Metro Briefs March 10

Metro Briefs March 10

Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha is hosting “A Need for a Special Shabbat” on Saturday, March 12 at 9:45 a.m. at 5898 Wilkins Ave. This service, which is open to all, celebrates the members of the special needs community in the congregation and the Greater Pittsburgh community.

The service is chaired by Cecil and David Rosenthal and will be followed by a Kiddush luncheon. Contact the synagogue office at 412-521-6788 for more information.

Temple Sinai’s B’racha Center for Jewish Connections invites the community to participate in a bereavement support group. The group meets on the second Sunday of every month at Temple Sinai from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Barnett Chapel and is led by Orenda Counseling Center’s Ellen Freise-March, MSCP, CCTP and Martine Saul, MSCP. Individuals are welcome to come for one or multiple sessions to talk, share, listen and be with others who are working through this life challenging and changing experience. The next session is Sunday, March 13. Call 412-421-9715, ext.110 for more information.

AARP Squirrel Hill Chapter 3354 will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, March 16 at 1 p.m. at New Light Congregation at 1700 Beechwood Blvd. at Forbes Avenue. Following the business meeting, Kevin Solecki will speak about the “Grammy People” and program, followed by refreshments. The community is invited. Contact Frieda D. Safyan at 412-521-2804 for more information.

Rabbi Ron Symons, senior director of Jewish Life at the Jewish Community Center, will hold a Shul Hop on four Shabbats, March 19 and March 26 and April 2 and April 9, in four synagogues in Squirrel Hill. Each week will be a visit to a different type of congregation: Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Reconstructionist.

Symons will provide email introductions to the type of Judaism being experienced, and arrangements will be made for a brief conversation with lay/rabbinic leadership after services.

On Thursday, April 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., a kosher dinner will be held to discuss the experiences. There is a charge for the dinner; the “hopping” is free. RSVP to Ariel DiFelice at, or contact Symons at 412-339-5395 or for more information.

The New Community Chevra Kadisha of Greater Pittsburgh will hold its 11th annual Adar 7 dinner on Sunday, March 20. Susan Melnick will be the speaker. For the past year, she has been working for the Heinz History Center on the Small Town Jewish History Project, an initiative of the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives. Its mission is to preserve the historic legacies of the Jewish communities in the small towns of Western Pennsylvania, particularly those in which the congregations are closing. All the collected materials are preserved at the Rauh Archives where they are made accessible to the public.

The kosher dinner and program will be held at Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation. Contact for more information.

Chabad of the South Hills in Mt. Lebanon will hold a pre-Purim seniors’ lunch on Tuesday, March 22 at noon. The lunch will include a Purim program and hamantaschen. There is a $5 suggested donation. The building is wheelchair accessible. Call Barb at 412-278-2658 to register.

The next concert in the Music at Rodef Shalom Series will be the Irving Schiffman Memorial Concert, featuring tenor and Pittsburgh native Raymond Very on Monday, March 28 at 8 p.m. in Levy Hall. The community is invited to the concert; there is no charge. A reception follows the performance to provide an opportunity to meet with the musicians. Refreshments will be served and the Temple Gift Shop will be open.

In the United States, Very has performed major roles with the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, San Diego Opera, Seattle Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera, New York City Opera and Pittsburgh Opera and internationally in recurring roles at the Royal Opera Covent Garden in London, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Maggio Musicale in Florence, Theater an der Wien in Vienna, Norwegian Opera in Oslo, the Danish Royal Opera, De Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam, Staatsoper Stuttgart, Bilbao Opera in Spain and the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan. He has also appeared in concert with symphony orchestras worldwide.

His accompanist, Walter Morales, is a native of Costa Rica and the music director of the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra. Previous positions include music director of the Carnegie Mellon University Contemporary Ensemble, head of music of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, principal guest conductor of the Pittsburgh Philharmonic and assistant director of orchestral studies at Carnegie Mellon University.

The Pittsburgh Jewish Community Scorecard of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has asked organization and project leaders to participate in training for creating a data-driven culture within an organization. Brian Hayden, president of Collaborative Strategies, Inc. based in St. Louis, will lead the training. The presentation will be held on Monday, April 4 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Rodef Shalom. The event is free of charge.

The first half of the event will focus on integrating data and analytics into existing business processes — how an organization prioritizes programs, evaluates effectiveness, rates talent and more. The second half will be a facilitated workshop in which participants will work in small groups to define their own impact measurement indicators and develop tangible action plans for improving measurement within an organization.

Contact Raimy Rubin, Community Scorecard manager at 412-992-5241 or for more information.

Moishe House Pittsburgh is looking for three to five new residents beginning in May and through the summer. Moishe House residents host seven plus programs in the home with peers each month. Residents are 22- to 32-year-old young adults interested in building Jewish community in the city. Apply at or contact for more information.