Metro Briefs December 17

Metro Briefs December 17

The Jewish Community Center Family Snow Ball will be held on Thursday, Dec. 24 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Levinson Hall. The event is for families with children ages 10 and under.

This is the JCC’s second annual Family Snow Ball, a family winter wonderland dinner dance. The ball includes a mitzvah project by Caitlin’s Smiles as part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Mitzvah Day.

Music will be from DJ Steve Lebo of Party Time Productions, and there will also be a kosher Chinese dinner, photo booth, crafts, games and more. BYO kosher wine and beer.

The charge is $15/member; $18/community. Registration is required by 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18. Call 412-697-3540.

Contact Lauren Bartholomae at 412-339-5417 or for more information.

Chabad of the South Hills in Mt. Lebanon will hold a lunch for seniors on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at noon. In addition to lunch there will be a video presentation of firsthand stories from soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces. The suggested donation is $5; the building is wheelchair accessible. Call 412-278-2658 for more information.

The Central Scholarship and Loan Referral Service (CSLRS) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh coordinates the efforts of a group of organizations, agencies and scholarship endowment funds that provide scholarships to local Jewish students enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education.

The goal of CSLRS is to provide financial support to as many deserving students in the community as possible. Demonstrated financial need is a primary criterion in evaluating applicants. Financial information is considered along with other pertinent facts such as family size and number of children/siblings in college.

The deadline for filing an application is Feb. 11.

Visit for more information.

CSLRS is a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and is administered by Jewish Family & Children’s Service.

PJ Library, a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh in partnership with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, has reached a milestone: 1,000 children in the Greater Pittsburgh area are now active subscribers. The milestone caps a growth of 38 percent in the past year in the Greater Pittsburgh area.

Additionally, the number of programs and events offered by PJ Library throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area has increased by 200 percent, which means that the number of families engaging in the Jewish community has more than doubled as well.

The expansion occurred with help from the Federation’s PJ Library ambassadors, who were able to reach mostly unaffiliated Jewish families in the East End, Fox Chapel, the North Hills and the South Hills. A Federation grant funded the ambassadors.

PJ Library provides children with the opportunity to explore the core values of Judaism through free books and music sent to their homes each month. PJ Library also goes “beyond the books” through monthly story times and learning experiences all across the Greater Pittsburgh area as well as with several large community events every year.

PJ Library programs and events are offered at the JCCs in Squirrel Hill and the South Hills as well as through the regional ambassadors in homes and in public spaces such as Barnes and Noble and The Learning Express stores.

PJ Library is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation in partnership locally with the Jewish Federation and the JCC.

All families raising Jewish children from age 6 months through 8 years are encouraged to sign up for PJ Library mailings of a Jewish children’s book or CD every month. To sign up, go to

To learn more about PJ Library or to connect with a PJ Library ambassador, contact Lauren Bartholomae at 412-339-5417 or

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh and Familylinks are pleased to announce that their respective senior centers, AgeWell at the JCC and Vintage Inc., have achieved National Senior Center Accreditation, making these two centers the first in Western Pennsylvania to have achieved such a milestone.

Through a collaborative grant from the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Area Agency on Aging, AgeWell and Vintage partnered to jointly pursue senior center accreditation through the National Council on Aging (NCOA)/National Institute of Senior Centers.

NCOA’s National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) offers the nation’s only National Senior Center Accreditation Program. To advance the quality of senior centers nationwide, NISC developed the program with nine standards of excellence for senior center operations. These standards serve as a guide for all senior centers to improve their operations today — and position themselves for the future. The accreditation process improves and strengthens overall senior center operations and results in official recognition that a senior center is meeting its mission in a nationally accepted, professional fashion.

AgeWell and Vintage serve as two of Allegheny County’s Senior Center Community Focal Points, providing an array of programs and services ranging from nutrition, fitness and wellness, socialization and recreation, volunteerism, information and referral and outreach to Allegheny County’s older adults age 60-plus.

AgeWell at the JCC has been part of the senior center network of Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services, Area Agency on Aging, since the early 1970s, providing a variety of programs and activities to stimulate the participants physically, mentally and socially for 43 years.

Unique to the Senior Center program is a decade old partnership. AgeWell Pittsburgh is a collaborative program of the Jewish Association on Aging, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh and the Jewish Family & Children’s Service. The goal of the collaboration is to provide seamless delivery of services to Pittsburgh’s older adults, providing support to live as independently as possible.

Vintage Inc., a service of Familylinks, was founded in 1973 as a comprehensive, urban senior center in the East End of Pittsburgh and has a focus on promoting the wellness of older adults. Vintage plays an important role in the lives of older adults by offering a wide array of activities with a focus on proactive health and wellness, such as yoga and tai chi, dance and art classes, travel to museums and live performances, computer classes, health screenings, informational speakers and daily meals. Vintage is a licensed provider of Stanford University’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, an evidence-based program for adults to learn management strategies for conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer and other ongoing health issues. Highmark, the Allegheny County Medical Society and United Way of Allegheny County support this program.