News

Community Study Kickoff

By Jeff Finkelstein | December 2, 2016

This was an exciting week as we kicked off the process to conduct our Jewish community’s first community study since 2002. Yes, it will give us demographics, but more importantly, it will tell us trends and help us—and by us I mean every Jewish institution and synagogue—to plan accordingly. This project is being fully funded…

Jewish Federation Community Relations Council Hires Laura Cherner for New Assistant Director Position

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | December 1, 2016

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Community Relations Council (CRC) has hired Laura Cherner for the newly created position of assistant director. Cherner’s initial responsibilities include helping the CRC on programs to combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel and on the Catholic-Jewish Education Enrichment Program, which seeks to promote understanding between…

It's About Unity, Not Uniformity

By Jeff Finkelstein | November 18, 2016

This week, the Jewish Federations of North America held its annual General Assembly in Washington, DC. This GA, as it is commonly called, was really special for those of us from Pittsburgh. It was chaired by Cindy and David Shapira and we brought a great delegation of 42 participants, the largest in my time in…

Encouraging Developments for Israel

By Jeff Finkelstein | November 4, 2016

It’s been a week filled with Israel for me. The beginning of the week I was in Jerusalem for the Jewish Agency for Israel Board of Governors meeting. The Jewish Agency (JAFI) is our largest recipient of dollars from our Annual Campaign. Their work around the world is nothing less than stunning. While much of…

Jewish Federation to Conduct Community Needs Research Study to Inform Future Program and Service Development

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | November 2, 2016

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh announced a major community-wide study of Jewish life and needs in the greater Pittsburgh area Jewish community. Planning for the study will start immediately. The purpose of the study, the first such effort since 2002, will be to estimate the current number and geographic distribution of individuals and households…

Stay Connected – Stay Informed

By Jeff Finkelstein | October 21, 2016

Much of our Federation’s communications are handled through social media, such as Facebook. These platforms allow us to quickly and quite often, communicate about things happening in our community and our Jewish world. If you are not on Facebook or if you do not follow the Federation on Facebook, you may have missed these few…

Opportunities and Challenges in the New Year

By Jeff Finkelstein | September 30, 2016

Opportunities and challenges. That’s what I see as we close one Jewish year and enter another. It’s the same every year. We have to look at where we can make a positive impact while also keeping an eye on pressures that can work against us as a Jewish community and as a Jewish people. As…

Apples & Honey for Everyone

By Jeff Finkelstein | September 23, 2016

This Sunday, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Shalom Pittsburgh program that conducts outreach and engagement to young adults will hold its 6th Annual Apples and Honey Festival in Schenley Park. The weather forecast looks absolutely fantastic. For those coming in from the South Hills – traffic should be much lighter than it has been…

Jewish Delegates Assembly of Greater Pittsburgh Statement on the Constitutional Right to Vote

By Community Relations Council | September 20, 2016

Community cosponsors: Jewish Community Center, Temple Sinai, Rodef Shalom, BBYO, Community Relations Council Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education. – Franklin D. Roosevelt Two thousand years ago, when seeking a new public leader, the Talmud mandated that the right…

International Lion of Judah Conference

By Jeff Finkelstein | September 16, 2016

This past week, I had the experience of being surrounded by women who are inspired to be a part of something bigger than themselves. I traveled to Washington, DC with a group of 20 women from our community to be a part of the International Lion of Judah Conference, which convenes more than 1,300 women…

Unity — Not Uniformity

By Jeff Finkelstein | September 9, 2016

Five members of Knesset (MK’s) have been in Pittsburgh for the last day. They came as part of a program of the Jewish Agency for Israel (one of our main overseas partners) and the Jewish Federations of North America in order to expose Israeli lawmakers to Jewish North American life. They visited Toronto, Cleveland and…

A Magical Meeting

By Jeff Finkelstein | September 2, 2016

We had a magical Annual meeting this year. Just as we do every year, we honored over 35 volunteers from organizations and synagogues. These individual dedicate their time and talent to strengthen those institutions and to help further their missions. In the end, each helps us reach more Jews and serve their needs. In addition…

Renewed Beginnings

By Jeff Finkelstein | August 26, 2016

In just a few weeks, several members of Knesset will be traveling to Pittsburgh as part of a delegation of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Jewish Federations of North America. They will visit Toronto and Detroit, in addition to Pittsburgh. The goal of this journey is to educate Knesset members about our Jewish…

Annual Life Changing Work

By Jeff Finkelstein | August 5, 2016

This week, I am proud that Jessica Smith, our Director of Campaign and Financial Resource Development, has asked to share thoughts about an experience she had this summer: The interesting thing about the Annual Campaign is that it is, by its very nature, ANNUAL. It is cyclical. It is virtually, the same each and every…

Jewish Federation Invites the Community to "See the Good" at it's Annual Meeting Tuesday, August 30th

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | July 25, 2016

Through the year, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has invited the community to “Do Good in the ’Burgh and Around the World” by contributing to the Federation’s Annual Campaign. Now the organization invites the community to the Federation’s annual meeting, to see the good that has resulted through Federation participation. The meeting — Tuesday,…

Panoply of Passions

By Jeff Finkelstein | July 15, 2016

I’ve been writing pretty much weekly for the last 12 years. I enjoy taking a little bit of time as Shabbat approaches to reflect on what I experience and to share my impressions and thoughts about our Federation, our Jewish community and our Jewish world. Often times, I receive feedback, luckily, almost always positive. It’s…

Many Happy Campers

By Jeff Finkelstein | July 8, 2016

I love this time of year. Sure, the weather is pretty nice and the number of night meetings/events in the Jewish community drops over the summer, but what I really love is seeing Jewish camp updates all over my Facebook feed. From the camp where my son is, to the Jewish camps where my friends’…

Je Suis Juif

By Jeff Finkelstein | July 1, 2016

I spent about 5 1/2 days in France this past week. The first few days were spent in Sarcelles as part of a seminar for a group of Federation CEO’s and the second part was in Paris as a participant in the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Board of Governors meetings. I learned a tremendous amount…

Jewish Federation Gives $22 Million to Benefit Human Services, Community Programs and Planning

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | June 28, 2016

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh will provide more than $22 million in allocations and grants to human services and community-building programs in 2016. The allocations, announced by the Federation’s Board of Directors, will support programs in Pittsburgh and in Jewish communities around the world. The allocations and grants consist of resources from the Federation’s…

Three New Staffers Join Federation to Serve Jewish Pittsburgh

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | June 28, 2016

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh is pleased to announce that Rachel Lipkin has joined the organization as development associate in charge of the women’s philanthropy of the Federation’s Annual Campaign. Ms. Lipkin earned her master of public administration degree from The Ohio State University. While interning at the Jewish Federation of Columbus, she was…

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Presents 2016 Gerald S. Ostrow Volunteer Award to Susan Berman

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | June 21, 2016

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has named Susan G. Berman, PhD, the recipient of the Gerald S. Ostrow (z”l) Volunteer of the Year Award. This award recognizes the special efforts of a volunteer leader who has dedicated significant service to the community and has fostered partnerships among the Jewish Federation and its agencies. Dr. Berman…

Building Community

By Jeff Finkelstein | June 17, 2016

The Federation’s Vision Statement exclaims that we are striving “to build a thriving, vibrant and engaged Jewish community”.  Another way to say that is we are trying to build a strong Jewish community. This past Saturday night, we were able to build community by bringing the diversity of our community together for our annual Tikkun…

Three Organizations Will Recieve $13,875 in Fourth-Round Funding from Jewish Federation's SteelTree Fund

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | June 15, 2016

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s SteelTree Fund will give three organizations a total of $13,875 in fourth-round 2015–16 funding: Community Day School (CDS), The Friendship Circle and Chabad of Pittsburgh. The grant to CDS will fund a new program called Shabbat-in-a-Box. The goal of the program is to engage families with CDS through participation with…

Jewish Pittsburgh Heartbroken Over Mass LGBT Shooting in Orlando

By Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh | June 14, 2016

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, the Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Association and the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh are incensed and heartbroken over a mass shooting at Pulse, an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Fla. The shooting — which occurred early Sunday, June 12 — left 49 dead and 53 injured. “This is a profound act of…

All Night Learning

By Jeff Finkelstein | June 3, 2016

I will not be writing a message next week so I want to take this opportunity to alert you about an important and wonderful activity taking place next Saturday night (June 11th). The Annual Tikkun Leil Shavuot will take place at the Squirrel Hill JCC from 10 pm until 1 am. This comes from a…

Investing in People

By Jeff Finkelstein | May 27, 2016

When I received my Master’s Degree from Brandeis University in 1993, it was in Jewish Communal Service. At the time I began my career, I became a member of the Jewish Communal Service Association.  I “Googled” the definition of the word service and this was the first to appear in my web browser: “the action of helping or doing work…

Do You Qualify for EITC ?

By Jeff Finkelstein | May 20, 2016

I warn you right at the outset of this week’s post – THIS IS A SOLICITATION. Do you own a business that pays income tax to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania? Do you know someone who owns such a business (they don’t even have to live in Pennsylvania – the company just has to be here)? If…

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…

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