Metro Briefs March 24

Metro Briefs March 24

Elected officials and faculty members at Pittsburgh area universities will unite to show their support for the Jewish student community at Shabbat1000 on Friday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m. The event, an initiative of Chabad on Campus Pittsburgh, will host 1,000 students at the Carnegie Mellon Wiegand Gym for a Friday night Shabbat experience. Also in attendance will be Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Carnegie Mellon University President Subra Suresh, University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, Chatham University President David Finegold, Robert Morris University President Christopher Howard and other dignitaries.

State Rep. Dan Frankel (D), who just recently publicly condemned acts of vandalism and terroristic threats against the Jewish community, will also come to show solidarity with the students from various universities, Jewish organizations, fraternities and sororities at Shabbat1000. Reservations can be made online at

The hosts of Shabbat1000 are Chabad of CMU, Chabad at Pitt, JGrads Pittsburgh, and Chabad House on Campus. Shabbat1000 will also be co-sponsored by Hillel Jewish Student Association, various Jewish fraternities and sororities and the local universities. 

Chabad of the South Hills will hold Torah & Tea for Women on Tuesday, March 28 at 7­­­­­of “Miriam: A Catalyst for Redemption.” From the darkest part of slavery in Egypt, to the exuberant joy at the splitting of the sea, Miriam was a visionary. Join to take a close look at Miriam’s life and the lessons she left for us. RSVP to or call 412-344-2424.

Hebrew Free Loan is offering loans for Passover expenses including food, appliance repair or purchase, house cleaning, and other related costs to residents of Allegheny County. The maximum loan for food is $500. Repayment terms will be set individually with each borrower depending on the amount of the loan.

Those seeking a loan should apply at by March 28. Married couples must apply jointly. Call 412-422-8868 for more information.

Beth Shalom Sisterhood will be honoring “The Holy Rollers” at its annual Torah Fund brunch on Sunday, April 2 at 10 a.m. at Beth Shalom. The community is invited to attend this event honoring Rhoda Judd, Helen Kiderman, Gail Neft, Natalie Rosenbloom, Sofiya Shapiro, Deb Shatten and Ellen Siegel. This group of dedicated women has been inspecting, cleaning and maintaining Beth Shalom’s Sifrei Torah for the past five years. They received specialized training from a sofer on how to properly roll, clean, sew and repair tears in a Sefer Torah. During this time, the Holy Rollers cleaned 14 Sifrei Torah and performed numerous minor repairs.

Contact Connie Pollack at 412-422-6260 for more information or to make reservations. The cost to attend is $20 per person, and spouses and guests are welcome. Donations to the Beth Shalom Sisterhood Torah Fund made in honor of “The Holy Rollers” can be mailed to Congregation Beth Shalom, 5915 Beacon St, Pittsburgh, PA 15217.

Beth El Congregation of the South Hills will hold First Mondays with Rabbi Alex. On Monday, April 3 Dale Lazar will speak about the Israelite Samaritan religion. There are approximately 800 Samaritans in the world today, half living in Holon, Israel, and half living in the town of Kiryat Luza in the West Bank.

The community is invited to Beth El for lunch at 11:30 a.m. in the Snyder Social Hall. The cost is $6. Visit for more information; RSVP in advance by calling 412-561-1168. Beth El is located at 1900 Cochran Road.

Award-winning Pittsburgh author Judith R. Robinson will be premiering her newest work, “Carousel,” on Thursday, April 6 at 7 p.m. at a book launch party at City of Asylum/Alphabet City at 40 W. North Ave. The book combines new poetry and short fiction with a selection of her past work. Through her personal stories, Robinson’s collection explores our collective, universal vulnerability and strength.

The title poem of “Carousel” was featured in the online publication “Helen: A Literary Journal.” Robinson is also a visual artist and designed the cover for her book.

The reading will also be the launch event for the “Readings in the Boardroom” series in the downstairs space. Appetizers and wine will be provided at the event.

Visit for more information.

Beth El Sisterhood, in commemoration of its 100th anniversary, will lead the Shabbat service on Saturday, April 22 beginning at 9 a.m. The morning will include an interfaith dialogue with women representatives from Buddhism, Catholicism, Greek Orthodox, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Protestantism to discuss the basic tenets of their faith, including women’s roles. Following the discussion, a luncheon will be served.  

One hundred years ago in Beechview, Rebecca Ruderman and a small group of women realized the necessity to establish a religious school with a full Hebrew curriculum in order to educate their children. With perseverance, they formed The Jewish Mother’s Club of Beechview. Shortly after, Jewish men began gathering for prayer and services in the school, and thus Beth El Congregation was founded.

AgeWell at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh is offering Caregivers Aging Mastery to participants age 55 and older. Participants will learn the art of staying healthy and happy on their caregiving journey in this 12-week course.

Caregivers are those who help a relative, friend or neighbor with household chores, errands, personal care, transportation and/or finances.

The program will be held at both the Squirrel Hill and South Hills locations as follows: Squirrel Hill, JCC, 5738 Forbes Ave., April 23 to July 16, Sundays, 10 a.m. to noon, Room 202; South Hills JCC South Hills, 345 Kane Blvd., Scott Township, April 24 to July 17, Mondays, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., JCC South Hills social hall.

The program is open to the community and there is no fee. Contact Marsha Mullen at 412-339-5415 or to register.

The Aging Mastery Program (AMP) was developed by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and has been successful at helping older adults build their own playbook for aging well.

AMP is a fun, innovative, and person-centered education program that empowers participants to embrace their gift of longevity by spending more time each day doing things that are good for themselves and for others. The program encourages mastery — developing sustainable behaviors across many dimensions that lead to improved health, stronger economic security, enhanced well-being, and increased societal participation.

AgeWell at the JCC has received Senior Center Accreditation through the National Council on Aging (NCOA)

National Institute of Senior Centers.

After many years on the campus of the O’Hara Elementary School in Fox Chapel, Camp Gan Israel announced that its summer 2017 season will be taking place at the Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside. According to director Sashie Levertov, campers come from all over the Greater Pittsburgh area and the Winchester Thurston School is more centrally located.

Camp Gan Israel is a Jewish camp that welcomes campers from ages pre-K to sixth grade. This year’s season runs from June 26 to Aug. 4. Free transportation is available from Squirrel Hill and Shadyside. Visit, or contact or 412-568-3244 for more information.