Metro Briefs February 10

Metro Briefs February 10

The Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh took issue with the Presidential Executive Order that imposes a four-month suspension on the United States refugee program and bars all emigration from seven Muslim countries —  Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen —  for 90 days. The current executive order is counter to a stated policy priority of Jewish Federations of North America, which calls for “safeguarding the U.S. refugee program.” The CRC supports the statements from Jewish Federations and Jewish Community Relations Councils throughout the country, as well as from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the Conservative Movement, and the Orthodox Union and Rabbinical Council of America, which raise concerns about the executive order.

“The core Jewish value of welcoming the stranger is not only found in our texts, but also in the work of our Jewish agencies both locally and nationally,” said Cindy Goodman-Leib, chair of CRC. “It is critical that we do not turn our backs on millions and millions of people in their greatest hour of need.”

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society handled 159 requests by Jews seeking asylum in the United States in 2016, according to a Jan. 30 report by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. More than 90 of those requests came from Iran and Yemen, two of the seven countries from which the executive order bans all forms of immigration.

Additionally, Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh, a constituent agency of the Federation that plays a significant role in resettling refugees in Southwestern Pennsylvania, is directly harmed by the executive order.

CRC calls upon the administration to reconsider its executive order, and to collaborate with a wide range of diverse partners in order to balance the American and Jewish value of welcoming the stranger with appropriate security protocols.

Beth El Congregation of the South Hills will hold its next program of the annual Winter Speaker Series on Monday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m., beginning with a complimentary wine and cheese reception. Rabbi Danny Schiff, Jewish Community Foundation Scholar, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, will speak on “Analyzing Jewish Ambivalence Toward Israel.”

Beth El’s Adult Education Committee presents this series.

Visit for more information and to RSVP in advance or call 412-561-1168. Beth El is located at 1900 Cochran Road.

The Squirrel Hill Historical Society will hold its next free meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave. Kelley Stroup, founder of House History, will speak on “Examining the History of Squirrel Hill through its Buildings: How to Research the History of Your Own Building.”

Contact, 412-417-3707 or visit for more information.

The Jewish Women’s Center of Pittsburgh and Repair the World Pittsburgh are partnering in a Tasting for Tu B’Shevat seder on Sunday, Feb. 19 from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Workshop of Repair the World on Broad Street in East Liberty. The focus of the newly created Haggadah for the seder combines the kabbalistic themes of action, formation, creation and emanation with modern day themes of food justice, hunger and ethical consumption.

Contact by Feb. 13 for more information.

Closing the Gap in the City of Bridges will be held at Rodef Shalom Congregation on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.

Rabbi Elan Babchuck, director of innovation at the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, will explore Talmudic disagreement to discover respect for “the other” in this day and age despite vehement disagreement. The lecture is free and open to the community. Visit for more information.

A party for adults and kids who are planning upcoming b’nai mitzvah will take place on Sunday, March 5 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the first and second floor ballrooms at the Ace Hotel Pittsburgh in East Liberty. The event will allow guests to experience DJ entertainment, food and drink, décor and rentals, games and activities, vendor resources and theme and planning ideas. Perfectly Planned by Shari and Eventful Event Producers will jointly produce the party.

Families preregistered before March 1 will be entered for a chance to win a free one-night stay at the Ace Hotel with a complimentary breakfast for two at the Whitfield Restaurant. Families can register at  

Mitzvah Bash is a free event. Guests are encouraged to bring a nonperishable kosher food item to be donated to the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry.  

Chabad of the South Hills will hold a pre-Purim luncheon for seniors on Wednesday, March 8 at noon.  The lunch will include hamantashen and a musical Purim program. There is a $5 suggested donation; the building is wheelchair accessible.

Contact 412-278-265 or to register.