Metro Briefs March 28

Metro Briefs March 28

Rabbi Jonathan Perlman
Rabbi Jonathan Perlman

Rabbi Jonathan Perlman of New Light Congregation was included in a list of “America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis” published by The Jewish Daily Forward.

The list of 36 rabbis, who come from across the country and represent all denominations, was compiled from reader submissions. The Forward asked its readers to write short descriptions about spiritual leaders they found inspiring.

Beth Kissileff, Perlman’s wife and a freelance journalist, made the submission.

“During the week, Jonathan Perlman provides spiritual care to patients of all religions at Forbes Hospice, helping them and their families speak about any unfinished business and communicating their needs,” Kissileff wrote in her Forward piece. “He will record oral testimonies, help families have hard conversations, sing and listen to whatever they wish to say. On Shabbat and holidays, he is spiritual leader of New Light. For the recent Purim holiday he and his family dressed as bakers and he wrote a hysterically funny Purim shpiel telling the Megillah story from the point of view of the caterer. Did I mention that he brought in etrog vodka, too? Jon Perlman loves Judaism, teaching and helping people.”

Perlman said of his inclusion, “Life ought to be a cumulative process of identifying your gifts and vocation.  I am grateful to God, family, and friends for helping me on that journey.”

Dor Hadash Adult Education will offer a course titled “Russian Jewry 1772-1990:  Forging Community,” taught by Alexander Orbach. The classes will be held April 9, 16, 23 and 30 at the Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha synagogue.  

The class will examine the experiences of the Jews living in the Russian Empire from the Partitions of Poland (1772) to the fall of the Soviet Union (1990).  Highlighted will be the disparate groups that together constituted the Jews of Russia as well as the constructive efforts undertaken by Jewish religious, political and cultural leaders aimed at fashioning a coherent entity called Russian Jewry.

The text for the course is “The Golden Tradition” by Lucy Davidowicz.  

Reservations are requested. Contact Dor Hadash at 412-422-5158 or

Jennifer Antkowiak will be the keynote speaker at Rodef Shalom Congregation’s “Caring for the Caregiver” event, Sunday, April 21, at 9:30 a.m.

The award-winning TV news anchor, author and caregiver coach is a sought-after expert who is passionate about helping caregivers take care of themselves while taking care of others.

Immediately following the speaker, a caregiver resources fair will feature over a dozen local experts and agencies focusing on a broad range of assistance for caregivers. Topics to be covered include caregiver burnout and stress reduction, elder care, dealing with special needs adults and children and access to local caregiver resources. Specialists in autism, mental health, Alzheimer’s and hospice care will also be on hand. Tables will be set up allowing small breakout group discussions and one-on-one conversations.

“Caring for the Caregiver” will be held at Rodef Shalom Congregation, 4905 Fifth Ave. and is open to the community without charge.

A community forum has been established to work with local, state and federal legislators to stem gun violence.

The Forum on Ending Gun Violence, as it is called, includes the Pittsburgh Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, Temple Sinai, Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee and J-Burgh — all co-sponsors of the series.

The forum will be held Tuesday, April 2, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church Social Hall,

116 S. Highland Ave. This is the third in a series of forums.

Contact Bob King at 412-759-3776 or Chris Horwitz at 412-414-9035 for more information.

The Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee’s Christian-Jewish Dialogue will meet Thursday, April 4, at Congregation Beth Shalom, 5915 Beacon St., at noon.

The topic is “Render Unto Caesar,” presented by Danielle Kranjec, adult education coordinator at the Agency for Jewish Learning, and Jim Bailey, associate professor of theology at Duquesne University. Jewish and Christian texts will be studied. The conveners are Rabbi James Gibson, Father Radu Bordeianu, Rev. Linda Theophilus and Rabbi Michael Werbow.  The program is free to the public. Contact the PAJC office at 412-605-0816 or at for more information.  

Norman Childs’ family-owned eyewear retailer Eyetique acquired three optical sites within Everett & Hurite Ophthalmic Association locations in McMurray, Cranberry and on Forbes Avenue.

Eyetique will redesign the new sites, which are expected to open by May 1.   

“The quality of service at Everett & Hurite is parallel to the quality that Eyetique provides. It’s a perfect marriage for both of us,” said Norman Childs, Eyetique’s founder and president.  

Among Eyetique’s products is designer brand Norman Childs Eyewear, which is 95 percent handmade in America.

The new locations are part of an expansion plan for Eyetique and bring the company up to a total of 13 stores in the Pittsburgh area including the Norman Childs Eyewear and two 3 Guys Optical locations. This acquisition will create several additional positions at Eyetique including a district manager, trainer, lab technician and additional distribution personnel. Eyetique’s goal is to have 20 locations by the end of the year. The acquisition marks the first time Childs has expanded his business beyond Allegheny County.