Metro Briefs April 14

Metro Briefs April 14

Now in its 31st year, the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh’s 2015-16 Waldman International Arts and Writing Award competition will recognize all winners at a reception to view the winning entries and meet the U.S. and Israeli student winners on Sunday, April 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall in Oakland.

The theme of this competition, “Rebuilding of Lives: Post-Holocaust Life, 1945-1955,” inspired some 250 students in grades 6 to 12 from the greater Pittsburgh area and the Karmiel-Misgav region of Israel to enter the contest. Judges determined winners in three categories: creative writing, short film and visual arts. Winners are from Yeshiva Schools, Hillel Academy, Ligonier Valley High School, Montour High School, South Allegheny High School, Pittsburgh Allderdice and Community Day School.

Visit for more information and free tickets.

National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section and the Center for Women will present Gifts and Gab on Tuesday, April 19 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Center for Women, 1620 Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill.

Co-chaired by Lynn Farber and Debbie Green, Gifts and Gab is a shopping event that benefits the Center for Women.  Vendors will include Chloe & Isabel, Cindy Urbach Jewelry, Glassworks/Cheeks, Leaf & Twig, LuLaRoe, Optical Outlet, Rodan & Fields and Stella & Dot.

The Center for Women provides programming, services and referrals to women in transition with the goal of financial literacy and economic independence and serves all women without regard to faith, socio-economic status or background. Vendors at Gifts and Gab will donate a portion of their proceeds to support the Center for Women.  

Call NCJW at 412-421-6118 for more information.

Squirrel Hill AARP Chapter 3354 will hold its Wednesday, April 20 1 p.m. meeting at New Light Congregation, 1700 Beechwood Blvd. at Forbes Avenue.

Following the business meeting, Councilman Cory O’Connor will speak about what is going on in Squirrel Hill and in the city. He will also discuss current politics. Refreshments will follow.

The community is invited to attend. Contact Frieda D. Safyan at 412-521-2804 for more information.

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh will hold a discussion on “Syria: Where are we today, how did we get there, and where do we go from here?” on Monday, April 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, East Liberty, 130 S. Whitfield St.

Ross Harrison, professor of international affairs at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, will lead the discussion. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in a discussion with Harrison during an extended Q&A session.

Harrison also serves as a professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh and as a nonresident scholar at The Middle East Institute. In addition, he annually teaches a course on strategy and international security to senior Georgian government officials at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies in Tbilisi, Georgia. He is the author of a number of publications including, “Strategic Thinking in 3D: A Guide for National Security, Foreign Policy and Business Professionals.”

The cost is $20 for World Affairs Council Members, $25 for nonmembers; refreshments are included.

Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

Former Israel Defense Forces lone soldiers, in support of those serving today, founded The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin. Levin, who was born in America, fell fighting as a lone soldier in the Second Lebanon War in 2006. His friends created the Center to provide a place to eat, socialize and receive everything from special counseling to assistance in finding an apartment. Branches are located in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Be’er Sheva.

An Israeli lone soldier is a member of the Israel Defense Forces with no family in Israel to provide support. The lone soldier might be a new immigrant, a volunteer from abroad, an orphan or an individual without a family home. There are more than 6,000 lone soldiers serving in the IDF, from 50 countries around the world. The Center’s small staff and more than 300 volunteers work to provide for the soldiers’ needs.

On Passover, lone soldiers are invited to seders through the IDF, and the LSC provides supermarket vouchers in order to assist them with the expense in observing Passover.

The Lone Soldier Center has set a goal of raising a minimum of $18,000, which will provide vouchers to at least 700 lone soldiers.

Contact Lizzie Noach, community relations staff member, at or visit for more information and to purchase vouchers.