Metro Briefs November 4

Metro Briefs November 4

Congregation Dor Hadash Shira Group, led by Rabbi Doris Dyen, will bring Yiddishkeit culture and songs for all to sing on Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. for a Kum-Zitz — Yiddish for sitting and singing together. Brian Primack will accompany the singing with guitar and Miri Rabinowitz will have a power point presentation of words transliterated into English. The adult education committee, led by chair Deborah Prise, planned the event in response to the growing interest in Yiddish language and culture.

Classical Yiddish folksongs reflect Jewish history in Eastern Europe and America and include stories of love and courtship, family conflicts and children studying Hebrew and Yiddish.

Friends and guests are welcome. Contact or 412-422-5158 to RSVP.

Temple David’s Adult Learning and Life Experience Commission invites the community to a lecture by Rabbi Alvin Berkun, rabbi emeritus of Tree of Life Congregation, on the Belmonte Jews of Portugal.

The last known group of marranos (Jews forced to practice Christianity) have been in hiding and secret for more than 500 years. The Sunday, Nov. 6 event at Temple David will begin with a brunch at 9 a.m. and lecture at 9:30 a.m.

Temple David of Monroeville will hold a book talk with author Sonia Taitz, and travel preview with Jan Olofsen, on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. Taitz will speak about her book, “The Watchmaker’s Daughter.” After this presentation there will be a discussion with the operators for the upcoming central Europe tour Temple David is planning in July 2017, followed by a Q & A session.

The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh will hold an evening of music at its annual Kristallnacht Commemoration Concert on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at Rodef Shalom Congregation. The Clarion Quartet, all Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians, will partner with guest clarinetist Ron Samuels to play a concert of Entartete Musik — the music by composers who were suppressed by the Third Reich. Admission is free; donations are welcome. RSVPs are required.

A reception with refreshments will be held at 6 p.m. in Aaron Court; the concert is at 7 p.m. in Levy Hall.

Contact 412-421-1500, ext. 289 or for more information, to RSVP and inquire about available accommodations to include differing abilities.

Congregation Dor Hadash invites the community to a lecture on “Elie Wiesel’s Life and Mission” on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 10 a.m. in the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha building located at the corner of Wilkins and Shady avenues in Squirrel Hill. Dr. Lauren Apter Bairnsfather, executive director of the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, will discuss Wiesel’s Holocaust experience, his writing and the ways he has inspired millions to honor victims and survivors of the Holocaust through taking action in the present.

Bairnsfather was born and raised in McKeesport. While writing her senior honors thesis at the University of Texas, she became acquainted with two Sephardic Holocaust survivors. Inspired by these women, Bairnsfather went to work at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives in Washington, D.C. From there, she enrolled in graduate school at the University of Chicago, completing a thesis on “The Second Generation and the Future of Holocaust Remembrance.”

After two years running Spertus Museum in Chicago, Bairnsfather returned to the University of Texas at Austin to get a doctorate in history. Her dissertation examined the period of British rule in the Palestine Mandate and the British White Papers that encouraged, then abruptly halted, Jewish emigration from Europe in 1939. After completing her doctorate in 2008, she worked for a family foundation in Dallas and for the College of Liberal Arts at UT Austin.

RSVPs are required. Leave a message at 412-422-5158 or contact

Chabad of the South Hills, along with co-sponsors South Hills Jewish Pittsburgh, Jewish Community Center of the South Hills and PJ Library, will hold a Mega Challah Bake 4 Kids on Sunday, Nov. 13 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the South Hills JCC. The event brings together children from the Jewish spectrum for a day of unity, fun and creativity.

Contact Batya Rosenblum at or 412-512-2330 for more information.

The Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh invites the community to an evening with Mohammad Darawshe, director of planning, equality and shared society at Givat Haviva, the Center for Shared Society in Israel and academic director at the Shalom Hartman Institute Jewish-Arab Research Team. The discussion will be on the Jewish and democratic nature of the State of Israel and the intersection of these two central values.

Light refreshments will be served; dietary laws will be observed. The Monday, Nov. 14 event, which is free, begins at 7 p.m. in room 202 at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill.

Contact Eric Probola at or 412-992-5247 for more information, accommodations or to register.

The Jewish National Fund Western Pennsylvania Tree of Life Award Dinner honoring Scott Lammie, chief financial officer, UPMC Health Plan, will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Dietary laws will be observed.

Contact Jason Rose, associate executive director, Midwest, at 412-521-3200 or for more information.

The Community Day School Parent Association Speaker Series will hold a program on Race and Parenting on Wednesday, Nov. 16 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 6424 Forward Ave. Dr. James Huguley, assistant professor at the Center on Race and Social Problems at the University of Pittsburgh, will be the guest speaker.

Huguley’s research focuses on school-based psychosocial interventions that promote racial equity and positive developmental outcomes.

This event is free and open to the community.

Contact Jennifer Bails at or 412-521-1100, ext. 3206 for more information and to RSVP.

Rabbi Gershom Sizomu will be the guest speaker for South Hills Torah Weekend, Friday and Saturday Nov. 18 to Nov. 19. Sizomu is the spiritual leader of the Abayudaya Jewish community in Uganda, Be’chol Lashon Fellow and a member of the Ugandan Parliament.

South Hills Torah Weekend is a joint initiative of Temple Emanuel of South Hills, Beth El Congregation, the South Hills Jewish Community Center and South Hills Jewish Pittsburgh. All services and events are free and open to the community.

Visit for more information.

Congregation Emanu-El Israel’s Festival of the Jewish Arts Committee has announced that the pianist Daria Rabotkina will be performing an evening of music by Jewish composers at the University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg campus, in Campana Chapel on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. The event is co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and is free and open to the public.

Rabotkina was born in Kazan, Russia, into a family of musicians and gave her first solo recital at the age of 10. She received her education at the Kazan State Conservatory and Mannes College of Music in New York City under the tutelage of Vladimir Feltsman. Rabotkina also holds a doctorate and the Artist Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. She is the winner of the 2007 Concert Artists Guild International Competition and has received top prizes at international competitions.

Call 724-834-0560 for more information on the program.

Chabad of Pittsburgh invites the community to An Evening of Celebration with Rabbi Ari Shishler on “Lessons From the Top of the World: What Happens When a Chabad Rabbi Climbs one of Africa’s Tallest Mountains” on Monday, Nov. 21 at Congregation Beth Shalom. A wine and cheese reception will be held at 7 p.m. with the presentation beginning at 7:30 p.m.

There is a $50 charge. Visit to make a reservation.

The Howard Levin Clubhouse will hold its eighth annual BOWL-A-RAMA fundraiser on Sunday, Nov. 27 at Forward Lanes in Squirrel Hill. All participants will receive an hour and a half of bowling, complimentary shoe rental, commemorative T-shirt and will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win prizes. There will also be kosher munchies.

The Clubhouse, a program of Jewish Residential Services, is a warm, welcoming community where adults whose lives have been disrupted by mental illness come together to discover and develop their strengths and abilities, build self-confidence and gain valuable social and vocational skills that prepare them for more productive, rewarding, meaningful lives. Members are adults from all walks of life who have in common a history of mental illness and the desire to grow, develop and work together toward the goal of recovery.

Call the Clubhouse at 412-422-1850 to sign up for one of two BOWL-A-RAMA sessions, or visit the Howard Levin Clubhouse at for more information about the Clubhouse.

The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards, which began in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2007 as the vision of philanthropist Helen Diller, is seeking nominations for teen candidates. The awards recognize Jewish teens demonstrating and exemplifying the spirit of tikkun olam, a central Jewish value “to repair the world.” Since its origin the program has awarded more than $3 million to 84 teens in recognition of their vision, compassion, innovation and demonstrated ability to lead.

Each candidate must be a U.S. resident aged 13 to 19 years old at the time of nomination, and must self-identify as Jewish. Community service projects may benefit the general or Jewish community, with impact locally, nationally, or worldwide. Teens’ work must be as volunteers — without compensation for their services.

Contact, 415-512-6432 or visit for more information.