Metro Briefs April 17

Metro Briefs April 17

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh invites Pittsburghers to celebrate Israel Independence Day, Yom Ha’atzmaut, on Tuesday, May 6 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Israel Fest, or iFest, at the Carnegie Science Center, 1 Allegheny Ave., on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.

Israeli technological innovation will be highlighted and Science Center exhibits on the first and second floors will have activities.

This year is the first in which Israel Fest will be held at the Carnegie Science Center.

“The Science Center is the perfect venue for an event that highlights technological innovation,” said Jan Levinson, iFest committee chair in a prepared statement. “The Science Center’s mission is to connect science and technology with everyday life. The needs of everyday life — water, energy, health, information — have driven Israeli innovation over the past 30 years.”

iFest will also feature special presentations by representatives from Pittsburgh’s Partnership region, Karmiel and Misgav. Demonstrations by the Misgav High School Robotics Team will showcase the talent of up-and-coming Israeli innovators. Israeli students from ORT Braude College, Karmiel — now interns at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering — will present the latest developments in orthopedic and tissue engineering research.

The event is free along with bus transportation to and from the Carnegie Science Center at three Pittsburgh locations: Rodef Shalom, 4905 Fifth Ave.; Irene Kaufmann Building of the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill, 5738 Forbes Ave.; and Community Day School, 6424 Forward Ave. For attendees who drive to the event and register in advance, free parking will be available in all three of the Carnegie Science Center’s parking lots.

Visit for a schedule of activities and bus transportation details and parking registration.

Contact Eric Probola at 412-992-5247 or or event coordinator Rebecca Sable at 412-992-5253 or for more information.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh in Squirrel Hill invites adults ages 60 and over to join a free six-week Better Choices, Better Health workshop at 5738 Forbes Ave., on Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., May 6 to June 10.

The self-management workshop, developed by Stanford University, is for older adults with ongoing, chronic health issues. Any health problem that does not go away qualifies as a chronic condition.

In a Stanford University study, people who participated in the program demonstrated significant improvements in exercise, cognitive symptom management, communication with physicians, self-reported general health, health distress, fatigue, disability and social activities limitations. They also spent fewer days in the hospital, and there was a trend toward fewer outpatient visits and hospitalizations.

Topics will include:

• Techniques for dealing with frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation.

• Appropriate exercises for strength, flexibility and endurance.

• Appropriate use of medications.

• Communicating with family, friends and health professionals.

• Nutrition.

• Evaluating new treatments.

All workshop participants will receive the companion book, “Living a Healthy Life with a Chronic Condition” and the relaxation CD, “Time for Healing” as a graduation gift. Light refreshments are provided throughout, with a graduation celebration at the end.

Contact Amy Gold at (412) 521-8011, ext. 207 to register.

Living & Learning, a service of Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, will present two new programs in April and May at Temple David in Monroeville, located at 4415 Northern Pike.

Living & Learning programs are discussion based and led by the professional staff of Squirrel Hill Psychological Services. Programs typically focus on issues related to aging, family dynamics and interfaith relationship challenges.

“The upcoming Living & Learning programs will provide an opportunity for individuals and families to come together and address complicated life issues that many of us struggle with. A professional facilitates these conversations in a comfortable, discussion-based format,” said Dr. Jordan Golin, director of Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, in a prepared statement.

“These programs are designed to help community members find practical solutions to life’s complications and challenges, and connect with others in similar situations.”

Upcoming programs include:

·     Relax, Refocus, Revitalize on Monday, April 28 at 7 p.m. in the Temple David conference room, with presenter Stefanie Small, LCSW, psychotherapist. Attendees will learn how to manage caregiver stress and practice self-care when caring for aging parents and/or older loved ones.

·     Transitioning to Adulthood on the Autism Spectrum on Wednesday, May 7 at 7 p.m. at Temple David with presenter April Artz, LPC, psychotherapist. Attendees will discuss how to help family members and/or individuals with autism spectrum disorder and prepare for the transition to adulthood, work and college.

Programs are free and open to the community.  Contact 412-372-1200 or for more information.

The Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee and the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh invite the community to “Opening Doors: Coexistence in Medieval Spain” on Sunday, April 27 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Rodef Shalom Congregation, 4905 Fifth Ave.

Michal Rose Friedman, adjunct professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University, will present “Vignettes of Coexistence in Sepharad.

The program is free and open to the community. Contact PAJC at 412-605-0816 or for more information.

Taglit-Birthright Israel has established a training program for American trip leaders through a partnership with the iCenter, a North American organization dedicated to Israel education. Taglit-Birthright Israel will dub the participants “Taglit Fellows” and expects to provide up to 200 trip leaders each year with theoretical and practical training skills.

Taglit-Birthright Israel’s three-pronged approach to trip leaders’ education will include a four-day seminar with Jewish and Israel studies and skill-building workshops, the implementation of online learning and the establishment of a networking framework. Applications for the first round of Taglit Fellows opened in April.

Applicants should be at least 21 years old, have professional experience in Jewish education or in communal settings, knowledge of Israeli history and culture, and must be able to commit to staffing three Taglit-Birthright Israel trips over the three years following the completion of training. The deadline to apply is May 15, 2014. Interested parties should visit

Seton Hill University has named Tim Crain as director of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education. His appointment is effective July 1. 

Seton Hill interim president Bibiana Boerio said, “The National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill University provides a model for teaching the Holocaust and for building relations with the Jewish and Christian communities, and certainly, all religious groups.  We are delighted that Dr. Crain will be part of our efforts to advance the Center’s life-changing work.”

Crain, who has experience in Holocaust education and outreach in Wisconsin, will also hold the rank of assistant professor and will teach in the university’s genocide and Holocaust studies program. 

Sister Gemma Del Duca, one of the two founding co-directors of the Center, will become co-director emerita.  Del Duca will continue to serve as a consultant for the Center’s program with the Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies in Israel. Del Duca and Sister Mary Noel Kernan, also a co-director emerita, founded the Center in 1987.

Crain serves at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he is an adjunct assistant professor in the Center for Jewish Studies and teaches courses on the Holocaust, modern Jewish history and comparative history of religions. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the College of Professional Studies at Marquette University. 

Contact 724-830-1033 or for more information.

B’nai Emunoh/Chabad presents entertainment Chol Hamoed Pesach for all ages Sunday, April 20 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 4315 Murray Ave.

Yo-Yo Guy Mark Hayward will perform. The charge is $6/person or $40 per family.