Coming up

Coming up

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh-South Hills, 345 Kane Blvd., Scott, will celebrate its 12th birthday Sunday, Jan. 30. Activities will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and the JCC will be free and open to everyone in the community from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The JCC-South Hills, built in 1999, houses state-of-the-art fitness and wellness facilities, 25-yard heated indoor swimming pool, doublecourt 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 one of the largest SilverSneakers senior fitness programs in western Pennsylvania. Contact JCC at (412) 278-1975 Ext. 204, or for more information.

Rabbi Norman M. Cohen of Bet Shalom Congregation, Minnetonka, Minn., will appear at Rodef Shalom Congregation, Monday, Jan. 31, 7 to 8:30 p.m., for study and conversation to kick off Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month. The program, titled “What an Inclusive Jewish Community Looks Like, and Why Including People With and Without Disabilities is our Jewish Way,” is designed to further inclusion in the Jewish education and in the Jewish community. The Agency for Jewish Learning and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh are co-sponsoring the program. Contact AJL at (412) 521-1101 Ext. 3207 or for more in information.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Squirrel Hill branch will partner with AARP tax aides and IRS-trained volunteers to provide free tax service to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays, noon to 3 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call (412) 422-9650 after Jan. 17 to schedule an appointment. The tax service will begin Tuesday, Feb. 1. The library also will have all the popular federal, state and city tax forms.

Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee will hold its next Christian–Jewish Dialogue session Thursday, Feb. 3, noon, at the Church of the Redeemer (next to St. Edmunds Academy), 5700 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. The topic will be “End of Life.” Guest speakers include Dr. Jonathan Weinkle of the Squirrel Hill Health Center, from the Jewish perspective and Sr. Catherine Higgins, C.S.J. from the Catholic perspective. The Christian–Jewish Dialogue is free and open to the public. Its monthly conveners are Rabbi Jamie Gibson, Rev. Cynthia Bronson Sweiger, Father Dan Valentine and Rabbi Michael Werbow. Contact the PAJC at (412) 605-0816 or at for more information.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Foundation will hold its 15th Annual Pittsburgh Snowbird Event, Sunday, Feb. 6, 11 a.m., at the Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla. Author and educator Jeffrey Morton will be on hand to speak on the topic, “Israel: The Search for Normalcy in a Troubled Region.”

The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute will present Toward a Meaningful Life: A Soul-Searching Journey for Every Jew, the institute’s new six-session winter 2011 course that will begin during the week of Feb. 6, 2011. Rabbi Simon Jacobson, head of the Meaningful Life Center in New York City and author of “Toward a Meaningful Life,” prepared the sessions, but they are freestanding and no prior familiarity with the book is assumed. Rabbi Mendel Rosenblum of Chabad of the South Hills is the course instructor. The sessions will be held at Chabad of the South Hills, 1701 McFarland Road in Mt. Lebanon on Sundays and Wednesdays. Call (412) 344-2424 or visit <a for registration and other course-related information.

Congregation Beth Shalom will host over 100 Jewish teenagers from western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and West Virginia for Central Region USY (CRUSY) Specialty Kinnus, a regional convention that focuses on social action projects. Teenagers will visit the city from Thursday, Feb. 24 to Sunday, Feb. 27. Friday will be spent volunteering at various nonprofits around the city and participants will then return to the synagogue for the remainder of the weekend for Shabbat and other educational programming. Contact Carolyn Gerecht, Congregation Beth Shalom’s youth director at (421) 421-2411 or for more information.

One of the youngest survivors of Auschwitz, who rose to become arguably the highest-ranking American jurist in the world, is slated to speak in Wheeling, W.Va., in March. Thomas Buergenthal, who recently retired as the American judge to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, will give a talk at the Ohio County Public Library Friday, March 4, but that evening, he will speak at Temple Shalom following Shabbat services. He is coming to West Virginia to attend a Founders Day program at Bethany College, where he is an alumnus. Buergenthal, who served on the International Court from 2000 to 2010, recently published his memoir entitled, “A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy.” Services that evening will start at 7 p.m. The program itself will begin at 8:15. Rabbi Beth Jacowitz Chottiner will act as moderator.

Sherree Hall will lead a Jewish Community Center sponsored bike trip through Israel from March 6 to 17, 2011. Hall, JCC Sports and Wellness division director, will take the group from the Golan Heights to Masada, traveling nine to 32 miles a day, depending on the difficulty of the terrain. Part of the ride will be on the new Partnership 2000 Bike Trail in the Karmiel/Misgav region. The trip cost includes bikes, security, support cars, maps, insurance, accommodations, bike guides and all the logistics. Partnership 2000 and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh are co-sponsoring the ride. Contact Hall at (412) 521-8011 Ext. 374, or for more information.

JFilm: The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum will hold its 18th annual film festival from March 24 to April 10. Narrative and documentary films from around the world will be screened at the SouthSide Works Cinema and other venues throughout the city and suburbs. Film titles will be released in January. Tickets for all events go on sale March 3. JFilm is a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Contact Kathryn Spitz Cohan at (412) 992-5256 or for more information.

(Angela Leibowicz can be reached at