Metro Briefs November 8

Metro Briefs November 8

Jewish Family & Children’s Service has partnered with North Hills Community Outreach (NHCO) and South Hills Interfaith Ministry (SHIM) to create a countywide employment and critical needs service for financially struggling adults.

WorkAble, as the service is called, will serve unemployed and underemployed individuals throughout Allegheny County, especially those newly struggling, those who are one event away from crisis and struggling single female households.

The United Way of Allegheny County is supporting the program.

WorkAble is an expansion of JF&CS’s combination of employment and critical needs services, which has helped thousands of people find work and return to self-sufficiency. The program serves both jobseekers ready to meet the challenges of a job search and employment, as well as those who need to overcome barriers before they can search, secure and maintain employment.

WorkAble will service clients from all over Allegheny County at NHCO sites in Allison Park and Millvale, SHIM offices in Bethel Park and JF&CS offices in Squirrel Hill.

While all of the agencies will provide critical needs assistance, JF&CS’s Career Development Center counselors will work onsite at NHCO and SHIM locations to provide resume and cover letter help, teach interviewing, job search and computer skills and offer support and encouragement to job seekers. NHCO will leverage their expertise with volunteer job coaches to put into place a job coach program across all three agencies.

People who need assistance can call the WorkAble hotline at 412-904-5993.

Ian Knauer, a well-known author and chef, will speak at the Ladies Hospital Aid Society (LHAS) Fall Luncheon and “One Handbag at a Time” silent auction, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 10:30 a.m., at LeMont Restaurant.

He will demonstrate some of his fall recipes at the luncheon and be available to sign books before and afterward.  Valet parking will be available.

A chef known for his recipes that use foods straight from the farm to the dinner table, Knauer was a cook in the Gourmet magazine test kitchen when he created a name for himself. Knauer’s recipes provided combinations that made use of seasonal produce or treats from the Pennsylvania farm that has been in his family since the 18th century.

A former food editor of Gourmet, Knauer now contributes to Bon Appétit, Men’s Health, Fine Cooking, Men’s Journal,, AOL Food, and

The “One Handbag at a Time” silent auction features vintage handbags donated to bring you a one-of-a-kind showcase event.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the LHAS Orchid Fund, which helps individuals with hair loss from medical conditions by providing financial assistance toward hair replacement options to restore confidence and enhance a positive image.

LHAS is a nonprofit organization governed by a board of 30 volunteers, with more than 800 members.  A community partner for more than a century, LHAS is dedicated to providing educational, financial, medical and social services to western Pennsylvania.  It provides special services from ambulance rides, to wigs and prosthetics, to fulfilling medication needs, going a step beyond medical care to personal care.

Robert D. Putnam, professor of public affairs at Harvard University, will speak at Temple Sinai, Saturday, Dec. 1, following havdala at 7:15 p.m., to discuss his recent book, “American Grace: How Religion Unites and Divides Us.”

Co-authored with David E. Campbell, the book won the American Political Science Association’s 2011 Woodrow Wilson award as the best book in political science.

Putnam is considered a leading religious sociologist in the United States. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. He has received numerous scholarly honors, including the Skytte Prize, the most prestigious global award in political science.

Putnam also has consulted for the last three American presidents, the last three British prime ministers, the current French president, and hundreds of grassroots leaders and activists in many countries.

The Pamela K. Wiles Fund, for Interfaith Understanding, which is set up to bring speakers to Temple Sinai, is sponsoring the program.

The program is free, and a dessert reception follows the lecture.

The American Jewish Museum invites the community to the opening reception of Radiant Circles:  Ruth E. Levine’s Generous Life, Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh Fine Perlow Weis Gallery, 5738 Darlington Ave.

RSVP to Melissa Hiller at (412) 521-8011, ext.105 or

Ruach AZA is having a fundraiser/community service event to raise money for its “Wounded Warrior Project.” Fun Fest in Harmarville is sponsoring the event.

Wounded Warrior Project was established by veterans and friends, moved by stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq. It started as a program to provide comfort items to wounded servicemen and women, but has become a complete rehabilitative effort to assist warriors as they recover and transition back to civilian life.

The teens will be volunteering their time on Sunday, Nov. 11, in honor of Veteran’s Day, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. They will be working at the toy counter, with laser tag and various other jobs.

In exchange for this work, Fun Fest will be donating to the cause.  In addition, the teens will be collecting donations at the door for the project as well.  All proceeds will be donated to the “Wounded Warrior Project,” which supports and helps veterans returning from military service. The public is welcome to come out, bowl and support this cause.

Squirrel Hill AARP Chapter 3354 will hold their Wednesday, Nov. 14, meeting at New Light Synagogue, located at 1700 Beechwood Blvd. at Forbes Ave. in Squirrel Hill at 1 p.m. Following the business meeting, Dr. Paul Caplan will speak, followed by refreshments.

The meeting is open to the community. Contact Frieda D. Safyan at 412-521-2804 for more information.

The Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee will sponsor the South Hills Christian-Jewish Dialogue Thursday, Nov. 15, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2040 Washington Road, at noon.  The topic will be “God and Country,” presented by Rabbi Eli Seidman, director of pastoral care at the Jewish Association on Aging. Jewish and Christian texts will be studied.  The regular monthly conveners are Father Brian Noel, Rabbi Mark Mahler, Rabbi Alex Greenbaum, Rabbi Howard Stein and Reverend Jim Gilchrist.  The program is free and open to the public.  Contact the PAJC office at 412-605-0816 or at for more information.

J Street Pittsburgh will hold its next Current Events Discussion Series Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the topic, “The ‘Jewish Vote,’ Israel, and the 2012 Election.”  The discussion will take place at Temple Sinai, 5505 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill in the Rogaliner Lounge.  It will address perceptions and misperceptions about American Jews, their voting record, and the issues that determine their decisions.

The aim of this series, hosted by Temple Sinai’s Tikkun Olam Center for Jewish Social Justice, is to create a forum for open and respectful discussion about current events related to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the American Jewish community.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh-South Hills will host the first of the 2012-13 series of Interfaith Couples Conversations, a “Pre-Christmas/Chanuka Conversation,” Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., at, 345 Kane Blvd., Scott Township.

Rabbis Amy and Alex Greenbaum, respectively of Beth Israel Center in Pleasant Hills and Beth El Congregation of the South Hills, will lead the conversation — first in a two-part series preparing interfaith couples for their holiday seasons.

The Greenbaums, who are married, were the first rabbinic couple in the 100-year history of the Jewish Theological Seminary to be ordained at the same time.  Together, with their three boys and one girl, ages 15, 13, 11 and 6, they have lived in Pittsburgh since 2002.

Topics for the Nov. 14 conversation will include:

• How do we incorporate in-laws of different faiths into our holiday


• How do we explain our holidays to our children?

• Can one family celebrate two holidays?

• What does “traditional” mean?

• How does a Christmas tree fit in?

• How do we make grandparents feel comfortable with the holiday celebrated by their grandchildren?

• How do these holidays complement each other?  

• What do they have in common and what is different?

• The second program, “Pre-Easter/ Passover Conversation,” will be held Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, from 7:30 to

9 p.m.

Reservations for each event are requested, but not required. Contact Ann Haalman at (412) 278-1975, ext. 204, or ahaalman@jccpgh for more