Metro Briefs May 19

Metro Briefs May 19

The Jewish Chronicle won two Golden Quill Awards, or first place finishes, at the 52nd annual awards presentation sponsored by the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania last Thursday.

The Chronicle competed among nondaily newspapers.

Senior Staff Writer Toby Tabachnick won in the category of Feature Article or Series for “Boundless Commitment Keeps Pittsburgh’s Eruv Boundary in Check,” and in the category of Arts & Entertainment Article, Series or Criticism, for “Exhibition Highlights Friendship, Art of Pearlstein, Warhol, Cantor.”

Staff Writer Adam Reinherz was a finalist in the category of Arts & Entertainment Article, Series or Criticism, for “Kirtan Rabbi Offers Old Words in New Beats.” Tabachnick was a finalist in the category of Enterprise/Investigative Article or Series for “For Orthodox Artists, Struggles to Fund Projects Are Compounded” and for “Sea of Change: LGBTQ Inclusion Finds Smooth Sailing in Jewish Pittsburgh.”

The Aleph Institute will host its seventh annual re-entry symposium on Sunday, May 22 at 7 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom at 5915 Beacon St. The Aleph Institute provides a supportive program for those incarcerated and their families and also programs to help those re-entering society. The programs provide the necessary tools to begin a productive and healthy lifestyle. Eight staff members and some 100 volunteers visit Jewish men and women incarcerated in this region’s prisons and their families.

Although the number of Jewish men and women in prison remains the smallest of any religious denomination, due to the overall high number of incarcerations, the Jewish community has not been spared.

Attending the symposium, which is part of a two-day training conference, are Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Joy Flowers Conti; and Chief U.S. probation Officer for Western Pennsylvania, Belinda Ashley. The head of religious services for Pennsylvania and Ohio, a representative from the United States Bureau of Prisons, district directors of Pennsylvania Probation and Parole, local rabbis and community leaders will also attend.

Rabbi Moishe Mayir Vogel, executive director of the Aleph Institute, in a recent meeting, promoted the feedback and interest in the symposium in Southwest Pennsylvania and is encouraging professors and community leaders from across the region to attend the symposium.

The program is open to the community; there is no fee. Visit or contact for more information.

Rabbi Aaron Kotler, grandson of the founder of the Lakewood Yeshiva, will be in Pittsburgh for a dessert reception on Sunday, May 22 at 11 a.m. at the Heinz 57 Center Downtown. There is a $36/person charge. Contact Abby Mendelson at for more information.

The Pittsburgh Community Lag B’Omer Barbecue outing will be held on Thursday, May 26 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Anderson Pavilion in Schenley Park and will include hotdogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, live music with Chillent and horse rides. Admission is free. There is a charge for food and rides.

Young Israel, Shaare Torah, Poale Zedek, Lubavitch Center, Kesser Torah, Chabad of Pittsburgh, Kollel and Bnai Emunah Chabad are sponsoring the event.

Contact Chabad of Pittsburgh at 412-421-3561 for more information.

Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh will present the Joshua Sindler, z”l, Creative Classrooms Night of Art and Music on Wednesday, June 1 at 7 p.m.  The evening will begin with musical performances by Hillel Academy students followed by browsing of the Art Gallery.  All are welcome; light refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

Contact 412-521-8131 or for more information.

Pittsburgh’s first Kids’ Mega Challah Event, bringing together hundreds of kids for a morning of Jewish unity and pride, will be held on Sunday, June 5 from 10 a.m. to noon at Congregation Beth Shalom. The program will include challah baking, professional storytelling, crafts, games and more. The event is open to boys and girls in pre-K to fifth grade. All children must be with an adult.

There is a $10 charge per child. Sponsorships are available. Reduced admission is available upon request. RSVPs are required by May 30 at Volunteer opportunities are available for students in grades six to 12. Contact or 412-421-3561 for more information.

Temple Sinai will welcome Torah scholar Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg for a lecture on Sunday, June 5 at 9:30 a.m.  Her topic is entitled “Is redemption possible? Of Women and Mirrors.” All are welcome; a $15 donation is suggested at the door.

Contact Temple Sinai at 412-421-9715 for more information.

The National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section is hosting its annual meeting on Wednesday, June 8 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Rodef Shalom Congregation. The event will feature a keynote speech by actress, director and writer Kathy Najimy.

Najimy is an enthusiastic supporter and vocal advocate for women’s and girls’ rights, AIDS awareness, animal rights, education and reproductive freedom.

Meeting co-chairs are NCJW board members Sarah Blask, Jan Engelberg, Susan Foreman Jordan and Lynette Lederman. The NCJW Rachel Porter Social Action Fund supports the meeting.

Before Najimy’s speech, 15 women will graduate from NCJW’s Leadership Development Program. NCJW will honor outgoing Board President Paula L. Garret and inaugurate Laurie Gottlieb in the role.

Contact 412-421-6118 or Andrea Kline Glickman, executive director, at for more information.