Metro Briefs October 15

Metro Briefs October 15

Congregation Emanu-El Israel’s Festival of the Jewish Arts will present the Coen brothers’ movie “A Serious Man” on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at 222 N. Main Street in Greensburg. A discussion will follow. The movie is free and open to the community, and movie snacks will be provided. The program is co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Contact 724-834-0560 or for more information.

J Line will enjoy a late night Havdalah program with teens from around the community on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Jewish Community Center Robinson Building in Squirrel Hill. The evening will include Havdalah with music, fun and games and Jewish Teen Engagement: What Are They Saying About You? Contact Carolyn Gerecht at for more information.

Following the passing of the Congressional review of the Iran deal, J Street is refocusing on establishing a comprehensive plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. J Street Pittsburgh will hold a discussion by Tent of Nations Director Daoud Nassar on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 3 p.m. at the Carnegie Public Library in Squirrel Hill at 5801 Forbes Ave.

Tent of Nations’ mission is to build bridges between people and between people and the land. It brings different cultures together to develop understanding and promote respect in a shared environment. Contact to make a reservation or for more information.

The East Winds Symphonic Band will hold a free cabaret-themed concert to benefit the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. at Rodef Shalom Congregation in Shadyside. Those attending are encouraged to bring donations of nonperishable food or cash as they enter the building’s Freehof Hall to hear the 70-member ensemble, taste light refreshments and enjoy BYO wine.  All donations received will be used to support the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry, which serves families and individuals in the 15217 ZIP code that meet specified income requirements.

For most of its 34-year history, the band – which is based in Pittsburgh’s eastern suburbs – has offered an annual concert at the synagogue. The late Aaron Silberman, a congregation member and patron of musical arts, initiated the series.  Later, and until his death in 2013, those concerts were coordinated by Norman Kanel.  Kanel’s longtime support for the food bank will be honored at the concert, which officially carries the name of “The Norman Kanel Music With a Mission Concert.”  The Stanley J. and Sandra Gurgon Spear Fund will underwrite the concert.

The East Winds Symphonic Band’s members are all volunteers, united by a love for live music.  Through weekly rehearsals and concerts throughout the year, the band’s repertoire has grown to embrace a variety of musical styles and compositions arranged for wind concert bands.  Many of the selections for this year’s cabaret program were initially heard on Broadway and later made into feature films.  They include “Chicago,” “South Pacific,” “The King and I,” “My Fair Lady” and “Into the Woods.” 

Free parking is available in the lot immediately behind the building, which is located at 4905 Fifth Ave.

AARP Squirrel Hill Chapter 3354 will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. at New Light Congregation at 1700 Beechwood Blvd. at Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill.

Following the business meeting, the Jewish Community Center Choir will entertain. Light refreshments will be served.

Contact Frieda Safyan at 412-521-2804 for more information.

Congregation Emanu-El Israel Sisterhood and Men’s Club invite the community to a meet and greet with Yevgevy Kutik on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. at 222 N. Main St. in Greensburg. Kutik will be the featured soloist for the opening program of the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 24.

Kutik emigrated from Minsk, Belarus, to the United States at the age of 5. He will share his family’s experiences when they escaped the former Soviet Union. He will play music composed by Jewish composers; a reception will follow.

There is no fee for the evening. Contact the CEI office at 724-834-0560 or Terri Katzman at 724-837-8275 for more information.

The Monroeville Interfaith Ministerium will hold a free lecture on “Moses, Jesus and Mohammed” with Tim Crain, director of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Gateway Middle School Auditorium, 4450 Old William Penn Highway in Monroeville.

Crain received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Marquette University, where he triple majored in philosophy, history and political science. After completing his master’s degree in history, he completed his doctoral studies in Jewish History at Arizona State University. His primary research interest is modern anti-Semitism.

Contact Rabbi Barbara Symons, MIM president at 412-372-1200 or for more information.

National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section affiliate Standing Firm will recognize employers who have taken a stand against partner violence on Thursday, Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Omni William Penn Hotel, downtown Pittsburgh.

Stand Up for Standing Firm will feature a keynote by attorney and advocate Joshua Safran; the presentation of the Champion Award to Kristy Trautmann, executive director of the FISA Foundation; and the presentation of the Employer Award to the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

Standing Firm alerts employers to the financial, safety and human costs of partner violence in the workplace and workforce and arms them with tools for taking effective organizational action.

Visit for more information and tickets.

Jewish Family & Children’s Service and Jewish Residential Services will hold a presentation on transportation options for individuals with special needs as part of the educational series AIM: Support for Families of Individuals with Special Needs on Monday, Oct. 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the JF&CS offices in Squirrel Hill, 5743 Bartlett St.

Featured speakers include Karen Hoesch, executive director of ACCESS Transportation Systems who will discuss eligibility and services provided for those with special needs and disabilities through all of the Port Authority systems, including the Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP), as well as Madonna Long of Star Transportation Group, who will discuss how her organization provides accessible transportation for those with special needs and disabilities.

The presentation is free and open to the community and includes a light kosher meal at 6 p.m. Registration is required. Contact 412-422-7200 or for more information and to register. 

WQED will welcome Dr. Michael Sherf, deputy CEO and head of hospitals of Clalit Health Services, on Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at WQED-TV, Elsie Hilliard Hillman Conference Room on the 2nd floor, 4802 Fifth Ave. Parking is available in the lot.

Clalit is the largest of Israel’s four health maintenance organizations. Clalit serves 54 percent of Israel’s citizens and residents, particularly linguistic and religious minorities. The organization operates 14 hospitals and 1,400 primary care and specialty clinics, including three geriatric and long-term care hospitals, 83 physiotherapy centers and 22 mental health clinics.

Sherf will describe how Clalit hospitals received the highest ratings on the first- ever Health Ministry survey of care in Israel.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Health Organization, Israel outperforms the United States in longevity and spends significantly less in health care. Israeli citizens live an average of three years longer than U.S. citizens, and Israel’s health spending, as a share of the GDP, is 7.5 percent compared with 16.4 percent in the United States.

Sherf will discuss the benefits and shortfalls of the Israeli health care system compared with our system in the United States and others around the world. 

RSVP by Oct. 19 to Millie Greene at or 412-594-2556.

The United Way-funded WorkAble partnership of the Career Development Center of Jewish Family & Children’s Service, South Hills Interfaith Ministries, North Hills Community Outreach and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will hold a career fair for job seekers on Thursday, Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Millvale Community Center.

Those wishing to attend the career fair must register in advance by calling 412-586-3773. Those who are struggling and need assistance can call the WorkAble hotline at 412-904-5993 or visit

New Light Sisterhood is sponsoring a trip to Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural delight, Kentuck Knob, and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art on Sunday, Nov. 1. The bus will leave New Light Congregation at 9 a.m. The charge is $54 per person, which includes round trip bus transportation and guided tours of both Kentuck Knob and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. Contact Trudy Wachs at 412-422-4414 to make reservations.

Zionist Organization of America-Pittsburgh District president Jeffrey L.  Pollock announced that ZOA’s annual awards dinner will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at Congregation Beth Shalom at 6 p.m. The dinner will be served under the supervision of the Vaad Harabanim.

ZOA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, given to those who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the State of Israel and the Jewish people, will be presented to Drs. Tova and Joel Weinberg.   

The Ivan and Natalie Novick Community Leadership Award, given in memory of their lifetime of service and leadership, will be presented to Andy “Hirsh” Dlinn, for representing their spirit in the community to Jewish and humanitarian causes.

Demonstrating outstanding service to and for Israel, Julie Paris will be presented with ZOA’s Israel Service Award.

Contact ZOA Executive Director Stuart Pavilack at 412-665-4630 or at

South Hills Interfaith Ministries (SHIM) announced the promotion and hiring of three individuals who, alongside executive director Jim Guffey, will help lead the organization’s impact across the South Hills. Ilene Potashman Cohen and Courtney Macurak, current members of SHIM’s staff, will take on new roles. Linda Lewis joined the SHIM team this month. The new executive team will lead the nearly 50-year-old organization as it works to address trends within the community in need of SHIM’s attention, such as the increasing rate of suburban poverty and its multitude of effects.