Metro Briefs March 8

Metro Briefs March 8

Thirty-two top federation leaders from across the country took part in JFNA’s Prime Minister’s Council Mission to Greece and Israel this month. Participants received behind-the-scenes views of both nations and meeting with heads of state, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.

The mission raised $3.5 million for the 2012 annual campaign.

“The mission provided a very special opportunity to hear from Prime Minister Netanyahu,” mission chair Cindy Shapira said in a prepared statement. “He chose to emphasize the importance, now more than ever before, of the support of our communities for Israel at this critical time.”

Participants in the mission visited Jewish sites in Athens and Thessaloniki, where they learned about the historic Greek Jewish community.

They also met with Israel’s ambassador to Greece, Arye Mekel, and the U.S. ambassador, Daniel Smith.

In Israel, the group had dialogues with President Shimon Peres; Tzipi Livni, leader of the opposition Kadima party; General Ido Nechushtan, commander in chief of the Israel Air Force; and the newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro. The mission also heard from a panel of Israel’s leading journalists.

WQED-TV will mark the 75th anniversary of the death of legendary composer George Gershwin by airing “From Ragtime to Reel Time,” an evening with Richard Glazier.

The show will air Sunday, March 11, at 6:30 p.m. with concert pianist Glazier, a Gershwin aficionado, in the studio.

“From Ragtime to Reel Time” follows the progression of American music from stage to screen, illustrating how, during the 1930s and ‘40s, songs originally written for Broadway shows got a second life in movie musicals. As Glazier plays Gershwin tunes such as “Embraceable You,” “The Man I Love,” and “Rhapsody in Blue,” he weaves in commentary about the history behind the songs, stories about the composers, anecdotes and vintage images.

Along with the music of Gershwin, Glazier explores the music of other influential composers of the period, including Jerome Kern (“Show Boat”), Richard Rodgers (“The Sound of Music”), and Harold Arlen, who wrote the music for “The Wizard of Oz.”

Rabbi Ron Symons of Temple Sinai will lead the weekly current events class, Friday, March 9, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh’s AgeWell Adult Department.

The class will be held in room 307 in the JCC, 5738 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. There is no fee and the program is open to the community.

Contact Nicole Mezare, 412-521-8011, ext. 278, or for more information.

“More Than Just Learning” hosts Shirley and Morris Shratter interview Rabbi Amy Hertz on Purim and “Impressions of a Beginning Rabbi.” The show airs every Tuesday in March at 8 p.m. on Channel21 PCTV and Verizon 47. Rabbi Hertz is an associate rabbi at Rodef Shalom Congregation and grew up in Texas. Send comments to

The annual International Food Festival returns with the all you can eat event at Poale Zedeck Congregation, 6318 Phillips Ave., Sunday, March 11, from 5 to 8 p.m. There is a charge, and take out will be available.

Glatt kosher is under the supervision of Vaad Harabanim of Pittsburgh.

Contact Poale Zedeck at 412-421-9786 or for more information.

The Tikva Group will celebrate Hadassah’s Centennial Thursday, March 22, at the Forward Shady Apartments.  A dessert buffet at 12:30 p.m. will precede a Hadassah presentation and video by Chapter President Zandra Goldberg. Chapter Past President Sondra Glasser will lead a discussion on “Hadassah Personal Reminiscences.” 

The JCC Chorale, directed by Sylvia Lampenfeld, will entertain with a program of popular songs.  There is a charge; guests are welcome.

Contact the Hadassah office at 412-421-8919 for information and reservations.

Jewish Residential Services and Jewish Family & Children’s Service will host a workshop on “Sexual Abuse Awareness,” Monday, March 19, at 6 p.m. at Jewish Residential Services, located at Rodef Shalom Congregation.

Individuals with disabilities and their family members are invited to learn about types of abuse and how to stay safe. The Partnership, a network of organizations that serve people with disabilities and their families, will provide the free training.

Contact Shani Lasin at 412-325-0039 or for more information or to register.

The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition will hold a community meeting Thursday, March 8, at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center. The meeting will look at the issues related to the proposed addition of two office floors to the Rite Aid building at Forbes and Murray avenues.

The architects for the building’s owner will present proposed plans for community comment and information. This meeting is in anticipation of the zoning board of adjustment hearing scheduled for Thursday, March 15, to consider this project.

The SHUC commercial land use committee is the meeting sponsor. Call 412-422-7666 for more information.

Three Pittsburgh natives — all movie industry professionals — are panelists for the 2012 Steeltown Film Factory Competition, which includes 12 quarter-finalists.

The Steeltown Film Factory (SFF) is a yearlong filmmaking competition, supported by a series of public workshops, panel discussions and staged readings, designed to engage aspiring filmmakers to create projects with Pittsburgh-inspired content.

The panelists are:

Eric L. Gold, a Hollywood talent managers, whose clients have included Jim Carrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Vince Vaughn;   

Marcy Kaplan an actress whose TV credits include “Jag” and “Days of Our Lives,” and who also ran a Hollywood “talent showcase” for eight years; and

• Asher Garfinkel, president of Readers Unlimited, a Hollywood readers service that has worked with many major studios and production companies.

The first event of this year’s competition is Saturday, March 17, 11 a.m., at the University of Pittsburgh’s Frick Fine Arts Building. Doors open at 10 a.m.

Contact the festival at 412-622-1325 or at for ore information, or visit