Metro Briefs October 3

Metro Briefs October 3

Dina Kantor
Dina Kantor

Dina Kantor, a New York-based photographer, will exhibit her work from Oct. 14 to Dec. 27 in the Fine Perlow Weis Gallery of the American Jewish Museum, Jewish Community Center, in Squirrel Hill.

Kantor’s work explores ways photography contributes to the fabrication of individual identity and collective community.

Kantor is both Finnish and Jewish. Raised in Minnesota, she went to Finland in 2006 to connect to an unknown aspect of her heritage and to explore what contemporary Jewishness might be like in the remote Nordic region.

Once there, she began meeting people who identify as Jews and asked if she could take photographs of them. She has images of nearly 300 Jewish people in Finland, 16 of which are included in the AJM exhibition.

Kantor directs equal attention to both her subjects and their environment by shooting from a mid-range vantage point. Many of the images depict people in living, study or dining areas while a few subjects are presented at work or in the outdoors.

The University of Minnesota graduate also has a master’s in fine arts degree from the School of Visual Arts, where, in addition to Adelphi University, she teaches photography.

Kantor lives and works in Brooklyn.

Call the AJM at 412-521-8011, ext. 105, for more information.

Michaela Brown, the international president (n’siah) of BBYO, is visiting Pittsburgh this week where she is meeting with members of the Keystone Mountain Region.

Brown, who deferred her first year of college to serve as n’siah, will travel to more than 50 U.S. cities and at least six countries. Her agenda is to promote BBYO’s international initiatives,

including leading campaigns to increase AZA and BBG membership, supporting teen-led efforts to help those in need locally and globally through the BBYO Stand UP campaign and promoting BBYO’s summer travel and service learning opportunities.

Brown’s responsibilities also include serving as a resource for chapter and regional BBYO leaders to strengthen local programming and serving as a voting member of BBYO’s board of directors.

“Michaela is a dynamic leader with a real passion for the Jewish community, which makes her an excellent role model for Jewish teens here in Keystone Mountain Region, as well as Jewish teens around the world,” said BBYO’s senior program director, Chuck Marcus, in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled that she will be spending several days in our community working to help BBYO Keystone Mountain Region reach its full potential.”

In the capacity of president, Brown is joined by male counterpart Mika Stein of Dallas, who oversees BBYO’s young men’s division, Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA). The two also work with eight other elected BBYO leaders from all over North America.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh will hold its eighth annual Big Night fundraising event Saturday, March 8, at the JCC in Squirrel Hill.

This year’s theme is “Game On,” incorporating board games such as “Barrel of Monkeys,” “Hungry Hippos” and “Trivial Pursuit.”    

Big Night is designed to provide essential support for the JCC year-round.

This year’s Big Night Committee co-chairs are Sue Berman and Doug Kress of Squirrel Hill and Ingrid and Eric Smiga of Mt. Lebanon. PNC Bank will again be the lead sponsor.

Contact Marla Werner, Big Night team leader, at (412) 521-8011, ext. 352 or for more information.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh will kick off its 2013-14 basketball season with BasketBash, Sunday, Oct. 6, 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Robinson Gym, 5738 Darlington Road, Squirrel Hill. Admission is free and the event is open to the community.

The event will include music and entertainment, shooting and slam dunk contests, opportunities to meet the JCC coaches, appearances by Pittsburgh Bullets players and coaches, refreshments and prizes for contest winners.

There also will be an opportunity to learn about all the following JCC basketball programs, including:

• Harry B. Davis Basketball Clinic — an 18-week program that includes instruction, exhibition games and league play, Saturday afternoons beginning Oct. 12;

• Little Champ Super Hoopers —   a 14-week program for boys and girls that teaches the game’s fundamentals and culminates with a special performance Sunday afternoons beginning Nov. 3;

• JCC Travel Basketball Teams —  open for boys and girls in the fifth- through 12th-grades; tryouts begin Oct. 21.

Contact Jeremy Kelley at 412-521-8011, ext. 249 or for more information.

Rodef Shalom Congregation will feature Rabbi Danny Schiff as its next Ruth and Bernard Levaur Contemporary Lecture Series guest speaker Sunday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m.

Schiff’s lecture, “Humanity Behind the Screen:  Judaism and Communications Technology,” will focus on the mantra of Jewish organizations today that are embracing innovation and new technology as a critical feature of staying relevant.

Contact JoAnn Ruffing at 412-621-6566 for more information.

Temple David in Monroeville is hosting its annual Fall Food and Craft Festival Sunday, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sample ethnic foods and desserts and browse the craft and retail products, ranging from housewares to beauty to jewelry.

Temple David is located at 4415 Northern Pike in Monroeville. Contact Steve Lippock at or visit for more information.

The East Winds Symphonic Band will perform a benefit concert Saturday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m. at Rodef Shalom Congregation, 4905 Fifth Ave.

Admission is free; donations of nonperishable food items or cash to benefit the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry would be appreciated.

“Ghosts of the Third Reich,” a film that documents the stories of descendants of the Nazis, who confront their family’s past and communicate their most profound feelings of guilt by inheritance, will be screened Wednesday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m., at Rodef Shalom Congregation.

Classrooms Without Borders is sponsoring the Pittsburgh premiere of the film, which is free, though space is limited.

The individuals in the film, whose relatives were supporters, officers and elite of the Nazi regime, share a common desire to distance themselves from Nazi ideology and the actions of their ancestors, and to liberate themselves from the guilt, shame and pain that continue to levy a heavy price 70 years later.

The film includes moments from The Austrian Encounter, a focal point for dialogue between descendants of Nazi perpetrators and survivors of the Holocaust.