Metro Briefs October 25

Metro Briefs October 25

NA’AMAT USA, Pittsburgh Council and Jewish Family & Children’s Service, along with the Jewish Domestic Abuse Task Force, will hold a lunch and learn Wednesday, Oct. 31, at the Labor Zionist Educational Center, 6328 Forbes Ave. in Squirrel Hill. Survivors of domestic abuse will speak along with legal advocacy manager Joyce McAneny of the Women’s Center & Shelter. Bring your lunch; drinks and snacks will be provided.

Contact Dee at the NA’AMAT office at 412-521-5253 or for more information.

The Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh and Rodef Shalom Congregation will host Fred Lazin, professor emeritus of political science at Ben Gurion University, for separate programs this week.

Jewish Studies is presenting Lapin for two on-campus lectures, Oct. 25 and 26, discussing Israel in different contexts. Rodef Shalom will host him for an Israel study weekend, Oct. 26 and 27.  

The Oct. 25 lecture at Pitt will begin at 4 p.m. in room 332 in the Cathedral of Learning; the Oct. 26 lecture, noon, in room 1501 of Posvar Hall. Both are open to the community.

Lazin’s Oct. 25 lecture at Pitt is titled “Israel’s Changing Identity,” and will focus on developments in Israeli culture and society in recent years.  This lecture is co-sponsored by the departments of religious studies, political science and sociology.

The Oct. 26 lecture, “Project Renewal in Israel and the Model Cities Program in the United States,” will focus on two landmark urban renewal projects and their relationship to wider social and political developments in the two countries. This talk is co-sponsored by political science, sociology and urban studies programs at Pitt.

At Rodef Shalom, Lazin’s Oct. 26 lecture, which is titled,  “Israel Update: What is happening in Israel today,” is part of the Shabbat service, at 5:30 p.m. in Levy Hall.

On Oct. 27, he will lead morning Torah study beginning at 9:15 a.m. in the library. The talk will focus on this week’s Torah portion through the lens of modern day Israel.

Finally, Lazin will share a brief message during morning services, which begin at 10:30 a.m. in the main sanctuary.

Lazin is the Lynn and Lloyd Hurst Family Professor Emeritus of Local Government at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheva, Israel.

He joined the Ben Gurion faculty in 1975, where he established an interdisciplinary urban studies program and the department of general studies. He served as chair of the department of behavioral science and of the department of politics and government, director of the Hubert H. Humphrey Center of Social Ecology, and director of the overseas student program.

His current research covers the role of the American Jewish Committee in relation to the struggle for Soviet Jewry, its lobbying efforts in Washington and its tie with Israel. Additionally, he is also looking at how Christian clergy affected the struggle for Soviet Jewry.

Lazin is the first visiting lecturer to come to Pitt with the help of the recently established Cardin Endowed Fund in the Jewish Studies Program. Friends of Sen. Benjamin Cardin, ’64, established the fund upon his delivering the keynote address at the April 2011 university commencement.

BBYO announces the launch of a new pre-college, gap year program in Israel — “Beyond” ( The program brings together four partners, including Authentic Israel, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, Masa Israel Journey and Tel Aviv University to offer an academic experience along with service opportunities, leadership programming and travel. Beyond is BBYO’s first gap year offering of Israel experiences offered under its Passport brand.

“Knowing the impact of a gap year experience in Israel, we feel compelled to leverage our expertise and experience in providing powerful Israel experiences to increase the number of young Jews engaging in long-term study in Israel,” BBYO Executive Director Matthew Grossman said in a prepared statement. “Our teens have requested a gap year experience, Israeli and North American Jewish leaders have called for more of these programs and we feel uniquely capable of delivering something scalable and life changing.”

Beyond applicants can choose between a 5-month and 9-month experience, both of which are eligible for an automatic Masa scholarship of $1,000, with up to $3,000 more being available based on financial need.  With Tel Aviv University serving as the program’s home base, participants have additional opportunities to explore Europe, engage in community service in Africa, and develop new skills like scuba diving and cooking.

The Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee’s Christian-Jewish Dialogue will meet Thursday, Nov. 1, noon, at Congregation Beth Shalom, 5915 Beacon St.  The topic is “Leadership Qualities,” presented by Danielle Kranjec and Father Radu Bordeianu. Jewish and Christian texts (Isaiah 11:1-5; Mark 10:42-45) will be studied.  The conveners are Rabbi Jamie Gibson, Father Radu Bordeianu and Rabbi Michael Werbow.  The program is free to the public.  Contact the PAJC office at 412-605-0816 or at for more information.  

National Council of Jewish Women Pittsburgh Section Designer Days will kick off the 2012 Designer Days sale with its annual Patron Event, Thursday, Nov. 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Monroeville Convention Center. The sale continues through Nov. 11.

This year’s theme, “A Checkout Line,” celebrates the fun, drama and discovery of shopping at Designer Days.

“A Checkout Line pays homage to ‘A Chorus Line,’ one of Broadway’s best loved musicals,” said Mindy Hedges, NCJW Pittsburgh Section executive director, in a prepared statement. “It mirrors NCJW’s historic commitment to supporting women in transition as they strive to achieve their hopes and dreams. Each woman has a story to tell. NCJW offers them a chance to share their stories, engage in training programs, and develop the tools to create their own pathways to success.”

NCJW’s newest initiatives assist women in transition enter/re-enter the workforce through an in-depth internship program.

Debbie Levy-Green is the Designer Days chairwoman. Proceeds from the sale support NCJW’s effort to make a difference in the lives of women, children and family through advocacy and nonsectarian community service projects.

At the Checkout Line event, NJCW will honor six volunteers for their years of service and dedication: Cheryl Braver, Nancy Recht, Joan Reich, Lenore Schwartz, Marsha Stern and Rita Tauberg. A special memorial tribute will be made to Sandy Chernew.

Honorary chairs are fashion designer Kiya Tomlin and Henry Krakovsky. Along with shopping prior to the public sale, Patron Event guests will enjoy wine, hors d’oeuvres and desserts in a festive setting, and enter to win raffle prizes donated by local boutiques, salons and other businesses.

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

The Harlan Gallery at Seton Hill University in Greensburg is presenting two exhibitions during the Ethel LeFrak Holocaust Education Conference.

One exhibit, featuring the Pentateuch and Psalms from the Saint John’s Bible, is on display until  Nov. 15 at Seton Hill University’s Harlan Gallery and marks the 25th anniversary of the Seton Hill University’s National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education.  

The other, titled “Illuminations: The Art of Samuel Bak,” features 20 original works by Bak — a Holocaust survivor.  The themes of Bak’s work include questions of identity, responsibility, the challenges of justice and the difficulties of rebuilding what was destroyed.

“The Ethel LeFrak Holocaust Education Conference seeks to enhance Catholic-Jewish understanding by educating the educators,” said Sister Gemma Del Duca, founder and co-director in Israel of Seton Hill’s NCCHE, said in a prepared statement. “Over the years we have learned to appreciate art, writing, poetry, music and film, especially of the survivors who have been our greatest teachers.”

Harlan Gallery, is open Monday to Thursday, from 5 to 8 p.m.; Friday, 1 to 3 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Contact Harlan Gallery Director Carol Brode at 724-830-1071 or for more information.