Metro Briefs November 29

Metro Briefs November 29

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh will host two basketball games between the JCC Varsity Boys Basketball Team and a Partnership2Gether Team from Karmiel/Misgav, Israel.

“Chooplah for Chanukah,” as the tournament is called, will take place, Sunday, Dec. 9, 8 p.m., and Wednesday, Dec. 12, 8 p.m. Both games will be held at the JCC in Squirrel Hill and will be free. The community is encouraged to come and cheer for the teams.

The Karmiel/Misgav team is coming to Pittsburgh from Dec. 8 to 13 in a Partnership2Gether program through the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. In addition to the two JCC games, the Israelis will work with children in JCC Clubhouse, hold basketball clinics, help with senior lunch and light Chanuka candles at the JCC. They will cook Shabbat dinner with Hillel, participate in services and dinner at Temple Sinai, and eat breakfast and participate in activities at the Federation. The team will go to the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University basketball games and watch a Steelers game.

Local families will host team members. Call Jeremy Kelley at 412-521-8011, ext. 249 or Sam Bloom at 412-521-8011, ext. 366 for more information.

Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee will hold a board meeting, Tuesday, Dec. 4, featuring Hank Butler, executive director of Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition (PJC).  Butler will present a roundup of the November election and its impact on the Pennsylvania Jewish community.

The event will be held at Rodef Shalom Congregation, 4905 Fifth Ave. at 7 p.m.  The meeting is free and open to the public.

The Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee’s Christian-Jewish Dialogue will meet Thursday, Dec. 6, at Congregation Beth Shalom, 5915 Beacon St., at noon.  The topic of the upcoming session is “Separation of Church and State,” presented by Alex Orbach, and Jewish and Christian texts will be studied.

The conveners are Rabbi James Gibson, Father Radu Bordeianu, Rev. Linda Theophilus and Rabbi Michael Werbow.

The program is free to the public.  Contact the PAJC office at (412) 605-0816 or at for more information.  

The next Squirrel Hill Project program will be held Sunday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Senator John Heinz History Center.

The program, which the University of Pittsburgh Jewish Studies Program and the Rauh Jewish Archives are co-hosting, will be a morning of various activities about the history of the Jewish community in Squirrel Hill and the Pittsburgh area more broadly.

The morning will begin with a presentation, “Finding Squirrel Hill in the Archives,” by Susan Melnick, archivist of the Rauh Jewish Archives, and David Grinnell, of the Archives Service Center of the University of Pittsburgh Library, and formerly at the Heinz History Center.  They will share material from the two largest archival collections of local history, highlighting collections related to Squirrel Hill and its Jewish community.  

Following their presentation, participants will tour the various areas devoted to different activities, including hands-on training on researching local history and family history using the resources of the Heinz History Center, the Pitt Library, and other online sources.  

Highlights from the Rauh and Heinz collections will be on display and attendees are invited to bring materials such as photos, pamphlets, letters or other memorabilia from their personal collections or those from organizations they are involved with.  Scholars and archivists will be on hand to discuss the material with them and describe how those materials shed light on the history of the Jewish community and the neighborhood.  

In another area, participants will have opportunities to record memories of Squirrel Hill and other Pittsburgh Jewish communities.   

Participants will be able to view research posters prepared by Pitt students taking a course taught by Dr. Rachel Kranson this semester on “Jews and the City.”  

Films related to the history of the neighborhood will also be screened.

Admission is free. Preregistration at is requested but not required.  

Hillel Jewish University Center is holding auditions this week for its annual Campus Superstar event, which will take place March 21, 2013, at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.

With a $5,000 prize at stake, this year’s Superstar will be its biggest season since it started in 2007. Previous winners have gone on to Hollywood, Broadway and even lead roles with the Seattle Opera.

Auditions began Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Carnegie Mellon University, and were also held at the University of Pittsburgh and Point Park University.

An estimated 150 students from area colleges were expected to audition. Thirty will make the cut for a second round of tryouts in January, and 10 will compete March 21 for the title of Campus Superstar 2013.

Past competitors include Nick Cosgrove (2007), who currently plays the leading part of Frankie Valli in the first national tour of “Jersey Boys,” and Amanda Jane Cooper (2009), who has gone on to roles on “Glee” on FOX and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” on CBS.

Proceeds from Campus Superstar 2013 support the Hillel JUC.

Chabad of the South Hills will hold a benefit gala and celebration, “Light up the Night,” marking the second night of Chanuka and featuring violinist Andres Cardenes accompanied by pianist Luz Manriquez at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center Sunday, Dec. 9.

The honorees for the evening include Geoffrey and Laurie Gerber, recipients of the Lamplighter Award; Benjamin Friedlander, recipient of the Young Leadership Award; Alan Frank and Lewis Winnecour receiving the “Macabees in our Times” tributes. Cardenes will be presented with the Chesed (Kindness) Award.

Cardenes was the concertmaster for the Pittsburgh Symphony from 1989 to 2010 and has performed internationally as a soloist with more than 100 orchestras where he has received international acclaim as a violinist.

The evening will begin with cocktails and Feast of the Nations buffet dinner at 6 p.m. followed by the program and performance at 7:30 p.m.   

Visit or call Chabad of South Hills at 412-344-2424 for reservations.

Jewish Residential Services will host a workshop on “A Home of My Own: New Strategies for Creating Homes for Individuals with Disabilities,” Tuesday, Dec. 4, 6:30 p.m., at Jewish Residential Services, located at Rodef Shalom Congregation.

The workship is designed for parents interested in housing for adult children but lack the necessary state waiver funding, are looking for an alternative to a traditional group home, or want to connect with other Jewish parents in the same situation.

Nancy Murray, president of the ARC of Greater Pittsburgh at Achieva and an expert in the disability field, will be present. She is leading an initiative to create new and innovative housing opportunities for people with disabilities.

The workshop is free and kosher refreshments will be served. Contact Shani Lasin at 412-325-0039 or for more information.

Congregation Ahavath Achim in Carnegie will hold a special Shabbat service, Friday, Dec. 7, at 7:45 p.m.  The family-oriented service will include prayers in both Hebrew and English and will be followed by an Oneg Shabbat.  

Ahavath Achim, a traditional congregation, is the oldest Jewish congregation in the South Hills. Founded in 1896 and incorporated in 1903, it has been at its present building at 500 Chestnut St. since 1937.

Call 412-561-1261 for more information.

B’nai Emunoh/Chabad at 4315 Murray Ave. will hold its grand Chanuka family Melave Malka Saturday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m. Call 412-521-1477 for more information and to get a schedule of classes and services under the guidance of Rabbi Elchonon D. Friedman.