Metro Briefs November 14

Metro Briefs November 14

Eighty teens from KMR-BBYO, were in Detroit from Nov. 10 to 12 for a summit on raising awareness about hunger.

The program, called “Hunger is Not a Game: A Teen Issue Summit on Hunger Awareness and Advocacy,” was hosted by BBYO.

In 2011, 50.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 16.7 million of them children, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

The summit participants were from BBYO’s high school leadership programs — the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA) for young men and the B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG) for young women — from across North America. The teens participated in hands-on service projects at three of the Detroit area’s leading food banks; they also took part in an interactive simulation of life in poverty and participated in the Oxfam America Hunger Banquet.

As part of BBYO Stand UP — BBYO’s grassroots service, advocacy and philanthropy initiative — the Hunger is Not a Game summit is designed to help teens create their own local service, advocacy and philanthropy campaigns on this and similar issues.

Other partners include the American Jewish World Service, Feeding America, West Michigan Food Bank, Forgotten Harvest, Gleaners Community Food Bank, United Way of Southeastern Michigan and Yad Ezra.

The Urban Affairs Foundation, part of the Community Relations Council of Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, has joined with Vibrant Pittsburgh to implement this year’s Mini Grants Initiative: 2014 Civic Inclusion & Engagement Fund.

The Fund will promote diverse communities in the Pittsburgh region.

Each organization has committed $25,000 to create a $50,000 pool, which will fund projects that increase the civic engagement of diverse and immigrant communities.

“Several Federation agencies have been Vibrant Pittsburgh grant recipients,” Meyer “Skip” Grinberg, chair of the Community Relations Council, said in a prepared statement. “The value of those grant projects underlined our conviction, at the foundation and the Federation, that healthy diverse communities contribute to the vitality of the region as a whole. We saw being a Mini Grant grant-maker as a means of building the region in the way the foundation’s mission statement specifies: ‘to foster amicable relationships among ethnic, racial, national, religious and other groups in our community.’ ”

Funding through the 2014 Civic Inclusion & Engagement Fund initiative will be available to applicants selected through a competitive proposal process. Lead organizations must have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and maintain a physical presence in the Power of 32 Region (see Organizations can partner with other nonprofits, academic institutions, religious organizations, community groups, businesses and employee resource groups.

Projects eligible for funding should:

• Create opportunities for civic engagement that result in a more inclusive and engaged multicultural region; and

• Be collaborative by engaging diverse communities, organizations or partners.

The term of proposed projects should be one year. The typical range of a grant award is between $1,000 and $7,500.

Applications will be available on Nov. 1. Visit Completed grant applications are due Friday, Dec. 13, by 5 p.m. and should be sent electronically to The recipients will be announced in January 2014.

The Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee, a sponsor of the South Hills Christian-Jewish Dialogue, will hold its next meeting Thursday, Nov. 21, at Westminster Presbyterian Church located at 2040 Washington Road. The topic will be “Readings From Isaiah.”

The regular monthly conveners are Father Brian Noel, Rabbi Mark Mahler, Rabbi Alex Greenbaum, Rabbi Howard Stein and Rev. Jim Gilchrist. The program is free and open to the public. 

Contact the PAJC office at (412) 605-0816 or at for more information.

The Committee to Build the New Mikvah reported that $1.618 million has been raised to build the facility.

With approximately $175,000 remaining to be raised, the committee continues to seek pledges, which can be spread out over five years.

The committee also reported that the after the Vaad HaRabbonim made a presentation at the Real Estate Board which granted the new mikvah property a full exemption from real estate taxes.

New York mikvah consultants — rabbis specializing in the halacha as it pertains to the mikvah — were contracted by the Vaad and have been engaged in the complex halachic architectural drawings.

A full audit of the Jewish Women’s League is under way as part of the process to procure a loan. Once the loan is secured, a January or February groundbreaking is expected.

Bnai Emunoh/Chabad is offering a restaurant night, Sunday, Nov. 24, from 5 to 8:30 p.m., at 4315 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. Dining will be in the renovated Simcha Hall, with a full menu from appetizers, entrees and desserts to choose from, along with take-out.

Contact or call 412-521-1477 to make reservations.

The Grand Menorah Lighting at Schenley Plaza will take place Monday, Dec. 2, at 6:45 p.m. and will include live music and entertainment, latkes and donuts.

The car menorah parade will leave Squirrel Hill at 6 p.m.

Additionally, Chanukah on Ice at Schenley Skating Rink, co-sponsored by the Friendship Circle, will be held Tuesday, Dec. 3, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.; admission is free.

Chabad of the South Hills will hold its Chanukah story hour Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 11 a.m. and its Chanukah celebration Sunday, Dec. 1, at 3 p.m. Both programs will be held at the Galleria in Mt. Lebanon, on the second level near the fountain with the grand menorah lighting at 5 p.m. There is no charge.

Call 412-344-2424 for more information.

The Jewish Women’s Foundation, in partnership with the National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section jointly launched the Center for Women, and will hold the upcoming classes:

• Tax 101: Tax Basics Every Woman Should Know, Friday, Nov. 15, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

• The Art of Networking Tuesday, Nov. 19, from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

• Do What You Are: Discover Your Ideal Career by Understanding Your Personality Type, Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m. to noon.

• Women’s Job Seeker Support Group Monday, Nov. 25, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Classes will be held at 1620 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill.  

The Center for Women is designed to be a resource for women in transition, including those who are returning to the workforce after an absence or job loss, going through separation or divorce, or have recently lost a partner.

Each month a calendar is published with the list of programs offered at

Contact Becky Abrams, CFW director, at for more information.

In response to Typhoon Haiyan, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has opened a mailbox to support relief efforts by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which is raising funds to help victims of this tragedy and consulting with local officials, the Filipino Jewish community, and global partners to assess the evolving situation.

Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, has wrought widespread destruction in the Philippines. More than 10,000 people are feared dead, with reports of ocean surges as high as trees. The central city of Tacloban, on the island of Leyte, is among the worst hit on the Pacific nation.

This fund has been opened in addition to — not in lieu of — the recently-launched 2014 Annual Campaign, which supports the programs and institutions that enrich Jewish life and help people in harm’s way around the world. Supported in part by dollars from the Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign, the Joint Distribution Committee has been able to lead relief efforts for natural disasters around the world including those in the Philippines.

Pittsburgh’s Federation says it is committed to helping relieve the suffering in the Philippines — a nation that sheltered 1,000 European Jews fleeing the Nazis during World War II. One hundred percent of donations to this special fund will go to the Joint Distribution Committee’s relief effort. To donate, visit or send a check to 234 McKee Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, and write Typhoon Haiyan in the memo line.