Metro Briefs November 27

Metro Briefs November 27

Kim Weiss, who has family in Pittsburgh, has been a book publicist, writer, author mentor and art lover for more than 20 years. As an adult, she began documenting the awe and beauty of nature from her 14th-floor apartment terrace in South Florida. The result: “Sunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe & Gratitude,” published in October by HCI Books.

The compact gift book is of color photographs of different suns on different days, captured from the very same vantage point, on the very same terrace. Each photo is accompanied by a reflective passage.

Weiss, who will be in Pittsburgh to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family, will be at Barnes & Noble at the Waterworks Mall on Saturday, Nov. 29 at 2 p.m.

Contact Kim Weiss at 800-851-9100, ext. 212, or for more information.

The Center for Women will be the home of a new Toastmasters International club.

Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide to help members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills. The Center for Women is a nonprofit organization devoted to helping women re-enter the workforce and achieve economic independence and financial security after divorce, being widowed or being at home caring for their families.

A demonstration meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at The Center for Women, 1620 Murray Ave.

Contact Becky Abrams at 412-421-4400 or to attend or for more information.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh is part of an international call to action on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

#GivingTuesday inspires personal philanthropy and encourages bigger, better and smarter charitable giving during the holiday season.

The three ways of giving are through your time, talent and resources. On #GivingTuesday, you will be able to provide all three: time — a variety of volunteer experiences through the Jewish Federation Volunteer Center; talent — phoning at the Federation from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (If you are a Federation fundraiser this will count toward your team’s points); and resources – give to the 2015 annual campaign and solicit others.

Contact Brad Stamm, campaign associate, at 412-992-5228 or for more information.

Adat Shalom, Beth El Congregation of the South Hills, New Light and Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha, in cooperation with Classroom without Borders, will hold an open house on Thursday, Dec. 4 for a trip to Israel being planned by the congregations. The open house will run from 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. at Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha, 5898 Wilkins Ave. in Squirrel Hill.

The trip, to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut in Israel, is scheduled from April 19 to April 30, 2015.

Avi Ben-Hur, Classroom without Borders scholar-in-residence, director of education and the planned tour guide, was the director of the Archaeological Seminars School for Israeli tour guides. He is on the faculty of the University of Haifa Tourism School and is an examiner for the Israeli Ministry of Tourism in addition to his responsibilities for Classroom without Borders.

Space is limited; deposit checks of $250 will be accepted at the end of the open house to reserve a spot.

Contact 412-521-6788 for more information.

Scholar Edward Bleiberg, curator of Egyptian, classical and ancient Near Eastern art at the Brooklyn Museum, will be featured at the Temple Emanuel Sajowitz Endowment Fund Weekend on Dec. 12 and Dec. 13.

Contact Temple Emanuel at 412-279-7600 or visit for more information.

Chabad of the South Hills will hold a communitywide Chanukah celebration at the Galleria Mt. Lebanon, on the second level near the fountain, on Tuesday, Dec. 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The free event will begin with an 8-foot menorah lighting followed by Klezmer music, children’s activities and crafts and Chanukah doughnuts.

Chabad of the South Hills will be holding its annual Chanukah Toy Drive for hospitalized and underprivileged children and will be collecting new unwrapped toys. Toys can be dropped off at Chabad at 1701 McFarland Road, Mt. Lebanon or at the menorah lighting event.

Contact 412-278-2658 or for more information.

The Jewish Community Center South Hills and Chabad of the South Hills are co-sponsoring the Chanukah Seniors Luncheon on Tuesday, Dec. 23 at 12:30 p.m. at the JCC, 345 Kane Blvd. in Scott Township. The program will include lunch with hot latkes, a menorah lighting, Chanukah music and good company. There is a $5 suggested donation; the building is wheelchair accessible.

Preregistration is required. Contact Barb at 412-278-2658 or

The Foundation for Jewish Camp has launched BunkConnect, a new, national program that matches eligible families with high-quality nonprofit Jewish summer camps at a more affordable price.

Jewish overnight camp offers children the opportunity to discover who they are and build connections to the Jewish future while having the time of their lives. The experience is widely viewed as an essential part of fostering Jewish identity in children and creating a robust Jewish community.

After income-eligible families of all Jewish backgrounds supply some basic, confidential information into the online tool, BunkConnect matches them with available camp sessions at low introductory rates of 40 percent to 60 percent off list prices. This initiative is modeled after the success of FJC’s One Happy Camper program – a need-blind grant initiative for first-time campers.

Visit for more information and to determine eligibility.

Community Day School has announced that the honorees for its annual 2015 Winter Gala include Ellen Weiss Kander, in memoriam, with a Lifetime Achievement Award for all that she did for Community Day School and the entire community. Debbie Resnick will be honored with the Leadership Award for her continued philanthropic and volunteer support of Community Day School. Shirley Moritz will be honored as the Volunteer of the Year as a dedicated grandparent who continues to passionately support the school.

This year’s Gala event co-chairs Howard and Nicole Valinsky and Tim and Jennifer Richart, along with honorary chairs Tom and Linda Holber, Lou and Lori Plung and Lou and Amy Weiss, are making plans for Saturday, Feb. 21 at the Omni William Penn Hotel, downtown. The gala will feature cocktails, dinner and dancing to the music of Gary Racan and the studio e Band.

Contact Debbie Iszauk at or 412-521-1100, ext. 2117, for more information about sponsorship opportunities or attending the sixth annual Winter CDS Gala.