Metro Briefs October 30

Metro Briefs October 30

Beth El Congregation of the South Hills will hold a free program for Beth El members and invited guests on Friday, Oct. 31 at 6 p.m. for Shabbat services and dinner at 7 p.m. The evening’s guest speaker will be Maj. Gen. Noam Tibon of the Israel Defense Forces, commander of Israel’s Northern Formation and one of the IDF’s most senior officers. Tibon will speak about “Israel’s Security Challenges – 2014.”

Call the Beth El office at 412-561-1168 for reservations. This event is made possible by a grant from the Lawrence and Rebecca Stern Family Foundation.

Dr. Karen Wolk Feinstein, president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and its two supporting organizations, the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative and Health Careers Futures, will be honored by Israel Bonds as its 2014 Health Professions honoree.  A reception will be held at WQED Studios on Monday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m.

Honorary chairs for the evening will be Alan R. Guttman, Nancy L. Rackoff and Patricia L. Siger. Journalist and author Seth Mnookin will be the guest speaker.

Couvert for the evening is $50, which is not tax deductible.

Contact Pittsburgh Israel Bonds at 412-362-5154 or for more information and reservations.

Community Day School in Squirrel Hill has announced plans to promote a unique shopping experience. Beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 4, CDS will be launching an online auction at Bidding for Good. Items will include gift cards to local restaurants and cultural events to jewelry, sports tickets and memorabilia.

Community members are encouraged to participate by placing their online opening offers for their favorite items and watch as the bidding continues to build for two weeks. Closing winning bids will be sealed on Tuesday evening, Nov. 18. Winners will be contacted directly by the school.

Proceeds of the auction will be used to fund the annual eighth-grade graduation trip to Israel. Visit and search Community Day School, Squirrel Hill or call the school at 412-521-1100, ext. 2118, for more information on participating in the auction.

BBYO Keystone Mountain Region AZA and BBG chapters are participating in Can-Tribute, a food drive partnership between BBYO and The local chapters are working with chapters from around the world to help fight hunger by collecting kosher canned foods to donate to the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry.

Prior to the start of the High Holidays, each member received a grocery bag in the mail and was asked to return it to the BBYO Keystone Mountain Region office by Nov. 6 – the end date of the organizationwide Can-Tribute campaign.  The teens who lead the top three biggest drives throughout BBYO’s International Order will secure seats for themselves and 20 friends at a community prescreening of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.”

Last year, BBYO Keystone Mountain Region collected over 110 pounds of food for the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry.

Contact Chuck Marcus, regional director, at or 412-446-4781 to learn more about BBYO in Pittsburgh and West Virginia.

Celebrating Volunteers is the theme of Congregation Beth Shalom’s Awards Brunch on Sunday, Nov. 9. Beth Shalom’s members will recognize Gerald Kobell with the Nathan E. Snader Award for Distinguished Service, Stephen Neustein with the Lester A. Hamburg Member of the Year Award, Bruce L. Rollman for receiving the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Volunteer of the Year Award and Aviva Selekman Lubowsky with the Ethel and Bernard M. Halpern Young Leadership Award.

The brunch is open to the community; reservations are $22. 

Contact Judy by Nov. 4 at 412-421-2288 to make reservations and payments.  

The Aleph Institute will host its annual Jewish Chaplains Conference for the rabbis, lay leaders, volunteers and mentors who visit the Jewish men and women incarcerated in this region on Sunday and Monday Nov. 9 and 10.

With more than 100 volunteers and rabbis visiting the thousands of Jewish men and women in prisons, adequate training is essential for a successful dialogue. For many inmates, there is little to no contact with their families; their sole connection to the world is their rabbi and the Aleph Institute, which provides them with hope and support.

In addition to the many programs Aleph provides to the Jewish population in prison, it also provides essential programs for the families and provides life-saving re-entry programs, including a resource for the men and women for housing, medical services and job placement in partnership with other local agencies.

The highlight of the event will be an address by the Chief Judge Joy Flowers Conti of the U.S. District Court of Western Pennsylvania at a symposium discussing “Repairing Our Community: One Person At A Time.”

The symposium is open to the public and will take place on Sunday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at Beth Shalom Congregation, 5915 Beacon St.

Also addressing the symposium are Rev. Ulli Klemm, administrator of religion and volunteer services for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections; Larry Ludwig, regional director for Pennsylvania Parole and Probation; and Dr. Wanza Jackson, religious services administrator for the Ohio Department of Corrections.

Over the two days, the participants of the conference will hear from Linda Marino, licensed clinical social worker at Jewish Family & Children’s Service; Debra Rand; attorney for Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections; Rabbi Binyomin Scheinman, executive director of Hinda Institute Chicago (re-entry program); Susan Kalson of the Squirrel Hill Health Center; and Steve Devlin of Renewal Center (Pittsburgh re-entry program).

Patty Anouchi, a mentor at Aleph Institute, will be honored for her dedication and commitment in spending over two years coaching and mentoring a young woman whose prognosis was negative, yet today she is a successful honor student at the University of Pittsburgh.

There will be a memorial for Fred Landay, a longtime volunteer and board member of the Aleph Institute who dedicated hundreds of hours helping those in the system and building the Aleph Institute.

Contact the Aleph Institute at 412-421-0111 or or visit for more information.

Artists Steffi Domike and Ann T. Rosenthal focus on environmental issues in their work, often weaving bird imagery into their pieces. Both have traced the history of their Jewish ancestors from Ukraine with the assistance of Dr. Ruth Fauman-Fichman and have linked their heritage and environmental ethics to create an exhibition, “Moving Targets,” which opens on Monday, Nov. 10 at the Gumberg Library, fourth floor, at Duquesne University.

Using digital media, painting and layering techniques, the artists will install collages, wood box paintings, maps and photos to tell the story of migration, loss and survival.

The exhibition will be open to the public, though patrons are advised to call 412-396-6130 prior to visiting. A public opening reception will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 11 from 5 p.m. to 7p.m., and the artists will offer an introduction and tour of their work. Visit for more information.

Chabad of the South Hills in Mt. Lebanon will present “5 Secrets of Great Jewish Families: Easy Lessons in Modernity, Jewishness and Success” on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.

Guest speaker Doron Kornbluth will help parents and grandparents gain and easily remember both principles and practical tips for instilling Jewish pride in their children.

Call 412-344-2424 or visit for more information.

On Tuesday, Nov. 18 at noon Chabad of the South Hills will hold a Taste of Shabbat seniors’ luncheon with music, song and Shabbat delicacies. The program will include sharing Shabbat memories and a discussion on the meaning of Shabbat in our lives today. There is a $5 suggested donation; the building is wheelchair accessible.

Preregistration is required; contact 412-278-2658 or

The ZOA National Brandeis Award Dinner will be held on Sunday, Nov. 23 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.

The Louis Brandeis Award will be presented to Mike Leven, president and chief operating officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. He is also chairman of Birthright and has been active in Jewish federations. Leven was president of the Days Inn Corporation. He serves on the boards of Tufts University and Boston University.

Pastor John Hagee, founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel, a Christian Zionist group, will receive the Sheldon and Dr. Miriam Adelson Award. Hagee is pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio. He is the president and CEO of John Hagee Ministries, which broadcasts his national radio and television ministry. The Adelsons will present the award.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will speak and will receive the Dr. Bob Shillman Award. Cruz is the first Hispanic to hold that office in Texas and is one of three Hispanics in the U.S. Senate. Cruz, a Harvard Law School graduate, served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 1996.

Visit for more information and reservations.

Riverview Towers invites the community to participate in its Chinese auction for a chance to win one prize package valued at more than $2,500. Proceeds will benefit the residents of Riverview Towers.

The prizes come from the generosity of those who donated to Quick-Step at the View, the benefit held at Riverview

Towers on Oct. 19.

A winner will be drawn on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27. Tickets are $5 each, six for $20 or 36 for $100. Proceeds will fund programming that enhances the mind, body and spirit of Riverview Towers residents.

Contact Riverview Towers at 412-521-7876 or to request a list of prizes and more information.

“More Than Just Learning” hosts Shirley and Morris Shratter interview Jewish soldier Ilya Bratman on his experiences in Iraq. The program airs every Tuesday in November on Comcast Channel 21-PCTV and Verizon 47 at 8 p.m. Other “More Than Just Learning” programs can be seen on YouTube.

Congregation Beth Shalom and former executive director Sandee Bloom have resolved the lawsuit filed by Bloom in February 2014 charging the congregation with violation of the Equal Pay Act, sex discrimination and retaliation. The parties have agreed that the terms of the settlement will be kept confidential.