Metro Briefs August 23

Metro Briefs August 23

Joseph H. Selesny
Joseph H. Selesny

The Hazon Cross-USA Ride, the 10-week Seattle-to-Washington, D.C., bike trip that included stops in Wheeling, W.Va., and Pittsburgh, concluded its 3,600-mile trek in the nation’s capital last week.

Ten cyclists crossed the whole country and 60 others, including two Pittsburghers, joined the group along the way.

One Pittsburgher, Paul Munro, was with the group for the start of the ride, but cut his trip short due to illness. The other, Jack Mostow, joined the group in Pittsburgh and was present for the end of the ride.

The group raised over $120,000 in support of sustainable food systems from over 1,200 donors.

Along the way they visited 13 states, climbed the Rockies and the Appalachians, and crossed the Missouri, Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. They met farmers, policy makers, rabbis, and ordinary people sharing their stories and interaction with our country’s food system.

Riders visited an ethanol plant, toured a grain elevator and windmill farm, spoke to USDA representatives, and volunteered at bike shops and soup kitchens, among other stops on their trip.

In Wheeling, the riders spent the night at Temple Shalom where they met members of the Wheeling Jewish community and gave interviews to the local newspaper.

In Pittsburgh they were given home hospitality and volunteered at community projects, including BikeFest 2012.

While in Washington, the riders were invited to the White House by Jarrod Bernstein, the president’s director of Jewish Outreach, and Max Finberg, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, as well as friends, family and members of the Hazon community. While at the White House, Nigel Savage, executive director of Hazon, voiced Hazon’s concerns around the Farm Bill and the drought.

Finberg noted the efforts of Hazon and the Jewish Farm Bill Working Group, while explaining the administration’s Farm Bill priorities.

Chabad of the South Hills will hold its High Holy Days seniors’ luncheon, Wednesday, Sept. 12, noon, at 1701 McFarland Road, Mt. Lebanon. Lunch will also include apples, honey, honey cake, music and entertainment. There is a suggested donation. The building is wheelchair accessible. Contact or call 412-278-2658 for reservations.

Chabad of the South Hills will also have a High Holy Days lecture by Rabbi Shais Taub on “G-d for king: The Creater of the universe is looking to be crowned as its king again this year and he’s campaigning for your vote,” Tuesday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.

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

Joseph H. Selesny of Southfield, Mich., has been named director of the East Central Region of the American Technion Society (ATS), which serves Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.

Selesny has experience building donor relationships, working closely with volunteers and advocating for Israel-based causes.

“I hope to raise awareness of the Technion and its amazing advances in hopes of enabling it to be the number one institute in science and technology in the world,” he said in a prepared statement.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is a leading science and technology university, which along with Cornell Univesity was recently selected to build a new applied science institution in New York.

Members of the ATS East Central Region have supported some of the leading projects on campus such as the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Mechanical Engineering Building and promoted professor Dan Shechtman’s research well before he received the Nobel Prize in chemistry last year. Robert Brand of Pittsburgh is serving his second term on the ATS national board of directors.

Before joining the ATS, Selesny was a major gifts officer at Birthright Israel Foundation. Prior to that, he served as associate director, financial resource development for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.