Metro Briefs October 17

Metro Briefs October 17

Brett Stephens
Brett Stephens

Temple Sinai will dedicate the Nathan and Hilda Katzen Center for Jewish Learning at Shabbat services Friday, Oct. 25, at 8 p.m. A special oneg will follow services in honor of Sally Katzen Dyk for her gift.

The Katzens were one of the 40 founding member families of Temple Sinai in 1946.

Hilda was active in Temple life, including Sisterhood, and served as chairman of the “Freezer Pleasers,” stocking the kitchen with ample desserts. She also served as president of Hadassah in Pittsburgh and of the entire Pittsburgh region.

Nathan served as president of the congregation from 1959 to 1962. Their son Robert “Bob” M. Katzen also served as president of Temple Sinai, from 1993 to 1995, the only father-son presidents.

As part of “This is the Time — an Endowment Campaign for Temple Sinai’s Future,” the Nathan and Hilda Katzen Center for Jewish Learning reflects the renaming of the religious school at Temple Sinai.

Contact Deborah Fidel, executive director, at 412-421-9715, ext. 111 for more information.

The Zionist Organization of America-Pittsburgh District will hold its annual awards dinner, Tuesday, Nov. 12, at Congregation Beth Shalom.

This year’s guest speaker is Brett Stephens, a foreign affairs columnist and deputy editorial page editor for The Wall Street Journal, and the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner for distinguished commentary. Stephens was previously editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post.   

Among this year’s award recipients, Stan and Marian Ungar Davis will receive the ZOA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes exceptional leadership and commitment to Israel.  

Ellen Teri Kaplan Goldstein will receive the Israel Service Award for her support for Israel and her many years of work with Jewish organizations that support the Jewish state.

The Natalie E. Novick Community Leadership Award, which is given to individuals who represents the spirit of community leadership to Jewish and humanitarian causes, will be presented to Linda Safyan Holber.

“We are truly blessed with outstanding honorees this year who have displayed their dedication to the Jewish people, Israel and the community many times over, ZOA-Pittsburgh District President Ira Frank said in a prepared statement.

Call ZOA Executive Director Stuart Pavilack, at 412-665-4630 for more information.

Ilene Winn-Lederer, a Pittsburgh artist and author, will be the guest speaker at a Brunch and Learn, Sunday, Oct. 27, 9:30 a.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom, 5915 Beacon St., Squirrel Hill.

Winn-Lederer will discuss her latest book, “An Illumination of Blessings,” which will feature her illustrations and calligraphy in an interpretation of 36 blessings in Jewish tradition.

The Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh will hold a program with Daviea Davis, a glass mosaic artist and the creator of “Pillars of Light,” a just-concluded multipiece sculpture installation that was part of Summer Flower Show, Glass in the Gardens at Phipps Conservatory.

One of the 4-foot-tall rotating Pillar of Light sculptures, which is devoted to the Holocaust Center, will be raffled off at the event. Raffle tickets will be available at the door.

The program will take place Wednesday, Oct. 17, 5:30 p.m., at UP Kitchen, 5500 Walnut St., Shadyside.

Contact Jennie Pelled at 412.421.1500 ext. 106 or for more information.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh will hold a Kindergarten Information Night, Thursday, Oct. 17, from 5 to 7 p.m., in the Levinson Auditorium at 5738 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill.

The program, organized by the JCC’s Early Childhood Development Center, is free and open to the community. Representatives from many local schools will be on hand.

Kindergarten Information Night is presented by the JCC’s Early Childhood Development Center.

Contact Mary Marcelle at 412-521-8011, ext. 375 or for more information or visit

The National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill University will hold its annual Kristallnacht Remembrance Service, Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 6 p.m. in St. Joseph Chapel.

Holocaust survivors Fritz Ottenheimer, Yoland Willis, Shulamit Bastacky and Solange Lebovitz will be featured.

Call 724-830-1033 for more information.

“The Other Son,” a movie by French director Lorraine Levy, will open Rodef Shalom Sisterhood’s movie night series Sunday, Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m. in Levy Hall.

The movie is a modern day version of the Ishmael and Isaac story as two infants in Israel are accidently switched at birth only to discover the mistake 18 years later. A Palestinian family raises one child, an Israeli family the other.

Produced in Israel in 2012, the movie, which played in Pittsburgh theaters last year, went on to win several awards.

The dialogue is in Hebrew and French with English subtitles.

Admission is free. Light refreshments will follow the screening. Call 412-621-6566 for more information.

Chabad House on Campus and Chabad of CMU will hold their fourth annual Grad Shabbat 200 for all area graduate students, Friday, Oct. 25, at 6 p.m. in the University of Pittsburgh O’Hara Student Center Ballroom (formally known as the Concordia Club).

Candle lighting will take place at 6 pm followed by Kiddush and a wine bar.

About 200 students and faculty are expected to attend.

The dinner is based on the model of table hosts, where a student hosts a table of six friends.

“This is an event which graduate students look forward to each year and it brings unity to the student community. Every Jewish organization is involved,” Chani Silverman, co-director of Chabad of CMU, said in a prepared statement.

Chabad House J-Grads and Chabad of CMU Grads are sponsoring the event. Other participating organizations are J’Burgh, Jewish Graduate Students Association at CMU, Israel on Campus at CMU, Tepper Jewish Association, Jewish Pitt Grads, Maimonides at Pitt, Jewish Law Students Association at Pitt and Moishe House.

More information and registration (open to university affiliates) is at

The University of Pittsburgh Jewish Studies Program will present a brunch and learn lecture by Sarah Benor, associate professor of comparative Jewish studies at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 20.  

Benor will speak on the topic “Do American Jews Speak a Jewish Language?” Her lecture will address questions about whether American Jews have a distinctive way of speaking, and if so, whether it can be classified as a Jewish language.

Benor is a scholar of Jewish linguistics and the social scientific study of the American Jewish community.

The lecture will take place in Room 1500 of Posvar Hall on the Pitt campus, next to Schenley Plaza. A light breakfast and coffee will be available at 10:45 a.m.; the lecture will begin at 11 a.m.  Following the lecture, Benor will be available to sign copies of her book, “Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism,” which will be on sale.

Contact Adam Shear, director of Jewish Studies, at or 412-624-2280 for more information.

The Rauh Jewish Archives at the Heinz History Center and the Lev Society of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh will present, “They Could Get It for You Wholesale: The History of Pittsburgh’s Fifth Avenue Wholesale District, 1880s-1980s,” a public program at the History Center on Sunday, Nov. 3, from 1 to 3 p.m.

The presentation by Amy Comins Lowenstein and Eric Lidji will showcase wholesale houses on “the Avenue” and their relationship to retail stores in the small towns of western Pennsylvania.

This program, which was first presented in April and  is back by popular demand, is underwritten by the Jewish Community Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and the Rauh Jewish Archives.

Refreshments will be served. Dietary laws will be observed.

Admission is free, but preregistration is requested. Contact Kelly Smith at 412-454-6410 or  

Chabad of the South Hills in Mt. Lebanon will hold a seniors luncheon Tuesday, Oct. 22 at noon. There is a $5 suggested donation; the building is wheelchair accessible. 

Contact Barb at 412-278-2658 or to RSVP.