Metro Briefs October 21

Metro Briefs October 21

In celebration of Pittsburgh’s Bicentennial, StoryCorps, a nonprofit organization celebrating the stories of everyday Americans, has partnered with 90.5 WESA, Pittsburgh’s NPR station, and the Senator John Heinz History Center to bring the StoryCorps MobileBooth to Pittsburgh from Oct. 13 through Nov. 11 as part of its cross-country tour.

StoryCorps’ MobileBooth — an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio — will be located at the History Center for four weeks and will collect approximately 135 interviews with residents of western Pennsylvania. WESA will air a selection of local interviews recorded in the StoryCorps MobileBooth and create special programs and content around the project.

Over the past 13 years, StoryCorps has gathered more than 67,000 interviews from Americans in all 50 states.

Appointments for the first two weeks of the residency have been filled, but additional appointments are available  and can be made by visiting or by calling StoryCorps’ reservation line at 1-800-850-4406.

The National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section will hold Designer Days from Wednesday, Nov. 2 to Sunday, Nov. 6 at its Thriftique store at 125 51st St. in Lawrenceville.

Visit or call 412-421-6118 for more information.

Zionist Organization of America: Pittsburgh invites the community to its 2016 Awards Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 6 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom.

Honorees are Chaya and Dr. Dean Pollack with ZOA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Andrea Chester with the Natalie E. Novick Community Leadership Award and Jan Levinson with the Israel Service Award.

Avi Goldwasser, a pro-Israel advocate on college campuses and producer of documentaries, will be the guest speaker.

There is a $90 charge; dietary laws will be observed under the supervision of the Vaad Harabanim of Pittsburgh.

RSVP at 412-665-4630 or

As part of its ongoing Threshold Series, Saint Vincent College will host a Catholic-Jewish Dialogue on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center of the Robert S. Carey Student Center on campus.

Participating in the dialogue will be Cardinal Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., a Pittsburgh native and former bishop of Pittsburgh who is a member of numerous Vatican congregations and commissions; Rabbi Abraham Skorka, rector and professor at the Seminario Rabinico Latinamericano in Buenos Aires, and longtime dialogue friend of Pope Francis; Rabbi Walter Jacob, rabbi emeritus of Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh, and co-founder and president of the Abraham Geiger College, Berlin/Potsdam; Rabbi Alvin Berkun, rabbi emeritus of Tree of Life Congregation and member of the International Jewish Committee on Multi-Faith Consultation; Sister Mary Boys, dean of academic affairs and professor of theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City; and Dr. Patricia Sharbaugh, associate professor of theology at Saint Vincent College, who will teach Catholic-Jewish Dialogue with Rabbi Jason Edelstein in the spring semester at Saint Vincent.

Admission is free of charge for the Catholic-Jewish Dialogue. All seats are reserved and admission will be by ticket only. Make requests for reservations by sending name, address, daytime phone (including area code) and number of seats requested to the Threshold Box Office at All reservations will be confirmed by return email. Tickets will be held at the box office for pickup before the program; no tickets will be mailed in advance. Tickets not claimed by 6:40 p.m. will be released.

In 2015, Saint Vincent College established the Rabbi Edelstein Chair for Catholic-Jewish Dialogue to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the groundbreaking document of the Second Vatican Council on the relation between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people. The chair is named in tribute to Edelstein, who has served as a member of the theology department of the college since 1968. The chair’s goal is to take the experience of Catholic-Jewish dialogue beyond the classroom to the public, as in the Threshold Series event. Edelstein will serve as dialogue-facilitator for the public-forum dialogue.

According to Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., chancellor of Saint Vincent College, the concept for the dialogue was born at Saint Vincent more than 50 years ago. The college established the Threshold Series in 1981 through a grant from the McKenna Foundation of Latrobe, to provide a public forum for presentations by distinguished speakers.

Hadassah Greater Pittsburgh will hold a lunch to thank outgoing president Barbara Scheinberg for her leadership and dedication and welcome incoming president Rochelle Parker on Sunday, Nov. 6 at Green Oaks Country Club, 5741 Third St. in Verona. Doors open at 10 a.m. to shop among 10 vendors until noon, when lunch will be served.

Contact 412-421-8919 or for more information.

Chabad of the South Hills will have several programs coming up in November.

Jewish Kids Club is an after school club for kids ages 4 to 11. The fall six-week session will begin on Monday, Nov. 7 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Learn about Jewish Life around the world while cooking the different flavors. The charge is $10 per class and $50 for the full session.

Babyccino for moms and their tots will explore the Jewish home beginning Monday, Nov. 7 from 10 to 11 a.m. Join to discover the mitzvot to be found around the house and the miracle of Chanukah through creative music and movement, sensory arts, crafts and more. The charge is $7 per class or $18 for the full session.

The Mega Challah Bake 4 Kids, which will include baking challah, entertainment, crafts and more, will be held on Sunday, Nov. 13 from 2 to 3 p.m. at the South Hills Jewish Community Center. There is a $5 charge before Nov. 6 and $8 at the door.

Call 412-344-2424 or visit for more information on the programs.

AgeWell at the JCC is offering Jewish-Focused Aging Mastery, an innovative new health and wellness program with a Jewish focus, to participants age 60 and older.

The Jewish-Focused Aging Mastery Program will be held Mondays and Wednesdays, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Nov. 7 to Dec. 19, at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, 5738 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill.

Participants will learn the art of aging well in this six-week course with a Jewish focus. The fee is $118 for 12 sessions; register with a friend by Oct. 28 and get one registration free.

The program encourages mastery — developing sustainable behaviors across many dimensions that lead to improved health, stronger economic security, enhanced well-being and increased societal participation. The Aging Mastery Program (AMP) through AgeWell at the JCC was developed by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and has been successful at helping older adults build their own playbook for aging well.

The curriculum includes Jewish Perspectives on Aging Mastery; Navigating Longer Lives: The Basics of Aging Mastery; Exercise and You; Sleep; Healthy Eating and Hydration; Financial Fitness; Advance Planning; Healthy Relationships; Medication Management; Community Engagement; Falls Prevention; and Harvest Time: Living Fully the Rest of Our Lives.

Contact Marsha Mullen at 412-339-5415 or to register and for more information.

The Jewish Association on Aging will hold its 110th annual meeting on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation, in the Robinson Pavilion. Valet parking will be available.

Jane Brody, health and wellness columnist for The New York Times, will speak on “Living Our Best Lives as We Age.”

RSVP to Beverly Brinn at 412-521-2586 or

The Jack Buncher Foundation has granted funding for a new position of community security director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. This position will be responsible for assessing Jewish community needs and recommending measures to strengthen existing security measures, coordinating among Jewish agencies and with government first responders.

Although the Pittsburgh Jewish community has fortunately been spared from serious incidents, security events affecting the Jewish community have become increasingly common around the world. Coordinating security, training employees and volunteers, and implementing best practices will help to deter these crimes and prevent or decrease danger if they occur.

Andrew Stewart chairs the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh ad hoc committee that explored the need for the security director and has been actively involved in the hiring process.

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh worked with the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and with the Secure Community Network (SCN), a national homeland security initiative of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, to evaluate the need for a security director. In addition, SCN has assisted with the hiring process.

The community security director will plan, direct and coordinate activities relating to the protection and security of employees and visitors of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and Jewish Pittsburgh’s community organizations. The director will work with the community to develop goals and objectives and will develop, implement and monitor guidelines, procedures and programs to coordinate security and incident response to reach these goals. In addition, the director will help to build relationships and coordinate activities with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

The investment comes at the same time that the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) board of trustees approved a $100,000 grant to implement a regional Stop the Bleed initiative, a community outreach, training and action program that empowers the general public with the first responder skills and equipment necessary to stop or slow life-threatening bleeding. The combined efforts are in recognition of the community’s need to be prepared for emergencies.