News

Shabbat Shalom – May 13, 2016

By Jeff Finkelstein | May 13, 2016

This week’s Torah portion, Kedoshim, begins with: And the Lord spoke to Moses saying, Speak to the entire congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them, You shall be HOLY (Kedoshim), for I the Lord, your God am holy.   It then goes on with a listing of things we should do (and not do) in…

Israel Week – Something for Everyone

By Jeff Finkelstein | May 6, 2016

Israel Week offers everyone in the community some way to personally connect to Israel. Thank you to all the organizations and synagogues that are playing a role to make this a reality! This Israel Week is a celebration of twenty years of Partnership2Gether that couples Pittsburgh to Karmiel and Misgav. Thousands from our community and thousands in Israel…

Biblical Scholar and Author Avivah Gottleib Zornberg Makes First Pittsburgh Visit to Present Three-Part Series

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | May 4, 2016

Biblical scholar and author Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, Ph.D., will visit Pittsburgh for the first time in June and will present three lectures on significant Jewish topics. The Jewish Community Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and three synagogues will co-sponsor the lectures. Each lecture will be on a different date and at a…

Chag Sameach

By Jeff Finkelstein | April 28, 2016

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…

First Pittsburgh Appearance of New Education Director, Presentation of the Grinspoon Award: Unsung Jewish Heroes Celebration to Honor 20 Local Educators and Highlight the Latest in Community Education

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | April 27, 2016

The purpose of the Unsung Jewish Heroes celebration, Sunday, May 22, 5 p.m., is to sing the praises of individuals who provide outstanding Jewish education. The event, presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, will include the presentation of Unsung Jewish Heroes Awards to 20 local educators from early childhood centers and day and…

Celebrating 20 Years of Partnership2Gether Connection Between Pittsburgh and Karmiel-Misgav: Federation's Israel Week, May 8-15, Marks Israel's Independence with Special Guests and Activities for All Ages

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | April 21, 2016

This year Pittsburgh’s Jewish community can take an extra measure of hometown pride in the annual observance of Israel’s independence: In addition to being the year of Israel’s 68th birthday, 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of The Burgh’s sister-city relationship with Karmiel-Misgav, in Israel. To mark both occasions, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Partnership2Gether…

Award-Winning Scholar Daniel Gordis to Speak at Federation's Annual Campaign Thank You Event

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | April 18, 2016

At 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 18, at Rodef Shalom Congregation, Daniel Gordis, Ph.D. — senior vice president and Koret Distinguished Fellow at Shalem College, Jerusalem — will speak at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Annual Campaign Thank You event. The event is held in appreciation of donors who have given $1,000 or more to the…

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

By Jeff Finkelstein | April 18, 2016

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…

Big Data

By Jeff Finkelstein | April 8, 2016

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…

Jewish Community Foundation's Annual Investment Meeting Will Spotlight Foundation Assets and Economic Prospects

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | April 4, 2016

The Jewish Community Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh invites current and prospective Foundation fundholders to its third annual investment meeting and breakfast. The event will be Monday, May 9, at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, 5738 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh 15217. A light breakfast will be served at 7:45 a.m. The meeting,…

Shabbat Shalom: Friday, April 1, 2016

By Jeff Finkelstein | April 1, 2016

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…

Shabbat Shalom: Friday, March 25, 2016

By Jeff Finkelstein | March 28, 2016

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…

Vibrant Pittsburgh and Urban Affairs Foundation Offer Mini Grants to Strengthen Civic Engagement Among the Region's Diverse Community-Based Organizations

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | March 18, 2016

PITTSBURGH – Two Western Pennsylvania champions of diversity — Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Urban Affairs Foundation, which is a part of the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh — have joined forces to implement this year’s Mini Grants Initiative: 2016 Civic Inclusion & Engagement Fund. This fund will promote diverse communities…

Shabbat Shalom – Friday, March 11, 2016

By Jeff Finkelstein | March 11, 2016

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…

Shabbat Shalom. Like….Totally.

By Jeff Finkelstein | March 4, 2016

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…

Jewish Delegate Assembly of Greater Pittsburgh Statement on Stereotypes, Prejudice and Discrimination

By Community Relations Council | March 3, 2016

Cosponsors: Jewish Community Center, Rodef Shalom, Temple Sinai, Community Relations Council Background If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I? If not now, when? –Rabbi Hillel (circa 100 BCE). As Jews, we must be committed to combatting not only anti-Semitism, but also all…

Jewish Delegate Assembly of Greater Pittsburgh Statement in Opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel

By Community Relations Council | March 3, 2016

Cosponsors: Hillel Jewish University Center, Panthers for Israel, Community Relations Council Background Israel today faces an intensive and increasingly sophisticated global assault on its right to exist as a sovereign, democratic and Jewish state. This is largely accomplished through the well-funded campaign of delegitimization that utilizes Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), among other techniques, to…

International Panel Will Present Second Annual Education Day- "Israeli Arabs and Jews: A Shared Society"

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | March 2, 2016

Sunday, April 3, 2–4:30 p.m., the four panelists who will present “Israeli Arabs and Jews: A Shared Society,” will suggest constructive approaches to help all members of Israeli society progress together. The program, Pittsburgh’s second annual education day devoted to Israeli Arab issues, will be at Rodef Shalom Congregation, 4905 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh 15213. The…

Returning from Israel Inspired

By Jeff Finkelstein | February 16, 2016

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…

Challenging the Status Quo

By Jeff Finkelstein | February 5, 2016

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…

Three Expert Panelists to Lead "Jewish Pittsburgh and the Refugee Crisis: A Community Conversation"

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | February 3, 2016

Pittsburghers will have an opportunity to hear experts’ insight on international and local refugee issues by attending “Jewish Pittsburgh and the Refugee Crisis: A Community Conversation,” 7–9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25. The program — to be held at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, 5738 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill — will examine whether we…

Super Sundays!

By Jeff Finkelstein | January 29, 2016

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.…

Shed a Little Light

By Jeff Finkelstein | January 15, 2016

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…

A Tzedakah Story this Shabbat

By Jeff Finkelstein | January 8, 2016

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…

Community Day School's Eileen Freedman Named Recipient of Ira and Nanette Gordon Community Achievement Award

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | January 7, 2016

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh named Eileen Freedman, music director at the Community Day School (CDS), the recipient of the 2016 Ira and Nanette Gordon Community Professional Achievement Award. The award, established in 2000, may be given annually to a professional, early in his or her career, who has demonstrated outstanding service to the…

Federation Will Welcome Rabbi Amy Bardack as Jewish Education and Capacity-Building Director

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | January 7, 2016

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has engaged Rabbi Amy Bardack to serve in a new position, as director of Jewish education and community capacity building. Rabbi Bardack, currently the Judaic studies director, Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston, will begin her duties in Pittsburgh on July 1, 2016. “This is truly a dream opportunity…

Shabbat Shalom

By Jeff Finkelstein | December 25, 2015

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…

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

By Jeff Finkelstein | December 18, 2015

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.…

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Chanukah

By Jeff Finkelstein | December 4, 2015

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.…

Channeling Outrage Into Productive Ends

By Jeff Finkelstein | November 20, 2015

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…

Making a Difference, One Person at a Time

By Jeff Finkelstein | November 13, 2015

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…

Weathering the Storm until a Budget is Passed

By Jeff Finkelstein | November 6, 2015

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…

Want to learn more?

Drop us a line!

Invalid Email