than 1,300 Pittsburgh-area families on a monthly basis. The endowment will be used to increase the geographic and demographic reach of Family Place and to stimulate the development of innovative and evidence-based child-development programs.

The endowment, part of the Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future, takes advantage of matching funds donated by a small group of contributors. Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation will administer the fund.

Contact Sharon Perelman, associate director of the Jewish Community Foundation, at or 412-992-5224 for more information about the JWF Family Place Endowment or CFJF.