Coming up in Jewish Pittsburgh

Coming up in Jewish Pittsburgh

The West Virginia Commission on Holocaust Education will present a documentary, “The Journey to Freedom,” Wednesday, March 3, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 520 Kanawha Blvd., Charleston. The documentary tells the story of Martha and Waitstill Sharp — American Unitarian Universalists — who risked their lives to save Europeans from the Nazis. In 2006, Israel named the Waitstills to the Righteous Among the Nations — only the second and third Americans to receive that honor. The program will begin with a teacher workshop at 4:30 p.m., followed by refreshment at 5:30 p.m. and the documentary at 6:30 p.m. The program is open to the public. Contact the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at (304) 345-5042 or for more information.

“Layers of Healing, Layers of Hope,” a performance by Rabbi Stanton, America’s first African American, female rabbi, will be held Wednesday, March 3, 7:30 p.m. at William Pitt Union Ballroom. Learn about her life, the challenges she has faced, and how she overcame them to become a successful spiritual and motivational leader. The program is free to students and staff. Call (412) 621-8875 or e-mail for more information.

UJF’s Young Adult Division presents Rabbi Alysa Stanton, Wednesday, March 3, from noon to 1:30 p.m., at the United Jewish Federation, 234 McKee Place. The path to the pulpit has never been as colorful as it has been for Rabbi Alysa Stanton, America’s first-ever female African American Rabbi. Come hear her unique story and learn about transformations. This Lunch & Learn is co-sponsored by the Hillel Jewish University Center. Call (412) 621-8875 or e-mail for more information.

Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee is presenting a conversation on “Jews in Interfaith Dialogue: Confidently Talking with Others About Ourselves,” along with the Agency for Jewish Learning in a series of classes from noon until 1 p.m. and continuing March 3, March 17, and March 24. All of the classes will be held at AJL, 2740 Beechwood Blvd. Space is limited. Visit or contact the PAJC office at (412) 605-0816 or at for more information.

The 17th annual Pittsburgh Jewish Israeli Film Festival will take place March 4 – 21, 2010, at SouthSide Works Cinemas and other theaters in the surrounding suburbs of Pittsburgh.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh will hold its fourth annual Big Night Saturday, March 6, 7:30 p.m., at the Irene Kaufmann Building, 5738 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. This year’s theme is Party with the Presidents. This year’s program celebrates the JCC’s board presidents of the past 50 years and benefits the JCC’s scholarship fund. Party with the Presidents will not be politics as usual. The Capitol Steps — a musical comedy troupe that spoofs all things political — will celebrate the JCC’s leaders. The Big Night Silent Auction includes several vacation packages, wine cellars, jewelry and designer accessories and dining and entertainment packages. Contact Cathy Samuels at (412) 521-8011 Ext. 165 or for event information and tickets.

Beth-El Sisterhood will stage its Second Annual Vashti’s Banquet Sunday, March 7, at 6 p.m. The women-only event will be held at the synagogue, 1900 Cochran Road, Scott Townbship.
The festivity is designed to “recapture the atmosphere of joyfulness and triumph that must have surrounded Queen Vashti and her companions after she refused the king at the second annual Vashti’s banquet.” Vashti is one of the main female roles in the story of Purim. The event will include a light Middle Eastern dinner, a belly dancing performance and workshop by Moquette Volante, henna tattoos, and a shuk-like shopping experience for all manner of beauty secrets. There is a charge. Reservations are due by Feb. 28. Contact Sisterhood at or (412) 561-1168 for more information.

The Yeshiva Girls’ High School Production, “Staying Connected,” will be performed, for women only, Tuesday, March 9, and Wednesday March 10, at 7:30 p.m. at Yeshiva Girls School, 6401 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. Lieba Rudolph wrote the script, which is by girls and for women, and Amy Guterson is directing the show. The performance is a humorous play depicting how people can use modern technology for good. It stars a modern teenager, Tiffany, showing the dramatic impact technology had on her life and the courageous way her friends saved the day using the tools they had.

The Squirrel Hill Historical Society free monthly meeting will be on “Celebrating 100 Years,” the Mary Brown/Ames Memorial United Methodist Church in Squirrel Hill, with speaker Pastor Jim Cannistraci, Tuesday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m., at the Sixth Presbyterian Church, corner of Murray and Forbes avenues. Visit or call (412) 417-3707 for more information.

The 18th Annual Taste of Westmoreland will be held Saturday, March 13, in the Student Union at the University of Pittsburgh Greensburg. Congregation Emanu-El Israel in Greensburg sponsors the event, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m., and brings together more than 30 restaurants and caterers of Westmoreland County, which run tasting stations for attendees. More than 1,000 people are expected to attend. There will be door prizes, a Chinese auction and silent auction, featuring special items, baskets of gifts and gift certificates. All prizes have been donated by merchants throughout Westmoreland County. Anyone bringing canned and/or non-perishable items for the Westmoreland County Food Bank will receive one free ticket for the Chinese auction. Tickets can be purchased at the synagogue, 222 N. Main St., Greensburg, or at the Shop & Save Markets on Rt. 136, Greensburg; E. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg; and Rt. 30 Latrobe. Additional sites include Giant Eagle (Eastgate), Craftique, Greensburg; Rose Style Shoppe, Latrobe; DeGennaro’s Restaurant, South Greensburg; and at the Norwin and Westmoreland Chambers of Commerce. Contact Congregation Emanu-El Israel at (724) 834-0560 or visit

Judaic artist Mordechai Rosenstein will visit Temple David, 4415 Northern Pike, Monroeville, from Friday, March 12, through Saturday, March 13. Rosenstein is best known for his Judaic art depicting liturgical pieces and biblical scenes; he uses a calligraphic technique combined with vivid colors. Rosenstein will participate in Shabbat worship service on Friday evening, presenting a talk entitled, “My Journey as an Artist.” On Saturday he will participate in Torah study at 9 a.m. and Shabbat morning services at 10 a.m., presenting a talk on “The Art Within Shabbat and Torah” during the morning service. Rosenstein will be the featured guest at a reception Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and will present his third speech, “The History of Creating Jewish Art.” Reservations are only necessary for the Saturday evening reception. There is no charge for reservations made prior to March 8. Contact Deborah Cooper at (412) 829-1327 or for reservations or for more information.

Campus Superstar, an “American Idol”-like contest displaying some of the best music talent at Pittsburgh’s college campuses, will hold its final competition Sunday, March 21, 7 p.m. at Carnegie Music Hall. The proceeds from the annual Campus Superstar program benefit the Hillel Jewish University Center. Contact Linda Myers at or (412) 621-8875 Ext. 101 for more information.