Posts by Jeff Finkelstein

May War and Bloodshed Cease

Al Noor Mosque, New Zealand

Last night I drafted my Shabbat message and this morning I decided I couldn’t send it.  When I woke up this morning to the horrible news from New Zealand with 49 people slaughtered for just practicing their religion, I knew it couldn’t be business as usual. Federation is opening a mailbox to collect donations to…

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Thank You, First Responders

First Responders Thank You. Concert by Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers and Scott Blasey of The Clarks. Photo by David Bachman.

Jewish Federation put on a program to honor and thank all the first responders, including health care, Fire, EMS and others who did all they could on October 27th to protect and care for the worshipers in and around the Tree of Life Building.

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Finding the Right Question

Wherever I go, people keep asking me, “how are you”? I know they are inquiring because of the intensity of the Federation’s work post October 27th and they are deeply sincere and caring by asking about my personal state. I appreciate the thoughts, yet I am completely uncomfortable with the question. Yes, all of us…

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This Is Really Us

This Is Us | Dec 18, 2018 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | August Wilson Center

Just last night, another person from outside of Pittsburgh, this one on my Facebook page, commented on how amazing our Pittsburgh Jewish community has been in our response to the murderous attack of October 27th. He actually wrote, “your community inspires us”. People around the world have learned how special this Pittsburgh Jewish community really…

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The Power of the Collective Federation Approach

This Is Us | Dec 18, 2018 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | August Wilson Center

Right now, throughout Ukraine, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee are monitoring the political situation with heightened tensions between that country and Russia. There is a sizable Jewish community in Ukraine and our financial support of these two organizations provides food and medicine for Jewish seniors, security for communal…

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The New Normal: Acts of Beauty and Unity

Tree Of Life Vigil

On Friday night, after dinner, I did the dishes. Every Friday, my job is to wash the dishes after our family Shabbat dinner. I enjoy doing it because my wife does the bulk of the work in our home. This one is my responsibility. After dinner this past Friday, my wife offered to do the…

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Shabbat of Shalom

Stronger Together

This week’s Shabbat message is not to talk about the tragedy of last Shabbat nor to describe all that has gone on this past week, it is merely to say thank you. Thank you to the Pittsburgh Police, Public Safety and FBI for doing a tremendous job not only in capturing an anti Semitic, hateful…

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This Is Us

This Is Us

With all the Jewish holidays resulting in very short work weeks, I have not written in quite a while. And because I will be in Israel starting next week for a Federation mission followed by the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, it may be a few more until I write again.…

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Jewish Moments, Courtesy of PJ Library

PJ Library Hannukah Storytime

A group of staff from the Federation and the JCC met this week to discuss our PJ Library program. PJ Library is funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. The JCC, through Federation funding, carries out high quality programs to connect PJ Library families. Before I continue, let’s make…

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Where Do I Begin?

Riverview Towers Parking Lot Without Dirt Pile

I was trying to think about what I should write about this week. Should it be about the high level Federation Board informational meetings we are holding to delve into the approximate $17 Million in tax credits Riverview Towers has been granted? Should I write about the fact that a group of Israeli teens from…

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A Passion for Jewish Education

When the Agency for Jewish Learning decided to cease operations as an independent agency, the Federation divided the dollars being invested there into two parts: teen work for our community through the JCC and Jewish educational capacity building at the Federation. That led to the development of a new department for Jewish Education and Engagement…

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What Keeps You Up at Night?

Saturday night begins the holiday of Shavuot. I wrote about the holiday a few weeks ago in anticipation of tomorrow’s community wide Tikkun Leil Shavuot. My suggestion back then to attend our program has become even more amplified to encourage each of you to consider attending this unique to Pittsburgh Jewish experience. With 22 different…

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The Book of Ruth: Pittsburgh-Style

We are in the middle of a period in the Jewish calendar called the Omer when we count the days from the second day of Passover until the beginning of Shavuot. Yesterday was Lag Ba’Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer. Traditionally during the Omer we refrain from certain activities like listening to live music…

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Big News for Riverview Towers and Cheesecake Lovers

Volunteer at Riverview Towers

Often, the Federation has a hand in making important and historic things happen in our community and it goes unseen.  For instance, a news story in this week’s Jewish Chronicle highlights the tax credit financing granted to Riverview Towers.  As the article says, “In 2018, Riverview Towers accounts for about 10 percent of the total affordable…

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The Honeymoon is Never Over

I asked Rabbi Amy Bardack, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Director of Jewish Life and Learning, to write this week’s message about Honeymoon Israel. Please read through as you may know some couple that would be perfect to participate in this incredible opportunity.  As we have learned from the 2017 Pittsburgh Jewish Community Study,…

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