Metro Briefs June 27

Metro Briefs June 27

Sheldon Low
Sheldon Low

Temple Sinai will hold its Mostly Musical Shabbat, with returning guest Sheldon Low, Friday, July 5, at 7 p.m.

Low will appear with Laura Daniels and the Temple Sinai band to perform Shabbat melodies as well as debut some new music from his upcoming fifth studio album, “L’chayim.”

In addition to his work as a Jewish musician and educator, Low is a founding faculty member of Songleader Bootcamp.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Low is a third-generation song leader who was mentored by Jewish musician Rick Recht. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tufts University and spent nine months working as an engineer before being signed to Jewish Rock Records.

In 2013, Low started Hallelu Records, an independent Jewish record label based in New York.

Low resides in New York with his partner, Hadar Orshalimy, with whom he created the “Take a Walk In My Shoes” project, which has a mission to inspire young men and women, build self-esteem and promote gender equality.

Contact Linda Raden at or 412-421-9715, ext. 121 for more information.

Efrat Avramovich will become the new religious school principal of Temple Ohav Shalom in the North Hills at the end of July. Avramovich is currently the Israel Education Specialist at the Agency for Jewish Learning. She will succeed Rabbi Howie Stein in running the 130-student program.

TOS will contract with the AJL in order to utilize Avramovich, who is from Israel.

She has a master’s of arts degree in social and comparative analysis in education from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a bachelor’s degree in political science, sociology and anthropology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Avramovich taught high school in Jerusalem for two years, and has certificates in Hebrew teaching for preschools, and democratic education and psychology, sociology and anthropology.

She brings to TOS a global perspective on the role of schooling gleaned from visiting schools in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mexico, Israel and the United States.

Barbara Jaffe, a Jewish woman who grew up in Squirrel Hill, is now in stage 5 renal failure and needs a kidney transplant; she is blood type O+.

Potential donors may contact the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, UPMC Services South, 729 Montefiore Hospital on Fifth Avenue, for more information.

Donor coordinators Angela Barber, Mary Grinski or Maureen Vekasy also are available at 412-647-5800.

Rebecca Slemmons, a Pittsburgh area artist, has begun work on a project commemorating the remaining 12 synagogues in Berlin, and honoring the persistence of that city’s present-day Jewish community.

Called “The sound of pages turning in synagogues of Berlin,” the project includes an audio component in which the artist has recorded the sound of pages turning in Berlin synagogues.

Slemmons is now at work on the visual component of the project, a book with glass pages — referencing Kristallnacht — which she is creating at the Pittsburgh Glass Center.

“As a non-Jewish artist, I have chosen to address a concept that I hope holds secular meaning as well, in a world where violence is often the first response to any challenge,” Slemmons wrote in a prepared statement. “ ‘Pages’ aims to honor the strength in non-violent action of quiet, steadfast persistence and to bring this to light: After all the historical international atrocities, including book-burnings and Kristallnacht in the very least, belief (ethnicity, identity, culture) escapes destruction, is immaterial. It survives.”

Slemmons is looking for support for her project.

For more information, contact Slemmons at or go to

“In Good Company,” opening at the Panza Gallery, Saturday, June 29, is a group exhibit featuring new works by artists Zivi Aviraz, Lila Hirsch-Brody, Joel Kranich, Lilli Nieland, Phiris (Kathy) Sickels and Susan Sparks. The exhibit, which runs through July 27, will have a free opening reception Saturday, June 29, from 6 to 9 p.m., at 115 Sedgwick St. in Millvale.  

Visit for more information.

Friendship Circle, a worldwide program that matches children with special needs and Jewish teen volunteers to create lasting friendships, has announced that it will be partnering with MLK Mural to create a mosaic at the corner of Darlington Road and Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill, in front of the Post Office.

The locaton of the art project will allow members to have a direct, physical impact on the community.

The project will run in July — three hours per day, three days per week, for three weeks — beginning July 8.

Moving the Lives of Kids Community Mural Project (MLK Mural) is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the arts, youth development and education. Artist and muralist Kyle Holbrook, originally from the Wilkinsburg area, founded the organization in 2007. His vision is to use public art as a way to reach kids over the summer months to do positive community work when they are not in school.

Today, as many as 5,000 youth and hundreds of professional artists have shared that vision with Holbrook.

The process involves collaboration with artists, schools, community groups, foster homes, juvenile justice halls, churches and after school programs.

Contact The Friendship Circle at 412-224-4440 or or visit for more information. Visit for more information about the organization.

NA’AMAT USA, Pittsburgh Council will have “Bagels and Books” with Helen Faye Rosenblum, Wednesday, July 10, 9:30 a.m., at the Labor Zionist Educational Center, 6328 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. There will be a light breakfast and a small charge for the morning.  Contact Dee at the NA’AMAT office at 412-521-5253 or for more information and to make a reservation.

Jewish Family & Children’s Service installed officers and new board members for its 2013-2014 fiscal year, which begins on July 1.

The officers installed were Wendy Mars, chair; Jeff Freedman, Dr. Matthew Keller and Stanley Levine, vice chairs; David Lassman, treasurer; Rachel Clark, secretary; and Scott Americus, at-large officer.

Four new members were elected: Carol Robinson, Barbara Weizenbaum, Peter Lieberman, and Drew Goldstein.