Metro Briefs March 13

Metro Briefs March 13

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh wired $25,000 to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) to provide immediate assistance to the Ukrainian Jewish community. The amount represents even more than requested by JFNA.

Local Jewish leaders have monitored the situation in Ukraine, receiving ongoing briefings, through JFNA, from professionals on the ground in the affected area.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) both of which receive Federation funding, have intensified their service efforts in light of emergency needs.

The Ukrainian Jewish community of approximately 300,000 comprises many frail elderly, including Holocaust survivors, who depend upon JDC and JAFI for food, health care and other critical assistance.

While Ukraine grapples with the Russian incursion in Crimea and the devaluation of currency, the Ukrainian Jewish community is concerned about the potential for acts of anti-Semitism.

“Exorbitant amounts are being spent now on security for Jewish institutions,” said Jeffrey H. Finkelstein, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Federation, in a prepared statement.

Contact Sue Linzer, Federation associate director of planning/director of overseas operations, at or 412-992-5239 for more information about the situation in Ukraine and services being provided.

U.S. Rep. David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.) joined members of a congressional fact-finding mission to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month in Israel as guests of the Israel Allies Caucus Foundation.

McKinley, a Wheeling resident, also took part in a town hall meeting with American expatriates on Feb. 20 at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. Organized by Yes! Israel, the Israel Allies Foundation, Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, and Republicans Abroad Israel, McKinley addressed a variety of issues concerning U.S.-Israel relations and engaged in a discourse with audience members in a question-answer session. 

J Street Pittsburgh’s town hall series will hold its final session on Sunday, March 30, at 3:30 p.m. at the Squirrel Hill Library on the core issue of borders in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The Is Peace Possible Series is developed by the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace and The Atlantic.

J-Serve Pittsburgh, the annual global Jewish teen service day, which is sponsored locally by the Agency for Jewish Learning, will be held Sunday, March 30. Jewish teens will contribute nearly 600 hours of community service.

Now in its ninth year, J-Serve has become the largest Jewish teen volunteer effort in Pittsburgh, recruiting teens from Allegheny, Butler and Westmoreland counties.

This year, teens will gather at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill and fan out to 25 different service sites.

The Giant Eagle Foundation, Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Community Relations Council at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh support J-Serve through grants.

“This year, the teens have not only recruited 300 of their peers in sixth to 12th grades from across Greater Pittsburgh, they have also raised nearly $13,000,” Lisa Sobel-Berlow, assistant director of community and experiential education at AJL, and J-Serve coordinator, said in a prepared statement.

“Every year, J-Serve gets stronger and stronger as a program because our teens become better leaders and more passionate about giving back to their community.”

Visit for more information, and to register. Spaces are limited.

WorkAble, a countywide employment and critical needs service that includes the Career Development Center of Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh, North Hills Community Outreach and South Hills Interfaith Ministries, and funded by the United Way of Allegheny County, will hold a volunteer career mentor orientation, Friday, March 14, from 11 am. to noon, at South Hills Interfaith Ministries, 5301 Park Ave., Bethel Park.

Registration is preferred. Contact Patricia Ferraro at or 412-487-6316, opt. 2, ext. 3204. Those who need assistance can call the Work Able hotline at 412-904-5993.

WorkAble also will hold a career fair, Thursday, March 20, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Bethel Park Community Center, 5151 Park Ave., Bethel Park.

The upcoming career fair will include employers from Giant Eagle, KDKA-TV/WPCW-TV, St. Clair Hospital, University of Pittsburgh, U.S. Steel and others. Individuals wishing to attend are encouraged to dress professionally, bring copies of a resume and research employers beforehand.

Call 412-854-9120, ext. 27 to register.

Squirrel Hill AARP Chapter 3354 will hold its next meeting Wednesday, March 19, at 1 p.m., at New Light Congregation, 1700 Beechwood Blvd. at Forbes Avenue.

Following the business meeting, Craig Zinger will entertain with his piano playing and singing. Refreshments will be served afterward.

Contact Frieda Safyan at 412-521-2804 for more information.

The Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee will hold the South Hills Christian-Jewish Dialogue Thursday, March 20, from noon to 1 p.m., at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2040 Washington Road, Room 231. The regular monthly conveners are Father Brian Noel, Rabbi Mark Mahler, Rabbi Alex Greenbaum, Rabbi Howard Stein and Rev. Jim Gilchrist.  The program is free and open to the public. 

Contact the PAJC office at (412) 605-0816 or at for more information.

Chabad of the South Hills will hold a pre-Passover seniors luncheon, Tuesday, April 1, at noon. The suggested donation is $5; the facility is wheelchair accessible.

Contact Barb at 412-278-2658 or for more information and reservations.

Kol Shira’s Spring Sing concert will be held Monday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Katz Theater at the Jewish Community Center.

Kol Shira is Pittsburgh’s Jewish women’s a capella ensemble, featuring 10 women from across the spectrum of Judaism.  They perform a variety of music ranging from classical to traditional to modern. The performance is open only to women and girls.

Email for tickets, which are $10 in advance, $12 at the door and $5 for students and seniors.  

American Jewish Museum of the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill will host an artist’s reception for Micaela Amateau Amato, whose exhibit “Micaela Amateau Amato: Cante Jondo for Tikkun Olam” is on display at the AJM, Saturday, March 22, from 7 to 9 p.m.

One highlight of the evening will be a flamenca performance by the Alba Flamenca ensemble at 8:15 p.m. The reception and the performance are free to the public, though reservations for Alba Flamenca are suggested.

The exhibit, which includes paintings and sculptures, and conveys Amato’s Sephardic Jewish heritage, will be up through April 25.

According to Amato, a State College resident, the origins of Islamic, Romani and Jewish sources evident in flamenco poetry, music and dance influence her work, which is comprised of abstract and representational art. The fluidity of line and bright colors in her drawings along with the meditative expressions of the glass sculptures signify the song (cante jondo) and mournful emotion often associated with flamenco music and dance along with her own melancholia and longing for a renewed goodwill.

Contact AJM Director Melissa Hiller at 412-521-8011, ext. 105 or for moreinformation.

Four Beth El Congregation members, Myles Zuckerman, Randi Daffner, Abby Daffner and Jack Mostow, will be featured in Pittsburgh Savoyards production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Utopia Limited.”

Performances run through March 16 at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Call in Carnegie.

Visit for more information and tickets.