Metro Briefs October 18

Metro Briefs October 18

A communitywide screening for potential carriers of 19 Jewish genetic diseases will take place, Tuesday, Oct. 30, noon to 8 p.m., at the Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh, 4607 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

Hillel JUC hosts this screening in partnership with the National Victor Center for the Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. Individuals are encouraged to preregister online and may obtain information regarding insurance coverage and costs at

In the past, prospective parents had no way of knowing whether they were carriers of a genetic disease that could threaten the health and life of their children — until it was too late and a child became sick. For Jewish individuals of Central and Eastern European descent, the potential danger is particularly great, since 1 in 4 of these Jews is a carrier for at least one of 19 preventable genetic diseases. Unfortunately, these diseases strike in childhood, have no cure and can lead to an early death.

The Victor Center recommends that all at-risk individuals, including interfaith couples and couples getting pregnant through donor egg/sperm, should be screened with the Jewish partner being screened first. Individuals with one or more Jewish grandparents are considered at risk. Couples should be screened prior to each pregnancy for any new diseases, since there have been new advances in testing, the list of known genetic diseases is constantly being expanded.  

“With 1 in 4 Jewish young adults being a carrier of a Jewish genetic disease, the Hillel JUC is so happy to be able to bring this amazing opportunity to the estimated 5,000 undergraduate students, graduate students, and young adults that we serve through all of our programming,” said David Katz, assistant director at Hillel JUC said in a prepared statement.

Contact Nadine Levyfield, marketing and development coordinator at the Victor Center, at or visit for more information.

Hillel Jewish University Center will hold its annual Speed-Sitting Party Sunday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon, as a way to match young parents and students interested in baby-sitting jobs.

The event will be held at the Hillel JUC, 4607 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

Parents will receive packets of the baby sitters’ applications, with information about transportation, references, baby-sitting and other work experience, and schedules.

RSVP by Friday, Oct. 19, to David Katz

Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh will hold a kindergarten information night, Tuesday, Oct. 23, from 7 to 9 p.m., in Levinson Auditorium at the JCC, 5738 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill.

The program, organized by the JCC’s Early Childhood Development Center, is free and open to the community. Refreshments will be served.

The participating schools are Carriage House Children’s Center, Community Day School, Ellis School, Hillel Academy, JCC Clubhouse After-School Program, Pittsburgh New Church School, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pittsburgh Urban Christian School, Sacred Heart, Shady Side Junior Academy, St. Edmund’s Academy, The Campus School of Carlow University, Waldorf School of Pittsburgh, Winchester Thurston and Yeshiva Schools.

The program is supported in part by the Marilyn Kramer Memorial Fund.

Contact Kelly Gable-LaBelle, division director of early childhood services, at (412) 521-8011, ext. 209 for more information.  

The Charles Morris Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center of the Jewish Association on Aging in Pittsburgh is one of 22 area institutions that together applied for and received a $19.4 million Innovation Grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS requested innovative strategies to reduce the number of avoidable re-hospitalizations among long-term nursing home residents. Studies indicate that up to 60 percent of all hospitalizations in this group are avoidable, costing the government $2.7 billion annually.

This collaboration of agencies won the grant and became the recipient of one of only seven such awardsnationwide. 

“Seniors in particular are very vulnerable to infections in the acute setting, as well as disorientation when they are removed from familiar surroundings. This grant will enable us to continue to increase the level of care we are providing on-site, thereby keeping our residents out of the hospital and improving their quality of care,” JAA President and CEO Deborah Winn-Horvitz said in a prepared statement.

Beth Israel Center will hold the first in this year’s lecture series Sunday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m. Rabbi Alex Greenbaum of Beth El Congregation of the South Hills will speak on “Conservative Judaism Today and in the Future.”

Janet and Irv Selsley sponsor this year’s series in memory of their parents, Irving and Ethel Moore, and Alex and Sylvia Selsley.

There is no fee to attend; the community is invited.

Taylor Allderdice Class of 1976 will hold a reunion the evening of Saturday, Nov. 24, at the Edgewood Club.  Contact Karen Dicks at for more information.

Hillel Academy will hold a women’s zumba class with Ashley every Wednesday at 7:15 p.m., beginning Oct. 17. There is a charge.

Paper cut artist and Pittsburgh native Rochel Schiffrin has been juried into two art shows. The one at Rowe Gallery at the Greensburg Art Center will run to Oct. 26. The other, at the Mid-Atlantic 2012 show at the Hoyt Center for the Arts in New Castle, runs until Nov. 2.

Schiffrin graduated from Chatham University with a bachelor’s degree in visual arts. She belongs to several local art guilds. Her paper cuts are shown in galleries in Pittsburgh and Rockport, Mass.

The City of Pittsburgh will host the One Young World Summit 2012 from Oct. 18 to 22. Approximately 1,500 delegates from 196 countries are expected to attend, including at least two delegates from Israel — one Jew and one Arab — who will be working on a project with the Manchester Bidwell Corporation.

One Young World is a London-based charity that gathers together young people from around the world, helping them make lasting connections to create positive change. The organization, founded in 2009, holds an annual summit at which the delegates debate and formulate solutions for pressing issues facing the world.

After each Summit, the newly minted One Young World Ambassadors work on their own projects and initiatives, or lend the power of the One Young World network to those already in existence. Of those in employment, many return to their companies and set about creating change from within, energizing their corporate environment. There are currently over 125 projects and initiatives involving more than 100 countries.

The Summit will feature several special events, beginning with an opening ceremony at Heinz Hall set to music from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Children’s Festival Chorus of Pittsburgh. Following the ceremony, delegates will spill out onto the street for a Welcome Bridge Party with fireworks on the Roberto Clemente Bridge.

Delegates will attend breakout sessions at the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning Nationality Rooms and at several other sites around the city.