Metro Briefs November 11

Metro Briefs November 11

“Barney and Ike: A Tale of Two-and-a-half Secretaries at the Homestead Hebrew Congregation” will be presented by Tammy Hepps on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 12:45 p.m. in the Helfant Chapel at Congregation Beth Shalom.

Hepps will explain how she used a rich trove of documentation to reconstruct the history of her great-grandfather, Bernhardt “Barney” Hepps, and Ignatz “Ike” Grossman’s relationship at the Homestead Hebrew Congregation. Self-appointed historian Grossman publicly humiliated Hepps and wrote him out of the synagogue’s history.   After the presentation you can decide: Is Tammy Hepps a fairer judge of history than her predecessor?

Sponsored by Beth Shalom’s Adult Education Committee, this program is free and all are welcome.

Congregation Beth Shalom’s Adult Education Committee will present “DNA Justice and the Jewish Question” by Ria David, Ph.D., and Mark Perlin, Ph.D., M.D., founders of Cybergenetics on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 10 a.m.

DNA can find the guilty and free the innocent. Cybergenetics resolves evidence that crime labs cannot, restoring justice through science. Jewish values can transcend bureaucratic indifference, making the world a better place. Through criminal cases, this talk explores Judaism and DNA justice.

The program is sponsored by the Adult Education Committee at Beth Shalom and is free and open to the community.

The Nathan and Hilda Katzen Religious School at Temple Sinai is hosting its annual craft and vendor fair at on Sunday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 20 vendors will be on site with gifts.

Vendors will include LuLaRoe, jewelry, photography, aprons, soaps, Judaic Gifts, Songs for Young Whippersnappers, knitted scarves and accessories, children’s tutus and bows, Disney vacations, home improvement, Paparazzi jewelry, artist Sara O’Conner and more.

The proceeds will benefit the school, continuing the education of young Jewish children to repair the world.

NA’AMAT USA, Pittsburgh Council will hold its annual Spiritual Adoption/Scholarship Fundraising Dinner honoring Debby Firestone, past council president and former national recording secretary, on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom. There is a charge; dietary laws will be observed. RSVP to Jackie Braslawsce at or call 412-521-5253.

Local author Beth Kissileff will have a book launch for her new novel, “Questioning Return,” on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. at Classic Lines bookstore at 5825 Forbes Ave. “Questioning Return” is a novel about a graduate student who goes to Israel to study newly religious American Jews in Jerusalem.

Kissileff will read from the book and answer questions. Visit Kissileff’s website at for more information.

“The Freedom to Marry,” a documentary directed by Pittsburgh’s Eddie Rosenstein and featuring Pittsburgh native and advocate Evan Wolfson, will open on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. at the August Wilson Center and will be followed by a reception and a conversation with Rosenstein, Wolfson and the ACLU-PA’s Vic Walczak.

Filmmaker Rosenstein, with just more than 100 days until the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision on the legality of same-sex marriage in 2015, captured the anguish, strategy and determination of the LGBT campaign for the right to a civil marriage. Visit for more information and tickets.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Women’s Philanthropy, the Jewish Women’s Foundation and the National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section will present “A Perspective from the Trenches on Bettering the Lives of Arab Women in Israel,” on Thursday, Nov. 17 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at a lunch and learn at the Center for Women, 1620 Murray Ave., first floor, in Squirrel Hill.

Ramzi Halabi, chairman, and Paz Hirschmann, co-CEO, of Tsofen, a nonprofit Israeli organization with a mission to promote the integration of Israel’s Arab citizens into the hi-tech industry as a means of promoting economic development, reducing poverty, creating high-value jobs in Arab urban centers and integrating Arab citizens into Israel’s civic society, will hold a discussion on the integration of Israeli-Arab women into the hi-tech industry.

Halabi is a lecturer at Tel Aviv University and an economic consultant to the Arab community in Israel. He actively promotes equal economic opportunities for the Israeli-Arab sector. Halabi holds a doctorate in social sciences from Tel Aviv University.

Hirschmann joined Tsofen in August 2011. He has a master’s degree in management and is a graduate of the Mandel Leadership Institute.

Bring a brown bag lunch; drinks and dessert will be provided. RSVP by Monday, Nov. 14 to Andrea Glickman at or 412-421-6118, ext. 202.

Heal, Grow, Live with Hope: Naranon and NA support group meetings are being held on Wednesdays from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Beth El Congregation, 1900 Cochran Road in the South Hills. The meetings are open to the public; join the group and enter through the office doors.

Call 412-563-3395 for more information.

The community is invited to the Being Good exhibit at the American Jewish Museum at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. The artwork is made by fine arts students in Anna Divinsky’s Drawing II class at the University of Pittsburgh, who made touchable drawings in response to the photos in the exhibit.

Being Good, organized by photographer Brian Cohen, documents three transformational artists and thinkers based in Pittsburgh who employ their art to share their humanness. Vanessa German is photographed by Lynn Johnson, Randy Gilson is photographed by Brian Cohen and Bill Strickland is photographed by Scott Goldsmith. The exhibit runs through Dec. 26.