Metro Briefs July 12

Metro Briefs July 12

Blaine Dinkin
Blaine Dinkin

A Squirrel Hill teen has raised nearly $7,000 for a philanthropic fund she established on her own to support a host of charities.

Blaine Dinkin, 17, daughter of Elliot and Laura Dinkin, who attend Rodef Shalom Congregation, was a participant in the Samuel M. Goldston Teen Philanthropy Project. In addition to donating $500 of her bat mitzva money to the pooled fund — as Goldston participants do — she asked her bat mitzva guests to contribute to her philanthropic fund.

“I didn’t need another bracelet or pair of earrings, I’d rather give the money elsewhere,” Dinkin said, “and I figured if I was already giving $500 [to Goldston], why not just give it all.”

She continued to grow her fund. Now, as she enters her senior year at the Ellis School, the Blaine Dinkin Philanthropic Fund has $6,800 on hand to support charities such as Circle of Tapawingo (a summer camp Dinkin attends, which also hosts a two-week camping program for kids who have lost a parent), City of Hope, Diller Teen Fellows, Friendship Circle, Hebrew Free Loan and the Jewish Assistance Fund.

“All these are things I have a personal connection with,” Dinkin said.

Dinkin raised most of the money through donations, though some was generated through market gain from Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh investment.

Jewish Association on Aging will have two representatives on hand for a White House meeting to discuss senior citizens’ issues.

Steve Halpern, who chairs the JAA board, and Deborah Winn-Horvitz, president and CEO, have been invited to attend the July 16 briefing that is an opportunity for grassroots leaders to discuss issues that are affecting their communities with White House officials.   

NA’AMAT USA, Pittsburgh Council will hold their annual Child Rescue/Tzedakah Box Barbecue Sunday, July 15, 5:30 p.m., at 1714 Beechwood Blvd. There is a charge for this event.

Child Rescue funds help NA’AMAT Israel provide the assistance of psychologists and social workers for children, their parents and staff in their day care centers, where they help children cope with the traumas and fears that shellings have caused, and relocate the children who are most affected.

Bring a tzedaka box (or a check for the money in it), and you will be eligible to participate in a raffle for gifts.

Everyone is welcome to the event.

Call the NA’AMAT office at 412-521-5253 to make a reservation or for more information.

The Pittsburgh Social Justice Roundtable will host a Voter ID forum, Monday, July 23, 7 p.m., at the Jewish Community Center, 5738 Forbes Ave., in Squirrel Hill.

The forum will include a roundtable discussion of the implications of Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law, offer a variety of perspectives on how the law will impact the upcoming presidential election and educate members of the public so that they will be able to vote Nov. 6.

Speakers will include Rep. Dan Frankel; Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald; American Civil Liberties Union of Greater Pittsburgh Executive Director Barb Feige; Arlene Levy, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania past co-president; Allegheny County Division of Elections manager, Mark Wolosik; and former Pittsburgh Mayor Sophie Masloff.

The Social Justice Roundtable is a collaboration of synagogues, direct service providers, advocacy groups and foundations in the Pittsburgh region who work collaboratively to advance their shared vision of tikkun olam (repair of the world) at the state and national levels.

The event is free and open to the public.

More Than Just Learning hosts Shirley and Morris Shratter interview teachers Norman Brown, Susan Monroe and Irv Krasnapoler on their views and opinions about teaching in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. The Shratters also share in this discussion.

The program airs Tuesdays in July and part of August at 8 p.m. on Channel 21 or Verizon47 in Pittsburgh only.

The Israeli National High School baseball team is coming to Pittsburgh this week.

The team is here for a tournament and will play two games against the Allderdice High School baseball team.  The first game between the Israeli National team and Allderdice is Sunday, July 15, 4 p.m. at the Allderdice field.  The next game between the team will be one week later on Sunday, July 22.  No time has been set for the second game as of yet.

The community is invited to attend free of charge.