Shabbat Shalom

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Chag Sameach

Thursday, April 28, 2016
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We are still in the midst of the holiday of Passover, celebrating the freedom of the Jewish people.  I write to you today about a program taking place next Thursday that commemorates one of the most tragic chapters in Jewish history – the Shoah (the Holocaust). Yom HaShoah will be commemorated on Thursday, May 5th at 7 pm […]

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Can a united community still work miracles? Ask the Yemenite Jews.

Monday, April 18, 2016
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A Jewish family from Yemen arriving in Israel at Ben Gurion International Airport, Aug. 14, 2013. (Moshik Brin/The Jewish Agency/Flash90) Typically, I take some time to share my thoughts about our Federation, our Jewish community and issues impacting the Jewish world.  In place of my typical writing, I present to you a wonderful piece by […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Big Data

Friday, April 8, 2016
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We read often about how companies are using “Big Data”.  Every time you go to a website and search for an item to buy, that same item seems to appear on other website you visit as an advertisement.  Every month, I seem to receive a booklet of coupons from Giant Eagle and guess what, it’s […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Shabbat Shalom: Friday, April 1, 2016

Friday, April 1, 2016
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Concurrently, in one 2 hour block on Tuesday morning, three meetings took place involving Federation volunteers and staff.  I think it can gives a good snapshot or sense into some of what we are working on to support our community. 1.  David Bernstein, the new Executive Director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (the […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Shabbat Shalom: Friday, March 25, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016
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While most of us were sleeping on Sunday night, the Jewish Agency for Israel rescued 17 Jews from the country of Yemen.  The Jewish Agency has conducted these kinds of missions for decades, bringing Jews at risk to safety in the only Jewish country in the world.  Specifically from Yemen, the Jewish Agency has moved […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Shabbat Shalom – Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday, March 11, 2016
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Purim is one of the great celebratory holidays of the Jewish calendar. It rejoices in the victory of the Jewish community of Shushan over their planned destruction by the Evil Haman. What are our “Hamans” today? What or who is trying to destroy or endanger the Jewish people? One answer is that there are none […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Shabbat Shalom. Like….Totally.

Friday, March 4, 2016
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Did you hear that the twins, Ben and Becca, had a B’nei Mitzvah party this past Saturday night? In an attempt to try something different for our young adult Federation donors, we overhauled what had been our Young Adult Main Event. Instead of a speaker, the Federation worked with a Hollywood writer and produced a […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Returning from Israel Inspired

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
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I spent much of this past week in Israel at the Board of Governors meeting of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Topics of Aliyah (immigration) from France and Ukraine, engaging our young people in Jewish life and using Israel as a prism to do so, engaging more Arabs and ultra-Orthodox in the workforce, discussions about the unity […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Challenging the Status Quo

Friday, February 5, 2016
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I thought that I would let some press about the Federation speak for this week’s email. First, our Super Sunday had great successes in raising important dollars for the campaign, involving members of our community and by engaging donors in our powerful work.  Click here for the story. Second, my colleague Rabbi Aaron Bisno and […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Super Sundays!

Friday, January 29, 2016
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Last week, I wrote about Super Sunday taking place this Sunday (January 31st). Our turnout is looking terrific, but we still have some limited space in our afternoon and evening sessions. If you haven’t signed up yet, please do so here. Sunday, February 7th will be our first Snowbirds event of 2016 in Longboat Key, FL. […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Shed a Little Light

Friday, January 15, 2016
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During the last week of December, my wife and I traveled to Washington DC with the sole purpose of being tourists for two days. I have been to DC countless times, typically for meetings or for lobbying on the Hill, but haven’t been a tourist there in over 20 years. We took time to walk […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

A Tzedakah Story this Shabbat

Friday, January 8, 2016
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On Wednesday, Cindy Shapira (our Federation Chair of the Board) and I experienced one of the most beautiful expressions of tzedakah in our recent memories. As Cindy and I were completing a meeting in our Federation offices, we walked into the lobby to see Erin from our accounting staff writing up a receipt for a short, Russian […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Shabbat Shalom

Friday, December 25, 2015
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I visited several Mitzvah Day sites all over town. Everyone, over 1,000 strong, seemed to  be having fun while making a difference in our Pittsburgh community. This was something special to experience. It’s important to remember that while the Federation has sponsored Mitzvah Day for 15 years, there are 364 other days that have the […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Highlights from Argentina, Volunteerism, the State Budget Crisis: Shabbat Shalom

Friday, December 18, 2015
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I have three topics this week I want to highlight.  Please accept my apology for writing a slightly longer message than usual. 1. Last week, I joined a group of Jewish Pittsburghers on a mission to Buenos Aires.  I am not going to write a travelogue, but I do want to share some highlights and takeaways. […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Chanukah

Friday, December 4, 2015
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Sunday night, the Jewish world will begin the holiday of Chanukah. Our agencies have been and will be “getting their Chanukah on.” I know that the Chanukiah(some refer to it as a menorah) will be lit in the Jewish Association on Aging and Riverview Towers Facilities for the hundreds of our seniors who make their homes there. […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Channeling Outrage Into Productive Ends

Friday, November 20, 2015
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A horrific attack in Paris. An attack targeting Jews in Marseilles. An inspiring Federation event for alumni of the Melton program with 150 in attendance. Several terrorist attacks targeting Jews in Israel. Our staff “mitzvah day” volunteering at the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank. Other terrorist attacks in different countries. A great event sponsored by South […]

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Making a Difference, One Person at a Time

Friday, November 13, 2015
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There is so much I could write about this week since a great delegation participated in the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Washington DC that had many memorable moments. Pittsburgh was in a position of prominence as many of our Federation’s initiatives were highlighted at several sessions.  To get a taste of […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Weathering the Storm until a Budget is Passed

Friday, November 6, 2015
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There has been much in the press about the lack of a Pennsylvania state budget and the impact that has on the nonprofits that serve some of the neediest in our midst.  This budget impasse impacts many of our Federation agencies that work in the social service area.  Our Federation made an offer to all […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Shabbat Shalom

Monday, November 2, 2015
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“Talk the talk and walk the walk”.  This expression is used to say that if you are going to say something you actually have to believe and do it.  Our Federation leadership has been talking about our commitment to Jewish identity building and Jewish education for many years.  And, I think we have done some […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Shabbat Shalom

Friday, October 23, 2015
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It’s hard to pick just one memorable moment from this frenetic week to highlight.  There was the opening of the new Holocaust Center space on Sunday with a huge crowd in attendance including, most importantly, our local Holocaust survivors.  The first session of this year’s Wechsler Young Leadership program began with an overview of the […]

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