Metro Briefs January 13

Metro Briefs January 13

The Jewish Community Center in the South Hills, 345 Kane Blvd., Scott Township, invites everyone in the community to the JCC’s free Fitness Open House on Sunday, Jan. 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Activities will include an orientation for new strength equipment; sampling of up to three group exercise classes; free class pass for all group exercise classes from Jan. 16 to Jan. 20; and free body fat analysis.

The JCC-South Hills, built in 1999, houses comprehensive fitness and wellness facilities, a 25-yard six-lane heated indoor swimming pool, a double-court gymnasium, and accessible outdoor playground. Programming for all ages and interests includes the Early Childhood Development Center, private and group swim lessons, summer camps, group exercise classes, personal training, sports and recreation programs, and one of the largest SilverSneakers® senior fitness programs in Western Pennsylvania.

Contact Bonnie Livingston at or 412‐278‐1781 for more information.

Author Bettina Love will speak at Community Day School on the topic of “Hip-Hop Education for Social Justice” as part of the CDS Parent Association Race and Parenting speaker series on Sunday, Jan. 15 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 6424 Forward Ave. This event is free and open to the community.

Love is an associate professor at the University of Georgia College of Education, where her research focuses on hip-hop education to build more engaged, equitable classrooms in elementary schools. For her work in the field, she was named the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University in 2016.

Contact Jennifer Bails at or 412-521-1100, ext. 3206 for more information.

Students at Community Day School in Squirrel Hill will take on the themes of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 16, together with the broader Pittsburgh community in a day of learning, service and reflection.

MLK Day will be a day set apart from “business as usual” at CDS, with a social justice curriculum developed in partnership with Repair the World Pittsburgh and the Facing History and Ourselves Innovative Schools Network. The guiding theme will be “Women in Civil Rights,” focusing on continuing the vital work of achieving equality in the country.

The day will kick off with a morning prayer service from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., including a keynote address by award-winning author Bettina Love, associate professor at the University of Georgia College of Education. Love’s research focuses on hip-hop education to build more engaged, equitable classrooms in elementary schools.

Students will spend the remainder of the day participating in developmentally appropriate lessons and activities about Women in Civil Rights and how this theme intersects with civic engagement, education inequality, immigration, environmentalism, LGBTQ issues, criminal justice and other topics.

AARP Squirrel Hill Chapter 3354 will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 1 p.m. at New Light Congregation, 2700 Beechwood Blvd. The speaker, Bonnie from Juniper Village, will be discussing brain health, including what keeps us sharp, what to eat and how to slow down memory loss.  Everyone is invited; membership is not required to attend. Refreshments are served after the meeting. 

Contact Ilene Portnoy at 412-683-7985 for more information. 

Two J Street Leaders, Rachel and Ritchie Tabachnick, participated in a mission to Israel and the West Bank with J Street President and Founder Jeremy Ben Ami. Now back in Pittsburgh, the Tabachnicks will share what they saw through photos and stories.

“What’s Happening on the Ground? A report on the J Street Leadership Mission to the West Bank on November 2016” will be held on Thursday, Jan. 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, Levinson Hall.

The Tabachnicks will discuss their travels in Israel and the West Bank, their visit to the Palestinian village of Susya and their thoughts on what it all means about the prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Bring your questions for discussion.


Carnegie Mellon University professor Seth Copen Goldstein will discuss Technology and the Future of Work and Money on Sunday, Jan. 22, at 10 a.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom. Technological progress provides freedom from having to perform many unpleasant and repetitive tasks. Will continued progress be a boon, freeing us completely from the need to work or a curse, eliminating the ability for us to be gainfully employed?

This event is free and open to the entire community. RSVPs are appreciated. Contact Meghan at 412-421-2288.

Congregation Beth Shalom’s Adult Education Committee invites the community to join Pittsburgh filmmaker Iris Samson for a presentation of her 30-minute film, “Squirrel Hill in a Nutshell,” on Thursday Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Squirrel Hill is not only Pittsburgh’s largest city neighborhood but also one of the most complex. Squirrel Hill has grown to become Pittsburgh’s own Ellis Island, a mecca for varied ethnic groups moving to Pittsburgh, and home to unusual restaurants and stores.

Call the Beth Shalom office at 412-421-2288 for more information.

Nominations are now open for the 2017 Shore-Whitehill Award. The Shore-Whitehill Award, created in 1996, is named for Robert Whitehill and the late Barbara Shore and celebrates volunteers who promote inclusion of people with disabilities in the fabric of Jewish life through advocacy or direct service to individuals and families. Organizations that nominate awardees receive a grant of $1,000 to help underwrite the costs of a recognition event and/or inclusion activities. Awardees receive an original sculpture by the late Sylvia Plutchok, a Pittsburgh-based artist. The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and Jewish Residential Services present the award annually. The deadline for nominations for the 2017 Shore-Whitehill Award is January 27.

The 2017 nomination form is available at Contact Jewish Residential Services at or 412-325-0039 for more information.

The fifth annual Shaare Torah Chili Cook-Off will be held at Shabbat lunch on Jan. 28 for another round of friendly competition and belly warming chilly.

The charge is: adults, $15, children (3-12) $8, family max $48. Cost to cook is $5.

To cook, RSVP to (Arielle Avishai). To eat, RSVP to 412-421-8855 or email Linda at

Poale Zedeck will hold an adult game night on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. in the Social Hall. The evening will include a dairy dinner, open bar, dessert and blackjack, poker, roulette, craps, raffle and prizes.

The cost is $20 per person in advance and $30 at the door.

Contact Brian Goldwasser at 412-855-2476 or for more information and to make reservations.

The Nar-Anon and NA meetings are held every Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at Beth El Congregation of the South Hills, 1900 Cochran Road. Contact Karen at 412-563-3395 for more information.

Two classes will be ongoing at Chabad of the South Hills. Babyccino a meet-up for moms and their tots will be held at Chabad of the South Hills. There is a charge. Contact Mussie Rosenblum at or 412-344-2424 for more information.

Kids in the Kitchen: Cooking Shabbat A to Z is for kids ages 4 to 11. There is a charge. Call 412-344-2424 or visit to register or for more information.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology challenges high school students to build their own Earth Day-themed Rube Goldberg Machines. Students and their schools will win prizes and see the handiwork posted on Technion’s official YouTube channel.

A Rube Goldberg machine is a chain-reaction contraption that is deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task in a complicated fashion. Technion International invites teams of high school students from schools around the world to use out-of-the-box problem solving and teamwork to build a multistep machine that creatively incorporates environmentally themed elements in honor of Earth Day, April 22.

The registration deadline is Feb. 1, 2017; the deadline for entries submitted by video is March 1.

A panel of judges representing the Technion will select the winners based on the creative rendition of the slogan “The Earth is in our Hands,” and the Earth Day theme as a Rube Goldberg Machine. Students on the winning team will receive a full scholarship toward one year of study at the Technion. The team that comes in second will receive a 3D printer for its school. The third-place team will receive an Arduino set.

The most popular videos will be shared on the Technion’s YouTube channel and social media. Contact Zehava Solomon at for more information.