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The Je wis hChron icle . n e t

A DAY IN…The Strip District


Jewish Pittsburgh Living

Hamantaschen… Tri-cornered Trifecta!


Makin’ Music in the ‘Burgh!


Letting the Good Times Roll in Tel Aviv


Local Event Planners Share Current Trends

CIRCLE OF LOVE Jewish Teens Helping Special Needs Kids

FINANCIAL FITNESS Smart Strategies to Safeguard Seniors

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J Magazine Volume 1, Number 2

MAGAZINE STAFF Roberta Brody, Editor Audrey Brown, Art Director Holly Rudoy, Writer Raviv Cohen, Photographer SALES STAFF Susan Mangel, Sr. Sales Rep. Roberta Letwin, Sales Rep. Donna Mink, Sales Rep. Debra Levy, Associate Sales Rep. BUSINESS STAFF Jennifer Barill, Comptroller Josh Reisner, Office Manager Marcy Kronzek, Receptionist

Volume 1, Number 2 J is published four times a year by the Pittsburgh Jewish Publication and Education Foundation, 5915 Beacon Street, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15217, 412-6871000 (phone), 412-521-0154 (fax). The information presented is from varied sources considered to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Opinions expressed are those of the indentified subjects and do not reflect the views of J magazine or the Pittsburgh Jewish Publication and Education Foundation. Letters and editorial solicitations should be sent to: J Magazine, Publisher, 5915 Beacon Street, 3r Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15217. Unsolicited manuscripts, photography, artwork or other materials will not be accepted, and unless accompanied by return postage, J magazine is not responsible for their disposition. Pennsylvania and additional mailing offices.

Purim Issue 4 HAMANTASCHEN HAT TRICKS Wickedly good (and decidedly delicious) ways to celebrate Purim.


11 PURIM IN TEL AVIV Israelis take Purim partying to a whole new level.

42 FACES & PLACES People, Occasions, Events.


THE FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE Jewish teen volunteers making a difference in the lives of local special needs kids.

32 RECIPES & RESERVATIONS: Joseph Tambellini Another famous Tambellini surfaces in this Highland Park haunt. 34 SENIOR FINANCIAL FITNESS Tips for senior investors on how to hold onto their life savings.


20 MAC & MARVIN Oh, how far the (Jewish) pendulum has swung in Pittsburgh’s music scene.

50 SENIORS ON THE STREET Just how do they feel about aging? We asked... CHRO NICLE

13 BAR/BAT MITZVAH 2011 Are B’nai Mitzvahs going back to their roots? Local planners talk…

A DAY IN…THE STRIP DISTRICT Deconstructing the enigma that lies between Bloomfield and Downtown.


BOARD OF TRUSTEES Davida Fromm, President Richard Kitay, Vice President Cindy Goodman-Leib, Secretary Lou Weiss, Treasurer Lynn Cullen, Past President Carolyn Hess Abraham Brian Balk Daniel Berkowitz Stephen Fienberg Malke Steinfeld Frank Stanley Greenfield David Grubman Thomas Hollander Larry Honig Evan Indianer David Levine Judy Palkovitz Amy W. Platt Jane Rollman Benjamin Rosenthal Dodie Roskies Charles Saul Andrew Schaer Ilana Schwarcz Jonathan Wander










Letting the GooEACH! d Times Roll in Tel Aviv


ners Current Tren Share ds

CIRCLE OF Jewish Teen LOVE s Help

ing Special Nee ds Kids

FINANCIAL FITN ESS Smart Strategi Safeguard Senes to iors

On the Cover

Rapper Mac Miller and Pittsburgh Pops conductor Marvin Hamlisch in action (photos by Ian Wolfson and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, respectively). issue 2


Hamantaschen Hat Tricks

Purim’s Eponymous Pastry By Holly Rudoy Photography by Raviv Cohen


very spring, while most of the country celebrates Mardi Gras, many Jews will be attending a local Purim carnival complete with costumes, parades and (if you’re “lucky”) a plastic bag containing a live goldfish that will either die before you get it home or live until your kids go to college. But the real—and much more delectable—side of Purim is without a doubt an assortment of that three-sided pastry known as hamantaschen. You may wonder how this treat ever came to be a Purim tradition in the first place... In the “Book of Esther,” we read how the Persian King Ahasuerus’ wife, Queen Vashti, refused the will of the king and was deposed; how Esther (Hadassah) was chosen to replace her; how the evil Haman (the king’s advisor) plotted to exterminate 4

J Magazine

the Jews because of his intense hatred of Esther’s pious uncle, Mordecai; how Esther learned of Haman’s plot and appealed to the king on behalf of the Jewish people; and how the Jews were given permission by the king to defend themselves and thereby be delivered from their oppressors. As for Haman, his schemes turned on him, and he was hung on the very gallows originally built to hang Mordecai. The most common explanation of the hamantaschen tradition is that eating an image of Haman’s infamous tri-cornered hat is a way to symbolically destroy his memory. Another explanation comes from the Midrash, which describes Haman as bent over, covered with shame and humiliated (literally with clipped ears) when he entered the king’s treasury; in Hebrew, hamantaschen are called Oznay Haman, which means Haman’s ears. Yet another explanation is that Esther derived her strength from her

ancestors, and the three corners of the hamantaschen represent the three patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). Whichever one you choose to believe, the end result is still quite tasty! Back in the kitchen, customary hamantaschen flavors include cherry, apricot, poppy and prune. Many home-cooks toy with the tradition by filling the cookie’s center with fillings ranging from chocolate chips or Hershey kisses to pizza sauce, soy taco meat or sautéed mushrooms! On a cold night last month, we took our camera—and our sweet tooth—to Melinda Freed’s elective cooking class at Temple Emanuel, where a group of Jewish high school students labored intensely, creating a variety of hamantaschen developed by Freed. Matthew Richardson (15) and Gavin Calgaro (16) mastered the taco and pizza hamantaschens while Taylor issue 2


Weiner (16) gently placed a sautéed mushroom mixture in the center of his herbed dough circle and Zia Hellman (16) and Rebecca Twinney (15) worked on their chocolate and vanilla twist dough with macaroon filling. Freed, who has known her students since she taught them in 3rd grade, clearly loves her role as their Jewish kitchen goddess. While teaching them food safety, kashrut and history, she adds a dash of entertainment, a pinch of genuine affection, and a whole lot of laughter—especially for a religious school class! The class is so popular that the 8th and 9th graders usually can’t get a space in it until 10th grade. “It’s just so much fun, everything about it,” says Weiner. “Eating is just the bonus.”

Savory Hamantaschen Dough (adapted from The Jew and the Carrot, March 12, 2008, by Leah Koenig) DOUGH: ½ cup butter 1 egg 1 Tablespoon sugar 2 ¼ cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, basil or oregano

Filling minds and tummies while filling pastries…who knew learning about Purim could taste so good.

2 Tablespoons milk

Hamantaschen the Easy Way Hamantaschen are not that hard to make, but, like all worthy creations, they do take some time. Many recipes call for chilled dough, so you can’t exactly whip up a batch in a 30-minute class. And if the thought of the mess created by your children or your grandchildren playing in flour, slopping spoonfuls of filling or squeezing sticky dough

Combine and cream butter, egg and sugar.

(continued on page 8)

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and dried herbs. Add ½ of dry mixture into butter/egg/ sugar mixture and combine until smooth. Add milk. Add remaining flour, mixing

Chocolate/Vanilla Hamantaschen with Macaroon Filling

until incorporated. If dough is sticky,

(adapted from the Purple Cookie website—

withstand being rolled out.

DOUGH: 1 ¾ sticks softened butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 heaping cups flour (300 g) ¼ cup cocoa


¾ cup confectioner’s sugar 1 egg ¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup sugar

ASSEMBLY & BAKING: Preheat oven to 350°F. After chilling, roll out each flavor of dough in a rectangle about ¾-inch thick. Lightly brush one sheet of dough with water (this acts as glue), lay the other sheet of dough on top, and press down lightly. Brush off any excess dough. In jelly-roll fashion, roll both doughs together into a log; then cut dough roll into slices, roll out each slice so it fits under your cookie cutter or reaches the desired size. Cut rolled-out slice with a round cookie cutter for clean edges and a perfect round shape. Set rounds on baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Place 1 teaspoon of filling on each round and pinch to a hamantaschen shape. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350°F, until edges and filling are just slightly golden. J Magazine

Cut into rounds with a circular cookie cutter circle with filling (see below). Pinch corners into triangles. Bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes, until delicately browned. MELINDA’S SAVORY FILLIING

Combine ingredients and mix evenly.


Gently roll out dough until it is ¼-inch thick. and put on baking sheet, dotting each

Beat butter and sugar until creamy (about 2 minutes). Add vanilla, egg and salt along with a little of the flour. Add remaining flour and mix just until a dough forms. Remove half the dough, wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator. Add cocoa to remaining dough in bowl and mix until dough is even in color. Wrap in plastic, refrigerate and chill both flavors of dough at least 1 hour. FILLING: 2 egg whites, slightly beaten 2 ¼ cups dried coconut

add additional flour until firm enough to

SUGGESTIONS: Greek: sautéed mushrooms, spinach, garlic, feta cheese. Mexican: refried beans, Mexican cheese blend, topped with sour cream after baking. (CAUTION: Read the label—many refried beans contain lard. Use vegetarian refried beans.) Pizza: pizza sauce (spaghetti sauce is too watery), cheese, vegetables, “sausage” crumbles. (Morningstar brand makes delicious kosher (dairy) sausage and has a Kd hechsher.)

JLivingRoyJones_E 2/2/11 10:45 PM Page 1

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everywhere sends your blood pressure soaring, then maybe homemade is not the way for you to go. Fear not; Pittsburgh’s premier kosher, nondairy bakery, Sweet Tammy’s in Squirrel Hill, is the place to go to fill your tasteslike-homemade hamantaschen order. Like her mother and grandmother before her, Tammy’s heart and soul are baked right into the goodies she makes. Using only the finest kosher, non-dairy ingredients, Tammy’s made-from-scratch treats are an irresistible temptation, bursting with freshness, authenticity and love. For $12.50 a dozen, you can choose from lemon, apricot, poppy or cherry. Orders must be placed the week before Purim, and you must come into the store, the Friday before Purim, to pick them up. If you happen to be traveling during Purim and find yourself in a city boasting a Crumbs Bakery, you’re in luck. Their hamantaschen flavors include raspberry, apricot, prune and cheese, and will only set you back $22 a pound for the bitesized versions or $2.95 each for the large. Owner Jason Bauer explains that Crumbs is a full-service kosher bakery carrying 150 different items daily—including hamantaschen (good to know if you have a hankering for hamantaschen in July). So if you’re in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles or one of their other locations, stop in and indulge.

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Celebrating Purim in Israel

by roberta brody / Photography by Ori Sadeh


ake Carnival in Rio and Mardi Gras in New Orleans, give it a Jewish spin, and you’ve got Purim in Israel! Purim celebrates the foiling of a plot to kill the Jews of ancient Persia. The protagonists of the Purim story are King Ahasuerus, Queen Esther, her uncle, Mordecai, and the king’s evil advisor, Haman. While Haman plotted to kill the Jews, Queen Esther stepped in to plead her people’s case with the king, convincing him to spare the Jewish people from Haman’s evil decree. And to seal the deal, the king then ordered Haman hanged instead. So how did this tale of palace intrigue and redemption become a festival featuring parades, costumes, gift baskets filled with sweet treats, and boisterous merry-making? For most American Jews, Purim is commemorated in synagogues. Megillahs are read, Purim shpiels (plays) are often performed, and parties or carnivals are held, but they are generally fun-filled, family-oriented events that stop shy of being raucous. If it’s a wild time you’re looking for, then hop a flight to Tel Aviv, where you’ll be quite surprised to find that Purim is anything but a subdued celebration. While every city in Israel, large and small, has a parade, that’s only the beginning of the festivities. Long after the

children are asleep, shouts of “Purim Sameach” ring into the wee hours of the morning, fueled by what Israelis proudly claim is the mitzvah of getting so drunk that you can’t tell the difference between the likes of Mordecai and Haman. “At night, it’s a wild scene,” says Israeli--and current Pittsburgh resident--Raviv Cohen, “more like your Mardi Gras in New Orleans than a typical American Jewish holiday. And while children are the focus of the holiday, the adults will party late into the night! ” By now, you might be thinking that this ritual is fundamentally hedonistic. Not so; both ancient and modern Jewish sources explain that quaffing copious quantities of alcohol on Purim redirects rational thoughts and precludes inhibitions. The purpose of this altered state is that the drinkers are truly humbled once they’re stripped of their intellectual cynicism...or so goes the rationale. However—and wherever—you choose to celebrate the festivities, Purim tells a story that teaches Jews of all ages an important lesson. Whether you read the megillah or attend a shpiel or carnival, don’t forget to enjoy the sweetness of the holiday.

issue 2





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T R A E H E H T F O S R itzvah I M A i F a n AF in B’ k c a B ah

Mitzv eat Party! e h t g Puttin aving a Gr UDOY R Y H L L ...and BY HO

hy— tograp ay Pho es Events D ig B n e d by The Sc supplie Behind Photos


n 2010, Charity Navigator (a non-profit web site that evaluates charities and giving) named Pittsburghers as the country’s most generous givers. So perhaps it comes as no surprise that this city’s 13-year-olds and their families celebrate Bar/Bat Mitzvahs with a little less black tie and a little more big heart. For years, while our New York cousins were hosting Titanic-style Bar Mitzvahs, most of us were happy letting loose at the local racquet club. Our New Jersey friends were flying the entire guest list to Vegas (true story!) while we were serving up chocolate poker chips in the temple social hall. In fact, the local family who did throw one of the most over-the-top parties in recent years (complete with singer Missy Elliot and fireworks over the city) did so purely to raise money and awareness for a charity and accepted no gifts. Make no mistake; we Pittsburgh partygoers certainly embrace all of the newest entertainment and technology that make for great events. But according to several local planners, splashy themes have gone by the wayside in exchange for great parties that celebrate the child, the family and the mitzvah. “Ten years ago, there had to be a theme and it had to be carried out,” says Lisa Mason, event planner at Big Day Entertainment and owner of Behind the Scenes Events. “I’m now seeing more families and kids who don’t want a theme—they just want a great party. Heavily themed events aren’t happening or they’re very soft, subtle themes. I don’t know if the kids are more sophisticated; maybe it’s just the pendulum swinging. But it’s really just about having a great party,” she states. Bonnie Walker, owner of Bonnie Walker Events and Studio-E Entertainment Company, says that she takes great pride in creating events with a focus on family and tradition. “When I do a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, it represents the family, the child. It’s haimishe and warm, warm, warm. It’s great to look good and to have fun, but I want everyone in that room, whether it’s 50 people or 150 people, to feel like family,” she explains. Often, Walker takes the warmth a step further by suggesting that her clients ask their guests to make a donation to a specific charity in lieu of a gift. “Instead of just noting it on the invitation, I actually suggest putting a stamped envelope addressed to the charity. It’s still a gift, but it’s a gift in their honor. It looks good, it feels good, and it’s the right thing to do,” she adds. “It’s not necessarily a trend because in Judaism it’s always about giving back. When you turn 13, it’s time to start recognizing what that’s all about,” she suggests. Besides providing this simple way for guests to make a contribution, all of the planners we talked to recommend centerpieces that can be donated in addition to any leftover food, flowers and favors. Says Walker, “We will issue 2


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J Magazine

call Children’s Hospital or a nursing home and find out if they need anything. Then we’ll make a centerpiece out of the product, wrap it beautifully so it’s extremely attractive, and put a little frame on the table explaining where the donation is going.” Planner Natalie Berger (Natalie’s) observes the same tendencies in her busy planning business. “Times are changing,” she says. “It’s back to basics. Parents realize and express to their child that the more important part is the morning service, not the party. We’re teaching them at 13 that it’s more important to give back,” she explains. The emphasis on the Shabbat service paired with the donations and the child’s mitzvah project naturally shifts the focus for the weekend. Berger estimates that just one out of six of her clients are opting for “fancy, over-the-top” affairs. Instead, they are “realizing that they don’t need it. Especially if it’s their second or third child, they realize that what’s most important is the service, a wonderful luncheon for all and a kid party at night,” she observes. The kid-only party “allows kids to just be 13-year-olds,” she explains. “There are more activities and more fun for them, and hosts don’t have to be worried about adults and what they can do.” In a notable attempt to further simplify celebrations, Berger recalls a situation where numerous kids at one school had Bar/Bat Mitzvahs close together. They pooled their resources and had one big party for all of the kids instead of several parties throughout the year. “If all the kids are at one school, it’s so much easier to do one party,” she says.





So What About That Party? Even while Pittsburgh’s 13-year-olds are learning and appreciating the value of giving back, they still want to party! And their parents still have dozens of demanding young guests to please. That’s why Shari Zatman of Perfectly Planned by Shari recommends focusing on the children and assuring that they are well entertained. “That’s where the DJ and entertainment are really important,” she offers.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah family.

“Entertainers who are really interactive with the kids are the key because a pack of 13-year-olds can get wild if they’re not entertained. You have to look at the big picture—how many hours is the party and what do we have going on for the kids?”

All of the planners agreed that no amount of high-tech takes the place of the longtime favorite, airbrush. Pittsburgh’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah kids still like to give their guests customized airbrush apparel, whether it’s hoodies, sweats, T-shirts or boxer shorts. While the clothing may have a discreet party logo, each guest is free to personalize however they choose.

Zatman notes that food stations are increasingly popular and suggests selections specifically for kids featuring dessert items or specialty drinks like Italian sodas or slushies. “Focus on things that they can enjoy; you don’t want to forget the kids,” she says. Today’s kids are high-tech, so of course it takes a little bit of high-tech to keep them entertained. Besides interactive DJs, all of the planners noted green screen technology as one of the more popular forms of entertainment. Green screen allows a guest’s photo to be placed on anything ranging from a street scene in Paris or a box of Milk Duds to a cartoon-style flip book. “Green screen technology is the key to new novelties,” says Mason. Another high-tech party favorite, the I-Step, is an interactive two-layer light technology with multiple uses. Mason recently planned a Bar Mitzvah where the I-Step projected an image on the dance floor. When guests walked over the image, it moved, flipped and revealed other layers. The technology allows for limitless possibilities, she explains, citing the image of a football field where kids could “kick” the football between the posts or even a custom logo on the floor covered in leaves that scatter when guests walk over it. In addition to green screen, photo booths continue to be hot, says Berger. Adds Mason, “Today’s photo booth is high-tech. It can fit 10 adults, produces in blackand-white or color, and adds a custom logo on the photo strip.” The photo booth vendor often provides dress-up props for custom poses and gives one set of photos to the guests who are hamming it up while keeping another set in a scrap book for the

According to several of the planners, the video booth (a spin-off of the photo booth) is also rapidly gaining popularity. The video booth “becomes the guest book,” says Berger, explaining that people go in the booth to leave a recorded video message for the child and family. The booth is portable, so Berger often sees it on the dance floor serving as a kind of karaoke as well.

Making it Yours The focus on the child, as opposed to, say, Alice in Wonderland, has given rise to the customized logo. Reflecting the child and created just for the event, the logo can be as simple as initials and a date or as intricate as combining color, likeness and wording. According to Zatman, “Logos are a very personal way to incorporate and carry out the idea of the child.” Mason agrees. “I’ve been creating a lot of logos lately. They’re very personal and individual, and more about the kid,” she offers. One of Mason’s clients gave guests a stainless steel coffee mug with the logo etched on the front. As the party was ending, adults received a warm cup of coffee in their mug with a to-go bag of pastries. Zatman notes that the logos can be incorporated onto everything and anything from invitations to custom photo backdrops. Partying on a Budget Don’t be don’t have to spend your child’s college tuition in just one night. According to Berger, “More does not mean better in what I do for a living.” She gave us these great ideas for creating a meaningful and memorable occasion on a budget. 1. Trim your guest list. “Years ago it was an obligation to invite people from the office, but not anymore,” Berger says. She notes that Bar/Bat Mitzvah kids are no different from a bride who doesn’t want to meet new people at her wedding. 2. Serve lighter fare. Berger suggests hors

d’oeuvres and a fabulous dessert. 3. Serve a light Kiddush after services— kichel and coffee—and save the money for more food at the night party. 4. Have a friend or family member be the DJ or hook up an iPod for music—especially if you don’t need an MC for the evening. Berger recalls a nephew serving as DJ at a recent affair. Steps to Success Here’s where a party planner, or someone with oversight of the entire event, can prove beneficial. Each of the planners below describes a variation of the same theme— plan, plan, plan! 1. Orchestration, according to Berger, is the name of the game. “How it flows, making sure everyone is on the same page—the entertainment, the hot food, the decor.” She also advises to be one step ahead of the 13-year-old partiers. Imagine the more ridiculous things that kids that age do and plan for it. 2. A timeline, says Mason, is the key to a successful party. “Timing is crucial,” she says. “The caterer is making sure the food is hot, and the DJ wants to keep everyone dancing. Sometimes the different elements conflict. For example, the hot food needs to be served while the DJ is starting the Hora. Each individual vendor has his own agenda, so creating a timeline that works for all involved is important,” she suggests. 3. Communication is vital, insists Walker. “The event is like a puzzle, and every piece has to fit together or it won’t work.” 4. Focus on the kids for a smooth party, emphasizes Zatman. Dozens of restless (continued on page 18)

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The Joseph and Mildred Stern Family Andrew Stewart One Anonymous Donor

Panel of Experts

It should be noted that Jessie, like almost all Bar/Bat Mitzvahs today, donated part of her gift money to mitzvah projects such as ALYN Hospital in Israel and the Second Annual “Ride for Mike” (a 65-mile bike ride in Maryland that raises money for the Kidney Cancer Association in honor of the memory of her cousin Michael Weiner). As for gifting, Jessie says she likes to give her girl friends a Coach wristlet along with a check, so they can use the money for something special that they want. Rose Rattner, whose Bat Mitzvah was in December at Temple Sinai, loved the laptop her Grandma Linda got her because it helps her with school. “My other favorite gifts are the tallit and Kiddush cup my Grandma Mickey got me,” she said. “Now that I have gone through the Bat Mitzvah process, I know that money is a good gift for anyone. Also, I know that if it’s a good friend, I would like to get them something they’re interested in, like jewelry

Jesse Gordon, who celebrated her Bat Mitzvah in November at Temple Sinai, cherished the pink high socks that her friend gave her. That’s right, socks. “They were pretty meaningful because there’s a story behind them,” she explained, proving that the most memorable gifts are not necessarily the most expensive.

Matthew Weiss

Rose Rattner

Since Jesse loves music, she’s really enjoying the iPod that her aunt gave her. “I use it, like, every day.” For her mitzvah project, she collected blankets, pet food and money to donate to Animal Friends. According to Jacob Sarner, who celebrated his Bar Mitzvah in October at Beth Shalom, one of the most unique gifts he received was a hand-painted keepsake box with an exact replica of his invitation. He also counts his Kiddush cup, yad, tallit and kippa among his meaningful gifts. Jacob described another special gift; “My Bar Mitzvah was very special because my Dad was my tutor. He taught me the original Sephardic trope that he learned. It was also especially meaningful that my parashah (Lech-Lecha) had been my grandfather’s Torah portion.”

Julie O’Hara

Jessie Holber celebrated her Bat Mitzvah at Congregation Beth Shalom in October and said that the best presents were the people that came and celebrated with her. “I had cousins come all the way from Israel and from all over the country. It was great that they made the effort to come, and it was fun to celebrate all weekend long with them.”

Rose chose a creative mitzvah project that went hand in hand with her Torah portion of Joseph and his coat of many colors. Not only did she collect and donate coats for the National Council of Jewish Women, she also painted and wrote clever poems on hangers for Temple Sinai to keep.

Jesse Gordon

Bea Nylis

Finding a suitable gift for today’s more worldly, sometimes jaded Bar/Bat Mitzvah child is no easy task. We talked to several local experts—the kids themselves—to get some advice for choosing meaningful gifts that 13-year-olds appreciate. To be sure, these kids were full of gift-giving ideas, but you may be surprised to learn what they count among their most treasured gifts. One hint—it has nothing to do with the local mall.

or the [Coach] purse I got,” she advised.

Jacob Sarner

Jacob’s not all business, though; “Some of my favorite gifts were the iTunes gift cards and money. I enjoy purchasing music and games with the iTunes cards, and I’m saving all of the money I received for something big.” Matthew Weiss, who celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at Temple Ohav Shalom in October, really likes his Apple gift cards. Also among his favorite gifts is a Penn State hoodie and of course, cash and checks. And at his age, Matt already appreciates the Judaica he received - a menorah and a Shofar, gifts that

Bea Nylis

“Today I am a fountain pen.” The punch line of a joke from another era, the fountain pen was a frequent gift at Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. Before the popularity of texting, which has sadly replaced the art of writing, the fountain pen signified accomplishment, achievement, responsibility, position and arrival.

Mary Mervis

“Experts” Reveal Their Best Bar/Bat Mitzvah Gifts

Jessie Holber

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RT E HEA H T F SO AFFAIR (continued from 15)

adolescents can ruin a party if they’re not entertained. Most Important Bottom line…as years of experience have proven to Berger, no new technology, no DJ from New York, and no custom logo will make a Bar/Bat Mitzvah great. “Money doesn’t make a good time; people make a good time,” she offers. “It’s the energy in the room. When you feel the love and feel the warmth... money can’t buy that.”

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J Magazine

So maybe we Pittsburgh Jews are starting a trend—for the first time ever! The excessively themed parties are giving way to more casual and warm occasions—allowing guests to interact more, dance more and enjoy more. It really is about a 13-year-old accepting the responsibility of becoming a Bar/ Bat Mitzvah, learning how good it feels to give back, and how joyful it is to celebrate with the friends and family who love them most.

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will be with him for a lifetime. Matt says that he would recommend any of these gifts for a boy his age and often gives his friends cash or gift cards to stores they like. For his Mitzvah project, Matt chose to collect new children’s pajamas and books to donate to the Pittsburgh chapter of The Pajama Program, a national charity that collects sleepwear and books for children in orphanages, group homes and shelters.

Next time you get that Bar/Bat Mitzvah invite in the mail, you can certainly feel comfortable writing out a check to the honoree, traditionally done in multiples of 18—or chai—to symbolize that you are giving “life.” Knowing that the recipient will be using part of that money for charity will just enhance the value of your gift. Of course, if you’d prefer to opt for the highly touted gift card, iTunes, Best Buy, Coach (for girls) or mall gift cards are all safe bets. But if Jessie, Rose, Matthew, Jesse and Jacob are onto something, then it just might be your personal note, your time, or maybe even a pair of high pink socks that they remember most.


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issue 2


Mac, _

Karen Meyers Photography


Two Sides of Pittsburgh’s Thriving Music Scene By Holly Rudoy


Google search of Jewish musicians confirms what music fans and many Jews already know…there’s hardly a genre of music that doesn’t have its own Jewish pantheon. There are the giants (Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein), the superstars (Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Paul Simon), the rebels (Bob Dylan, Joey Ramone, Lou Reed), the cool (Pink, Slash, David Lee Roth). And now we Pittsburgh Jews can start a list of our own—beginning with giant Marvin Hamlisch and the young, rising star, Mac Miller, along with local label Rostrum Records’ Benjy Grinberg and Artie Pitt. At first glance, mega-star Hamlisch the conductor/composer may not seem to have much in common with up-and-coming Miller the rapper. But as you’ll see, they share an extraordinary musical gift, a tireless work ethic, and a love for the city they call home— even if temporarily. 20

J Magazine

Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

MARVIN Marvin Hamlisch, 66, is one of only 10 artists to ever win the ultimate quad—an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony—and one of only two people to add a Pulitzer to that lineup. He also has two Golden Globes in his collection, but, hey, who’s counting? Hamlisch fans in Pittsburgh, whether or not they’re aware of his awesome array of awards, are certainly appreciative of his three to four visits a year as Principal Pops Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. If you’re under the age of 40 or have been living under a rock for the past few decades, you may think you don’t know the work of Marvin Hamlisch. But think again. If you ever tapped to A Chorus Line, hummed The Sting, sobbed to Ice Castles and The Way We Were, or were moved by Sophie’s Choice, then you know Marvin. For years, Hamlisch has charmed local audiences from his perch on the Heinz Hall stage, regaling them with his personal stories in addition to his immense talents. As the writer, collaborator, arranger and conductor of some of the most memorable music on stage and in film, Hamlisch clearly has more musical talent in his pinky finger than most of us could hope to have in our lifetimes. He was recently kind enough to squeeze in some time to talk to J Magazine during what was likely his lunch break. We chatted about his plans for the future, his iPod (or lack thereof), and, of course, his favorite Pittsburgh haunts. Q: Tell us about your childhood and Jewish education. A: My parents were born and married in Vienna, and came to this country in the ‘30s. I was born in New York in 1944. I was taken to Sunday School and had a Bar Mitzvah, and was really only exposed to Jewish music in temple. Otherwise, I was your basic New York kid listening to rock ‘n’ roll, except for the Friday nights I spent in temple.

Q: Have you done any Jewish music with the Jewish artists you’ve worked with? A: I did Woody Allen’s first two films [Take the Money and Run and Bananas], and when I am interviewed by Jewish newspapers or magazines, they always want to know something brilliant—like we talked about the Talmud. No, we might tell a Jewish joke, but you do what you do. Write music, make a joke and you have a movie. The one Jewish-y thing I did was on Barbra Streisand’s album. She wanted to sing “Avinu Malkeinu.” We got a choir and did the original arrangement because that’s what she liked—that’s how it works. Q: Speaking of Woody Allen and Barbra Streisand, who are some of the other entertainers you’ve worked with? Who would you like to work with in the future? A: I’ve been very lucky. I’ve worked with Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand; I’ve met Judy Garland, Lena Horne. I’ve been very lucky to work with lots of people considered “greats.” For example, in February, in New York City, I got to work with Idina Menzel–she’s wonderful. There are certain entertainers I’ll never be able to work with because they write their own music and lyrics, like Billy Joel or Elton John. Q: Who are your all-time favorite musicians? A: My favorite composer is Leonard Bernstein, no doubt. And singer—Judy Garland was always it for me. Q: What’s coming up for you? A: I’m working on a new show, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen because shows are very expensive. It’s based on Ballroom, by the Bergmans (Marilyn and Alan) and Billy Goldenberg. They needed me to write new songs, which I’ve done. It opens in August issue 2






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in California—if it happens. Q: As guest conductor of six symphonies (Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Dallas, Pasadena, Seattle and San Diego), how do you relax? A: I do get tired of it sometimes—that’s what they have vacations for. Usually, 95 percent of the time I enjoy it. When I’m working, I stay in a hotel, so to unwind I go to the spa, get treatments and massages. I like to enjoy myself. I’m in each city three to four times a year, so it’s not that bad. But people don’t realize that the most important part of a concert is the audience. I’ve already done the rehearsal, and the musicians know what to do. If I walk on the stage and have a really receptive audience, then I’m ready to roll. Q: What are some of your favorite spots in Pittsburgh? A: I love shopping in Pittsburgh—I’m a Larrimor’s freak! I like Brooks Brothers. I’m usually in and out of the [Heinz] Hall. I like two dinner places in Pittsburgh—Ruth’s Chris [Steak House] and Morton’s. Q: What advice do you have for musicians who are just starting out or trying to break into the entertainment business? A: The advice I give to everyone I know in any profession is the same. Have a “B Plan.” No matter what you want to do, you may or may not succeed, and you still have to pay the rent. For example, I have a teaching degree. Q: What’s on your iPod? A: I don’t have an iPod; I’m living in 1952. I don’t have a computer, and I don’t have email. I do have a cell phone.

3519 butler street | pittsburgh, pa 15201 22

J Magazine

Q: No iPod? A: There’s a thing called too much music!

MAC Like Mike Posner, Drake, Matisyahu and the Beastie Boys before him, Mac Miller is showing the world that Jewish guys can rhyme, rap and move like no one’s business. Fresh out of Allderdice High School and just 19 years old, Miller (the son of Karen Meyers, a photographer, and Mark McCormick, an architect) is currently on his sold out, 35-city Incredibly Built tour. The nation’s largest radio station, 102.7 KISS-FM in Los Angeles, spins his music in regular rotation, and he appears on the cover of wildly popular hip hop magazine XXL donning a Pirate’s baseball cap. For this Point Breeze native, it’s a long way from the Shabbat concerts he played while a camper at Emma Kaufmann Camp. But no one is surprised, least of all Miller, who says he “always knew that one day people were gonna be learning the lyrics to my songs.”

C C J e h t t a s k c i k r u o Get y

Poised and professional, especially considering his age, Miller (whose real name is Malcolm McCormick) is already learning the value of hard work. The day we talked, he had been in the studio since early morning and was getting ready to embark on his first tour, which included a sold out Hollywood show later in the week. With a Rostrum Records deal, a spring college tour with #1 Billboard artist Wiz Khalifa, 109,000 Twitter followers, and more than three million hits on his Nikes on My Feet You Tube video, Miller probably won’t have much time for the Bar Mitzvahs he played a short time ago. Lucky for us, he did have time to share some inside scoop with J Magazine before hitting the national tour scene. He was genuinely delighted when I told him that the 8th graders I carpooled that day were crazed with excitement over my pending Mac Miller interview. “It surprises me how strongly kids know me, “ he laughed. Better get used to it, Mac! (Parental Warning: Mac writes about the experiences of a fairly typical 19-year-old boy. That means girls and partying and having fun and then some more partying. So though the 8th graders knew his music, it’s not exactly rated PG and is probably not appropriate for young kids.) Q: Tell us about music in your childhood A: I’ve been a huge fan of music from an early age. I used to write music when I was eight or nine. I took piano, guitar and drum lessons, and I like everything from The Beatles sound to rap. I’m lucky that I had a lot of people in my life at a young age that stressed creativity. (continued on page 26)

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THE BOYS When Artie Pitt, 31, was a young boy growing up in Point Breeze, his good Jewish parents, Shayna and Bruce Pitt, would not let him listen to music with explicit lyrics. But like most kids, he found a way—and that way was Benjy Grinberg. “Benjy used to give me tapes because my mom wouldn’t let me listen to explicit lyrics, rightfully so,” confesses Pitt. Today that musical partnership (with the occasional explicit lyric) is making news as Rostrum Records, representing among others fellow Pittsburghers Mac Miller and the Billboard hit artist Wiz Khalifa (Black and Yellow, anyone?). Grinberg, 32, son of Pittsburgher Skip Grinberg, founded Rostrum in 2003 after a stint as the assistant to the president of Arista Records. In 2005, when he was looking for someone to help market the label and its artists, he thought of his childhood friend Artie, “because he knew I had an entrepreneurial spirit,” says Pitt.

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J Magazine

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So is it a coincidence that these two Pittsburgh guys are doing well promoting two other Pittsburgh guys (among others)? Pitt doesn’t think so. “Pittsburgh breeds very strong, loyal communities. The fact that a couple of us have been able to develop a business and give artists a chance to shine on the national stage…is a testament to how strong our community made us.” “The music industry is reinventing itself because it’s a very digital world right now. Ten years ago, it was a multi-million dollar

business—now it’s transitioned to younger, quicker, cut the fat off. Benjy and I have cooked up new models and ways to make an artist successful on a thinner budget.” So far, their plan is working as Wiz Khalifa has rocketed into the national spotlight with Miller right behind him. “We were introduced to Mac a few years ago through You Tube clips of him in his room. We saw potential in him,” he recalls. “He’s hard working and is selling out shows already. Thanks to Wiz’s success, Mac has an open door—the sky’s the limit for Mac. I never doubted his star power, but I didn’t think it was gonna happen this fast,” he admits. As Pitt noted, Mac—and Rostrum—work hard for the success they’ve earned. “It’s something we appreciate about each other. We remain together as a team. We all just work—it’s what the city and the Jewish community instilled in us.”

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Top photo: The faces of Rostrum Records, Benjy Grinberg (left) and Artie Pitt (right). Bottom photo: Benjy Grinberg (middle), and Artie Pitt (right), with Will Dzomback, road manager for Wiz Khalifa. Doug, Wife Bridget, Daughter Liza, and Son Elliot Paid for by Friends of Doug Shields

issue 2


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I was someone who took it to heart at a young age. In elementary school, when I read Shel Silverstein, that was my first dive into the poetic use of words and I started doing poetry. My grandma [Marcia Weiss of Shadyside] has saved the songs I wrote when I was five years old. The lyrics aren’t as complex! I was an early bloomer in some ways, going to high school parties in middle school. So, in high school I got to the point where I kind of didn’t want to party, and going to the studio [Studio ID Labs in Lawrenceville] replaced that. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. When I was in ninth or tenth grade, I really started to record. I knew about Artie [Pitt] and Benjy [Grinberg] and Rostrum because they were people doing things—connected and really doing something. Q: What was your Jewish education in Pittsburgh? A: I went to Sunday School at Temple Sinai and had my Bar Mitzvah at Rodef Shalom. I was always really horrible about getting there. Then it came to the point for my Bar Mitzvah, and I had to take extra classes with the Rabbi.

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J Magazine

Q: Which brings me to your Hebrew tattoos? A: I have the chai tattoo because the meaning of life is so huge in my day-to-day. I’m enjoying as much of life as possible— how I feel it should be enjoyed positively. I think it’s a blessing if someone can enjoy life. Q: How does a Jewish boy from Pittsburgh wind up in the world of hip hop? A: I’m most passionate about lyricism—I’m most creative about using my words as an instrument. And my singing voice wasn’t good enough to be a singer—I was always, like, man, I can’t sing! The beauty of hip hop is how much it can incorporate and borrow from all styles. It’s one of the broadest genres of music. We sample ’40s jazz to something from two months ago. My favorite part is the sky’s the limit. There’s nothing you can’t do or try that’s too big of a jump. My mom obviously wasn’t the biggest hip hop fan before me. I’ve helped open her eyes!

Q: Where do you get your work ethic? A: I try to work harder than anyone else I know. It’s a lot…a little crazy, a little unhealthy. But billions of people dream of doing what they love, and less than five percent of them actually get to do it. If I didn’t work myself, it would be a waste of an opportunity. Q: How do you relax? A: Relaxation for me is not having anywhere to be. I don’t get more than four or five days to be home and lay on the couch and watch a movie. Relaxing for me is just to be lazy—I appreciate laziness! Q: What advice do you have for other young musicians? A: One way to get better is to learn how to play your favorite songs. But for people who want to learn about themselves through music, just like any type of art, it’s more about what you create. Take a chance; have it all come from within; that’s the best part. Why take all those lessons if you can’t express yourself? There’s so much in music that everyone can tell their own story. Q: What’s on your iPod? A: I try to listen to a lot of different kinds of music. I really enjoy Pandora [Internet radio]. But I will say, on my own music device I mostly listen to myself. From Podium to Rostrum And there you have it…two ends of a spectrum, two points on a career timeline, two sides of a coin. Marvin and Mac couldn’t be more different in their approaches to their lives and their careers. And yet, they are so much alike… opposing images in a mirror. Both men are comfortable with themselves, both find fulfillment in their music, and both feed off their audiences. If it just wasn’t for that iPod…

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issue 2



J Magazine

Coming Full Circle:

The Friendship Circle Unites Jewish Teens with Special Needs Children


n September of 2006, Rabbi Mordy and Rivkee Rudolph began the Friendship Circle in Pittsburgh. Since 1994, Friendship Circles have been established in more than 60 cities around the world to help children and young adults with special needs integrate more fully into their respective communities. “Our goal,”said Rivkee, “was to get Pittsburgh’s Jewish teens involved in the community and bring them together with special needs children.” The Rudolphs have done this quite successfully through a variety of programs that really benefit all those who participate, the teens by learning to help others and the special needs children by being provided with community activities. Through these activities--that include bowling, cooking, crafts, and holiday celebrations--they have all learned to break down social barriers and build loving friendships. Most recently, the Friendship Circle has formed a Teen Leadership Board, led by two Jewish seniors at Shadyside Academy and Allderdice. The rest of the board is comprised of Jewish teens from seven other area high schools, and together, they plan events, recruit other volunteers, and provide valuable feedback to the Friendship Circle staff.

By enriching the lives of all its participants, the Friendship Circle is helping to build a stronger Jewish community in Pittsburgh. For more information, or to volunteer, please contact Rivkee Rudolph or Shaina Teitelbaum at 412-224-4440. The Friendship Circle 5872 Northumberland Street Squirrel Hill, 15217-1243

issue 2


Joseph Tambellini Restaurant 5701 Bryant St. Highland Park 412-665-9000 Dinner served Tuesday through Sunday. Reservations accepted. Private party room. SAY YOU SAW IT IN “J” AND RECEIVE ONE COMPLIMENTARY ZUCCHINI APPETIZER PER TABLE FROM MARCH 15 – APRIL 1.





fter years of cooking for others, Joseph Tambellini finally realized his dream when he opened his eponymous restaurant in 2007, along with his wife, Melissa. Located in a beautifully renovated house in Highland Park, the menu serves up the fresh pastas, fish, steak, chicken and veal that Pittsburgh diners would expect from a chef who bears the famous Tambellini name. Handmade signature desserts and an extensive wine list enhance the menu offerings. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner or a family gathering, Joseph Tambellini will make you feel welcome. Joe kindly shared his recipe for Mafalda Giancarlo, one his popular pasta dishes.

iancarlo Mafalda G

or ed tomatoes cup sundri ly /4 in 1 th es to ny a a (or sundried tom afalda pasta 4 1/2 lb. m a) st a p of t cu sliced favorite olive oil iced tomato in rg vi a tr 1/2 cup d with 1/4 cup ex r fresh spinach te ut nd b ou n p oo sp /2 le 1 b Ta ed 1 stems remov no ignoli nuts ) ed rated Roma ic 1/4 cup p g sl n y oo nl Tablesp garlic (thi es 1 ov cl se ee ch 2 n ed) or Parmesa scallion (slic per 1 seed ep p er p nd ep a p lt d sa ed re t cu s pinch crush rt a he ke whole articho 4 s lf ha into and pepper garlic, scallion, ts, nu ia ol gn pi the olive oil, et add most of In a large skill seed. ach, oking, add spin brown; while co at until ly he ht w lig -lo to ed ts m nu d to sauté on ue tin Allow garlic an on C o. at ts, and tom artichoke hear ed. ok co spinach is finished. oking/close to co is sta pa le be done whi This all should ingredients. illet with other sk e th to it d d ad too fast Drain pasta an nts are moving other ingredie e oasting” th “t s e th em p se it (If the pasta to sto m fro er at w add a little process.) l, and served olive oi d butter, any re . ste ta Toss pasta, ad er to . Salt and pepp grated cheese sh illed chicken, fre n be added, gr ca pe ci re is . th ed To desir vegetables, if mozzarella, or


J Magazine



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This kind of fraud doesn’t have to be of Bernie Madoff proportions to ruin the financial lives of investors. But with the growing number of seniors in America— many of whom do not live near their children—this problem has the potential to become an epidemic as the Baby Boomer generation ages.

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We asked some local advisors what they would recommend to senior investors. Lee Oleinick, Senior Vice President of Investments at UBS Financial Services, offered the following recommendations: • Always ask for and check references on anyone who is recommended to you. • Go online (or ask a relative to) to, where you can find BrokerCheck, which lists the names of every current and former stockbroker, as well as their backgrounds and any legal actions taken against them. • Involve a responsible family member in your investment strategies and keep them informed of any changes in your financial situation.

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Mitchell Letwin of Northwest Financial Network agreed that involving a responsible family member is important, and also suggested that you should: • Have an annual “financial checkup” just as you would a physical to make sure you have a healthy, balanced portfolio. • Protect your investment principal and make sure that it keeps pace with inflation. • Make sure that your investments—which might include a fixed annuity—offer you a guaranteed income stream for the rest of your life.

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If you’re a senior, don’t be embarrassed to contact your family immediately if you become concerned about your investment portfolio. Multiple trades, unapproved activity, and continued losses in your account could be a sign that something is not right. It is also a good idea to share your intentions and goals with your family before you make any major financial decisions. Having someone you trust to look over your finances can protect what you’ve worked so hard for and give you peace of mind.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney / The Rosenberg Group Colin Rosenberg One PPG Place, Suite 1700 Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-803-2103 Luttner Financial Group Dan Askin / Skip Grinberg 244 Boulevard of the Allies, Suite 3 Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-391-6700

It’s all about you, your family and this special time...Let us take the stress from you...Personal service for the perfect look for your bar/bat mitzvah event...private appointments upon request

328 Allegheny River Blvd. Oakmont, PA 15139 (412) 828-2187 issue 2


A Day in... the strip district By Roberta Brody Photographed by Raviv Cohen


ittsburgh’s Strip District is a destination for all ages. A unique array of retail businesses shares the bustling streets with sidewalk vendors, selling everything from Chinese food to sports memorabilia. While busy every day, a weekend trip to the Strip is a sight to behold, with throngs of shoppers crowding the sidewalks, making a first-time visitor wonder if they’re giving stuff away! The one-half-square-mile narrow “strip” of land is defined by the natural boundaries of the Allegheny River to the north, the extension of Grant’s Hill to the south and 11th and 33rd streets to the east and west. The produce district runs from 16th to 22nd streets. In the early 1900s, wholesale produce merchants located along the railroad tracks in the Strip, making it easy for them to unload produce. Eventually, the trains were replaced by trucks, and by the 1950s, there were more than 70 wholesale produce dealers. Although most of those dealers are gone, the Strip is


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thriving thanks to retail produce and ethnic food stores, clubs, restaurants, and one-of-akind independent shops. Lofts and rental apartments are popping up all over, as is a new television and movie production studio. Many are looking to future waterfront development to enhance the Strip and make it The neighborhood for living, working, shopping and entertainment. A day in the Strip might begin with breakfast at Pamela’s on 21st Street, one of the local restaurant’s many Pittsburgh outposts. To be a real Pittsburgher, you have to have eaten Pamela’s pancakes, so famous that President Obama invited the owners to make them at the White House last year. If breakfast at Pamela’s doesn’t fill you up (you’ve got to be kidding), then run—don’t walk—around the corner to Peace, Love and Little Donuts on Smallman Street. Now you’re ready to shop. First stop is Mike Feinberg on Penn Avenue where you can find novelties and favors of every kind, plus a huge selection of Steeler merchandise. Next door is Schorin offering great choices in party supplies and paper goods. Working your way down Penn Avenue, you’ll find Penzeys, one of the few national chain stores in the Strip, but worth mentioning because they offer the best selection of spices anywhere. On the same block is Wholey’s Market, Mancini’s Bread and In the Kitchen, which offers every item imaginable for the home chef. Ready for a coffee a break? Stop in at Enrico Biscotti (the setting for the film, The Bread, My Sweet) for coffee and delicious homemade biscotti.

issue 2




sd All Arou

Frie n

Save The Date



Recognizing our Graduating Class of 2011

Sunday, May 22 Heinz History Center

5:30 - 8:30 pm

Temple Emanuel of South Hills Connect with Temple Emanuel and be part of a community rich in the traditions of Reform Judaism

Mark Joel Mahler, Rabbi Jessica Locketz, Associate Rabbi & Educator Saralouise Reis, FTA, Executive Director Nan Simon, ECDC Director Lynn Richards, President 1250 Bower Hill Road, Mt. Lebanon, PA 15243 412-279-7600 ext.12

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Don’t miss out! Go to

and sign up to reserve your copy of Issue 3!

Continuing up Penn Avenue, you’ll find many enticing specialty food markets, such as Stamoolis Brothers for Greek foods, the Penn Avenue Fish Market for fresh and cooked fish and seafood, and Mon Aimee Chocolate, where you’ll discover a world of fine international chocolates. Looking for something for the home? Hot Haute Hot, at 21st and Penn, is a self-proclaimed “hip and humble” furniture and accessory store. For a more contemporary look, the ultra-hip Perlora Leather is located on Smallman Street. Across the street from Perlora is the original Smallman Street Deli, where you can eat in or take out. For some cultural activity, look no further than the Heinz Regional History Center at 12th and Smallman, a wonderful addition to the Pittsburgh museum scene with something to interest every age. Further up the street is the Society for Contemporary Crafts, an artisan craft center with exhibition galleries and a distinctive shop. If you’re still in the Strip at dinner hour, no need to worry. There are several great options for dining: Kaya, of Big Burrito fame, with a Caribbean flair; Cioppino for seafood and meats; and the less fussy, but iconic Pittsburgh eatery, Primanti Brothers. Last–and newest–is the Pittsburgh Public Market in the produce terminal on Smallman, where more than 40 vendors sell everything from gourmet food to handmade items. Open from Thursday to Sunday, the market is a welcome new addition to a historic area that keeps evolving. The above is merely a sampling of some of the highlights of the Strip District, truly one of Pittsburgh’s most interesting neighborhoods. One visit…and you’ll be hooked.

SOURCES & INFORMATION: Pamela’s 60 21st Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-281-6366 Peace, Love and Little Donuts 2018 Smallman Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-489-7693 Mike Feinberg Company 1736 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-479-2922 Schorin 1800 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-281-0650 Penzeys Spices 1729 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-434-0570 Wholey’s 1711 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-391-3737 Mancini’s Bread Company 1717 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-765-3545 In the Kitchen 1725 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-261-5513 The Enrico Biscotti Company Café 2022 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-281-2602 Stamoolis Brothers Company 2020 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-471-7676 Penn Avenue Fish Company 2208 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-434-7200


Mon Aimee Chocolate 2101 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-395-0022

the Comforts of Home

Hot Haute Hot 2125 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-338-2323 Perlora Leather 2837 Smallman Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-434-7425 Smallman Street Deli 2840 Smallman Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-434-6828 Heinz History Center 1212 Smallman Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-454-6000

SHADYSIDE 412.621.4700

Society for Contemporary Crafts 2100 Smallman Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-261-7003 Kaya 2000 Smallman Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-261-6565 Cioppino 2350 Railroad Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-281-6593 Primanti Brothers 46 18th Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-263-2142 Pittsburgh Public Market 2100 Smallman Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-281-4505

Time for a change? Featuring the latest trends in shower door fashion and function

5871 Ellsworth Ave in Shadyside 412-363-6300

issue 2


Host Your Child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah at


PNC Park THE LEXUS CLUB | KEYSTONE CORNER | GUNNER’S CLUB 3000 | TOUR THEATRE | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA HALL OF FAME CLUB Our unique venues are the perfect setting for your child’s “coming of age” celebration. Whether your throwing a themed event or a traditional celebration, our experienced staff will take the stress out of planning.



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Contact Ann Elder at 412-325-4746 or

Keep their brains active this summer! Discover the binary brilliance of robots, fly high with roller coaster science, unearth science mysteries, construct some science fun, and more! Our unique camps are a real adventure for kids ages 4–14, with half- and full-day options available.

Our camps are different! • Hands-on exploration • Experienced teachers • Reasonable prices • Pre- and post-camp care For the full list of available camps, visit our website. One Allegheny Avenue | Across from Heinz Field | 412.237.3400

Drs. John Gruendel, S. Rand Werrin, Charles Miller, Richard Boles celebrate Dr. Miller’s retirement after 62 years of practicing dentistry.


Dick’s Sporting Goods Corporate Headquarters

foster plaza 9, suite 200 750 holiday drive pittsburgh, pa 15220 p: 412.921.4300 f: 412.921-4312


athletic & recreational facilities, higher education, corporate & commercial, healthcare, religious facilities, hospitality entertainment, retail & residential

Publication: J Magazine - Jewish Life | 4C | Size: 4.938"w x 3.656"h | Spring Loan

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In honor of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Centennial in 2012, and in celebration of 100 years of service to the community, the Federation is planning a Centennial Mega Mission to Israel, June 19-28, 2012, and offering a discount of $100 to the first 100 registrants who register before June 1, 2011. The cost of the Mission is $3,899 per adult, with the $100 discount, and other discounts are available for children traveling with their families. Highlights of this unique Centennial Mission include: spectacular options (such as art, culinary, sports, archaeology, and more) for seasoned Israel visitors, special family tracks, Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebrations, and “essential” sites tracks for first-time visitors. The Mega Mission is part of the Jewish Federation’s Centennial Celebration, chaired by Sandy and Edgar Snyder and Cindy and David Shapira. Mega Mission co-chairs are Meryl and David Ainsman, Laurie and Geoffrey Gerber, Elaine and Carl Krasik, and Judy and Rocky Weir. For details: visit www. or contact Jessica Meyer at or 412-992-5223.

If you’ve had an event that you would like to share, please e-mail a high-resolution – preferably candid -- photo to us at: Your submission grants us permission to use your photo. Photos used as space permits.



Enjoy a freshly made sandwich or salad from Smallman Street Deli. Menu provided upon request. $10 and up.


FACES OF THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT: LOSS AND FORGIVENESS Izzeldin Abuelaish & Laura Blumenfeld with Christiane Amanpour 8:15 PM | 7:30 Study

Isaac Silverman enjoys the view during his Bar Mitzvah party aboard the Gateway Clipper. Photo by Dmitriy Babichenko.

DINNER BEFORE THE BROADCAST: Temple Sinai 92nd Street Y Dinner Boxes!

Dinner Reservations must be made by noon, one day prior to each broadcast. Call 412.421.9715 or email for more information.





Tickets available at the door: $15 per seat $120 Flex-Ticket any 10 seats, any broadcast(s)

8 PM | 7:15 Study



In the Bible: A Judge Named Deborah 8 PM | 7:15 Study *Pre-recorded broadcasts

Colfax Elementary Students presenting a musical program to Charles Morris Nursing and Rehabilitation patients 12/20



This season is underwritten in part through generous grants from the PNC Foundation, PNC Charitable Trusts and The Pittsburgh Foundaton.

Temple Sinai ı 5505 Forbes Avenue ı Pittsburgh, PA 15217 412.421.9715 ı

Bagel Factory BREAKFAST • LUNCH • DINNER CATERING FOR ALL OCCASIONS Guests enjoying the festivities at Marissa Elman’s Bat Mitzvah party at the Circuit Center in November. Photos by Dmitriy Babichenko.

SQUIRREL HILL 5885 Forbes Ave. 412-521-8100


5825 Ellsworth Ave. 412-362-6666

GREENFIELD & KRAUT ATTORNEYS AT LAW Stanley W. Greenfield Gayle R. Kraut 1040 Fifth Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-261-4466 412-261-4408 FAX issue 2


Treasure Grove Serve your guests in style with this elegant tray reverse painted by Peruvian artisans.

Nelly Pilco Guerra, artisan with Manos Amigas.

Tree of Life Painted Tray Peru, $74

Bring in this ad to receive 25% OFF one item.

Offer valid at participating stores until 5/31/11. Not valid with other discounts, purchase of gift cards or Oriental rugs. 5720511

5824 Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill, PA 15217 Mon–Sat 10–6 412-421-2160

J Magazine, Issue 2 – Purim Ten Thousand Villages Pittsburgh 4.938" x 3.656" 4C 1610411

We are happy to introduce Richard M. Boles, DMD.

mitzvah day The event, held Dec. 24 this year, since Christmas fell on Shabbat attracted some 450 people to more than 40 sites. It is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh…

© Ten Thousand Villages Permission to use this resourceSpecializing as it appears. ANY in: ALTERATIONS OR USE Implants OF GRAPHIC ELEMENTS apart from this design MUST BE APPROVED Implant Restorations by Ten Thousand Villages Marketing Department, (717) 859-8170. Endodontics All Cosmetic Procedures Participating in: upmc advantage aetna dental

Jonah and Kristen Keller assemble sock monkeys for patients at Children’s Hospital. The Mitzvah Day session was held at Product Lexicon.

Our new associate at Drs. Werrin, Gruendel and Boles 3506 5th Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 • New patients welcomed - call 412.621.0200 and schedule an appointment with one of our doctors or hygienists and receive free X-rays. Just mention this ad.

CATERING FOR ANY OCCASION 1912 Murray Ave. • Squirrel Hill 412-421-DELI (3354) • Fax: 412-421-3374 2840 Smallman St. • Strip District 412-434-5800 • Fax: 412-434-6828 Mon.- Thurs. 8am - 10pm • Fri. & Sat. 8am - 11pm Sun. 8am - 8pm • Hours Subject to Change 44

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Benji and Jordan Gluzman display cards they created for Lutheran Service Society, during a Mitzvah Day session at the Jewish Community Center. The cards were to be distributed to Meals on Wheels patrons with their holiday meals.

mitzvah like a rockstar

justin timberlake


3 doors down

throw a mitzvah in a unique atmosphere  Sara and Elena Mayo proudly display their sock monkey.


230 w. station square drive • +1-412-481-7625

Preparing meals at the Jubilee Soup Kitchen are, from left, Sigalle, Janice and Ayelet Bahary.

UNT197PI11_JMagazine_hp_4.938x7.438.indd 1

1/28/11 10:06:47 AM

Subscribe to The Jewish Chronicle and save $34!

$44 for 52 issues! Mitzvah Day volunteer Stacy Cohen helps out with bingo at the Jewish Association on Aging, where she meets up with her aunt, Pearl Cohen.



J Magazine Third Page Ads_Layout 1 12/9/2010 12:37 PM Page 1

I do. Two simple words. One complicated situation. Times change. So do people.

To create order from emotional turmoil, you’ll need the guidance of a Pittsburgh-area attorney with over 40 years of family law experience.

Picture contains delegates from Pittsburgh Council, NA’AMAT USA to the organization’s National Convention in Boca Raton, Fl. July 11-14,2010.

Stewart B. Barmen, Attorney 412-471-5939

Divorce | Alimony | Mediation | Prenuptial Agreement

When you want to know NOW! 46

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OCTOBER Stages of Senior Care Day at the Jewish Association on Aging. Eleanor Schano- speaker with David Gritzer, JAA CEO.

Pittsburgh’s Center for CABINETRY!

Leggett Kitchens

l. to r. seated: Judy Kobell, Pgh. Council President, Marjorie C.Moidel, S.E. Area National Coordinator, former Pittsburgher Debby Firestone, newly installed National Board member, Judy Sufrin, past Pgh. Council President l. to r. standing: Dee Selekman, Exec. Dir. Pgh. Council Norma Kirkell Sobel, newly installed Nat’l. Recording Sec’y Marcia Weiss, newly installed National Board member, Emma Lou Rosenstein, Pgh. Council recording secretary.

Creative Designs Beautiful Showrooms Professional Installation Make your dream kitchen a reality!

JLivingCrocus3_EARtique 2/23/11 1:41 PM Page 1


March 22nd thru March 24th

Call for Details about how you can try Agils RISK FREE

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Welcome to a whole new world of hearing. There’s a beautiful world out there waiting for you. One where you can hear more naturally with less effort and participate more fully in social events with friends and family. Reawaken to the joys of hearing with Agil by Oticon.

Debra L. Greenberger, M.S., CCC-A Serving the Pittsburgh area for over 25 years

Pittsburgh Jewish Communal Network Holiday Luncheon at the JAA. Rabbi Scott Aaron speaker on “The Americanization of Hanukkah.” Rabbi Scott Aaron and Rabbi Donnie Aaron at PJCN Luncheon.

The last stop you’ll make in successful hearing aid use

Squirrel Hill~2703 Murray Avenue~412.422.8006 issue 2


business directory BETH HAMEDRASH HAGODOL – BETH JACOB SYNAGOGUE We Are Always Open—Visit Us Downtown 810 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219



J Magazine

ADVERTISER INDEX B•L ...........................................28 Bagel Factory ............................43 Beth Hamedrash Hagodol ...........48 Big Day ....................................35 Campus Super Star ....................16 Carabella .................................35 Carnegie Science Center ............41 Centennial Mega Mission ...........14 Community Day School ...............18 Complete Home Health Services ..48 Concordia of South Hills .............26 Corey O’Connor ........................24 Country Meadows .....................34 Daniel J. Landis ..........................49 Del’s Bar & Ristorante .................18 DLA ........................................42 Double Tree Hotel & Suites ..........25 Doug Shields .............................25 Eartique ....................................47 Eyetique .....................................7 Feathers ....................................39 .......................18 Friendship Circle ........................38 Giant Eagle Cover ......................3 Glassworks ...............................24 Greenfield Kraut ........................43 Hard Rock Café .........................45 Huntington ................................16 Israel Bonds ...............................9 Jeffrey Pollock ............................34 Jewish Assistance Fund ................9 Jewish Association on Aging .......14 Jewish Community Center ...........23 Jewish Fed. of Greater Pgh. Cover .4 Jules Designs .............................48 Khalil’s ......................................48 Kitay, Lawrence, Rauker ..............19 Leggett Kitchens .........................47 Luminari ....................................44 Marcus & Shapira .......................8 McKnight Property Management ..30

Mega Mission ...........................14 Modern Matchmaker ..................25 Mrs. Clean ................................48 My Little Outback .......................14 Natalie’s ...................................48 Nate Sherer Video .....................23 Northwest Savings Bank .............42 Northwestern Financial Network ..23 Omex .......................................26 Peace, Love & Little Donuts ..........18 Pelora .......................................19 PNC Bank .................................33 PNC Park ..................................40 Pursuits .....................................49 R&R Masonry ............................49 Ralph Schugar Funeral Chapel ....27 Raviv Cohen Photography ...........40 Rex Shower Doors ......................39 Right by Nature .........................46 Rodef Shalom Congregation ........28 Roslyn G. Neiman ......................48 Smallman Street Deli ..................44 State Farm Insurance Cover ..........2 Stewart B. Barman .....................46 Sweet Tammy’s ..........................29 Tamari ......................................22 Temple Emanuel of South Hills .....38 Temple Sinai ..............................43 Ten Thousand Villages ................44 The Pittsburgh Paint Co. ..............48 Two Sisters Catering ...................49 Typhoon ....................................26 UBS Financial Services ...............10 UPMC Bariatric Surgery ..............12 UPMC Plenary Family Practice .....27 Vince Marino Plumbing ...............49 Wells Fargo Home Mortgage ......22 Werrin, Gruendel and Boles ........44 William Z. Spatz D.M.D. ............34 Wright’s Gym ............................27

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County llegheny to have is known e largest one of th tions ult popula d a r io n e s d untr y, an in the co


n an y—or eve by a d a d n the lob ws. Spe st of its Je rray avenues or in ely o m to e and Mu ill is hom of extrem in Squirrel H corner of Forbes d at the number s sitting the aze nd zadie a s e hour—at and you’ll be am b fe. b u . No b njoying li C, of the JC rs running around n the move and e o nio g? active se se young/olds are ard agin w to e s th e , d rs rocke eir attitu ng it all hat are th racefully or fighti w t s Ju . g us n: Aging e us curio This mad d them the questio ke So we as the way? ider, 73

Myron Sn “Both”

Sherman Lieberman “Both”

Sam Gottesman, 87 “Gracefully”

Robert Da “Gracef vis, 89 ully” er, 68 Eileen Snid ll the way” a it “Fighting

Shirley Lieberman, 80 “Both”

oper, 84 Joanne Co “Neither”

Sophie Masloff “Both!” g, 91 eissber W y t t e B fully” “Grace

w, 91 Moe Lebo y” “Gracefull


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aufman he way” Irene K ll t ing it a “Fight

Sally Shwe itzer “Gracefull y” Roz Rob in, 83 “Fighti ng it all the w


George Markow itz, 82 “Gracef ully”





i Turn “I know I’ll find thousands of everyday low prices, plus over 5,000 items on sale every week. I also save with double coupons. With GetGo foodperks!, I can save up to 20% on my grocery bill. And thanks to fuelperks!, I just got another free tank of gas!” – Michael

Actual Giant Eagle Customer for 18 years

visit for your advantage.

That’s my

Advantage. december 2010


Eat, drink, and be a mensch.

Through Partnership 2000, 47 ninth graders visited Israel for a teen leadership program last year. With your help, we can send even more this year.

This Purim, eat the hamantashen, shake the grogger, wear a costume if you want. But, as you join in the celebration, join too with the community in ensuring that we remain strong and vibrant. Your donation to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Annual Campaign or Jewish Community Foundation will help us connect our youth to Jewish life and to Israel. You will help build a dynamic community for the future – a real cause for celebration. To learn more, visit us online at or call 412.681.8000.

At The Heart

of Jewish Giving.

J Magazine issue 2  

J Magazine issue 2

J Magazine issue 2  

J Magazine issue 2