Recently, Birthright Israel, the “free” trip that had been for 18-26 year olds, extended the upper age limit. I put the word “free” into quotes because it is not free. It is funded globally by many philanthropic partners including your Jewish Federation.
In line with this age change, our Federation is proud to announce a Birthright Israel trip for Pittsburgh based 27-32 year olds from June 28-July 6, 2020. If you know someone who might be interested, please send them to our website for more information.
Thursday night, I had the honor to attend a private screening of A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, the newly released movie about Pittsburgh’s own Mr. Rogers. The invite came from the 10-27 Healing Partnership (Federation made a financial commitment to help launch this, our local resiliency center) and included families of those who lost loved ones or were injured last year on October 27th, law enforcement, leadership from the three congregations, and staff from Jewish Family and Community Services, the Center for Victims, the Jewish Community Center and the Federation. The evening kicked off with Ellen Leger from JFCS interviewing Mrs. Rogers.
I grew up in Boston watching Mr. Rogers. I remember my mother singing Mr. Rogers’ song, “I’m Proud Of You” to my siblings and me when we occasionally had an accomplishment worth celebration. The show had a profound impact on me, my wife and our children. I’m sure many of you share those same feelings.
I won’t spoil the movie as I think everyone in Pittsburgh needs to see it. Needless to say, Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers reminded me that we can all be a little more empathetic, we can assume the best in other people, we can take time to really listen to and be interested in one another, and that we must exhibit expressions of kindness as often as possible.
With that, I wish you and your families a very happy Thanksgiving.