Metro Briefs July 11

Metro Briefs July 11

A symposium sponsored by Chai Lifelife, “The Role of the Community in Coping With Medical Crisis, Trauma & Tragedy,” will be presented from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Herberman Conference Center, UPMC Cancer Pavillion, 5150 Centre Ave.

Speakers at the program will be Dr. Frank Lieberman, director of the adult neuro-oncology program at UPMC Cancer Centers; Rabbi Shimon Silver of Young Israel of Greater Pittsburgh; Ellen Ormond, clinical director of the behavioral oncology program at the UPMC Cancer Center; and Zahava Farbman, associate director of Project Chai at Chai Lifeline.

Project Chai,  the crisis intervention and bereavement program of  Chai Lifeline,  is a network of programs to help families, schools, camps, synagogues and community institutions  cope with an untimely  death or medical crisis.

Chai Lifeline  is an international nonprofit organization established in 1987, dedicated to helping children and young adults as well as  family members suffering  from serious illness; the organization offers professional case management and patient advocacy, recreational  programs, transportation assistance, insurance support, financial help as well as counseling options for children, their parents and siblings. There is a suggested donation; proceeds from the event will benefit the Devora Chana (Krasner) Silver  Fund at Chai Lifeline, which assists  with travel arrangements for patients and families to and from medical centers and doctors’ appointments. There will be complimentary parking in the Center Avenue parking lot for the Cancer Pavilion (not the Hillman lot, which is valet parking.)

Contact  412-421-0508 or

The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition has announced the hiring of Richard St. John as its new executive director.

St. John’s main tasks will be to support SHUC’s network of volunteers, help build its membership base and deepen relationships with the business community, institutions and other key constituencies.

St. John previously worked with the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Oakland Planning & Development Corporation, and the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh.

While at the Design Center, he co-chaired a citywide advisory group that helped produce the first comprehensive revision of Pittsburgh’s zoning code since 1958.

St. John can be reached at

The “It’s Never 2 Late” (iN2L) computer system is up and running in the Jewish Association on Aging’s Arbor Unit at Weinberg Village, thanks to a contribution from the Hyman Family Foundation in memory of Saul Elinoff.

The interactive computer system enhances cognitive function, memory, physical range of motion and quality of life. Residents utilize the iN2L system in ways ranging from interactive video games to therapy exercises, Skype and online projects such as scrap booking. Residents can set up a personalized profile to save their preferences and favorite activities. 

“The system is enriching the lives of our residents and transforming their participation in activities. It has far reaching possibilities for cognitive and physical enhancement,” Beverly Brinn, director of development and community engagement, said in a prepared statement.

Contact Brinn at 412-521-1975 for more information or to see iN2L in action.

Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha is hosting a communitywide Tisha B’Av program Monday, July 15, at 7:15 p.m. at the synagogue, 5898 Wilkins Ave. The program and service are open to the community and are sponsored in partnership with Adat Shalom, Beth El Congregation of the South Hills, Congregation Beth Shalom, Congregation Dor Hadash, New Light Congregation and Rodef Shalom Congregation.  

The evening will begin with a shiur (learning session), followed by Mincha, Maariv and Eicha.  Laurie Zittrain Eisenberg, professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University, will lead the shiur, presenting on the topic, “Jewish National Resilience: Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and the Rebirth of the Hebrew Language.”

Contact Alex Speck at 412-521-6788 or for more information.

Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, ORT America will sponsor a garden tour in Squirrel Hill and Frick Park/Regent Square, Sunday, July 14.

The tour features six multifaceted gardens that are rarely open to the public — large and small, sunny and shady, flat and hilly. One garden will soon be listed in the Archives of American Gardens, Horticulture Services Division, Smithsonian Institution. Another garden is environmentally green.

The self-guided tour will start at 1 p.m. at 6570 Beacon St., where full directions will be given.

There is a charge. Reservations and car-pooling are encouraged, but tickets may be purchased that day.

ORT is an international organization that sponsors technological and scientific schools and programs in over 50 countries, including the United States, to prepare 300,000 students annually to become self-sufficient and productive members of their communities.  The studies are tailored to the needs of the students, the local community and the developing employment environment. 

Contact Barbara Tisherman, president, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of ORT America, at or 412-683-0207 or Janet Slifkin at 412-897-4125 for questions and reservations. 

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Simone and Dr. Daniel Rubin will hold a dessert reception and presentation on “Think Zinc: Your Brain on Metals,” featuring Elias Aizenman, Tuesday, Aug. 6, at the Rubins’ home.

Aizenman is a professor of neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and adjunct professor, faculty of health sciences Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He will describe his research into the role that heavy metals play in both normal brain function and brain disorders and will describe his ongoing collaboration with Israeli researchers at BGU.

There will be no solicitation of funds. RSVP by Aug. 1 to 215-884-4510 or

Shalom Pittsburgh will be at the Bach, Beethoven and Brunch featuring Cincopation, at Mellon Park, Fifth and Shady avenues Sunday, Aug. 4, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Light kosher snacks will be available during the outdoor concert.

This free event is appropriate for all ages.

VOOM! (Jewish Federation Volunteer Center) will throw a summer carnival for the residents at the Jewish Association on Aging’s Charles Morris Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Sunday, July 21, from 2 to 4 p.m. at 200 JHF Drive, in the multipurpose room.

The carnival will include cotton candy, fresh popcorn, roulette and photo booth.

Volunteers will be needed to help escort residents to and from the carnival as well as manning the different booths. This is a family friendly event.

To register as a volunteer visit

J Street Pittsburgh will hold its second annual picnic brunch, Sunday, July 14, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Squirrel Hill.  The highlights of the upcoming fourth annual J Street National Conference, Sept. 28 to Oct. 1 in Washington, D.C., will be covered.

Contact J Street Pittsburgh at for reservations and to receive the address and conference information.