Metro Briefs August 8

Metro Briefs August 8

Rabbi Steve Gutow
Rabbi Steve Gutow

Rabbi Steve Gutow, president and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), will present a lecture Wednesday, Aug. 14, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. The lecture, “Repairing the World Through Jewish Activism: The Crossroads of Jewish Public Policy Interests and American Politics,” will take place at the Federation offices, 234 McKee Place, in Oakland.

The JCPA advises and coordinates the actions of 125 local U.S. agencies and 14 national organizations, including Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative and Orthodox congregational movements in matters of social justice, emphasizing Jewish commitment to tikkun olam, the repair of the world.

Since joining JCPA in 2006, Gutow has developed strong relationships with key Israeli officials, and in 2010, he helped to create the Israel Action Network, a project of JCPA and the Jewish Federations of North America, that combats attempts to de-legitimize the State of Israel. Gutow also has focused on enhancing JCPA’s interfaith relations, and is likewise known for his work raising public awareness of genocide in Darfur.

Gutow has been included three times on the Newsweek/Daily Beast list of most influential American rabbis, and has been on The Jewish Daily Forward’s Forward 50 list of the 50 most influential American Jews.

Ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Gutow served as a pulpit rabbi at the Reconstructionist Minyan of St. Louis. At the same time, he served as adjunct professor of law at St. Louis University Law School.

Gutow is currently a member of the State Department Working Group on Religion and Foreign Policy, and is a JCPA representative to the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, a coalition of 26 organizations that work to make Jewish expression of social justice a core expression of Jewish life and to advance social justice issues in the broader society.

The Aug. 14 lecture is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. RSVP to Rick Probola at or 412-992-5234.

The Hazon Cross USA Ride will stop for a weekend in Pittsburgh.

The bicyclists started their journey June 13 in Seattle and will be completing the eighth week of their journey in Pittsburgh.

The community is invited to participate in a day ride Sunday, Aug. 11. To register, visit    

When the bikers arrive Friday, Aug. 9, Congregation Beth Shalom will host two events: Barbecue Shabbat dinner from 5:30 to 7 p.m., sponsored in part by Grow and Behold; and Shabbat services and a discussion about biking, Judaism  and sustainability from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

RSVP for dinner at hazon.kintera.-org/Pittsburgh; there is a charge.

Congregation Beth Shalom will hold an open house Sunday, Aug. 18, in the Jack and Esther Palkovitz Grand Lobby, from 3 to 4 p.m.

Contact Beth Shalom at 412-421-2288, or visit for more information.