Metro Briefs November 7

Metro Briefs November 7

Jeff Salkin
Jeff Salkin

Rabbi Jeff Salkin will be in Pittsburgh this weekend for the Kaplan Institute on Jewish Ethics Series as the scholar in residence at Rodef Shalom Congregation.

Salkin will be participating in Friday night, Nov. 8, and Saturday morning Shabbat, Nov. 9, services, teaching at Saturday morning Torah study and on Saturday evening, at 6 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill.

The title of Salkin’s Saturday morning program is “Martini Judaism: For Those Who Want to be Shaken and Stirred.” He will offer a vision of how Judaism can transform one’s life and the world.

Salkin also will facilitate a communitywide b’nai mitzvah workshop for sixth- and seventh-grade families. The topic will be “Is God on Your Guest List?”

A pulpit rabbi, author and public speaker, Salkin is the current spiritual leader of Temple Beth Am in Bayonne, N.J. His books have dealt with such subjects as the spirituality of career, masculinity, Israel, righteous gentiles, how the Torah speaks to teenagers, and the history of Jewish iconoclasm.

His essays have appeared in the Forward, The Wall Street Journal, Moment, and The Jewish Week.

He has served congregations, created an adult study institute, produced religious television shows and has served as the New Jersey director of the Anti-Defamation League.

AIM, a collaboration of Jewish Family & Children’s Service and Jewish Residential Services, which provides support for families of individuals with special needs, will hold a presentation about the use of psychiatric support in helping youth make a smooth transition to adulthood.

The presentation will be held Tuesday, Nov. 12, 6:30 p.m., at Rodef Shalom Congregation, 4905 Fifth Ave.

Dr. Vered Birmaher Cohen, a psychiatrist at Allegheny General Hospital, where she sees children, adolescents and adults, will present information about psychiatric resources and support; what to expect when meeting with a psychiatrist; where to find information about psychotropic medications and nonpharmacological interventions.

The presentation, which is free to the community, includes a light dinner at 6 p.m. Reservations are required. Contact Jenny Wolsk Bain at 412-325-0039, ext.103 or   

Kavod v’Nichum (Honor and Comfort) has been named one of North America’s top 50 innovative Jewish organizations in the ninth annual Slingshot Guide.

The guide has become a go-to resource for volunteers, activists and donors looking for new opportunities and projects that ensure that the Jewish community remains relevant and thriving.

The New Community Chevra Kadisha of Greater Pittsburgh (NCCK), which was created nine years ago to serve the Jewish community by preparing the deceased for burial according to traditional practices, is affiliated with Kavod v’Nichum. Its members belong to Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist and Reform congregations

Kavod v’Nichum provided the NCCK with initial training, organizational support and resources. It continues to enhance the education and spiritual aspects of NCCK with its annual conferences, website and webinars.

The NCCK also serves as an educational resource in the community, providing workshops and teaching sessions to synagogues and schools so that the Jewish rituals and traditions related to dying and death will be transmitted to the wider Jewish community.

Contact Malke Frank at for more information about the NCCK.

JFilm and the Three Rivers Film Festival will present the movie “Bethlehem,” Saturday, Nov. 9, 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 10, 5 p.m., at the Regent Square Theater, 1035 S. Braddock Ave.

Directed by Yuval Adler, this Israeli film in Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles, is a political thriller that has won 12 nominations from the Israeli Film Academy. It chronicles the complex relationship between an Israeli Secret Service officer and his teenage Palestinian informant. Shuttling back and forth between conflicting points of view, the film is an intense look at characters torn apart by competing loyalties and impossible moral dilemmas, giving an unparalleled glimpse into the dark world of human intelligence.

“Bethlehem” is the official Oscar entry from Israel.

All tickets are $10. Contact JFilm at or 412-992-5203 for more information.

New Light Sisterhood is having a movie night, Saturday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m. “Pal Joey,” starring Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak, will be screened. Admission is $5. Contact Barbara Caplan at 412-521-4332 or Sharyn Stein at 412-521-5231 for information and reservations.

Norman Chigier, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, will present a talk on “Energy Issues of the Present and Future,” Sunday, Nov. 17, at 10 a.m., at Young Peoples Synagogue, 6404 Forbes Ave., at the corner of Denniston Street. 

Chigier, a member of YPS, will provide an overview of key topics including global warming, types of alternative energy sources and related concerns about environmental pollution. These issues are of critical importance to the United States and the world at-large.

The talk is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.

Contact for more information.

Pittsburgh Conference of Jewish Women’s Organizations will hold its next meeting, Wednesday, Nov. 13, noon at the Friendship Circle, 5872 Northumberland St.

Rabbi Mordy Rudolph, director of Friendship Circle, will speak about the organization.

Call 412-683-7985 for reservations.

Ruach AZA, a local BBYO chapter from Fox Chapel and the North Hills communities, will volunteer at Fun Fest Sunday, Nov. 10, from 1 to 4 p.m., to raise awareness and money for The Wounded Warrior Project. Fun Fest is located at 2525 Freeport Road.

The Wounded Warrior Project is a nonprofit dedicated to helping physically and emotionally challenged veterans and their families when returning home from war.

This nonprofit has touched the lives of some 35,000 veterans and continues to help every day. There will be a veteran present at the event.

Fun Fest is an entertainment center that offers bowling, laser tag and an arcade for people of all ages. Ruach AZA will also be collecting money at the door and will have an information booth where the public can learn more about The Wounded Warrior Project and make a donation.

Contact Jeremy Witchel, vice president of programming for BBYO Keystone Mountain Region at for more information. Teens interested in becoming a member of BBYO, should contact Chuck Marcus, regional director of BBYO KMR at 412-421-2626 or

B’nai Emunoh/Chabad will hold its Chanukah boutique Sunday, Nov. 17, from 5 to 9 p.m. at 4315 Murray Ave. There is no charge, and there will be a door prize, wine tasting and refreshments. Local businesses/vendors will be on hand.

Contact for more information.

Chabad of the South Hills will present “The Heroines of Chanukah,” Sunday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. Rivka Saks will also give tips on home and office organization.

There is a $10 charge. A suggested donation of a new toy for Chabad of the South Hill’s annual Chanukah Toy Drive will help bring a smile to the face of a child.

Squirrel Hill Active Senior Network, “Connecting Seniors to Great Social/Civic Destinations,” holds meetings every Friday from 3 to 4 p.m. in Room C of the Squirrel Hill Library.

The social/civic destinations will be generated from the calendars of sharing active seniors as a way of building friendship networks; participants are asked to bring their calendars.

Jewish War Veterans, Allegheny County Council will celebrate Veterans Day with a memorial service followed by an oneg Friday, Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m. at New Light Congregation, 1700 Beechwood Blvd. All veterans are welcome.

Call 412-243-4523 for more information.

Beth Israel Congregation in Washington, Pa., will hold its Chanukah lunch, Sunday, Nov. 24, at 12:30 p.m. The Hot Matzohs will provide entertainment.

A portion of the program cost is being underwritten by a grant from  the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. As a result, meals will be provided free of charge to children of Beth Israel members, ages 0-13, and senior citizens 65 and older from the Washington area.

A minimum donation of $7.50 is suggested for nonmembers’ children, ages 5 to 13. For all adults 14 to 64 there is a $15 charge.

Contact Donna in the office by Friday, Nov. 8, at 724-225-7080 for reservations.

“More Than Just Learning” hosts Shirley and Morris Shratter will interview Alan Lesgold, dean of the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. The discussion will be on the problems and solutions of education. The program will run every Tuesday in November at 8 p.m. on Comcast Channel 21 and Verizon 47. The station is PCTV.