Metro Briefs July 21

Metro Briefs July 21

Cindy Shapira.Photo provided by Jewish Federation of Greater 
Cindy Shapira.Photo provided by Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Cindy Shapira was elected chair of the board of governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education this month.

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education was established by statute on July 1, 1983, with 14 universities that comprise the State System. The State System serves more than 110,000 students, making it the largest provider of higher education in Pennsylvania. It also employs more than 12,000 faculty and staff, making it one of the largest employers in the Commonwealth.

Shapira is president of the David S. and Karen A. Shapira Foundation and a community activist. She was a management consultant, providing strategic management services to education and nonprofit institutions.

Shapira is also chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and serves on the boards of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Point Park University and Brandeis University. She sits on the Governor’s Advisory Board for Education and Workforce Development and previously served on the Pennsylvania Women’s Commission under Governor Tom Corbett. Shapira has a Bachelor of Art degree in political science from Wellesley College and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

The Squirrel Hill Historical Society will hold its next free meeting on Tuesday, July 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave. Speaker Linda Nyman, co-owner of Penn Brewery, will give a talk on “150 Years of Beer at Penn Brewery.” Contact, 412-417-3707 or visit for more information.

Chabad of Pittsburgh will hold classes on the Torah’s perspective on a topic currently being debated in this year’s election, immigration, on Wednesday, July 27 from noon to 1:30 p.m. downtown, on the 27th floor of the Grant Building, and in Squirrel Hill from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Chabad of Pittsburgh.

The class will be a Torah perspective on the issues and will not be a political discussion endorsing a candidate’s positions on the topics.

There is a charge. Visit for more information and to register.

Women of Valor, the 16th annual Women’s Summer Learning Program, with instructor Dasi Indich, will be held Monday through Saturday, Aug. 1 to Aug. 6 at the Kollel Jewish Learning Center, Perlow Hall, at 5808 Beacon St.

Contact Stacie Stufflebeam at or 412-420-0220, ext. 212 for more information.

Zionist Organization of America, Pittsburgh is sponsoring a lecture entitled “Turkish Jews in France during World War II and the curious behavior of the U.S. ambassador in Turkey,” presented by I. Izzet Bahar on Monday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. at New Light Congregation, 1700 Beechwood Blvd. in Squirrel Hill.

Bahar earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in electrical engineering in Ankara, Turkey. He completed his master’s degree and doctorate in Jewish Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. His dissertation was on Turkish policies before and during World War II and the Jewish problem created upon the rise of the Nazi regime. He is the author of “Turkey and the Rescue of European Jews” (2015).

Reservations are appreciated and can be made by contacting ZOA Executive Director Stuart Pavilack at 412-665-4630 or

The fifth annual Jewish Heritage Night at PNC Park will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 9 with block seating specifically for members of the community. Each ticket purchased includes a Pirates “Let’s Go Bucs” Hebrew T-shirt. Order before Friday, July 29 to receive the early bird discounted rate. Only orders purchased through the Jewish Heritage Night promotion using the coupon code JHN will receive the discounted rate and Hebrew T-shirt.

Contact Joshua Avart at 412-325-4903 or for more information and group orders of 15 or more.

Adults are invited to a workshop, Better Choices, Better Health, held from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on six consecutive Thursdays from Aug. 18 to Sept. 22 at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh in Squirrel Hill.

Participants will get support, find practical ways to deal with pain and fatigue, discover better nutrition and exercise choices, understand new treatment choices and learn better ways to talk with doctors and family about their health.

The workshops are informative, fun and interactive and bring together people with similar conditions and concerns.

All workshop participants will receive the companion book, “Living a Healthy Life with a Chronic Condition.” Light refreshments are provided throughout, with a graduation celebration at the end.

Contact Amy Gold at 412-697-3528 to register and for more information.

Jackie Braslawsce was recently appointed as the executive director of NA’AMAT USA Pittsburgh Council and brings with her 13 years of experience serving the Pittsburgh Jewish community as a professional, volunteer and parent.

Braslawsce is a graduate of Northern Arizona University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in education and special education. She has spent time in the classroom working across all grade levels and as a substitute at Community Day School. After earning a Master of Education in leadership and higher education from Arizona State University, Braslawsce and her husband moved to Pittsburgh in 2003, and she worked as the director of outreach and engagement at the Hillel Jewish University Center. Her master’s degree focused on how to meet the evolving needs of the millennial student.

In 2009, Braslawsce became the director of informal Jewish education at Temple Sinai, working for six years under the direction of Rabbi Ron Symons. During that time she earned her master’s degree in Jewish professional studies from Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.

Braslawsce focuses her work on creating circles of intimacy through relationship building, and she is passionate and committed to the continuity of the Jewish people and to supporting all women and children in Israel.

NA’AMAT (formerly Pioneer Women) works to enhance the quality of life for women, teenagers and children in Israel.

Join Braslawsce and other women who want to support women and children in Israel and to learn more about what she has in store for NA’AMAT moving forward, on the first Thursday every month at the NA’AMAT building, 6328 Forbes Ave. to learn, play or teach mah jongg @ Mahj and Martinis, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Contact for more information.

JFilm: The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum and Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts are partnering to produce the Three Rivers Film Festival presented by Dollar Bank, which is now entering its 35th year. The combined efforts of these two cultural organizations will help 3RFF generate more awareness of the festival’s rich offerings, promote tourism to the city and elevate the art form of independent cinema within Pittsburgh’s cultural landscape.

Together, PF/PCA and JFilm’s hope to advance the Three Rivers Film Festival into a leading international film festival while preserving its rich history.

Screenings will continue to be offered at Pittsburgh Filmmakers theaters and Waterworks Cinemas in Fox Chapel, and new venues will be added, including the August Wilson Center downtown in the Cultural District.

Additional details will be announced in the fall.