Metro Briefs May 28

Metro Briefs May 28

The Kollel Tributary Event Honoring the Kagan Family Legacy – Rebbetzin Esther Kagan and Rabbi Aaron and Efrat Kagan — will be held on Sunday, May 31 at 6:30 p.m. at the Phipps Conservatory outdoor garden at 1 Schenley Drive. Contact for more information.

A concert to commemorate the life of Anne Frank and celebrate her legacy will be held on Sunday, May 31 at 6 p.m. at Smithfield Church, 620 Smithfield St. Smithfield United Church is hosting this event in partnership with Rodef Shalom Congregation. Through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Norma Weintraub Meyer and Daphne Alderson will present the concert.

The concert will include two premiere works: “Alone,” by Pittsburgh’s Douglas Levine and “Kleine Prelude van Revel” by Leo Smit.

“Alone” is a world premiere, and the Leo Smit work is a U.S. premiere. Smit was a contemporary of Gershwin, Mahler and Copland, and his life was cut short as a Dutch Jewish victim at Sobibor in 1943.

“I Remember,” a solo cantata by Michael Cohen, will feature Daphne Alderson, contralto, and Norma Meyer, pianist. It commemorates the 86th anniversary of the birth of Anne Frank through a contemporary cantata based on the descriptions of Anne’s inner life as described in her diary.

There is a $10 suggested donation. Contact for more information.

Christians and Jews for Israel, which has been in existence for some two years in the Pittsburgh area, will hold its second annual Night to Honor Israel, in cooperation with the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and Christians United for Israel, on Sunday, May 31 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Guests will include Dove award-winning recording artists Aaron and Amanda Crabb, Leehy Shaer (the American aunt of Gilad Shaer) and Yael Eckstein, senior vice president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

Contact founder/director Pastor Tara Stivas at or 724-525-8209 or visit for more information.

A traditional Nepali dinner will be held to help the village of Golche, Nepal, after the destruction from the earthquake, on Sunday, June 7 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom.

The minimum suggested donation of $20 can be paid with a check or cash. All proceeds will be used to rebuild homes, a school and the water supply in Golche, in the Himalayan Mountains north of Kathmandu.

Reservations are required by Monday, June 1 and can be made at

For those who are unable to attend but wish to donate, checks written to Claire Lama can be mailed to Pomegranate at Beth Shalom, 5915 Beacon St., Pittsburgh, PA 15217.

Visit for more information.

The Unsung Jewish Heroes awardees will be recognized by the Agency for Jewish Learning at its annual meeting on Sunday, June 7 at 10 a.m. at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill.

By kindling their students’ love of learning, the Unsung Jewish Heroes awardees ensure a vibrant and thriving future for the community. The teachers and volunteers in the Jewish educational institutions provide children with the foundation they need to build a righteous world. The honorees are: Adat Shalom Preschool, Jessie Fitchwell; Adat Shalom Religious School, Sierra Lautman; Beth El Spiegel Religious School, Jodi Marcovitz; Beth Samuel Jewish Center, Clara Erin Murray; Beth Shalom Early Learning Center, Maria Bellich; Community Day School, Ilana Inspektor; JCC of Greater Pittsburgh, Sarah Glascom; Jewish Community Center-South Hills, Amanda Cord; J-JEP and Berkman Family Center Preschool, Rodef Shalom Congregation, Anne Molloy; J-SITE, Sigalit Assouline; Temple Emanuel Early Childhood Development Center, Sue Melcher; Temple Emanuel Torah Center, Leslie Schorr; Temple Emanuel Torah Center, Diane Dreifuss; Temple Ohav Shalom Center for Early Learning, Danielle West; Temple Ohav Shalom Religious School, Kimberly Schorr; Temple Sinai Religious School, Debbie Haber; The Early Learning Center at Yeshiva, Ilana Hoen; Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation, Torah Lishmah Community, Gabe Weiner; Yeshiva Schools, Amy McCollum.

Rabbi Nossin Hoen, Yeshiva Boys School, will receive the Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education.

The next free Squirrel Hill Historical Society meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave.

Jim Wudarczyk, researcher for the Lawrenceville Historical Society, will speak on “Getting to Know Our Neighbors — A History of Lawrenceville.”

Call 412-417-3707 or visit for more information.

Rodef Shalom Congregation will hold its first Golf Classic on Monday, June 15 at the Westmoreland Country Club, followed by a dinner reception with journalist, Rodef Shalom native, global editorial director of the Huffington Post and NBC News analyst Howard Fineman. Fineman is the honorary event chair. Dinner only tickets are available.

Visit or call 412-621-6566 for more information and to register by the Monday, June 1 deadline.

Jewish Residential Services and Verland will present the 2015 Shore-Whitehill Award to Jane Yahr in honor of her outstanding volunteer work on Tuesday, June 23. The Shore-Whitehill Award, created in 1996, is named for Robert Whitehill and the late Barbara Shore and celebrates volunteers who promote inclusion of people with disabilities in the fabric of Jewish life through advocacy or direct service to individuals and families.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and Jewish Residential Services give the award annually.

The award ceremony begins at 7 p.m. at the Solomon and Sarah Goldberg House in Squirrel Hill, continuing at the Children’s Institute at 1405 Shady Ave. There is no charge. A dessert reception will follow the ceremony. Dietary laws will be observed.

RSVP by Tuesday, June 16 to Jewish Residential Services at 412-325-0039 or

Hyatt House Pittsburgh-South Side received the 2015 Governor’s Achievement Award on May 6 in Hershey. The award is presented to Southwest Pennsylvania’s best employers and was given during the 31st annual Employment, Training & Education Conference. Jewish Family & Children’s Service nominated Hyatt House for its commitment to hiring newly arrived refugees.

Since 2012, Hyatt House has hired eight of JF&CS’s employable refugees: six Nepali and two Iraqi, and only one left because of a move to another state.  Hyatt House offers full-time work and overtime hours, with benefits, starting at $9 per hour.  It encourages advancement and promotion among their refugee employees when their English or skills improve and encourage employees to learn new tasks and take on new responsibilities. The Hyatt House management believes that the retention rate among their refugee employees is high because they are prepared to work hard, thanks in part to the social services JF&CS provides to ensure refugees are acclimated to and prepared for their new life in Pittsburgh and the flexibility and cultural competency of Hyatt House management. 

Jeffrey L. Pollock was elected president of the Zionist Organization of America, Pittsburgh District chapter at a recent meeting. He is a local attorney and actor and is active with local Jewish and secular nonprofit organizations.  Previously a ZOA vice president, Pollock has been involved with all aspects of the operation of the chapter for several years.

ZOA made a presentation to outgoing president, Ira M. Frank, who completed his third two-year term, the limit allowed by ZOA bylaws. Frank is known for his activism in the Jewish community, and the ZOA has grown under his leadership.