Metro Briefs April 11

Metro Briefs April 11

Irv Weiner
Irv Weiner

Irv Weiner will be honored for his 20 years of service as president of the Pliskover Cemetery Association as the Pliskovers celebrate their 105th anniversary. The celebration will take place at a dinner dance, Sunday, April 21, at Green Oaks Country Club.  

With Weiner’s leadership, the organization initiated a scholarship fund, held social events, modernized their record keeping and developed a website. The Pliskovers manage the cemetery and under Weiner’s leadership, the cemetery grounds have expanded.

The Pliskover Cemetery Association was founded in 1908 as a Free Loan Association. Their mission was to help new immigrants who arrived from a rural shetl called Pliskov, Ukraine.

To learn more about the Pliskover Association, visit their website at

Pittsburgh City Council presented a proclamation to the Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh in recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Week, which began Sunday, April 7. Councilman Corey O’Connor sponsored the proclamation.

The Holocaust Center held its annual Yom Hashoa/Holocaust Remembrance Day program, Monday, April 8, at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill. The program’s theme was “Remembering the Athletes of the 1936 Berlin Olympics”

This is the third year that City Council has issued this proclamation.

“We are honored that Councilman O’Connor, and City Council as a whole, is recognizing this very important week,” said Roberta Weissburg, co-chair of the 2013 Yom Hashoa Program subcommittee, said in a prepared statement. “We will be accepting this proclamation in honor/memory of the Survivors who came to Pittsburgh after surviving the Holocaust and rebuilt their lives here. They made it their life’s mission to, not only build our center, but also to help us ensure that an atrocity like the Holocaust never happens again. They do this through sharing their amazing stories of survival with thousands of local middle and high school students and community members. They dedicate their retirement years to reminding us how precious life is and how important it is to recognize the consequences of our actions — or inactions.”

The Rauh Jewish Archives of Heinz History Center will present the program, “They Could Get It for You Wholesale:  The History of Pittsburgh’s Fifth Avenue Wholesale District, 1880s-1980s,” Sunday, April 21, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the History Center in the Strip District.

The program will showcase a century of enterprise on what was known as “the Avenue,” and the connections of wholesalers with the retailers in the small towns in the region.

The presentation will be based in great part on the work of Amy Comins Lowenstein, who has researched the period for the past six years, documenting the wholesale district, collecting oral histories, archival materials and compiling a database of information about the wholesale houses.

Admission is free and refreshments will be served. Contact Kelly Smith at 412-454-6410 or at for reservations.  

The 2013 Omer Institute Speakers Series — a collaboration of Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha, Rodef Shalom Congregation, Congregation Beth Shalom and New Light Congregation — has released this year’s program lineup, which runs through April and May:

• Rabbi Chuck Diamond of Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha will speak Monday, April 15, 7 p.m., at TOL-OLS, on the topic, “Jews from the Former Soviet Union: From Kiev to Beer Sheva.” He will recount the recent rabbinic mission he joined to Ukraine and Israel;

• Rabbi Jonathan Perlman of New Light Congregation will speak Monday, April 22, 7 p.m., at New Light, on the topic, “The Question of God’s All Knowing Power.” He will explore psycho-spiritual discussion between Torah commentaries and translations on God’s omniscience in the story of the prophet Bilaam;

• Rabbi Michael Werbow of Congregation Beth Shalom and Dr. Deborah Gilboa will speak Monday, April 29, 7:30 p.m., at Beth Shalom on the topic, “Keys to Building and Maintaining Positive Relationships.” Gilboa and Werbow will share insights from secular and traditional sources regarding deeper, stronger, positive relationships;

• Rodef Shalom will present the Kaplan Ethics Series — “Civility and Discourse on Israel” led by a panel of experts in the field of civility and discourse, Monday, May 6, 7 p.m. at Rodef Shalom. This series will focus on Jewish thought regarding civility and discourse.  Particular attention will be given to the challenge of civility and discourse around Israel, especially within the Jewish community; and

• Laurie Zittrain Eisenberg, a professor of Middle East history at Carnegie Mellon University, will speak on the topic, “The Arab Spring: Implications for Israel,” Monday, May 13, 7 p.m. at TOL-OLS.  Eisenberg will examine the implications for Israel of this ongoing upheaval in the Muslim world, including dangers and possible opportunities.  

All sessions include refreshments.  There is no cost and all lectures are open to the public. Contact Alex Speck at 412-521-6788 or for more information.

The Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Western Pennsylvania will hold its 31st induction ceremony and banquet Sunday, May 19, at Congregation Beth Shalom, 5915 Beacon St. in Squirrel Hill. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres begin at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. followed by the induction ceremony.

Inductees this year are Mark Frank, swimming; Aaron Krause, baseball; and the late Mickey Steiner, golf.

The Manny Gold Humanitarian Award will be presented to Meyer “Skip” Grinberg. His volunteer work and community service represent the values that Gold cherished. Grinberg has been active at the local, national and international level with educational and sports organizations.

Anthony “Peppy” Giovane will receive  the Ziggy Kahn Memorial Award, which is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the children of our community. Giovane was a longtime physical education teacher at Pittsburgh Allderdice and had an impact on the lives of many Squirrel Hill youth in his time there.

The 2013 Nathan H. Kaufmann Scholastic Awards will be presented to local Jewish high school seniors who have achieved at a high level athletically and scholastically.

The Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Western Pennsylvania was founded in 1982 with a dual mission: to financially support Jewish related sports programs in western Pennsylvania and Israel and to find Jewish men and women with local connections who have achieved a high level in athletic competition, or with prestigious careers that are closely related to the sports field.

All contributions, membership fees and proceeds from the annual banquet are distributed to youth sports organizations in Pittsburgh and Israel.

Contact Alan Mallinger at 412-521-8011, ext. 272 or to order tickets.

“More Than Just Learning” hosts Shirley and Morris Shratter air “New York Scenes and Other Specialties” every Tuesday in April on Comcast Chanel 21 and Verizon 47 at 8 p.m.

Penn State New Kensington will hold its annual “Holocaust, in Remembrance” program noon, Wednesday, April 17, in the campus conference center. Lois Rubin, associate professor of English, annually arranges for guest speakers in an effort to educate students about the atrocities of the Holocaust. The program is free to the public.

Moshe Baran, president of the Holocaust Survivors Association, is the featured speaker.

The program is co-sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs. Seating is limited and group reservations are recommended. Call 724-334-6062 for information or to make a group reservation.

The University of Pittsburgh Jewish Studies Program will host a free brunch workshop with two local experts on the demography of Pittsburgh and its Jewish community on Sunday April 14, 10 a.m. to noon, in room 1500 of Posvar Hall on the Pitt campus.

The event is the sixth in a yearlong series of lectures and events hosted by the Squirrel Hill Project, an initiative of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh that explores the significance of Squirrel Hill and its Jewish community in the local and national context.  

The workshop will begin with lectures by Christopher Briem and Joshua Donner, followed by discussion.  Briem is regional economist in the Program in Urban and Regional Analysis at the University Center for Social and Urban Research and is an expert on the ebbs and flows of Pittsburgh’s population, economic activity, and neighborhood issues.

Donner is associate director of Planning and Funding at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, where he supervises long-range planning and information-gathering about the Pittsburgh Jewish community.

Bagels, coffee and tea will be served. Admission to the event is free. Preregistration at is requested but not required.

AgeWell, Pittsburgh’s adult department at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, will present a health and wellness fair, Thursday, April 18, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the JCC, 5738 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Brian Duke is the featured speaker. The event is free to the community.

The fair, presented with Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging, will include opportunities to mingle with a variety of health-related professionals. Duke will begin his talk at 2:30 p.m.

Contact Sharon Feinman at or 412-521-8010 for more information.