Metro Briefs October 10

Metro Briefs October 10

Richard Bernstein
Richard Bernstein

Richard Bernstein, a blind disabled rights attorney, and a marathon runner recently inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, will be speaking about making the most of life against tough odds, Sunday, Oct. 13, 5:30 p.m., at the Katz Theater of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, 5738 Darlington Road, Squirrel Hill.

Bernstein will share his formula for success, and show how it can be applied to other individuals and to the community as a whole.

The Friendship Circle, Agency for Jewish Learning, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, JCC, Jewish Residential Services, Jewish Healthcare Foundation and Jewish Family & Children’s Service are all sponsoring the presentation.

“Richard is an example of human potential utilized to its fullest,” Rabbi Mordy Rudolph, executive director of the Friendship Circle, said in a prepared statement. “We felt that having Richard share his story with us, treating barriers as though they don’t actually exist, is a lesson that we, both as individuals and as a community, can truly benefit from.”

Bernstein also will speak on Friday night, Oct. 18, for students at Chabad of Carnegie Mellon University.

Contact Friendship Circle at 412-224-4440 or for more information.

Rabbi Joe Hample will be formally installed as the spiritual leader of Congregation Tree of Life, Morgantown, W.Va., the weekend of Oct.11 to 12.

The activities will take place during the Kabbalat Shabbat service Friday at 7:30 p.m., the Saturday morning service at 10 a.m., which will include the formal installation ceremony led by Rabbi Lisa Edwards of Los Angeles, and a havdalah dinner at a local restaurant.

Contact Tree of Life at 304-292-7029 for more information.

East Winds Symphonic Band will hold a concert to benefit Squirrel Hill Food Pantry, Saturday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m., at Rodef Shalo Congregation. Admission is free.

Those attending are asked to bring nonperishable food or a cash donation.  All donations will benefit the pantry, which serves all families and individuals who meet specified income requirements and live in the 15217 ZIP code.

The East Winds Symphonic Band has made annual appearances at Rodef Shalom over its 32-year history. The late Aaron Silberman, a member of the congregation, initiated the series.

The Stanley J. and Sandra Gurgon Spear Fund is underwriting this year’s concert.

The 70-member ensemble performs many musical genres including marches, Dixieland, and Broadway show melodies.  

Free parking is available in the lot immediately behind the building, which is located at 4905 Fifth Ave., Shadyside.

Hugh Blumenfeld, a poet and musician, will be this year’s speaker in the Pi Lambda Phi Lectureship Series at West Virginia University, Morgantown, in a two-part program titled “Tikkun Olam: Health and Healing through the Arts.”

Blumenfeld will perform a concert, Monday, Oct. 28, 7 p.m., in the E. Moore Hall lobby, across from the Mountainlair student union.

He will lecture Tuesday, Oct. 29, noon, in Room 1909 of the Health Sciences Center on the Evansdale Campus.

Blumenfeld is a singer-songwriter who has toured the United States, Europe and Israel. He has released seven CDs that range from quiet ballads to political satire.

He was an assistant editor of the Fast Folk Musical Magazine, now part of the Smithsonian Folkways collection.

Alumni of Pi Lambda Phi established the lectureship series to bring a speaker of Jewish interest to the WVU campus every year.

Contact Ilana Chertok at or 304-293-6518 for more information. Both programs are free the public.

JFilm: The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum and FISA Foundation will co-present the first Pittsburgh ReelAbilities Film Festival, which showcases films about the lives, stories, and artistic expression of people with different disabilities.

The Festival opens Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and will continue through Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the Human Engineering Resource Laboratory at Bakery Square, Rodef Shalom Congregation and the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium on the University of Pittsburgh campus. All venues have been chosen for their accessibility.

Seven films have been selected that  challenge the “perceptions about the lives of people with disabilities in thought-provoking ways.” The films feature actors with a broad range of disabilities (intellectual, sensory, physical and mental health) and touch on universal themes of community, family, love, search for meaning and interdependence as well as the unique experience of living with a disability.

Film titles and supplemental programming are available at

NA’AMAT Pittsburgh Council has financed construction of the newly-opened Adele and Maurice Weiner Center for Women’s Health in Karmiel, Israel. The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and its foundation provided funding for programming and operations for the facility. At its annual spiritual adoption/scholarship event Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 6:30 p.m., NA’AMAT Pittsburgh Council will acknowledge and honor the Federation’s support and partnership. Chairs of the evening are Gloria Elbling-Gottlieb and Carole Wolsh; president is Marcia Weiss.

Contact or call 412-521-5253 for more information and reservations.

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.

Community Day School will hold an open house Wednesday, Oct. 16, and Sunday, Oct. 20, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at 6424 Forward Ave. in Squirrel Hill.

The program and tour will explore the pre-k through eighth-grade curriculum with teachers and administrators.

Contact Sarah DeWitt, admission director at or 412-521-1100, ext. 2114 for more information.

Chabad of the South Hills Hebrew School of the Arts will hold a free magic show with Al Mazing Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 5:30 p.m. at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 164 Fort Couch Road in Bethel Park, across from South Hills Village Mall. The program will include refreshments and information about the Hebrew school program for children.

Call 412-344-2424 for more information and to RSVP.

Squirrel Hill AARP Chapter 3354 will hold their next meeting Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 1 p.m. at New Light Congregation, 1700 Beechwood Blvd. at Forbes Avenue. Following the business meeting, “Banjo Banjo”  — two banjo players — will perform. Refreshments will be served.

Contact Frieda Safyan and 412-521-2804 for more information.