Metro Briefs November 15

Metro Briefs November 15

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has won the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) Sapir Award for Campaign Excellence. The award, which recognizes the Federation’s 2011 Annual Campaign, was presented this week at the JFNA General Assembly in Baltimore.

Named after Israel’s third minister of finance, Pinhas Sapir, the Sapir Award is JFNA’s primary recognition of outstanding annual campaigns among the 155 Jewish Federations and more than 300 independent Jewish communities across North America. Winning the Sapir Award is based on a series of criteria that cover the major aspects of campaign activity such as donation increases, donor acquisition and retention, and campaign innovations.  

“It’s wonderful to be honored with the Sapir Award and to be lauded as setting the standard for the country,” William C. Rudolph, Federation chair during the award-winning 2011 campaign, said in a prepared statement.  “But what’s most significant about the Federation’s fundraising success is that it allows us to do more to help people in need.”

The 2011 Annual Campaign raised $12.8 million to support the programs and institutions that enrich Jewish life in Pittsburgh, Israel and around the world. The campaign, which focused on donor cultivation saw four new major donors ($10,000 or more), 13 new pacesetters ($1,000 or more), 134 new women donors and nearly 600 new or recovered community donors.

“Our Campaign focused on strengthening relationships with donors through face-to-face meetings and personal cultivations,” Federation Chair Louis B. Plung, who chaired the 2011 Campaign, said in a prepared statement. “We spoke to donors’ interests and talked a lot about the return on investment they receive by giving through the Federation.”

Plung has been instrumental in implementing a Center for Jewish Philanthropy model in the Federation, which enables donors to address philanthropic goals through several development initiatives.

“Winning the Sapir Award is a wonderful acknowledgement of the way the Pittsburgh Jewish community persevered in a difficult economic environment,” he said in his statement. “This is a community that truly understands that the most vulnerable among us need our help even more during harder economic times. Our donor-base mobilized in 2011, succeeding in deepening the Federation’s impact while smack in the middle of a global financial downturn.”  

Added Federation President and CEO Jeffrey H. Finkelstein, “We’re blessed to live in a city that has thoughtful, philanthropic people eager to be leaders in our community, and that’s evidenced by our receiving the Sapir Award. It’s a blessing that the Federation takes very seriously, which is why we place such a high priority on being a trusted partner in tzedakah and tikkun olam.”

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh is offering $1,000 to eligible Jewish children toward the cost of overnight Jewish camp for summer 2013, through the One Happy Camper program.

One Happy Camper, which is starting its fourth year, has awarded more than $160,000 to children attending approved overnight Jewish camp programs for the first time, for a session of at least 19 days.

The Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future (CFJF) has set Jewish camp as one of its top priorities for funding based on statistical and anecdotal evidence of Jewish summer camp’s impact on participants.

Four out of five children report increased Jewish knowledge and identity after attending Jewish summer camp, and 41 percent of those who attended camp felt a strong attachment to Israel, as opposed to only 14 percent among those who never attended Jewish camp.

The Papernick Family Foundation, the Federation’s Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future and the Foundation for Jewish Camp are supporting the program.

The application process for One Happy Camper grants varies.  Families whose children attend one of Pittsburgh’s all-day Jewish schools can make application by contacting Sally Stein at the Federation, or 412-992-5243.  All other families should visit the Foundation for Jewish Camp website at

Temple David’s Holiday Shopping Bazaar will be held Sunday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  There will be aisles of crafts, chocolates, clothing, gourmet food, home decorations, jewelry, makeup, purses, skin products, toys and other gifts. Over 60 vendors will participate; there is no cost to attend.

Temple David is located at 4415 Northern Pike in Monroeville.

Contact Lisa Chotiner at for more information.

The Jewish Community Center-South Hills announces the appointment of Emily Morrow as health/physical education/recreation coordinator.  

Morrow graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in health and physical activity with an emphasis in exercise science.  She grew up in Upper St. Clair, where she played soccer and was a cheerleader at Upper St. Clair High School. During her time at Pitt, she worked at Kinder Kinetics, a youth activity/sports program offered through the University of Pittsburgh.  She served as both a swim instructor and gym instructor, working with children ages 2 to 12.

Morrow came to the JCC-South Hills as an intern and was invited to teach part time.  She was a popular teacher of the mother-daughter yoga class.

In her new role at the JCC, Morrow will be teaching children’s sports, including soccer, golf, basketball, tennis and floor hockey.  She will also be introducing new programs for children.

The JCC-South Hills, built in 1999, houses state-of-the-art fitness and wellness facilities, 25-yard heated indoor swimming pool, double-court gymnasium, and accessible outdoor playground. Comprehensive programming includes the Early Childhood Development Center, private and group swim lessons, summer camps, group exercise classes, personal training, sports and recreation programs for all ages and the SilverSneakers® senior fitness program.

The Women of Ohav Shalom will hold a Chanuka gift fair to benefit their youth education Sunday, Nov. 18, from 12:30 to 3:00 p.m.  This year more crafters and artists expand into a second room.  The crafters/artists and vendors (which include temple members and friends) include decorative batik creations, handcrafted beaded jewelry by Eileen for women and girls, Thirty-One Gifts, Tastefully Simple, handcrafted tallit designs, Pampered Chef, Steeler and Penguin jewelry, homemade baked goods, acrylic paintings, handmade Chanuka cards, Tupperware, Longaberger, knit and crocheted items, My Shoe Girl, pet products and more. Lunch will also be available.

Temple Ohav Shalom is located at 8400 Thompson Run Road, Allison Park.