Metro Briefs June 9

Metro Briefs June 9

Rabbi Danny Schiff (Photo by Sanford Riemer)
Rabbi Danny Schiff (Photo by Sanford Riemer)

The Men’s Philanthropy Division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh presents “Privacy in a Digital Age” as the next event in its Conversations That Count engagement series, which is open to registered guests on Thursday, June 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Carnegie Mellon University’s Cohon University Center, second floor, McKenna-Peter Rooms, 5032 Forbes Ave.

The program will provide a timely examination that will emphasize the Jewish perspective. Foundation Scholar Rabbi Danny Schiff of the Jewish Community Foundation, and James “Kip” Currier, assistant professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Computing & Information, will bring their expertise and perspectives to a presentation about how information-related needs and wants, in personal and corporate spheres, affect daily life — and the ethical questions involved.

Admission is $10. Drinks and light hors d’oeuvres will be served. Kosher dietary laws observed.

Visit to register or contact Chrissy Janisko at or 412-992-5268 for more information.

Parking is free in the East Campus Garage, off Forbes Avenue.

Temple Sinai will host “Remembrance: A Holocaust Dialogue” with Fritz Ottenheimer and Susanne Ortner on Saturday, June 10 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 5505 Forbes Ave.

Ottenheimer, who was born in Germany in 1925, was 8 years old when Adolf Hitler came to power and 14 when his family immigrated to the United States. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, serving in occupied Germany. He volunteered at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh and wrote of his experiences in the 1999 book, “Escape and Return: Memories of Nazi Germany.”

A clarinet and music teacher, Ortner grew up in Germany in the following generation, learning about the Holocaust in school. They came together to tell his story while she provided a jazz klezmer accompaniment. Filmmaker Ken Love filmed one of these presentations in 2007, and the film will be screened for the first time at the program.

The event is free and open to the public; RSVPs are requested. Contact 412-421-9715, ext. 110 or to register. In lieu of a program fee, donations to the Holocaust Center will be accepted in Ottenheimer’s name.

NA’AMAT USA Pittsburgh Council will hold its President’s Day/Donor Brunch on Sunday, June 11 at 11 a.m. at the JAA Charles Morris Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Community Room at 200 JHF Drive. Lisa Steindel, continuing as the president, will be honored along with the outgoing and incoming officers. There is a charge. RSVP to Jackie Braslawsce at or 412-521-5253.

Women of Reform Judaism Atlantic District will hold its annual Area Day on Sunday, June 11 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Rodef Shalom Congregation, with a panel discussion on the topic of pay equity with entertainment by Smokestack Lightning. Panelists include Jessica Kamm Broomell from United Steelworkers of America, Barbara Mathis representing the disabled community, Rabbi Sharyn Henry presenting the Jewish perspective and Carmen Alexander from New Voices Pittsburgh representing Women of Color. WRJ past president, Lynn Magid Lazar, will be moderating. All are invited to attend. There is a $10 charge and refreshments will be served. Contact Laura Arnold at for more information and to make reservations.

The Jewish Women’s Center of Pittsburgh will be honored at the Humanity Day Award Ceremony of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh. This annual event, held during the month of Ramadan, will be on Sunday, June 11 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at 4100 Bigelow Blvd. in Oakland. The ceremony and the breaking of the fast buffet are free and open to the public. All are welcome. RSVP at

Jewish National Fund will hold the Western Pennsylvania Guardian of Israel Award Dinner honoring Scott Tobe on Tuesday, June 20 at 6 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom. The guest speaker will be Lt. Col. (Res.) Tiran Attia, director, Special in Uniform. RSVP at 412-521-3200. Dietary laws will be observed.

Temple David Trivia Night will be held on Saturday, June 24 at 7 p.m. with live Trivial Pursuit; prizes will be awarded. Cost is $10 per person for food and one nonalcoholic drink. Additional nonalcoholic drinks and beer will be available for purchase. RSVP to the Temple office at 412-372-1200 by June 20.

The Lev Society of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh will have a commemoration of The Six-Day War: 50 Years Later, on Wednesday, June 28 at 5:30 p.m. at Rodef Shalom Congregation,  with foundation scholar Rabbi Danny Schiff.

Heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts, wine and other beverages will be served. Dietary laws will be observed. There is no charge. RSVP by Wednesday, June 21 at or contact Chrissy Janisko at 412-697-6652 or

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh announced a change in its membership policy to affirm its commitment to the inclusion of people of all gender identities and gender expressions.

The new policy states: “The JCC is open and accessible to everyone, regardless of age, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or special need by welcoming individuals of all backgrounds, embracing their uniqueness and diversity under our communal tent.”

“Over the past several years, the JCC has seen more individuals who would broadly be classified as ‘gender non-conforming’ seeking inclusion in JCC programs and services,” said Brian Schreiber, JCC president and CEO.

Jimmy Ruttenberg, JCC chair of the board, added that, “The JCC has accommodated individuals on a situational basis. In learning about the population we are serving, the board considered a more explicit statement of intent, which was endorsed and ratified unanimously.”

At a recent board meeting, the JCC board of directors engaged in discussion with Keshet, a national organization that works for full LGBTQ equality and inclusion in Jewish life, and Dr. Elizabeth Miller, director of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

In terms of implementation, Schreiber said, “Inclusion is a journey. The updated policy provides a framework for our response to each individual circumstance.” He added, “Our job is to help the broad community we serve become more deeply knowledgeable and supportive of the values of being welcoming and respectful in all program areas of the JCC.”

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh is participating in the Summer Food Service Program. Kosher and kosher-style meals will be provided to all children, ages 18 and under, without charge and are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. To file a complaint of discrimination contact the USDA, director, Office of Civil Rights at 800-795-3272.