Metro Briefs May 1

Metro Briefs May 1

The annual event commemorating  Yom Hazikaron, Memorial Day for Israel’s  fallen soldiers and victims of terror,  will be held on Sunday, May 4 at 8  p.m. at the Jewish Community Center,  5738 Forbes Ave. in Squirrel Hill. 

The ceremony, coordinated jointly by  the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh  and the Israeli community in  Pittsburgh, will include the lighting of  memorial candles, recitation of prayers  and readings from Israeli literature. 

HaZamir Pittsburgh, a Jewish teen  choir under the aegis of the Agency for  Jewish Learning and conducted by Nizan  Leibovich, will perform. HaZamir is also  a project of Partnership2Gether, which  connects the Pittsburgh Jewish community  to sister cities Karmiel and the Misgav  region in Israel’s central Galilee. 

This event is free and open to the  community. Contact Eric Probola at or 412-992-5247  for more information. 

The communitywide Israel Independence  Day celebration on Tuesday,  May 6 at the Carnegie Science Center  will include programs for teens. J-SITE  and the Agency for Jewish Learning will  hold J-SITE Teen Scene, which includes  the Omnimax screening of the film  “Jerusalem” at 5:30 p.m. and a teen  “party like an Israeli” at 6:45 p.m. 

Registration is required; limited tickets  are available. 

Contact 412-537-3008 for more information. 

Celebrate Pittsburgh is the new  name for the Pittsburgh Folk Festival,  which will present its 58th edition on  Friday, May 9 at the Monroeville Convention  Center. This year, the Israel  booth will feature an 8-foot lifelike section  of the Kotel. 

Visit for pictures,  schedules and pricing information or  contact Lee Feldman, chairman of the  Israel committee at 412-561-0321. 

Congregation Beth Shalom’s board  of trustees and its executive committee  have hired Jill Braasch as the congregation’s  full-time office manager. 

Prior to joining the Beth Shalom staff,  Braasch worked in the financial services  sector for several years. She is a graduate  of the University of Pittsburgh  School of Law. 

Braasch, her husband, Peter, an  acupuncturist, and their two sons reside  in Squirrel Hill. 

Hadassah Greater Pittsburgh  Chapter will hold a Heart Health luncheon  on Sunday, May 4 at 12:30 p.m. at  Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation.  Sally Wiggin of WTAE will be featured. 

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

Congregation Dor Hadash welcomes  families with young children to a  Tot Shabbat service on Saturday, May  10 at 11 a.m. The service is geared for  children ages 7 and under and will feature  music, stories and art. 

The service is designed to welcome  children to synagogue and to teach them  about the beauty (and fun) of Shabbat.  Children, parents and grandparents are  welcome. A congregational lunch with  child-friendly food will be served. 

Visit for more information. 

Jewish Chronicle senior staff writer  Toby Tabachnick is a finalist for the  2014 Golden Quill Awards, an annual  competition sponsored by the Press  Club of Western Pennsylvania that recognizes  professional excellence in journalism.  Tabachnick is being recognized  for her story “As Mother’s Day Approaches,  Is the Jewish Mother Fading  from the Scene?” that appeared in The  Chronicle’s May 9, 2013 edition. The  Golden Quill Awards will be presented  on Thursday, May 22 at the Sheraton  Station Square. 

Jewish National Fund (JNF) will  host its annual Guardian of Israel  Award Dinner at Congregation Beth  Shalom on Thursday, May 8 at 6 p.m.  The event will honor James P. Wagner  for his longtime dedication to the Pittsburgh  Jewish community and his commitment  to Israel. 

Wagner is president of Wagner  Agency Incorporated, an independent  property and casualty insurance agency  and a 70-year-old family business. He is  a second-generation Guardian of Israel  Award honoree — his father, Arnold  Wagner, was honored in 1995. 

Wagner’s dedication to the Jewish  community is reflected in the leadership  roles he has held over 35 years. He is the  past annual campaign chair at the Jewish  Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. He  serves on the board of directors, executive  committee and as vice chair of development  at the Federation and is on  the board of the Hillel Jewish University  Center and Israel Bonds. Wagner received  the 2012 William and Olga Stark  Young Leadership Award and was the  2013 Israel Bonds Volunteer of the Year. 

Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul  General of Israel in New York, will be  the featured speaker, and comedian Joel  Chasnoff will be master of ceremonies. 

Register for the dinner at or contact Amy Jonas, senior  campaign executive, at 412-521-  3200 for reservations and more information. 

Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha will present  Sports Night 2014 on Sunday, May 4 at  6 p.m., featuring the Steelers’ Cam Heyward. 

Highlights of the evening will include  stadium-style food, a silent auction, raffles  and an autograph session 

The cost is $20 for ages 13 and up,  $15 for children under age 13 and $65  for a family of four. 

Contact Alex Speck at or 412-521-6788 for more information. 


The Omer Institute adult education  will hold its next class on Thursday, May  8 at 7 p.m. at Rodef Shalom Congregation,  4905 Fifth Ave. Rabbi Aaron Bisno  of Rodef Shalom will present “Mount  Sinai: Torah Today and Tomorrow.” 

The class is open to the community;  there is no charge. 

Contact Alex Speck at 412-521-6788  or for more information.