Metro Briefs February 11

Metro Briefs February 11

Repair the World, Green Building Alliance and p4 Pittsburgh will host an evening of inspirational stories about creating a sustainable, vibrant, healthy and just region as part of the Inspire Speakers Series on Thursday, Feb. 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Elsie H. Hillman Auditorium at Hill House’s Kaufmann Center at 1825 Centre Ave. Food, drinks and networking will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Visit for more information and to register.

Elliot Chodoff, a political and military analyst specializing on the Middle East conflict and the global war on terrorism will speak on “Security Threats Facing Israel: ISIS, Hezbollah and the Global Jihad” at Temple Emanuel of South Hills on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.

Chodoff is a major in the IDF reserves and a founding member of Eschar, a community in Pittsburgh’s Israel partner region in Karmiel/Misgav. The program is free and open to the community and is presented by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Pittsburgh, Temple Emanuel of South Hills and South Hills Jewish Pittsburgh. RSVP to 412-697-6647 or

AARP Squirrel Hill Chapter 3354 will hold its next business meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 1 p.m. at New Light Congregation at 1700 Beechwood Blvd. at Forbes Avenue.

Michael Dunn, director of Life Span in Homestead, will speak about Life Span for seniors following the meeting. Refreshments will be served afterward.

Contact Frieda D. Safyan at 412-521-2804 for more information.

Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee and Repair the World will host a “Spiritual But Not Religious” Shabbat dinner on Friday, Feb. 19 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Repair the World Workshop at 6022 Broad St. in East Liberty.

Young adult participants of all faiths and non-faith backgrounds will have an opportunity to watch and discuss Rabbi Irwin Kula’s short film, “Time for a New God.” Visit for more information

Shalom Pittsburgh will hold a free, young adult Shabbat dinner on Friday, Feb. 19 at Rodef Shalom Congregation. Services begin at 5:30 p.m. and dinner is at 6:30 p.m. Shalom Pittsburgh Shabbat dinners are hosted by a different synagogue each month. Contact Meryl Franzos at or 412-992-5204 for more information or to RSVP.

The Nathan and Hilda Katzen Religious School at Temple Sinai will host a rummage sale on Sunday, Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Items will include housewares, kids’ items, sporting goods, art crystal, designer clothing, and small furnishings and will be available for basement prices. All proceeds will benefit the school. Contact or 412-421-9715 ext.121 for more information.

Jewish Community Watch will hold an evening of awareness and education to help prevent child sexual abuse and promote healing. Speakers will include survivors, rabbis and mental health professionals. The program is for survivors, those who have a loved one who is a survivor or just want to support survivors and protect children. The program will be held Sunday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill. Visit for more information.

JFilm and ReelAbilities will present the film “Here on Day One” on Monday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at Rodef Shalom Congregation. A reception and conversation with the film’s director, Kathy Leichter, will follow the screening.

“Here on Day One” is a candid, award-winning film about a woman coping with mental illness, the ripple effects of her suicide on those she loved and how her family survived in the aftermath. The film is about creativity, love, struggle, hope and family. Leichter will discuss mental health and suicide, reducing stigma and connecting with local resources for support.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door ($5/$6 for students). Financial assistance is available for ticket purchases at 412-992-5203. Visit to purchase tickets.

Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee and Rodef Shalom Congregation’s annual Harris Interfaith Lecture will present “Beyond Tribe & Creed: Religion as a Path to Human Flourishing” with Rabbi Irwin Kula on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Rodef Shalom’s Levy Hall.

Kula currently serves as the president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL). In 2008, he was listed as seventh on Newsweek’s “50 Most Influential Rabbis” list. He is the author of “Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life” and a blogger for The Huffington Post and the WashingtonPost/’s “On Faith” column, and has appeared on NBC’s “Today Show,” “Oprah Winfrey Show,” “O’Reilly Factor” and “Frontline.”

Visit for more information.

Shlock Rock, starring Lenny Solomon, will hold a concert on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Shaare Torah Congregation. Advance tickets are $5 per child, $10 per adult; tickets will be $7 and $12 at the door. Reserved seating is $18 per ticket. Before the concert, a spaghetti dinner will be available from 5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Dinner tickets are $5 per person in advance, $7 at the door. 

Contact or 412-421-8855 for reservations. Advance payment should be sent to Shaare Torah, 2319 Murray Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15217 or call the office with a credit card at 412-421-8855.

Pittsburghers will have an opportunity to hear experts’ insights on international and local refugee issues by attending “Jewish Pittsburgh and the Refugee Crisis: A Community Conversation,” on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill. The panel will examine whether the community can be welcoming to refugees and still maintain its safety. The program will help program attendees understand the logistics and challenges of the refugee crisis.

The panelists are Aryeh Sherman, president and CEO of Jewish Family & Children’s Service in Pittsburgh; Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS, a global agency that helps refugees of all faiths and ethnicities; and Michael Kenney, associate professor of international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. All have expertise in refugee resettlement and terrorism.

Registration, which is requested but not required, is available at Contact Eric Probola at 412-992-5247 or to submit questions to the panelists before the program and for more information.

The Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh, the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh are sponsoring the program.

The Oakland Business Improvement District and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, with sponsorship from Dollar Bank, have joined forces to raise funds for Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh by simultaneously hosting Drink for Pink events on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Both locations are free and open to the community and will include Pittsburgh celebrity bartenders — a twist on the Drink for Pink theme. All proceeds will benefit Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh. Visit for more information.

J-Serve: International Day of Jewish Service, the Jewish teen community service event of the year, will take place on Sunday, March 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. beginning at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill. Busses to the Squirrel Hill JCC for J-Serve will be available to/from the North Hills, South Hills, Monroeville and Fox Chapel.

More than 200 Jewish teens in sixth grade to 12th grade will participate in 500 hours of combined community service with 16 volunteer projects to choose from. Twenty-seven local organizations are sponsoring the day.

Register at

Michael Elinoff, one of Leah Ackner’s bar mitzvah students, is collecting new games, books, puzzles, etc. to be donated to Mercy Hospital in honor of Ackner’s daughter, Meira Loring, for his mitzvah project. Drop off new children’s items to the Shaare Torah main office by Monday, March 21. Some suggestions from the burn unit are craft supplies, infant/toddler toys that light up/make noise, Legos, Barbies, games, bubbles in small tubes, stamps and stamp pads. Guidelines and additional suggestions can be found at Since these donations will be given to pediatric burn patients, stuffed animals cannot be accepted.