Metro Briefs July 25

Metro Briefs July 25

Iris Harlan
Iris Harlan

Temple Emanuel of South Hills has hired Iris Harlan as the new director of its Early Childhood Development Center. She will start work on July 29.

Harlan will succeed Nan Simon, who retired in May after heading the ECDC for 30 years.

Harlan holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Case Western Reserve University, a master’s degree in early childhood education from Kent State University, and a post-master’s degree in family therapy from the University of Pittsburgh. She is now completing her M.B.A. from Waynesburg University.

Harlan began her career as a pre-school and kindergarten teacher in Cleveland. Upon moving back to her native Pittsburgh, she worked for Parent & Child Guidance Center, which later merged with another agency to become FamilyLinks. There, Harlan taught parenting classes, consulted with Head Start and childcare centers, and counseled families. She ultimately became the director of the agency’s Therapeutic Learning Center for children, ages 3 to 10.  

For the past 10 years, Harlan has worked as the department of pediatrics’ practice manager at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

“This job is a dream come true for me,” she said of her new position.

Harlan became interested in early childhood education while still in high school.

“I read an article in one of my parents’ magazines about Head Start, and I was very inspired,” she said. “That was a turning point for me. That was when I decided what I wanted to do.”

Directing Temple Emanuel’s ECDC is a “wonderful privilege,” she said.

She said her career objective is to “learn from the teachers, parents, staff and community, and to continue to build on the past success of the program.”

The Mt. Lebanon resident is a “wonderful match” for the ECDC program, according to Meredith Mileti Cohen, chair of the search committee that recommended Harlan.

“We are thrilled to welcome Iris to our Temple family,” Cohen said. “She brings to us a depth and breadth of experience we are delighted to have.”

BBYO, Inc. has selected Pittsburgh as the host city for IMPACT: Pittsburgh, July 28 to 30.

IMPACT: Pittsburgh is a three-day intensive experience of service, advocacy and Jewish values sponsored by the BBYO Panim Institute.

Twenty Jewish high school students, who are teen leaders in their respective communities, will do hands-on service at the Ronald McDonald House in Lawrenceville and at Congregation Adat Shalom near Cheswick. These leaders will learn how to make an impact on their community and apply their leadership skills to affect lasting change.

The program will kickoff at La Roche College.

Contact Chuck Marcus at 412-421-2626 or for more information.

Temple Ohav Shalom in Allison Park has announced two new additions to its professional staff.

Susan Loether has joined the Reform congregation as its b’nai mitzva coordinator, and Rowna Sutin will begin her new position as the congregation’s musical soloist next month.

Loether comes to TOS with much experience in the field of Jewish education, including former positions as the director of Rodef Shalom’s religious school, and tutoring and teaching at area congregations including Temple Sinai and Beth Samuel Jewish Center in Ambridge.

Sutin has served since 1999 as a musical soloist at Rodef Shalom, and previously in that capacity at Adat Shalom and Temple Sinai.

“We are very excited about having both of them,” said Ken Eisner, president of TOS.

Heidi Hayes Jacobs, executive director of the Curriculum Mapping Institute and president of Curriculum Designers, Inc., will be at Community Day School to train staff for two days in August. There will be an evening session for parents and members of the community Monday, Aug. 19, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Visit for more information on Jacobs and her approach to education.