Metro Briefs April 19

Metro Briefs April 19

Justin Jacobs, a Chronicle correspondent and former associate editor of the paper, has won a Simon Rockower Award for excellence in Jewish journalism.

Jacobs won in the category of spot news coverage for a story he wrote for the Chronicle on a local boycott of the scotch industry following a Scottish council’s own declared boycott of Israeli goods for what it said was excessive military action against Palestinians during the Israeli army’s 2010 Gaza incursion.

The awards, which are sponsored by the American Jewish Press Association, will be presented at its annual conference in June at Philadelphia.

NA’AMAT USA, Pittsburgh Council Lunch and Learn program will feature Ed Frim, executive director of the Agency for Jewish Learning, Wednesday, April 25, at noon at the Labor Zionist Educational Center, 6328 Forbes Ave.

Bring your lunch; drinks and snacks are provided. The program is free and open to the community. Call 412-521-5253 for more information.

Ladies Hospital Aid Society is taking applications for its 2011-2012 Charitable Allocations Program. 

The program reviews grant proposals for organizations and programs that comply with the LHAS mission: to provide support to the sick and the poor living in our diverse neighborhoods. 

Grants are not made to individuals, to underwrite salaries, fellowships or support capital campaigns.  Projects are reviewed and awarded on an annual basis.  An applicant may re-apply each year with a maximum of funding for three consecutive years.

Awards may range from $1,000 to $15,000.  Grants will be awarded in June.

Applications must be submitted by close of business Friday, May 11, to the LHAS Allocations/Distribution Committee, UPMC Montefiore Hospital, Suite N-709, 3459 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213.  The grant application form and guidelines can be obtained by visiting or by calling the LHAS Office at 412-648-6106.

Congregation Beth El of the South Hills will hold an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, Sunday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the synagogue, 1900 Cochran Road. Call 412-561-1168 for more information. There is a charge.

At the same time and date, the congregation will hold South Hills Genealogy Day. The class schedule includes a presentation on the use of, which features databases, research tools and other resources for Jewish ancestry research.

The program is free. Reservations are requested Contact or at 412-849-5549 for reservations.

Anat Hoffman, an Israeli women’s activist, will speak at Rodef Shalom Congregation, Monday, April 30, 7 p.m., in a program titled, “From the Back of the Bus to the Top of the Agenda: Fighting for the Rights of Women in Israel.”

Arrested for carrying a Torah Scroll at the Western Wall, Hoffman has become a symbol for the struggle for religious and women’s rights in Israel. Hoffman will discuss the strategies and barriers for forming a tolerant and egalitarian Israel.

Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee is sponsoring the program.

She is a founding member of the Women of the Wall, executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, and a former member of the city council of Jerusalem.

Contact Deborah Fidel at or 412-605-0816 for more information.

Chabad of the South Hills will hold its sixth annual women’s spring dinner, featuring guest speaker Leah Herman on “What’s in your cup? Savoring your Judaism and finding the piece that speaks to you,” Thursday, May 3, at 6 p.m. at 1701 McFarland Road in Mt. Lebanon. There will also be a performance by Kol Shira, Pittsburgh’s Jewish women’s a cappela ensemble.  

There is a charge. Visit to register or call Batya at 412-344-2424. 

Jewish Family & Children’s Service, the Squirrel Hill Psychological Services and Quest Therapeutic Camps are collaborating to offer a therapeutic day camp program in Pittsburgh for children with mild to moderate emotional and social challenges.

Quest Camp, which is new to the Pittsburgh area, is designed for children with diagnoses including attention deficit disorder, chronic anxiety, chronic depression and high-functioning Asperger’s syndrome.

It will offer campers a highly structured therapeutic curriculum that will look and feel like a typical summer camp.

Activities include swimming, field trips, sports and drama and music classes.

Quest Camp will run from June 25 to Aug. 17 at the Carnegie Mellon University campus.

Visit for more information and to register.

Rabbi Alex Greenbaum of Beth El Congregation will lead the weekly current events class Friday, April 20, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., hosted by the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh’s AgeWell’s Adult Department. The class will be held in Room 307 in the JCC, 5738 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. There is no fee and the program is open to the community.

Contact Nicole Mezare at 412-521-8011, ext. 278 or for more information.

Congregation B’nai Abraham will host Holocaust Survivor Shulamit Bastacky Friday, April 20, at 8 p.m.  A short Shabbat service will be held at 7:30 p.m., and Bastacky will speak at the conclusion of the service.

Bastacky has shared her story as a hidden child with many groups, and the conclusions she has drawn from her experiences may be surprising to some.  

The event is free and open to the community and will be followed by an oneg. B’nai Abraham is located at 519 North Main Street, Butler.  Call 724-287-5806 for more information.

Rodef Shalom Congregation will host professor Paul Liptz in a series of upcoming lectures concerning Israel, religion and politics. Liptz, an Israeli educator, is known for making the complex more comprehensive. His expertise is in teaching modern Jewish history, Israeli society and politics of the Middle East.

Lecture dates open to the public during Liptz’s visit are:

Thursday, April 19, 7:30 p.m., Levaur Contemporary Lecture, Israel in the Middle East: Searching for a Better Future; Friday, April 20, 6 p.m., Shabbat service and Kaplan Ethics Series, sermon on Religion, Laws and Purity in Israel; and Saturday, April 21, 10:30 a.m., Shabbat service and Kaplan Ethics Series sermon, Israel’s Declaration of Independence: Ethics and Realities in a Contemporary Society.

All events will be held at Rodef Shalom Congregation, 4905 Fifth Ave.

Contact Rabbi Amy Hertz, director of Life Long Learning at 412-621-6566, ext. 130, or for more information.

Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee presents “PA’s Voter ID Law: A Solution in Search of a Problem,” featuring speaker Barb Feige, Monday, April 23, 7 p.m., at Rodef Shalom Congregation.

Feige, deputy director of ACLU-PA Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, will be discussing Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law, which the ACLU believes will disenfranchise thousands of Pennsylvanians.

The event is free and open to the public. Contact for more information and to register.