New Light Congregation will present “The Last 20 Years of Israeli Politics” with educator Avi Ben-Hur, visiting from Israel courtesy of Classrooms Without Borders, on Friday, March 4 following services, which are held at 7:30 p.m. Ben-Hur’s comments on Israel, its politicians and its neighbors after the breakdown of the Oslo Peace Initiative will clarify where Israel is going as a society. The community is invited.
Renaissance & Baroque will present FleytMuzik at Synod Hall in Oakland on Saturday, March 5 at 8 p.m. The program, “Tartan, Baroque & Klezmer,” explores the life of the Jewish itinerant musician – the klezmer. Often presented as a musical thief and vagrant, the klezmer was a musician of significant skill, straddling the line of society musician and gypsy in both musical performance and lifestyle. The program will include influences and dialogue between music of cultures, including Slovakia, Scotland, the Ottoman Empire, Italy, Germany, Hungary and Eastern Europe.
The program includes works composed by G.P. Telemann, Lord Byron and Isaac Nathan, Franz Bend and pieces from the Uhrovska Collection.
Tickets, ranging in price from $20 to $35, can be purchased by calling the R&B box office at 412-361-2048 or by visiting rbsp.org. Tickets will also be available at the door on the night of the performance. Student discounts are available.
Chabad of Pittsburgh’s Jewish Children’s Discovery Center will start its spring semester on Sunday, March 6, offering classes for children from age 2 through grade five, and runs for six consecutive weeks. Visit chabadpgh.com/art for more information.
Karen Hacker, M.D., MPH and director of the Allegheny County Health Department, will speak on “The Plan for a Healthier Allegheny” on Sunday, March 6 at 10 a.m. in the Samuel and Minnie Hyman Ballroom at Congregation Beth Shalom. If you are a biker, walker or looking to sustain the community or are concerned about the quality of air, increase in asthma cases, water pollution, communicable diseases and health, learn how you can participate in a healthier Allegheny.
This program of the 2016 Beth Shalom Health Initiative series is sponsored by the Fine Foundation, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, the Staunton Farm Foundation, the UPMC Cancer Center, the Jewish Association on Aging, the Aging Institute of UPMC Senior Services, the University of Pittsburgh and The Jewish Chronicle. It is free and open to the community.
Contact Candace at 412-422-2288 for more information.
The Squirrel Hill Historical Society will hold the next free lecture on Tuesday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave. Author Sarah Law’s talk will be on Getting to Know Our Neighbors: “Shootin’ the Breeze: A Neighborhood Evolution and Pictorial Process of Pittsburgh’s Point Breeze.” Call 412-521-9132 or visit squirrelhillhistory.org for more information.
The community is invited to hear local author Barbara Burstin speak at Temple David, 4415 Northern Pike, Monroeville on Sunday, March 20 at 10 a.m., following a light brunch at 9:30 a.m.
Burstin, who is on the faculties of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, teaches on the Holocaust and the United States response, Pittsburgh history and the American and Pittsburgh Jewish experience. Burstin has authored books on the history of Jews in Pittsburgh. Her two recent books are “Jewish Pittsburgh (Images of America)” and “Steel City Jews.” She also produced the documentary “A Jewish Legacy: Pittsburgh.”
Burstin’s books will be on sale at the program. Contact 412-372-1200 for more information.
The 24th Annual Taste of Westmoreland will be held on Saturday, March 12 in the Student Union (Chambers Hall) at the University of Pittsburgh in Greensburg. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the event will conclude at 8:30 p.m. The cost is $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Children 12 and under are $10.
Congregation Emanu-El Israel has brought the “Taste” to Westmoreland County for 24 years and expects more than 1,000 people to visit UPG’s Chambers Hall to sample specialties from more than 20 restaurants and caterers of Westmoreland County.
Along with door prizes, there will be Chinese and silent auctions. Merchants throughout Westmoreland County donated all prizes. Anyone bringing canned and/or non-perishable items for the Westmoreland County Food Bank will receive one free ticket for the Chinese auction.
Pittsburgh School for the Choral Arts (PSCA) Chamber Choir under the direction of Kathryn Barnard will be performing at the First Unitarian Church’s Tapestry Series on Sunday, March 13 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at 605 Morewood Ave. The building is wheelchair accessible; on-street parking is available adjacent to the church. Tickets at the door are $15/$10 students.
The highlight of the concert will be “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” by Charles Davidson. The text for this work comes from poetry written by children who were imprisoned at Terezin (Theresienstadt) during World War II. With more than 4,000 performances since its first printing, this musical memorial to the Holocaust and the 15,000 children of the Terezin concentration camp contains nine settings taken from the children’s poetry.
Holocaust survivors in the Pittsburgh area have been invited to the concert.
Visit pghchoralarts.org for more information.
Chabad of the South Hills in Mt. Lebanon will hold a pre-Purim seniors lunch on Tuesday, March 22 at noon. In addition to lunch, guests will be treated to hamantashen and a Purim program. There is a $5 suggested donation. The building is wheelchair accessible. Call Barb at 412-278-2658 to register.
Temple Hadar Israel will present “The Future of Judaism: Evolving Visions of Jewish Community in the 21st Century,” with guest speakers Rabbi Danny Schiff and Rabbi Howie Stein, on Tuesday, March 22 at 7 p.m. in the Temple Social Hall at 403 E. Moody Ave., New Castle.
Schiff is the Foundation Scholar at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and founder and president of MOJI, the Museum of Jewish Ideas. He is a teacher and researcher in Jewish ethics.
Stein, the rabbi at Temple Hadar Israel Congregation, has devoted his career to building connections both within the Jewish community and between Jews and non-Jews. After 10 years as a software engineer, he returned to school to become a rabbi and has served in several congregations.
Light refreshments will be provided; donations are welcome. Contact William Zeiger at 724-730-8350 for more information.
High school students can spend a week exploring the richness and diversity of modern Jewish literature at the 2016 Great Jewish Books Summer Program at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass. The competitive program, which is open to rising juniors and seniors, will offer two sessions: July 24 to 29 and July 31 to Aug. 7. The deadline to apply for either session is April 1.
All students accepted to the program receive full scholarships covering the cost of tuition, room and board, books and special events.
Visit yiddishbookcenter.org/educational-programs/great-jewish-books-summer-program for more information.