Metro Briefs March 29

Metro Briefs March 29

Joel Rubin, director of policy and government affairs at the Ploughshares Fund in Washington, D.C., and a regular political columnist for the Chronicle, will be a brunch speaker for the Beth El Men’s Club Sunday, April 15, 10:30 a.m., at 1900 Cochran Road in the South Hills. His topic will be “Iran and U.S. Politics” — a topic Rubin has addressed in his columns.

The program is free for Men’s Club members; nonmembers will be asked for a contribution.

Call Beth El at 412-561-1168 for more information.

“Fabric of Life Wall Hangings,” a textile exhibit created by members of Kishorit, a kibbutz in the Misgav region of Israel for people with physical, emotional and mental challenges, will be on display at the American Jewish Museum from April 10 to July 27.

The exhibit, which the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and the American Jewish Museum of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh are jointly presenting, is making its U.S. debut in Pittsburgh. Kishorit is an overseas grantee of the federation. Founded in 1997, it embraces the principles of human equality and “love thy neighbor as thyself.”

In addition to making art, Kishorit members manage an organic garden, operate a television station and run the largest organic goat farm in Israel. Members of the wall-hanging group, as participating artists are referred to, design and create large, textile-based wall hangings.

Creating wall hangings has evolved into a principal activity in Kishorit, facilitating friendships, providing creative outlets for personal expression, and deepening the sense of community.

The wall hangings included in “Fabric of Life” will be for sale with proceeds benefiting Kishorit.

“Isaac Bashevis Singer and his Artists,” an exhibit of illustrations by 14 artists who produced artwork for Singer’s stories, will be on display at the American Jewish Museum of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh from April 4 to June 25.

Singer did not personally know most of these artists, but he personally sought the work of five, whose drawings are included in the exhibition: Irene Lieblich, Ira Moskowitz, Uri Shulevitz, Raphael Soyer and Roman Vishniac.

Many of Singer’s artists have been recognized with prestigious awards including the Caldecott Medal, Newbery Award, Pulitzer Prize, and the Hans Christian Andersen Medal. Singer himself received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978, marking the capstone of his career as well as a notable success for Yiddish literature.

Although Singer was fluent in Polish, Hebrew and English when he moved from Poland to New York in 1935, he wrote solely in Yiddish. His journalism, novels and short stories appealed to many Jewish immigrants, but not without criticism, as some readers found his works evaded the realms of moral propriety.

The Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh will collaborate with 16 other JWFs to fund one or more initiatives in Israel.

As part of the effort, known as the Jewish Women’s Collaborative International Fund, each of the 17 foundations has committed $10,000 ($5,000 for each of two years).

Proposals are due at the end of March, and will be reviewed by participating foundations. Organizations may submit a proposal by invitation only and must have been previously funded by a JWF; however, the lead agency submitting a proposal may invite other organizations to partner who have not previously received funding.

Decisions about grantee(s) [collaborations are being encouraged] will be made by the end of June. Projects will start in mid-October and run through September 2014.

“Spring into Action,” a special needs conference and resource fair for the Jewish community, will be held, Friday, April 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Rodef Shalom Congregation.

Dr. Laura Marshak, author of “Married with Special Children,” will be the keynote speaker, but the program will also include workshops on employment, advocacy, inclusion in the Jewish faith community and sibling relationships.

Agency for Jewish Learning, Friendship Circle, Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, Jewish Family & Children’s Service, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, Jewish Residential Services and Rodef Shalom are among the sponsors.

The event is open to all service providers and families of individuals with disabilities. Contact Linda

Marino at 412-904-5945 or at for more information.

A Jewish Pittsburgh artist is competing in a design competition.

Ben Schachter, associate professor of fine arts at Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, is entered at The online competition asks designers to reconsider tzedaka.

The designs are currently posted at the website, and the ones with the greatest number of votes will be exhibited. The grand prize winning design will also be developed into a prototype.

Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh will pay tribute to the late Rabbi Benjamin Nadoff at its annual dinner Sunday, April 22, in the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum grand ballroom.

Nadoff, who died in 2007, taught at Hillel for 37 years, and during the 1970s and ’80s, he was assistant principal of the school. He was also known throughout western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio for his work as a mohel. He performed more than 4,000 ritual circumcisions in his lifetime.

In addition to commemorating Nadoff’s life, the dinner will honor Carol Lederer with the Chantze and Donald Butler Teacher Recognition Award and Aviva Kelsey with the 2012 Young Leadership Award. The school will also recognize alumni from the eighth-grade graduating classes from 1958 to 1967 and the 12th-grade graduating classes from 1962 to 1971.

Call 412-521-8131 for reservations.