Metro Briefs June 7

Metro Briefs June 7

Rabbi Jonathan Berkun, son of Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Rabbi Emeritus Alvin K. Berkun and Flora Berkun, has been named the incoming president of the Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami. He will be officially installed at the organization’s June 7 annual meeting. Berkun is the spiritual leader of Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center.

“Our mission of bringing rabbis together to serve our Jewish community in common purpose is holy work,” Berkun said in a prepared statement released by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Post. “Together, we unite the different elements of our community and build upon the values that we all share.”

Rodef Shalom Congregation will honor William Strickland, president and CEO of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation, with its 2012 Pursuer of Peace Award, Sunday, June 10, at the synagogue.

The award presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the main sanctuary following a tribute dinner in Freehof Hall.

While still in college, Strickland founded the Manchester Craftman’s Guild, which brings arts education to inner city youth.  The Guild eventually morphed into the MCG Youth & Arts program. Strickland also assumed control of the Bidwell Training Center in 1972. Originally a trade school, Strickland expanded Bidwell to offer other programs such as culinary arts, horticulture and medical technology.

Strickland hopes the honor will draw fresh attention to his efforts to start a center in northern Israel based on the MCG-Bidwell model.

Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh is in need of teenage volunteers for its summer youth program, June 25 through July 27, which helps teenagers who are blind or vision impaired prepare for college or a career. Teenage volunteers accompany students to places like Kennywood, Pirate baseball games, Sandcastle and camping or just spend time with them in the evening. Volunteer schedules are flexible, and training is provided.

Contact Nancy Schepis, volunteer coordinator, at 412-368-4400 or for more information.

BVRS also is in need of adult volunteers to help in a variety of tasks, such as driving clients to and from doctor’s offices, the airport and the bus station, serving as escorts for group activities and helping blind or vision-impaired staff. A particular need is for Tuesdays.

The Jewish Cemetery and Burial Association of Greater Pittsburgh is holding a Mitzvah Day at Beth Abraham Cemetery in Carrick Sunday, June 10, at 9:30 a.m. All volunteers are welcome and will meet at the cemetery to pick up trash and sweep the walkways. The Jewish Cemetery and Burial Association cares for 10 cemeteries in the area and provides for the final needs of indigent Jews in the community. Call 412-553-6469 for more information.