Metro Briefs May 5

Metro Briefs May 5

The 24th annual Komen Pittsburgh Race for the Cure will be held on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8 in Schenley Park.  The Pittsburgh Komen Race for the Cure is one of the largest fundraisers in the city, and helps Komen’s ability to fund breast health programs that benefit women and men in 34 counties in western and central Pennsylvania. Visit for more information.

The Squirrel Hill Historical Society will hold its next free meeting on Tuesday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave.

Todd Wilson, engineer and author, will speak on “The Evolution of Bridges in Pittsburgh.” Contact 412-417-3707 or or visit for more information.

The weekend of May 13 and May 14 Shaare Torah will be bringing in Rabbi Shalom Hammer as a scholar-in-residence. Hammer has been living in Israel for 25 years. He served under the Rabbinate Division of the Israeli Defense Forces and currently serves as a lecturer for the IDF to help motivate troops in all divisions and infuse Jewish identity. Hammer is also involved in his own initiative, offering lectures throughout the country on the basics of Judaism to many secular kibbutzim and moshavim. Contact Shelly Itskowitz at for more information.

Beth El Congregation invites the community to talks led by Rabbi Danny Schiff, Jewish Community Foundation scholar, and Rabbi Marc Rosenstein as the South Hills celebrates Israel Week on Sunday, May 15 at 10:15 a.m.

A complimentary brunch will be followed by discussions on “Palestinian Arabs and the Jewish State” and “New Pew and the Israeli Jew.” Visit for more information and to RSVP online by May 10 or call 412-561-1168.

The Friendship Circle will celebrate 10 Years of Friendship & Growing on Sunday, May 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at STAGE AE at 400 N. Shore Drive. The evening will include a strolling dinner, silent auction and senior recognition. Visit for more information.

Chabad of the South Hills in Mt. Lebanon will hold a lunch for seniors on Tuesday, May 17 at noon. There will be a senior safety presentation by the Mt. Lebanon Police Department.  There is a $5 suggested donation; the building is wheelchair accessible. Contact 412-278-2658 or for more information.

Daniel Gordis, senior vice president and Koret Distinguished Fellow at Shalem College, Jerusalem, will speak at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Annual Campaign Thank You event on Wednesday, May 18 at 7 p.m. at Rodef Shalom Congregation. The event is held in appreciation of donors who have given $1,000 or more to the 2016 Annual Campaign.

The evening will also feature the presentation of the PNC Community Builders Award to Dr. Stanley M. Marks by PNC Bank President and CEO Sy Holzer, and Anita Lopatin Smolover will receive the Campaigner of the Year Award.

The event is for invitees only and is sponsored by the Ira and Nanette Gordon Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Dessert will be served following the presentation, and dietary laws will be observed. There is a $10 charge per person.

Contact Emily Richman at or 412-992-5217 for more information and to register.

Hadassah Greater Pittsburgh is hosting “Paint by Numbers – 32B, 34C, 36D,” a fundraising event to support breast cancer research at both Hadassah Hospital Israel and in Pittsburgh. This is a photographic exhibition and sale of artwork painted on the bare chests of 24 models — 23 women and one man at the Framehouse Gallery in Lawrenceville. The opening reception, by reservation only, will be held on Thursday, May 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

The photos will be for sale and will be on view at the gallery through Sunday, May 22. The models were painted by 14 artists and photographed by two photographers. The painting session was intended to empower the models that have had double or single mastectomies, lumpectomies or reconstructive surgery.  The identity of the models is confidential and their faces are not shown.

The printed photographs will be available for purchase framed and unframed.

Checks for the reception ($36 per person) or donations along with an email address and phone number should be mailed to Hadassah, 1824 Murray Ave., Suite 202, Pittsburgh, PA 15217. Call 412-421-8919 to pay by credit card or to purchase artwork if unable to attend.

Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, May 19 at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill. This meeting is free and open to the community.

This year’s annual meeting focuses on how the agency builds on regional diversity and inclusion through providing innovative social services to the community. The meeting will include a multimedia exhibit at the American Jewish Museum at the JCC highlighting the lives of refugees. The exhibit, aimed at educating and inspiring the community about the newly arriving refugees who call Pittsburgh home, will be open to annual meeting attendees before the reception. JF&CS staff will answer questions and share commentary about refugee resettlement in our region. The Refugee & Immigrant Services program of JF&CS helps federally sanctioned newcomers coming to the area with any number of resettlement issues, from securing housing to finding work.

The 2016 Dr. Howard A. Mermelstein Leadership Award will be presented to Dr. Matthew A. Keller, a board member since 2008. This annual award honors a JF&CS board member who has displayed outstanding leadership and commitment to the greater Pittsburgh community and dedication to the mission of JF&CS of supporting people through life’s changes and challenges.

The meeting is free and open to the community, but reservations are requested. The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. with an appetizer and dessert buffet (dietary laws observed) and live music featuring Machete Kisumontao, a band from Pittsburgh that blends Puerto Rican rhythms and Afro-Latino beats. The program begins at 7:00 pm.

To RSVP contact 412-586-3777 or

The Unsung Jewish Heroes Celebration to honor 20 local educators and highlight the latest in community education will be held on Sunday, May 22 at 5 p.m. in Levinson Hall at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh in Squirrel Hill. The event, presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, will include the presentation of awards to 20 local educators, staff and volunteers who make a lasting impact in Jewish education. In addition, the event will include remarks by Rabbi Amy Bardack, Federation’s new director of Jewish education and community capacity building, and the presentation of the 2016 Harold Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education.

Bardack will begin her duties on July 1. She will work to ensure high-quality Jewish programs in the community, boost engagement of Jews of all ages and backgrounds and strengthen Jewish identity and leadership. Currently, she is the Judaic studies director, Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston. Bardack will bring to Pittsburgh more than 15 years of experience in day school settings. She is the current president of the New England Rabbinical Assembly.

Bardack holds a Bachelor of Arts in religion from Columbia University and a master’s degree in Hebrew letters from American Jewish University. She received her rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

The Harold Grinspoon Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education recognize skilled, innovative educators in day schools, religious schools and early childhood centers. Honorees are nominated by the organizations they serve. In Pittsburgh the award is supported by the Barbara and Lester Parker Fund for a Jewish Future Endowment of the Jewish Community Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Barbara Parker will present this year’s award to Jackie Goldblum, a middle school teacher at Community Day School, where she teaches history, comparative religion and Hebrew. The award recognizes Goldblum, who has taught at CDS for 17 years, for her consistent, effective classroom use of art, writing and primary source documents.

Light refreshments will be served. Dietary laws will be observed. The event is free, but registration is requested.

Contact Christa Maier at 412-992-5249 or for details and to register. A complete list of the 2016 Unsung Jewish Heroes Award honorees and their organizations is available at

Comedian, author and actor Richard Lewis is the keynote entertainer at the Jewish Association on Aging’s annual “Art of Aging” fundraiser and 110th anniversary celebration. The night of comedy will be held Thursday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Heinz History Center.

Lewis currently can be seen on the Starz series “Blunt Talk” in which he plays the role of Patrick Stewart’s Freudian analyst.

This is the third annual Art of Aging event the JAA has sponsored. Proceeds of the evening benefit local seniors in need. This year’s honorary chairs are Linda and Steve Halpern. Steve Halpern is the former chairman of the board of the JAA.

The event is also honoring longtime Pittsburgh volunteer and activist Bobbee Slotsky Kramer.

Visit or for information and tickets.

The Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee selected Joan Mukogosi, a senior at Winchester Thurston School, as the winner of the 2016 Caplan-Lieber Human Relations Scholarship on April 20. PAJC presents this award annually to a high school junior or senior who has shown leadership and initiative in building bridges between diverse groups in their school or community. Mukogosi founded and is the current president of the Black Student Union, a club that focuses on creating a safe environment for marginalized students to share and learn about their culture. She will receive a $1,000 scholarship to further her education goals, and Winchester Thurston School will receive a $500 grant for future diversity initiatives.