Metro Briefs April 25

Metro Briefs April 25

Woody Ostrow
Woody Ostrow

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh nominating committee has named Woody Ostrow as the next chair of the board. He will succeed the current chair, Louis Plung.  Pending board approval, Ostrow will assume leadership at the Federation’s annual meeting Oct. 2.

“In many years of working with Woody Ostrow, I have come to know him as a strong and decisive leader motivated by a deep passion for the Pittsburgh Jewish community,” said nominating committee chair William C. Rudolph in a prepared statement.  “He is well suited to lead our community forward by his years of leadership experience within the Federation, in both the development and allocations arenas, as well as his work directly with our partner agencies.  I am pleased to have led the nominating process to its unanimous conclusion.”

Ostrow has served the Federation in many key positions, including as a member of its executive committee and board of directors.

In addition, he has made contributions to Federation partner agencies, most notably as president of the Jewish Association on Aging and the Jewish Community Center.

Ostrow is president of CleanCare, an industrial linen supply business that has been in his family for three generations, and an active leader in professional organizations related to the business.

His community work earned him the Emanuel Spector Memorial Award, the Federation’s most prestigious leadership award, as well as the Stark Young Leadership Award.

The Zionist Organization of America-Pittsburgh District will hold the Kandy Reidbord Ehrenwerth Memorial Lecture and annual meeting Monday, May 6, 7 p.m., in the Eisner Commons at Beth Shalom Congregation.  The public is invited to attend; there is no charge.

Reidbord Ehrenwerth was a prominent Pittsburgh trial lawyer known for her aggressive protection of human and civil rights. She was tragically killed in a car accident in 1992. Her family created an endowment to perpetuate her memory with a lecture at ZOA’s annual meeting.

David Ehrenwerth will be the guest speaker to honor his late wife.  His talk is entitled, “A Jewish Perspective on Serving in the U.S. Presidential Administration.”

Ehrenwerth recently completed a presidential appointment as associate commissioner of the United States Public Buildings Service and previously as regional administrator of the General Services Administration.  He has returned to the K&L Gates law firm as a partner in its Pittsburgh office.

Contact or 412-665-4630 for reservations.

A 60th anniversary celebration of Jewish education for teens in Pittsburgh will take place Sunday, May 5, at 10:30 a.m. at Chatham University, where many of the J-SITE classes take place on Sunday mornings.

Over the years, the name of the teen education school has changed, but the mission, to instill the love of Jewish learning in Pittsburgh teens, remains the same.  

Starting as the College of Jewish Studies, the school later became SAJS (School for Advanced Jewish Studies). Now it is called J-SITE (Jewish Site for Innovative Teen Education).  J-SITE is a part of the Agency for Jewish Learning.

Bunny Morris, a member of the first graduating class of the College of Jewish Studies, will be the featured speaker.  High school seniors who are graduating from J-SITE will also be honored.  The showing of a video created by current J-SITE students will be shown as well.

Former students of the three schools are invited to the anniversary celebration and will be encouraged to join “Lomdim”, a new alumni association for Jewish learners in Pittsburgh.  

Contact Beth Goldstein, director of J-SITE, at 412-521-1101 or for more information.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh recognizes two employees who have been with the agency for 25 years: Judi (Judith) Riemer Pearlman, preschool coordinator; and Kathy Wayne, dance


Pearlman began teaching in the Pittsburgh Public schools in 1972 and decided to teach in the Jewish community because of her dedication to the early education of Jewish children. She began working for the JCC in 1984 in the Early Childhood Development Center. She is often the first face families see in the morning and the last at the end of the day. Pearlman also is a part-time substitute teacher for two area congregations.

Wayne is in charge of and teaches in the JCC School of Dance, which offers an array of classes in many dance styles from ballet and creative movement to tap, jazz and hip-hop, for children and adults. She graduated from Point Park University with a bachelor’s degree in dance.

Her professional credits include Tokyo Disneyland, Caesar’s Atlantic City and productions with the Pittsburgh Playhouse.

The Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee is co-sponsoring an evening with Sister Helen Prejean at Rodef Shalom Congregation Thursday, May 16, at 7 p.m.

Prejean, an opponent of capital punishment, is an international speaker and author of “Dead Man Walking.” She will share her experiences counseling men on death row and how it inspired her to write a New York Times best-selling book and an Academy Award-winning movie about a man facing the death penalty. 

Additional sponsors include PADP and Rodef Shalom Congregation.  This event is free, and open to the public. 

Contact for more information.

Beth El Congregation of the South Hills will present a “Night of Fresh and Healthy Cooking,” Monday, April 29, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the home of Stacey Seewald in Upper St. Clair. The featured speaker will be Miriam Rubin, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and the first woman in the kitchens of New York City’s Four Seasons Restaurant. She’s the former food editor of “Weight Watchers Magazine.” Her first cookbook, “Grains,” was published in 1995, and she writes the “Miriam’s Garden” column for the “Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.” Her new book “Tomatoes” was recently published by UNC Press. Contact Cindy Platto at for reservations.

The 10th Annual Lawrence W. Kaplan Lecture in Conflict Resolution will be held during a luncheon in downtown Pittsburgh Thursday, May 16, with speaker Moty Cristal.

Cristal founded NEST Consulting after a career as negotiation expert in Israel. He established NEST to promote a systemic approach to negotiation based upon his experience and success in international negotiations.

From 1994 to 2001, Cristal served in various official capacities as part of Israeli teams in negotiations with Jordan and the Palestinians. He is a professor of negotiation dynamics at SKOLKOVO, Moscow’s business school, and he also teaches at universities in Israel.

The lecture will focus on negotiations between (or among) parties with little or no trust in each other, such as “low-trust” or “no-trust” situations.

This annual lecture is named in honor of retired Judge Lawrence W. Kaplan of the Court of Common Pleas of

Allegheny County, for his pioneering effort to bring mediation to practitioners, the courts and the community in Allegheny County and surrounding areas.

The lecture is intended to advance creative and critical thinking about conflict resolution and to inspire ongoing education and collegiality among dispute resolution professionals.

The annual lecture series is sponsored by the Allegheny County Bar Association, the Mediation Council of Western Pennsylvania, the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and the Dialogue and Resolution Center of CVVC.

Contact Richard D. Rogow at 412-973-0513 or for more information.

Chabad of the South Hills will hold a Shavuot seniors luncheon Wednesday, May 8, at noon at 1701 McFarland Road, Mt. Lebanon. The program will include a dairy lunch, ice cream, presentation by a personal trainer and raffle. There is a suggested donation.

Contact Barb at 412-278-2658 or to register.

A Spring Fling fundraising benefit to help Sara (Block) Crain with her medical expenses, medications and living expenses will be held Saturday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Holiday Park United Methodist Church, Route 286. 

Crain is a 29-year-old mother of a 3 and 5 year old who suffers from gastroparesis, fibromyalgia, lupus and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.  The gastroparesis is a rare, uncurable disease with few treatments available. It causes paralysis of the stomach’s ability to empty, which causes malnutrition and severe acid reflux.  She is now entering the second year of the financial cost of dealing with these illnesses. 

Contact Susie Feldman at for more information about making a donation or reserving a table for vendors and crafters.

Community Day School, Hillel Academy and Yeshiva Schools will host the Lag B’Omer Carnival and Parade Sunday, April 28. (Editor’s note: The Parade portion of this event has been cancelled but the Carnival will still be held a CDS. Contact the number below for more information.)

The parade will gather at Yeshiva Schools, at the corner of Wightman and Hobart streets, at 2:30 p.m. and will end up at the CDS field on the the corner of Beechwood Boulevard and Forward Avenue, where tickets will be on sale for food and games until 7 p.m.

Call 412-422-7300 for more information.

The director of the Michael Levin Lone Soldier Center in Israel, Idan Ianovici, will speak at a wine, cheese and dessert program Wednesday, May 1, at 7 p.m.

The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin was founded in 2009 by a group of former lone soldiers concerned with the needs and struggles of the more than 5,000 lone soldiers who serve in the Israel Defense Forces. The center is solely dedicated to meeting the physical and social needs of these soldiers.

A lone soldier is someone who is actively serving in the IDF but cannot live with his parents for any reason, whether a new immigrant, from a broken home or an orphan.

Contact for details and to make a reservation.

Susie Fishbein, the author of the bestselling cookbook series “Kosher By Design,” will bring her skill and contagious enthusiasm for food to the kitchen of Fox Chapel local Cindy Gerber Wednesday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m. All women are invited to join Chabad Fox Chapel’s event, “A Night of Kosher Cooking,” where they will enjoy Fishbein’s kitchen demonstration, advice and food samples.

Fishbein will enlighten her audience with tips and tricks to help improve everyone’s culinary experience in the kitchen. In addition to her expert instruction, she has chosen a few favorite recipes to demonstrate and will treat guests to a sample of each. Attendees will receive an autographed copy of her latest cookbook. Wine and sushi will be served.

Call 412-781-1800 for registration information.