Metro Briefs May 17

Metro Briefs May 17

Ruth Gruber, a legendary writer and photojournalist who recorded efforts by Holocaust survivors to immigrate to pre-independence Palestine, will appear at a screening of the film about her life, “Ahead of Time,” Sunday, May 20, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the SouthSide Works Cinema.

The Hillel Jewish University Center and JFilm are sponsoring the screening.

Gruber, who just turned 100 years old, will be in Pittsburgh to receive an honorary degree from Carnegie Mellon University. She plans to join the screening and address the audience, along with Patti Kenner, the film’s executive producer. Kenner, of New York, is a friend of the Hillel JUC and a CMU alumnus and trustee.

Gruber became an international foreign correspondent and photojournalist at age 24. Her career has spanned more than seven decades.

The event is being produced in collaboration with Hadassah, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and National Council of Jewish Women. There is a charge.

Visit for more information and tickets.

The Omer Institute at Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation will host its last installment of the year, Wednesday, May 23, 7 p.m., at the synagogue, 5898 Wilkins Ave.

The event, called “Slosh and Josh with Rabbi Chuck” is an evening of Jewish humor, led by Rabbi Chuck Diamond, and a kosher wine-tasting segment led by a wine expert.

The program is free to the community, though participants in the wine-tasting portion of the program must be 21 years of age or older.

Thomas Buergenthal, a former judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), will deliver the keynote address at Duquesne University’s 99th annual School of Law commencement ceremony, Sunday, June 3, at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Buergenthal spent the first 11 years of his life in various German concentration camps and is one of the youngest survivors of the Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen camps. He moved to the United States when he was 17.

An international human rights expert, Buergenthal was elected in 2000 as a judge to the ICJ in The Hague, The Netherlands, and served that court for 10 years. In addition, he was a judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights from 1979 to 1991 during which he served as president from 1989 to 1994. Buergenthal is a member of the Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee, served as president of the Administrative Tribunal of the Inter-American Development Bank and was a member of the U.N. Human Rights Committee and the U.N. Truth Commission for El Salvador.

Buergenthal visited the region last year to attend homecoming festivities at his alma mater, Bethany College, Bethany, W.Va., and to appear at a forum on his life and work at Temple Shalom in Wheeling. At the time, he told the Chronicle in an exclusive interview, “If you experience what I experienced, you have a much better sense of what it means to be a victim, In some ways, I had an advantage in dealing with human rights cases, in judging human rights cases for that matter.”

Buergenthal has written and co-authored more than a dozen books, including “A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy.”

Pittsburgh Allderdice High School will host a naturalization ceremony conducted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with the help of Citizenship Counts, Wednesday, May 16, at 11 a.m.

Students at Allderdice recently completed Citizenship Counts’ interactive, multidisciplinary civics curriculum, which teaches students to build a better understanding of the value and responsibilities of citizenship. The students’ studies will culminate with this official naturalization ceremony, the important moment when foreign nationals pledge allegiance to this country and take on all of the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship.

The ceremony is part of A Journey That Counts, a 3,500-mile bike and walk across the country to inspire pride in America.

Thirty-five individuals from 26 countries will be sworn in. City Councilman Corey O’Connor will deliver the keynote address.

Pittsburgh Conference of Jewish Women’s Organizations will hold its annual meeting, “It Should Have Been A Meal,” Tuesday, May 22, 10:30 a.m. at the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry, 828 Hazelwood Ave. Becky Abrams, manager of the pantry, will lead a tour of the facility and officers will be installed. There is a charge.

The Society for Humanistic Judaism will meet Sunday, May 20, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Panera Bread in the Galleria of Mt. Lebanon. 

Contact Susan Forrest at 412-531-7754 for more information and to make a reservation.