Shabbat Shalom

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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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

A Hope for Quiet in Israel

Friday, October 9, 2015
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The news from Israel has been so disturbing this past week.  I kept reading about each terrorist incident targeting Israelis and Jews.  This violence has shaken all of Israel.  Our national organization, the Jewish Federations of North America, sent an update yesterday to the Federation system reporting: In one tragic attack, gunmen shot and killed […]

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Supporting Our Survivors

Friday, October 2, 2015
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A news story came out in the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Association) entitled, “Obama Administration Earmarks $12 Million for Holocaust Survivors”.  The article goes on to say, “The allocation from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Jewish Federations of North America, to be disbursed over five years…” I invite you to click here to read the […]

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Shabbat Shalom

Friday, September 25, 2015
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While sitting in my synagogue during Yom Kippur services, I reread the “Al Cheyt” prayer in English. As you probably know, during this prayer we ask for forgiveness for the transgressions WE have made. They are recited in the plural, not the singular. It is done so because we are a community apologizing for our […]

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Break Your Fast and Bridge the Future

Friday, September 18, 2015
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On Wednesday we fast for Yom Kippur.  On Thursday at our Annual Meeting, our Federation will celebrate accomplishments for the past year and look towards the challenges we hope to conquer in the coming year.  And the only comparison I’ll draw between the two is that, in a sense, Yom Kippur is the Annual meeting […]

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Thinking about the New Year, Remembering 9/11, on this Shabbat

Friday, September 11, 2015
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9/11, Shabbat and Rosh Hashana are all smooshed together in my mind. I’m thinking about the New Year with new possibilities.  The apples and honey and my wife’s honey cake will all be devoured starting on Sunday night in the expectation of a sweet year.  But today, hours before the restfulness of Shabbat settles in, […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Looking at all sides of the Iran Deal

Friday, September 4, 2015
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Iran.  The last month and a half has all been about how to keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.  Our Federation has taken a very deliberate approach to provide information representing all sides around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to the community.  We do so within the following context that was established […]

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Over $25 Million is quite a feat in a single year. But, those four young people are what we should be celebrating.

Friday, August 28, 2015
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At our Foundation Annual Meeting this week, we announced the most successful year in our history, adding over $25 Million to our assets under management.  We distributed more than $13 Million back to the community from our Foundation.  By all accounts, this was a truly remarkable year of success. While the announcement of this record […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

We Can Be Smarter!

Friday, August 21, 2015
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I was so upset when walking to Jewish Heritage Night at PNC Park on Tuesday night to see the Jews for Jesus group on the Roberto Clemente Bridge (on what would have been Roberto Clemente’s 80th birthday).  I wasn’t that upset that they were there.  What makes America great is that they have the freedom […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

The Far-Reaching Legacy of the Grinspoon Foundation

Friday, August 14, 2015
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Brian Schreiber of our JCC and I were truly blessed to take part in a retreat sponsored by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation during the last week.  Approximately 40 professionals, mostly from Federations and a few JCC’s, all of whom lead organizations involved with PJ Library, participated.  The purpose was to brainstorm ways that each of […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Getting Schooled

Friday, July 31, 2015
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I have the title of President/CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.  I want to admit something.  I don’t know everything happening in our community where Federation has a hand in it.  This week, I “got schooled” about some of our communal impact. Tuesday night, the Federation distributed checks to college students to assist […]

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Our Work in Israel is Strong – See For Yourself in 2016!

Friday, July 10, 2015
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I know I haven’t written in several weeks.  My lack of authoring this weekly piece is not a reflection on the quantity and quality of work being done by our Federation. During the last few weeks, I was in Israel as part of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Assembly and Board meeting.  The Jewish Agency […]

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Diversity, Inclusion, and Working Together as a Community

Friday, June 19, 2015
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We focus so much of our work on the planning, fundraising and financial oversight role of the Federation.  In fact, at yesterday’s Board meeting, we approved over $9 Million in allocations from our Annual Campaign and Foundation.  That happened because of the planning, fundraising and financial oversight we do so well. Sometimes, we have to […]

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Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Is Being a Spy Smart Business?

Friday, June 12, 2015
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What do you think about spying on others?  This week’s parshah contains the famous story of Moses sending the twelve spies into the land of Canaan.  Ten of them return to falsely describe how terrible the land is in order to scare the people from wanting to travel there.  Two, Caleb and Joshua, appropriately and […]

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