Metro Briefs

Metro Briefs

The Jewish Chronicle has added two new writers to its blogosphere.

The Beet-Eating Heeb” is a blog for Jewish vegetarians, Jewish vegans and all Jews whose concerns about food are not limited to how it tastes. Written by Jeffrey Cohan of Forest Hills, a member of the Advisory Committee of Jewish Vegetarians of North America, the blog will also examine what the Torah has to say about food.

Connie’s College Chat,” by Connie Pollack, is a forum about college admissions that will provide insight and advice for parents and for students as they explore post-secondary educational options. Multiple topics, including how to plan for college, the college selection and application process, affording college, and more will be covered.

Both blogs can be found on the homepage of

Shaare Torah Congregation will screen Carl Kurlander’s film about Pittsburgh, “My Tale of Two Cities: A Comeback Story,” Sunday, Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m., at the synagogue, 2319 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. A discussion with the filmmaker will follow.

Kurlander, a Hollywood screenwriter who wrote the movie “St. Elmo’s Fire,” and was the writer/producer on NBC’s “Saved by the Bell” sitcom, returned to Pittsburgh in 2001. This unlikely decision became the topic of the first-person documentary, “My Tale of Two Cities,” which explores whether one can go home again, and whether Pittsburgh, which built America with its steel, conquered polio, and invented everything from aluminum to the Big Mac, could reinvent itself for a new age. 

Shaare Torah was one of the first places to show an extended trailer for “My Tale of Two Cities” while the film was being made. The final version has since played in more than 26 cities across North America, including a special screening on Capitol Hill.   

There is no cost to attend, and copies of the DVD will be available for purchase.

Erwin Joos, a writer and art historian, will make a presentation about artist Eugeen Van Mieghem and the Red Star Line titled “One Foot in America: The Jewish Emigrants of the Red Star Line and Eugeen Van Mieghem,” Tuesday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m., at the American Jewish Museum of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill.

Joos is the founder and president of the Eugeen Van Mieghem Foundation, curator of the Eugeen Van Mieghem Museum and author of Van Mieghem Publications.

Van Miegem (1875-1930) was an artist whose works depicting emigrants bears artistic witness to the greatest mass migration in the history of Antwerp, Belgium. His paintings and drawings that depict Jewish emigrants provide a sensitive visual record of Jewish emigration from Europe on Red Star Line ships.

Antwerp was the New York of the 16th century. Along with Venice, it was the most important world port of that period. When Antwerp fell in 1585 to the Spanish army, its community of Sephardic Jews left, mostly for Holland and Italy.

Nearly 300 years later the port of Antwerp once again became a center of Jewish migration. Between 1873 and 1934, the Red Star Line transported approximately 2.5 million emigrants from Antwerp to the United States. Some of those who departed include Golda Meir, Irving Berlin and Albert Einstein.

Call 412-521-8010 for more information.

A photography exhibit by Ira Rubin, entitled “Statues and Street Scenes: Exploring Historic Prague and its Environs,” is on display for the month of February at the Squirrel Hill Branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

The photographs in this exhibit, taken in June 2010, juxtapose ordinary people going about daily tasks with the grandeur of monuments from the 16th to 20th centuries.  Among the photos is a picture of the Old Jewish Cemetery of Prague and the courtyard at Terezin Concentration Camp.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh and Amazing Journeys are offering cruises of the West Coast or Alaska this spring and summer.

The West Coast cruise, which runs from May 27 to June 1, is for Jewish singles in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, and is a one-time only, five-night North American journey from San Diego, Calif., to Vancouver, British Columbia.

The JCC travel program, in partnership with Amazing Journeys, provides Jewish adults from all over North America with unique travel opportunities, planned and escorted by expert travel professionals.

Contact Bill Cartiff at 412-278-1975, ext. 242 or for more information.