Shabbat Shalom

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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Proper Conduct Precedes the Torah

I asked Josh Sayles, our Community Relations Director, to write this week’s piece. Community Relations (CRC) work is critically important for both bridging relationships within our Jewish community and for building our relations with other diverse communities throughout our Greater Pittsburgh region.  There are a handful of American Jews who believe Israel can do no…

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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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CRC Leads Campus Ambassadors on Educational Israel Mission

I asked Laura Cherner, the Assistant Director of the Federation’s Community Relations Council (CRC), to write about her recent experience in accompanying our community’s Campus Ambassadors from our local college campuses. We equip a cohort of students to conduct pro-Israel programming on campus and prepare them to fight the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement.…

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Pittsburghers Visit Jewish Communities in Morocco

This week’s Shabbat message is written by Becca Hurowitz, our Federation’s Senior Campaign and Mission Manager.  Photos by Joel Weinberg  The Jewish community of Morocco, at one time 350,000 strong, is now reduced to a mere 3,000 Jews throughout the country. In several mass migrations in the 19th and 20th centuries, this historic Jewish community fled…

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Houston Jewish Community was Hit Especially Hard

How many people remember that the city of Houston was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey in August? With our fast moving news cycle, it may seem like a blur in the past. That hurricane did major damage to Houston. As an email from our national Federation system stated: Harvey dumped a trillion gallons of water over…

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Jewish Community Study Results are Big News

I’ve written enough (for now) about the 2017 Greater Pittsburgh Jewish Community Study funded by the Jewish Community Foundation of the Federation. Instead, I’ll let our local media share their insights with you: http://triblive.com/local/allegheny/13327741-74/pittsburgh-regions-jewish-population-is-growing-prosperous-and-moving-to-suburbs-study https://patch.com/pennsylvania/pittsburgh/pittsburghs-jewish-population-rise-study-says http://wesa.fm/post/researchers-say-pittsburghs-jewish-population-highly-educated-and-continues-grow#stream/0 http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2018/02/20/study-Pittsburgh-Jewish-community-growing-spreading-out/stories/201802200058 https://jewishchronicle.timesofisrael.com/jewish-pittsburgh-growing-but-denominational-affiliation-dropping/ WTAE-TV — https://youtu.be/qF5i3ZisJGU KDKA-TV — https://youtu.be/nJhIdkg3TjU In the words of Matt Boxer who is one of the key researchers…

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