J J J J
A DAY IN…lawrenceville
Jewish Pittsburgh Living
MOT: HOWARD FINEMAN
DYLAN REESE: A N’ICE HOCKEY PLAYER RETURNS TO THE ‘BURGH JEWISH POETS IN OUR MIDST ISRAEL 2012: MEGA-MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! THE JEWS OF INDIA
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Jim Busis, Interim CEO firstname.lastname@example.org MAGAZINE STAFF email@example.com Roberta Lando Brody, Executive Editor Audrey Brown, Art Director Holly Rudoy, Associate Editor Shelley Lipton, Photographer Iris Samson, Contributing Writer Erin Lewenauer, Contributing Writer Marsha Morganstern, Contributing Writer Ben Frank, Contributing Writer Ilana Yergin, Contributing Photographer SALES STAFF Susan Mangel, Sr. Sales Rep. firstname.lastname@example.org Roberta Letwin, Sales Rep. email@example.com Donna Mink, Sales Rep. firstname.lastname@example.org Debra Levy, Associate Sales Rep. email@example.com BUSINESS STAFF Josh Reisner, Office Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Marcy Kronzek, Receptionist email@example.com BOARD OF TRUSTEES Richard Kitay, President Cindy Goodman-Leib, Vice President Larry Honig, Secretary Andrew Schaer, Treasurer Davida Fromm, Past President Carolyn Hess Abraham Brian Balk Daniel Berkowitz Lynn Cullen Milton Eisner Stephen Fienberg Malke Frank David Grubman Thomas Hollander Evan Indianer David Levine Ari Lightman Mitchell Pakler Amy Platt Benjamin Rosenthal Charles Saul Adam Shear Jonathan Wander Lou Weiss Volume 2, Number 4 J is published four times a year by the Pittsburgh Jewish Publication and Education Foundation, 5915 Beacon Street, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15217, 412-687-1000 (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, Executive Editor, 5915 Beacon Street, 3rd 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.
BBYO teen trip to Israel and Bulgaria.
fall 2012 Issue
Volume 2, Number 4
6 MEMBER OF THE TRIBE: HOWARD FINEMAN: You can’t take the Squirrel Hill out of this boy!
39 FACES & PLACES… Celebrations and events throughout the community.
46 7 THINGS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT… FALL FASHION: A new feature of J Magazine, in this issue, we offer you a peek at what’s hot for Fall 2012.
AT THE TOP OF HIS GAME: Meet the Pens newest defenseman, Dylan Reese…young, Jewish, from Pittsburgh…and living the dream!
19 HIDDEN JEWISH COMMUNITIES OF THE WORLD: INDIA Author Ben Frank gives us a glimpse of the Jews of India. 22 POETRY & JUDAISM Learn how the writings of local Jewish poets are influenced by their Judaism. 25 JF&CS @ 75: Celebrating 75 years of helping the community, the mission of the Jewish Family & Children’s Services continues to grow. 27 A DAY IN…LAWRENCEVILLE: Part hip, part grit, this Pittsburgh neighborhood has a vibe all its own! 31 32
RECIPES & RESERVATIONS: IL BURLONI This quaint Scott Township mother-daughter restaurant will keep you coming back for more! MEGA-MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! A look back at The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Centennial Mega-Mission to Israel—an overwhelming success!
On the Cover:
Our first ever sports cover features recently signed Penguins defenseman, Dylan Reese. The Jewish Upper Saint Clair native still has his roots—and his family—here in Pittsburgh. The Harvard grad proves that you can be smart, talented, good looking…yet still a mensch! We wish him a long, successful career in Pittsburgh! Photography by Shelley Lipton fa l l 2 0 1 2
THE JE WIS HC HR ON IC LE .N E T
A DAY IN…THE STRIP DISTRICT
JEWISH PITTSBURGH LIVING
HAMANTASCHEN… TRI-CORNERED TRIFECTA!
MAC & MARVIN
MAKIN’ MUSIC IN THE ‘BURGH!
Letting the Good Times Roll in Tel Aviv
PUTTING THE MITZVAH BACK IN B’NAI MITZVAH
Local Event Planners Share Current Trends
CIRCLE OF LOVE Jewish Teens Helping Special Needs Kids
FINANCIAL FITNESS Smart Strategies to Safeguard Seniors
Letter from the Editor
feel compelled to begin my letter this issue by noting the unexpected passing of prolific composer and Pittsburgh Symphony Pops conductor, Marvin Hamlisch. Not just because he was Jewish, or connected to Pittsburgh or that he was immensely gifted. But because he was one of our first “celebrity” interviews in J Magazine. I will never forget how he so generously took time out of his busy day to speak with writer Holly Rudoy, not knowing anything about our fledgling publication, other than what she told him on the phone. Marvin was warm and friendly and prided himself on being an honorary Pittsburgher, who not only worked here, but loved to shop and dine here as well. His loss will impact our own cultural community and the music world for years to come. Whenever I listen to A Chorus Line or hear The Way We Were, I will remember…the kindness of Marvin Hamlisch! Our cover story this issue is about a favorite Pittsburgh sport, namely ice hockey. Moreover, it’s about a local Jewish player, recently signed by our beloved Penguins! Yes, Dylan Reese, the young, smart, talented Upper Saint Clair native—with the model good looks—is Jewish. And people here, especially his family, are kvelling! See page 10. Turning to poetry (no easy segue here), contributing writer Marsha Morganstern takes a look at local Jewish poets and discovers that their Judaism often influences their writing. See page 22. If foreign travel is in your future, author and Pittsburgh native Ben Frank will enlighten you about the Jewish community in India. So, pack your bags and turn to page 19. It’s hard to ignore this election season with our 24/7 news cycle. That’s why we chose as our MOT this issue, the politically astute and entertaining Howard Fineman, Squirrel Hill born and raised. Iris Sampson asks him some interesting questions on page 6. This past June, 290 fortunate members of our community participated in the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Centennial Mega Mission to Israel. Planning and executing a mission of this magnitude was no small task, but the reviews have been outstanding! From the first-timers that we interviewed to the veteran Israel visitors, everyone was impressed and amazed by the mission. See page 32. Erin Lewenauer tells us how to best spend A Day in…Lawrenceville. Recipes & Reservations takes us to Il Burloni in Scott Township, and our newest feature, “7 Things You Should Know About…” takes a look at fall fashion! As we prepare the Fall 2012 issue of J to go to print, we are coming up on the High Holy Days, and although you’ll receive this issue after the holidays, we’d still like to wish you, our readers and advertisers, L'Shana Tova—a new year filled with good health and peace! Roberta Lando Brody Executive Editor
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Interviews with Jews in the News…
howard fineman and his Center of the World by iris samson You may recognize Howard Fineman from watching MSNBC, where he is a regular political commentator. Maybe you’ve seen him on NBC News. Perhaps you’ve read his columns and articles in Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, New Republic or on AOL’s Huffington Post. But maybe, just maybe, Howard Fineman seems especially familiar because you might have read his musings in The Jewish Chronicle. You see, Howard Fineman got his “professional” start writing the Teen Scene column in the Chronicle back in 1965. Yep, Howard is a Pittsburgh boy, born and bred. And he wears his black and gold with pride. Fineman is one of America’s finest journalists and political analysts. He began his professional career at the Louisville Courier-Journal after graduating from Colgate University and then pursuing his master’s at Columbia University’s prestigious school of journalism. He also received his law degree from the University of Louisville and Georgetown University. When The Courier-Journal sent Howard to the capital to work in the Washington Bureau in 1978, he found his home. He still lives in Washington with his wife of 28 years, Amy Nathan. They have two children, Meredith, 25, and Nicholas, 20. From there his impressive journalism career rose steadily. In 1980, he joined Newsweek Magazine, first as a writer, but he soon became chief political correspondent, then deputy Washington Bureau Chief and finally senior editor. Two years ago, he was lured away from the mag by his longtime friend, Arianna Huffington, who convinced Howard to work for the Huffington Post as a political columnist and editor. When AOL bought that out, he continued on—and is now the editorial director of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group. Fineman has had a web presence since 1998, writing for Newsweek.com and MSNBC.com and is a frequent guest on cable TV offering his sharp political insights on such programs as The Rachel Maddow Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Morning Joe, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. He’s had a contract with NBC News since 1998 and appears on network TV’s The Nightly News, The Today Show and Dateline. He’s been a regular on CNN, and before that was a mainstay on PBS’s Washington Week in Review. But he’s most frequently found on MSNBC, where he appears in prime time three to four times a week. Howard is remarkably charming on the phone. He might be one of the nation’s sharpest political analysts, but get him talking about Squirrel Hill, where he grew up, or his parents, Jean and the late Mort Fineman, and he becomes quite effusive. He was 6
born in Magee Hospital in 1948 and spent his entire childhood in Squirrel Hill. The family was active in Tree of Life Congregation, where both his parents taught Sunday School. Howard, or “Howie” as he’s known to those close to him, graduated from Taylor Allderdice in 1966 and frequently returns to the ‘Burgh to visit his mom, a retired teacher, who now lives at the Dithridge Towers in Oakland, and his many other relatives still here. You can read Howard’s book, “The 13 American Arguments,” in paperback now. The best-seller can be found in use at a “fair number of colleges and in advanced placement history classes” all over the U.S. And you can see him in person on October 18th, when he’ll be the University of Pittsburgh’s American Experience Distinguished Lecture speaker for the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy. JMag: So what are your Pittsburgh connections? HF: If you count my great-great-grandmother who was brought over here, I’m the fourth or fifth generation Pittsburgher. My whole childhood we lived in Squirrel Hill, mostly at the corner of Beacon and Wightman streets. I went to Colfax Elementary School and then Allderdice. JMag: Why did you become a journalist? HF: My parents were teachers, although my father also had a business. Both were voracious readers and we would always discuss politics at our dinner table. I sort of went straight from the dinner table on Beacon Street to MSNBC. I’m the odd character...at the age of 63, I’m doing exactly want I wanted to do at eight years old. JMag: Tell us about your writing career. How did it start? HF: I and a classmate of mine, Howard Gordon, who now lives in California -- jointly began writing a column for the old IKS (Irene Kaufmann Settlement, better known as the “Y”). It was called, “Here’s How.” I think that was in the 10th grade. I went to the big time from the IKS newsletter to The Jewish Chronicle, I think in my senior year. I was honored to be hired by Al Bloom to write the Teen Scene column. I think that was in 1965 when I was maybe a senior at Taylor Allderdice. JMag: Which do you prefer—appearing on TV or writing? HF: I love them both and they feed into each other. I’m reporting for everything. It’s the same on TV as it is in the Huffington Post. I write in a conversational style—I speak the way I write and write the way I speak. And it all goes back to the dining room table on Beacon Street.
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JMag: Who are your journalist and political pundit heroes? HF: Mort Fineman, my dad. He was the best read and most incisive thinker I’ve ever met. He’s number one. My mother’s number two. After that, people like George Orwell, Edmund Wilson, Woodward and Bernstein, people at the New York Times and many of my colleagues at the places I’ve worked, including my friend, Tim Russert, of course Chris Matthews, and Arianna Huffington, my friend of 17 years.
MOT Interviews with Jews in the News…
howard fineman and his Center of the World
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JMag: What’s the state of politics today? Are we less civil? HF: There are a number of angry arguments we have in American society that define who we are as a people. We’ll never settle the arguments, and we don’t want to because it keeps us free, creative, lets us grow as a society. But I’m starting to have doubts about the connective tissue; that sense of common humanity that we have is weakening for a host of reasons. If we don’t regard ourselves as one people with a common destiny, we’ll tear ourselves apart. The last time politics felt like this and Congress was as divided along partisan lines was the 20 years before and after the Civil War. I’m not saying they’ll be another Civil War, but somehow politics have divided us. I’m not sure the American people are as divided as the politics are. JMag: Why is this? HF: I think it’s the failure of the party system, the role of money in politics and even the role of the media. People are only congregating with other like-minded people. On the other hand, there are still reasons to be upbeat and hopeful. Most Americans would rather be in the American system than any other. People would rather be in our situation than anybody else’s. We’re not facing enemies —totalitarianism, communism—we’re facing our unwillingness to speak honestly as fellow Americans. JMag: Is there hope of repairing this? HF: The bad news is, we’re the problem. The good news is, we’re the problem. We can fix it. We have to get past the refusal to believe in the humanity of the people opposing us. It’s always been a strain in American life—it’s just become the dominant mode in politics now. JMag: The Pirates or the Nationals? HF: I’m a total Pittsburgh professional sports team fan. I’m a fanatical Steelers fan—I get the Steelers Digest every month and read it cover to cover, have the Steelers Insider app on my iPad, and follow the Pirates every day. I have MLB-TV on my iPad so I can watch them live. I’m also a huge Pens fan, and when I got to meet Mario Lemieux it was a dream come true.
JMag: Final thoughts about Pittsburgh? HF: I still love Pittsburgh. I still think of Pittsburgh as home and Squirrel Hill as my home in Pittsburgh, and Forbes and Murray as the center of the universe.
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The Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy and the University of Pittsburgh Honors College are proud to announce: The American Experience Distinguished Lecture Featuring Howard Fineman October 18, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. The University of Pittsburgh/O’Hara Student Center Seating is limited. To register, go to www.thornburghforum.pitt.edu
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Cool Beyond the Ice Rink
By Holly Holly Rudoy Rudoy By Photography by by Shelley Shelley Lipton Lipton Photography
n so many ways, Dylan Reese, 28, is like any other young Jewish man, making his family kvell since his Bar Mitzvah. He’s a loving and caring son, a loyal brother and a sweet grandson. Even better, since his 2007 graduation from Harvard University, he’s been gainfully employed. He applies his skills and his smarts everyday, but his office is an ice rink, his tools are a stick and skates, and his co-workers this year may just be Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Yes, this Jewish boy from suburban Pittsburgh is a member of the newest class of Pittsburgh Penguin hopefuls, signed as a defenseman to a two- way contract on July 1 to the team he idolized as a young boy. “As a young kid, I just remember looking up to Lemieux,” he shares. “I remember waking up in my parents’ bed when they beat the Northstars (for their first Stanley Cup in 1991). Those guys were heroes; that’s for sure.” Reese recalls meeting Lemieux a few times throughout the years and even sharing the ice with him during a practice session at the 10
Neville Island ice rink when Lemieux was making his comeback. “It’s crazy how this has come full circle. It’s awesome to be playing for him,” he acknowledges. Awesome indeed, and not just for Dylan. He has an entire built-in Pittsburgh fan base with parents Barry and Marcie of Upper St. Clair, brother Evan who lives in Boston but never misses a Pens game, grandmother Rita Reese of Squirrel Hill, grandparents Agnes and Richard Hornak of Irwin and Uncle Ralph Reese and Aunt Diane Samuels of the Northside. “The fact that I could drive 45 minutes to watch him play for the team I’ve always watched and that he idolized as a kid feels great,” Barry marvels. “He’s not here just because it’s Pittsburgh,” he allows, “ but that’s the cherry on top.” “It’s nice that my son is home,” Marcie adds warmly. Barry notes that it’s especially gratifying for Dylan’s grandparents as well. Rita Reese’s neighbors may have to get used to a little ruckus when it’s a hockey night in Pittsburgh because according to
roller skates and Rollerblades. Little did I know that I’d spend the rest of my life in ice rinks,” she laughs, admitting that she was more likely to be found at the refreshment stand rather than screaming at her son from the bleachers. By fifth grade, Reese was playing travel hockey for the Pittsburgh Hornets, a team that required the family to give up most of their weekends to play hockey in cities all over the U.S. and Canada. He played for the team through ninth grade, with the same coaches and most of the same kids. He also excelled in plenty of other sports—football, soccer, lacrosse, and baseball, but “hockey was the sport that I chose early—by eighth grade. It’s just a great sport—it’s a team game, an honest game and the camaraderie can’t be beat. The guys I played with, we’re best friends,” he explains. In his freshman year of high school, he played varsity hockey for Upper St. Clair, then moved into the Midget Major league as a 14-year-old playing with 18-year-olds. “My mom didn’t want me to; I wasn’t physically mature, but it was the jump I needed. I was playing against serious players who are in the NHL now.” By his junior year in high school, he joined the Pittsburgh Forge, a AAA team, where he had the luxury of playing a high level of hockey without having to move away from home. Most of the kids were from Pittsburgh; they were coached by former Pens Coach Kevin Constantine, and “it was important that I lived at home, went to Upper St. Clair and made best friends,” he says. Reese and his teammates went to school for six periods, then left at 11:50 am every day for the ice rink. “Early on, I gave up a lot and as I got older I struggled with missing a social life. I think I went to, like, one or two high school dances. But I played with the same guys and I’m still close to those guys.” Barry, “When Dylan plays (as he has for the New York Islanders the past three seasons) all her cronies call her and you’ve got ten older grandmas in front of the TV,” he laughs. Besides family, Reese can count on Upper St. Clair classmates, former teammates who are still some of his best friends and plenty of true Pittsburgh hockey fans who have been quietly following his career for a decade. The Making of a Hockey Player It’s a career that he seemed destined for, though it started innocently enough. Marcie explains that Dylan’s August 29th birthday put him right up against the kindergarten cutoff date. They decided to hold him back for a year of Kindergarten transition, a popular option for children with late summer birthdays. “We had time so I said, ’Let’s learn to ice skate.’ He took to that really well and then moved on to
A worthwhile tradeoff for Reese, who says that he realized when playing for the Forge that, “Division I college was definitely in reach for me.“ While he considered Boston College, Boston University, Yale, Dartmouth and Michigan, it was a letter from Harvard that made him forget the rest. “I liked Boston, and the opportunity to go to Harvard was a no-brainer,” he offers. It was a turning point for the entire family as well. Barry recalls that grandmother Rita had gently suggested at one point that the family was “misplacing our priorities with all of the travel hockey. Then we got a letter from Harvard and it changed her whole attitude,” he laughs. Rita, who hadn’t attended many hockey games up until that point, made trips to Harvard and since then, plenty of other cities, to see her grandson play. According to Barry, his 83-year-old mother even reads the sports page. Playing AAA hockey and going to a Division I school puts you on the NHL hockey scouts’ radar. So the very day in 2003 that young Dylan was preparing for his high school graduation, he and his family stayed close to the computer where they could keep an eye on the NHL draft proceedings. “I wasn’t naïve enough to think that I was highly talented,” he says, revealing a touch of the humility that propels his hard work. But by the time he headed to fa l l 2 0 1 2
Cool Beyond the Ice Rink
Clockwise; at left: Young Dylan having fun on the ice; celebrating his 1997 Bar Mitzvah with his family at Temple Emanuel; the family today, Dylan, Evan, Barry and Marcie. Right: In anticipation of training camp, Reese worked out with the team and on his own with long-time coach Barb Benedetti. Here he is at the Bethel Park Bladerunners.
the best players and being coached by the best.” In the spring of his senior year, he signed an amateur contract with the Hartford Wolfpack, commuting between Boston and Hartford every week until he graduated.
commencement ceremonies, the New York Rangers had chosen him in the seventh round of what is widely regarded as one of the most talented draft pools in recent NHL history. Twenty-seven of the 30 first-round picks play or have played in the NHL including Marc Andre Fleury. “It was an awesome day--- it was my high school graduation, and it was the first time I actually felt I had a chance to play in the NHL,” he says. The Not So Straight Path As a draft pick, the Rangers had rights to Reese until one year after his college graduation. In the land of hockey, unless you are a young phenom a la Sidney Crosby or Jordan Staal, then your best bet is to play in college. And for Dylan and his family, the Harvard degree in Economics was not to be missed. “I always thought, if he went to Harvard with this (hockey) then the payoff would be tremendous. All the rest is gravy,” Barry says with obvious pride and a bit of awe. Marcie agrees, “I thought the crowning glory was Harvard.” “Hockey opened the door to Harvard and I’m so happy I chose it,” Dylan explains. “It was an unbelievable experience. I was fine with getting B’s, having a social life and winning hockey games.” And win he did. During his four years on the team, Harvard won two conference championships and Reese served as team captain his senior year. Along the way, he was selected for the World Junior Team, the biggest honor for an amateur, though he had to miss the opportunity because of an injury. Among the players that year were Ovechkin, Malkin and Fleury. During the summers, Reese was gaining valuable experience in the Rangers developmental camps. “The Rangers are top notch—a great professional franchise,” he explains. “I was skating with some of 12
And thus began the hustle, the heartbreak and the serendipity behind many NHL careers. While he had hoped for a two-way NHL contract from the Rangers that summer, he instead got a minor league contract and an early release as a free agent. His huge break, the first of many, came when the San Antonio Rampage, an American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes, showed interest in Dylan. “I went to San Antonio to try out and I really had to play, really had to try,” he recalls. “The AHL is the toughest league in the world,” he says, explaining that they play an 80 game schedule with most all games scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday to develop a good fan base. He made it and he loved it. “I was getting paid, living with the guys in an apartment complex with a pool and hot tub, young, going out; it was a blast,“ he says. He also he met his girlfriend while living in San Antonio. “I played 50 out of 80 games and got better and better. They picked me up for another year and I had a good year. I really established myself. They treated me like a prospect even though I didn’t have an NHL contract.” Which is why it took him by surprise when the team did not re-sign him at the end of 2009. “I was kind of rattled,” he admits. “I’ve always worked for what I’ve gotten and I really felt I was getting the short end of the stick.” But dad, Barry, who is clearly his son’s number one mentor and fan, had taught him to be ready for the next move. “I always told Dylan, be ready, be in shape. You can’t predict when you’re going to get your luck or get your break, so when it does come, you have to take advantage. You have to be ready to be your best because you’re not going to have lots of opportunities.” Sage advice for Dylan whose luck was about to turn once again. His next move brought him to the Syracuse Crunch, an AHL affiliate
of the NHL’s Columbus Bluejackets, where he was offered a twoway NHL contract. He played 50 games that year in Syracuse, but had a tough year, “because there were lots of extra defensemen so I was getting scratched a lot,” he says. “But you need a break sometimes and I got it.” It was two days before the NHL 2010 trade deadline when he was called to the New York Islanders AHL team in Bridgeport, Connecticut. “I was at the grocery store and got a call at 4 pm and drove straight to Bridgeport, Connecticut.” He played “really well” the next night, scoring a goal and an assist, and through a series of events that can only happen in the world of professional sports, the next break came within 24 hours. Again, Dylan was ready. The Islanders had traded one of their defenseman, a second defenseman had broken his foot and their best defenseman had broken his finger. “I went to practice and then back to the hotel. I didn’t want to get my hopes up but the organization was really beat up,” he says. It was the moment his dad had prepared him for. “I got a call that I was getting called up to the Islanders and had to meet the team the next day in Atlanta for a game. They said, ‘Listen, we don’t know a thing about you.’ Luckily, I played a good game that first night,” he laughs.
Marcie recalls, ”When Dylan called and said, ‘Guess what, they called me up,’ Barry and I were holding on to each other jumping up and down!” They of course, drove straight to Atlanta. Reese continued for the rest of that season and then spent the next two years in the Islanders organization. Marcie and Barry laugh as they recall one of their first games in the Islanders Nassau Coliseum. They may have been watching a little more intensely and inexplicably enjoying the game a little more than the fans around them. Finally, Marcie relented and announced, ”I’m sorry, that’s my son!” “By the end of the game I was buying popcorn for everyone in the row. I wanted to make sure they were my friends,” she laughs. Barry estimates that they got to about ten games last year, but says he “never missed a game on the NHL Network—I’m like any other father.” Well, maybe just a tad different. “Years ago, my biggest hope was that I would be sitting in an NHL arena and overhear someone saying, ‘That Reese kid really stinks.’ I’d love to hear that—then I’d know he’d made it,” he chuckles, adding that he always told Dylan that if he did make it to the NHL, then his first game would be for Barry but all the rest would be Dylan’s. fa l l 2 0 1 2
Cool Beyond the Ice Rink
Clockwise The work pays off with his firstDylan NHL goal; Reese As a New York Islander battling Sidney Crosby for the puck; Celebrating a championship win with his Harvard teammates, Reese is #2.
Speaking of making it, Barry is quick to note that “Dylan doesn’t think he’s better than anyone else. Only I think that—his mom keeps him in line.” Joking aside, Marcie credits Barry for much of Dylan’s tough work ethic and success. And it’s not just because of the sub zero nights Barry spent outside hosing over a basketball court hoping to turn it into an ice rink. That, Barry did for himself; “to watch my kid play,” he reminisces. “My husband is a prime influence on Dylan doing well. He always said, ‘Come on Dylan, don’t give up’. “ According to Marcie and other parents from Dylan’s youth hockey days, Barry was the dad in the stands with a mantra: “Play with passion!” Marcie recalls a letter Barry wrote to Dylan in college, “to let him know how proud he was, but more importantly, he told him that he didn’t want it all to go to his head. He told him it’s nice to be a good hockey player, but it’s better to be a mensch.” And now it’s Barry who really gets a kick out of a young kid asking for Dylan’s autographed card or picture or jersey. “For me, it’s incredible flattery. I think (my son) being asked for an autograph is a reward for all your hard work,” he exclaims. (Note to autographseekers!) Marcie allows that she played a role as well, though as the only
female in the house, she didn’t really have a choice! For example, she is certain that her high blood pressure comes from years of tugging and tying the skate laces of her two sons. She once looked out of her kitchen window only to witness her sons and their friends playing roller hockey in her backyard with a puck that was literally on fire. And she backed a brand new minivan, hatch up and ready to pack with hockey gear, into an open garage door as she yelled for a young Dylan to find his skate guards and get moving! But as the entire Reese family will happily and humbly tell you, it’s been worth every second. Every drive through blinding snow to hockey games, every missed school dance and every uncertainty about where Dylan will play his next game. “I was lucky my parents gave me the opportunity,” Dylan acknowledges. After spending the summer in Los Angeles, where he does his training, Reese is back and ready to perform for the Pens.
Reese and the Pens At the end of last season, Reese says he expected to stay with the Islanders organization. They made him an offer, but also understood that he wanted to “test the market.” After some in-depth conversations with Penguins General Manager Ray Shero and Assistant General Manager Jason Botterill, Reese says he weighed his options and that the team seemed like a great fit. They signed him on July 1, 2012, to a oneyear contract that he would obviously love to turn into a long career. At 28 years old, he is just about middleaged for a professional hockey player, but Reese has proven that he’s in it for the long 14
haul. Besides, he’s not looking to trade hockey for a 9-5 job anytime soon. Dad Barry points out that most of Dylan’s former Harvard teammates encourage him to stay in the league as long as possible, as most of them have resorted to more pedestrian pursuits at this point. And right now for Reese, there is no Plan B. “Honestly I have no idea what I’m going to do when I’m finished,” says Reese. “A while ago I would have told you that I’d move to New York and work in finance like most of my college buddies; however, I don’t think I’m cut out for those 100 hours
weeks anymore!” Here’s hoping that Reese won’t have to worry about the “real world” anytime soon.
Height: 6’1” Weight: 201 lbs. NHL games played: 74 NHL Goals: 3 NHL Assists: 14 NHL Points: 17
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Cool Beyond the Ice Rink
“I’m really excited to play for a winner. I’ve never played for a playoff team where the expectation is to win every night, but I’m looking forward to contributing to a team that’s going to go places. I’m happy to turn this year into a full career,” he states. Says Barry, “One of my favorite memories is when Dylan was about 6 years old. I would play the Penguins theme song and announce, ‘From the Pittsburgh Penguins, Number whatever, Dylaaaaannn Reeeeeese.’ And we’d open the door from the basement to the garage and Dylan would come out and fly around on his rollerblades. He would fly out that door and around that garage pole—it was seriously so funny.” And now that that scenario could very well play out at the Consol Center? “Honestly, we didn’t anticipate it,” Barry says. “It is a wild ride.” Mind if we come along? Note: As we went to press, the NHL lockout forced the Penguins to send all of their two-way contract players to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre.
Sports Dreams Can Come True! Dylan Reese isn’t the only Jewish athlete to realize a lifelong dream this summer. Take eighteen-year-old Aly Raisman of Needham, Massachusetts, the Captain of the US Women’s Gymnastics Team, who showed the world just how tough a little—emphasis on little—Jewish girl can be when she took two Gold Medals at this summer’s Olympic Games in London—one for floor and one for the team, as well as a Bronze Medal for the beam. Viewers around the globe were treated to the medal-winning floor routine made all the more powerful by Raisman’s music selection—a rousing version (is there really any other?) of Hava Nagila. Lending strength and energy to the routine, the song also may have served as Raisman’s own acknowledgement of the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre. Now, just a few months later, Raisman boasts nearly half a million Twitter followers. She’s been a VIP everywhere from talk shows to New York Fashion Week and is in the middle of the 30-city Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions, headed to Pittsburgh on November 16. Even her parents, Lynn Faber and Rick Raisman, became favorites of the NBC cameras as they literally rose out of and fell into their seats with Aly’s every leap, twist and flip. And then there’s Pittsburgher Teddi Jacobson, 41, Manager for Corporate Development at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, who was in London to witness it all. As Accommodations Assistant Manager for NBC Olympics, Jacobson was responsible for one of NBC’s two Logistics Offices, working to ensure that housing, transportation, catering, accreditation, etc. “runs smoothly so they (the NBC staff) can do their job flawlessly,” she explains. It wasn’t her first stint with NBC Olympics. She had managed accommodations and Logistics Offices for both the Athens Summer Olympics in 2004 and the Torino Winter Olympics in 2006. 16
Jacobson says that she told a college career counselor in 1992 that she wanted to be part of the Olympics. “I had no idea how or what that meant at the time. I knew I wasn’t going to be an athlete unless Powder Puff Football became an Olympic sport, but I still had hopes to be involved in some way,” she explains. She seized the opportunity to do so during the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, walking around Centennial Park with a sign reading. “I need a job in sports marketing.” She did get two contacts, and one of those contacts gave her a list of other contacts. “After the Games, I called every person, told them my story and asked for an informational interview. I ended up starting as an intern in the Special Events department at the National Hockey League. From there I worked my way up and then, several years Aly Raisman with Olympic Gold later, followed my boss to NBC Medal, Teddi Jacobson"playing" on the NBC set. Olympics,” she explains. Jacobson shared the exhilaration we all did watching the 37 Israeli athletes walk proudly behind the Israeli flag, but says that she believes the IOC and the London Organizing Committee should have done something more public than a moment of silence in the Athlete’s Village to honor the memory of the Munich massacre victims. “But,” she adds “I always love being part of the Olympics and helping, even if in a very small way, to bring the Games and the Olympic spirit to others.”
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. -Mae West
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“Incredible India” & Its Jewish Community
h, the “glamour of the mysterious East.”
I travel the world. So when someone mentions Asia, I conjure up mystical India, the “jewel in the crown.” Falling in love with “Incredible India,” is not difficult, even though the country often bewilders the visitor. Hard to believe that India stretches from the tropics right up to the temperate regions, from near the equator to the base of the Himalayas; a vast continent, indeed. “India is history,” wrote the late Jawaharlal Nehru, leader for Indian independence from Britain and the country’s first prime minister, adding she “has a long memory.” Indeed, the Jewish people have remained part of that memory. For more than 2,000 years, pluralist India has been a peaceful home to Jews and has played a significant role in Jewish consciousness. Throughout the ages and on into in the 21st century, the largest number of Jews of any country east of Iran resided in India. The Talmud contains several references to India. Saadia Gaon himself mentions great profit to be had in the India trade. During the 12th century, Jewish travelers visited India. Benjamin of Tudela left Author, Ben Frank, and extensive descriptions of the Jews of southwest India. his wife, in front of the Maimonides wrote that his mishne torah was studied Taj Mahal. there. Inside the historic Paradesi synagogue, Kochi, India.
Still, the early history of the Jews in India remains shrouded in legend. The traditional belief is that
By Ben G. Frank
refugees left Israel by boat and ultimately reached the Konkan coast, even before the time of King Solomon, whose ships plied the waters between the Gulf of Aqaba and the west coast of India. Like all tourists, American Jewish visitors usually begin their sojourn in Delhi, the capital. They, too, embrace the “golden triangle” of India tourism: Delhi; Agra, site of the world marvel, the Taj Mahal, as well as the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri with its evanescent red sandstone city that has been cited as among “the most evocative ruins in India.” Then, they head to Jaipur, home to the Amber Fort, which is best reached by riding an elephant up the steep road. As I toured India---the birthplace of three great faiths: Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism --- I could not help but see and sense the tumult, the hustle, the poverty and inequality that exists in wide segments of the population. Yet, progress moves forward today even in the face of the ancient Hindu caste system. Now at least, discrimination on the basis of caste remains illegal. Arriving in Delhi, one of the world’s most historic cities, I quickly sought out my people and learned that there are three distinct groups: The Bene Israel trace their roots in India back to the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BC; today they are the largest group of Indian Jews and most reside in Mumbai. The Cochin Jews, another ancient community, living in Kochi is another group, followed by the Baghdadi Jews who descended from 19th century emigrants from Iraq and other Arab lands. fa l l 2 0 1 2
Magen Hassidim synagogue in Mumbai, India. In the Sunday School of the JCC, Mumbai, India.
“Israel is in my heart; India in my blood” says Attorney Ezekiel Isaac Malekar, of the Judah Hyam Synagogue, opposite the Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi. Single-handedly, he keeps the ten-family Jewish community alive and is often joined by approximately 100 Jewish diplomats in this capital. “There is no rabbi, no chazzan, no shoichet, and usually no minyan,” he declares, but always services at 6:30 pm. Friday, in winter; 7 pm. in summer, and Saturday mornings at 9 a.m.—if there is a minyan. Chabad House is located in the General Market in Paharanj. The sign says, “Welcome to The Chabad of India—We are your Jewish Home away from Home.” An old adage states that “as long as Bombay exists, there will be Jews in town. “In enormous, diverse, mystic Mumbai, the nation’s transportation hub, the business capital, the economic powerhouse, stands the heart of an active Jewish community. Most Indian Jews reside in Greater Mumbai with its 20.5 million people. Nine Sephardic, Orthodox synagogues function, with only two rabbis.
Ben G. Frank, journalist, travel writer, is the author of the just-published, “The Scattered Tribe: Traveling the Diaspora from Cuba to India to Tahiti & Beyond,” Globe Pequot Press; as well as “A Travel Guide to Jewish Europe, 3rd edition”;”A Travel Guide to Jewish Russia and Ukraine,” and “A Travel Guide to the Jewish Caribbean and South America, Pelican Publishing Company. Blog: bengfrank.blogspot. com, twitter:@BenGFrank 20
The Evelyn Peters JCC is located at D.G. Ruparel College, in Matunga. The JCC, with its meeting rooms, computer facility, library, a large hall and offices, is sponsored and aided by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. A Reform Movement of Judaism congregation meets here. The Jewish population has remained stable at about 5,000 persons. Because India, with its 1.3 billion persons, has become
one of the world’s largest economies, now 6.9 percent growth, Jews are staying put, despite the Mumbai terrorist attack at Chabad House. As a business mogul on Delhi television declared, “never has there been a better time to have been born in India.” Many young Jews work in call centers; that activity hurts Jewish communal life. “It’s hard to get the young people to activities if they sleep during the day and work at night,” said a synagogue leader. As I flew to Kochi, (Cochin) in Kerala, I recalled that India is seen as a country without anti-Semitism. As Professor Nathan Katz wrote: “The Indian chapter [in Jewish history] remains one of the happiest of the Jewish diaspora.” Cochin Jews are best known to the outside world, though only about a dozen reside here. The outstanding Jewish site remains the whitewashed, rectangular Paradesi Synagogue, part of the “Living Legend of India.” Well-worth a visit. In Kochi, “the Queen of the Arabian Sea,” and the epitome of long-ago India, small, kiosk-type shops dot Synagogue Lane in “Jew Town, “ located in the Mattancherry district. Tourists can spot the Jewish star on the lattice of many homes, and some even have Jewish names inscribed on them. Tourists can obtain postage stamps with the Star of David at the post office. India—with all of its infinite charm, long history, mixed culture, vast plains, huge mountains, mighty rivers and great forests— awaits you. As has been said, “whatever happens, India will go on,” and so likely will its Jewish community.
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Judith R. Robinson
poets in our midst By Marsha S. Morgenstern Photography by Shelley Lipton
ittsburgh has a vibrant poetry scene in both academic and non-academic settings, with both communities interacting harmoniously and supporting one another. Playing a role in these communities are the Jewish poets of Pittsburgh. For some of these poets, Judaism is an important part of both the writing process and the topics of their poetry. For others, Judaism influences their writing in a more subtle way. Whether these poets have lived in Pittsburgh all their lives or are transplants, they tend to agree: the Pittsburgh poetry community is as unique as our city. We feature four of them here. Joy Katz Joy Katz first came to Pittsburgh in the late 1990s. She had always been interested in poetry, but never pursued it until participating in a writing workshop at Carlow University, called “Madwomen in the Attic.” Today, Katz teaches that workshop, which she describes as the best combination of challenge and support. “Nobody ever left that workshop feeling like they were too depressed by their failure to figure out another way to do it,” she says. Katz describes her poems as easy to read with a writing style that varies. Her process of writing a poem is the process of discovery and figuring out how to ask a question, which she considers “classically Jewish,” referring to the tradition of midrash: interpreting and questioning the texts and passages of the Torah or Talmud. “Some of my poems, especially in my first book, are in the tradition of the midrash. For example, I have a poem about how Adam and Eve have OCD, and I feel like that is a kind of midrash on the creation story and the fall from grace,” Katz says. Katz finds that her writing is often inspired by things that trouble her. Another source of inspiration is her relationship with her five year-old son, Chance, whom she adopted from Vietnam when he was just three months-old. Before the adoption, Katz thought “you adopt a child and he instantly becomes everything you are.” She has realized that it is more wonderful and complicated than that. “You become a part of who he is and he becomes a part of who you are. You become something else all together,” she says. David Adès David Adès and his family moved to Pittsburgh from Adelaide, Australia, in April 2011. He says it has been a galvanizing and stimulating experience to live in a place with such elaborate poetry communities. “The number of poets here, people writing here, people publishing here… the 22
To enjoy the creativity of Judith, David, Joy & philip see the links below David Adès http://sawriters.org.au/our-authors/18-general/419-david-ades Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Web Resources for Poetry www. carnegielibrary.org/research/literature/poetry/websites.cfm City of Asylum/Pittsburgh – A nonprofit organization that supports writers-in-exile and holds free community-based literary programs. http:// cityofasylumpittsburgh.org 412-321-2190 Good Poems – Judith R. Robinson’s blog on Jewish Poetry in Pittsburgh http:// thejewishchronicle.net/blog/10064277/GoodPoems Joy Katz http://joykatz.com firstname.lastname@example.org Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange - A community resource for poets in Pittsburgh http://pghpoetryexchange.pghfree.net 412-481-7636 Judith R. Robinson http://www.pw.org/content/judith_r_robinson Philip Terman http://www.clarion.edu/64230/
number of poetry courses at the universities, the number of poetry academics, the number of literary magazines…it is extraordinary,” Adès says. Adès has also had a positive experience with Pittsburgh’s Jewish community. “We lived in a Jewish community of about 1,500 people in Australia. To come to a community that is robust in so many ways, not just religious, has been wonderful for us,” Adès says. Although Adès is both Jewish and a poet, he does not necessarily view himself as a “Jewish poet.” He concedes, however, that it is possible for Jewish values to sneak into his writing on a subconscious level. “I’d like to think the influence is more in terms of my sensibility and who I am and my take on the world, which is very much part of my poetry, but might not be recognizably Jewish,” he says. One of Adès’ poems, for example, refers to a seder; however, it is just a reference and the poem itself is about other things. Adès has, on the other hand, written several poems about his experience living in Israel for a year at age 17. “In that sense, there have been some overt references to Israel and being Jewish,” Adès says. Adès’ poetry can be described as contemporary and generally not formal. “I love to play with language. There is a sense of the lyrical in my poetry,” he says. Adès’ book, titled “Mapping the World,” is available at the Carnegie Library. He is working on a second book and will be participating in a reading at Carnegie Library in February 2013. Philip Terman Philip Terman grew up in a Conservative home with his family keeping kosher and observing Shabbat and holidays. He says these experiences have provided material for his poetry. Terman is also inspired by listening to Bob Dylan and other singer/ songwriters. “I think the combination of the sacredness of Judaism
with the language and overlay of contemporary music and rhythms has combined in some ways,” Terman says. According to Terman, the Pittsburgh poetry scene has flourished since he first started teaching English for Clarion University. Formerly a resident of Squirrel Hill, Terman now lives in Grove City, but remains active in the Pittsburgh poetry community. He is also co-director of the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival. “Jews have been writing for thousands of years, so I’ve kind of been born into it,” he says. Terman describes his poetry as celebrating life at times and other times, he is writing against certain aspects of Judaism from an insider’s perspective. “In my last book, ‘The Torah Garden,’ there is a pitting of the Torah against the sort of Pagan love of nature,” he says. Terman lives out in the county so in his poetry there is a sense of his connection with the natural world, the rhythms of gardening, and living with the earth, which he says conflicts with Orthodox Judaism. “I’m also interested in Hassidic Judaism of the nineteenth century. The Martin Buber sense of celebrating, dancing, and a zest for life combined with the natural world,” Terman explains. Terman says both the cultural and sacred aspects of Judaism have played a role in his life, which filters through to his poetry. “My mother was an ‘observes the Sabbath’ kind of Jew; my father was more of a ‘delicatessen Jew.’ So, mix the cultural with the sacred, and you get a nice tension there,” he says. Judith R. Robinson Judith R. Robinson has lived in Pittsburgh all her life and has been writing poetry almost just as long. “Who you are permeates what you write and in my case, I think of myself as a Jewish American,” Robinson says. She currently teaches at Carnegie Mellon University and blogs about the Jewish Pittsburgh poetry scene for The Jewish Chronicle. fa l l 2 0 1 2
poets in our midst In the last 10 or 12 years, writing about the Holocaust has become a major theme in Robinson’s poetry, although it was not an easy subject to tackle at first. “It was such a horrible series of events, such a terrible upheaval in the history of our people. For a long time in the aftermath, there was all this silence because it was hard to begin to recover enough to talk, let alone to write,” she says. Robinson was born at the end of World War II, but still close enough to the generation of people that experienced it firsthand. “There are some subjects that you think ‘How can I possibly tackle this? What can I contribute that hasn’t be said and how can I have the courage and confidence to even try to write about this?” Robinson has recently signed a contract with Finishing Line press to publish a new book, titled “The Blue Heart,” slated to come out in February 2013. In addition to having a strong sense of Jewishness, Pittsburgh also has its place in her background. “I am familiar enough with other poetry communities to be able to say ours is a unique one—unique in a lot of the ways that Pittsburgh is unique. There is a higher degree of civility in this city than there is in a lot of other places, and I think that really permeates the poetry community too,” she says.
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Jewish Family & Children’s Service
Celebrating 75 Years of Helping Our Community
ince its inception in 1937, JF&CS has been the safety net for individuals and families in the Greater Pittsburgh community. The organization’s focus has been to offer support through difficult life transitions and times of personal crisis, offering programs and services for every age and stage of life. JF&CS remains steadfast in its mission to improve the quality of life for children, families and adults of all ages by providing psychological, employment and social services to the entire community. Some of their numerous programs and services include: • Squirrel Hill Community Food Bank (SHCFP)—serves individuals and families in the 15217 Zip code who qualify for food assistance.
1. Jonathan Rosenson, JF&CS board member and Central Scholarship & Loan Referral Service committee chair with scholarship recipient Max Reisman. 2. Dawn Zuckerman, refugee employment specialist and program coordinator at JF&CS, helps a client fill out job applications and paperwork. 3. JF&CS sign at 5743 Bartlett Street. 4. Aryeh Sherman, JF&CS president & CEO; Linda Ehrenreich, JF&CS COO, David Katz of J'Burgh; Louis Plung, board chair, Jewish Federation; Jeff Finkelstein, President/CEO, Jewish Federation.
Lifecycles and Laughtracks will be an exciting night of food, friends and entertainment, featuring five-time Emmy Awardwinner Alan Zweibel, renowned writer of Curb Your Enthusiasm and the original Saturday Night Live. Event chairs are Carolyn and Marc Mendelson and honorary chairs are Barbara and Herb Shear. For more information about the gala, contact Laurie Gottlieb firstname.lastname@example.org or call 412-422-7200. To learn more about 1JF&CS, to jfcspgh.org. SqHill-Ad9-10_Layout 9/10/12go9:09 PM Page 1
• Career Development Center (CDC)—provides a wide range of services to those who are considering a career/job change, as well as job seekers with unique challenges, such as mature workers, legal immigrants, professionals with mental illness and at-risk youth. • Elder Care Services—help older adults, their families and caregivers manage the special challenges of aging. JF&CS is a collaborative partner in AgeWell Pittsburgh, that enables them —along with the Jewish Community Center (JCC) and the Jewish Association on Aging (JAA) to deliver a full continuum of services to our community’s older adults. • Community-based special needs programs—help children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities maximize their quality of life through information and referral, counseling and support, advocacy and community outreach programming to promote awareness and inclusiveness. • Comprehensive psychological services—the Squirrel Hill Psychological Services provide crisis counseling, staff development and consultation to community organizations. The depth and breadth of JF&CS is evident in the many lives it has touched in its 75 years. To honor this milestone, JF&CS is hosting a gala, Lifecycles and Laughtracks, Saturday, November 17th at Stage AE, to celebrate its years of service and to raise money for the many vital services it continues to provide. “This event is designed to draw attention to our 75 years of support for the Jewish community,” said Aryeh Sherman, president & CEO, “and to continue to help those who have no where else to turn to get through life’s difficult transitions.”
Saturday, November 17, 2012 STAGE AE
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Lifecycles & Laughtracks A Gala to Celebrate 75 Years of Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh with five-time Emmy Award Alan Zweibel, renowned writer of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and the original “Saturday Night Live.” Chairs: Carolyn and Marc Mendelson Honorary Chairs: Barbara and Herb Shear To purchase tickets, or for more information on JF&CS and the event, including entertainment, sponsorships or advertising, please visit www.lifecyclesandlaughtracks.org. Lead Sponsors:
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A Day in... lawrenceville By Erin Lewenauer Photography by Ilana Yergin
n the Allegheny riverfront, northeast of downtown Pittsburgh, lies one of the city’s largest, hippest neighborhoods: Lawrenceville. Among its many unique characteristics, the area feels distinctly urban, yet it has affordable housing, drawing an eclectic group of residents. A mere stone’s throw from Polish Hill, Bloomfield, the Strip District and Stanton Heights, Lawrenceville remains a place where Pittsburghers from all corners cross paths amidst the immense revitalization. Founded in 1814 by William Foster, father of composer Stephen Foster, Lawrenceville is named after Captain James Lawrence, hero of the War of 1812, whose memorable dying words were “Don’t give up the ship!” Not surprisingly, much of that optimistic, fighting spirit has always been found in this pocket of Pittsburgh. Transformed from industrial center to mini metropolis, Lawrenceville’s dynamism is something to see for yourself—and to behold. If you begin your day with ambition, deciding to walk Butler Street west to east, first visit Blackbird Artist Studios, a visual arts center where you can view artists at work and purchase their handicrafts. Then swing by Pavement, a snazzy shoe boutique with international and American footwear lines. Divertido offers a lovely mix of jewelry, handcrafts, housewares, papers, cards, toys, books, original art and photography. If you need a haircut or some great products and outfits to accompany your new shoes, stop in to the progressive Pageboy Salon & Boutique, which “brings together style for your hair, wardrobe and
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A Day in... lawrenceville
household all in one place.” And if your house needs a makeover as well, close by is O’Bannon Oriental Carpets, full of the finest handwoven, naturally-dyed, traditional, tribal and modern carpets. When it’s time for lunch, you will be near Piccolo Forno, an intimate restaurant which boasts Tuscan cuisine: wood-fired pizzas, pasta dishes, homemade desserts and gelato. Or, there’s Coca Café, which features a lighter fare, smoothies, fancy coffees and outdoor seating. Continuing east on Butler Street, you won’t want to miss Elements— Fashion & Furnishings from the Past & Present. Their vintage and retro clothing accessories, gallery of local artists’ work, handmade soaps and soy candles will be sure to inspire. Next is Iron Eden, which sells unique, hand-wrought ornamental ironwork for your home, garden and workspace. Haven’t had enough art? EveryOne an Artist Gallery showcases the work of artists with disabilities in Western PA and the Crystal Bead Bazaar is saturated with, of course, beads, and treasures from around the globe as well as handmade and custom jewelry. Wrap up your shopping at Jay Designs Soaps & Gifts, luxury handcrafted soap products with more than 150 different items and added specialties during the holidays. As you backtrack to your car with multiple shopping bags, you can find comfort and caffeine at Crazy Mocha, a branch of the locally owned coffeehouse, or sustenance at River Moon Café, a contemporary space with classic cuisine influenced by Asia, Mexico and the Mediterranean. And whatever you do, don’t forget La Gourmandine, the ever-alluring French bakery, “a true taste of France in the heart of Pittsburgh,” that will send you rolling happily back to your car. Or you can let the evening whisk you away with cocktails and dinner at one of Lawrenceville’s countless restaurants and bars. Pusadee’s Garden offers authentic Thai cuisine in their romantic herb garden (weather permitting). Remedy has everything you could want out of a lazy afternoon from cocktails to beer to pierogies to Vegan Sloppy Joes. Tamari, the hip spot on Butler Street, features a unique blend of Asian Latin Fusion. A hot new eatery, Cure, is a self-described local urban Mediterranean restaurant that is garnering national attention. One thing is for sure…you’ll find that all tastes and all walks of life converge in diverse Lawrenceville, and if you’re lucky, you may even discover something that you didn’t know you were looking for there.
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Lawrenceville Directory: Blackbird Artist Studios 3583 Butler St.
Crazy Mocha 4032 Butler St. 412.687.1445
Pavement 3629 Butler St. 412.621.6400
River Moon Café 108 43rd St. 412.683.4004
Divertido 3701 Butler St. 412.687.3701
La Gourmandine 4605 Butler St. 412.682.2210
Pageboy Salon & Boutique 3613 Butler St. 412.224.2294
Pusadee’s Garden 5321 Butler St. 412.781.8724
O’Bannon Oriental Carpets 3803 Butler St. 412.621.0700 Piccolo Forno 3801 Butler St. 412.622.0111
USHMM, Courtesy of John Loaring
Coca Café 3811 Butler St. 412.621.3171 Elements 5171 Butler St. 412.408.3907
This exhibition is Co-Chaired by: Franco Harris and Dan & Barbara Shapira
Iron Eden 4071 Liberty Ave. 412.621.1698 EveryOne An Artist Gallery 4128 Butler St. 412.621.2951 Crystal Bead Bazaar 4521 Butler St. 412.687.1513 Jay Design Soaps & Gifts 4603 Butler St. 412.683.1184
For your convenience, you may make a donation over our web page: www.jewishassistancefund.org Or, send a check to the address below
Helping others is a Mitzvah…Donate Today! 30
Remedy 5121 Butler St. 412.781.6771 Tamari 3519 Butler St. 412.325.3435 Cure 5336 Butler St. 412.252.2595
il burloni 2101 Greentree Road Scott Towne Center Scott Township 412-278-1880 • www.ilburloni.com Open Tuesday - Thursday: 4:00pm-9:30pm • Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm-10:30pm Sunday: 4:00pm-9:00pm • Closed Monday • BYOB • Reservations Suggested Say you saw it in J -- and receive one complimentary Zucchini Appetizer per table -- from October 10-24. Photography by Shelley Lipton
ucked into a basic strip center up a steep driveway from Greentree Road, is Il Burloni, a gem of an Italian restaurant that is a dream come true for its owners.
Corinne Fortunato and her daughter, Danielle, are the proprietors of this quaint eatery, greeting guests and overseeing the kitchen that turns out fresh homemade dishes that are sure to delight. Now in its third year, reservations are a must to guarantee a seat in the small Tuscan-inspired dining room. Don’t forget to BYOB! Il Burloni kindly shared their recipe for Arancini Balls with J Magazine.
(Mozzarella Stuffed Risotto Balls)
2 Tbsp. olive oil 1 small onion diced 1 cup Arborio rice 3 cups vegetable stock 4 large eggs ½ lb. mozzarella cheese cut into ½” cubes 1 Tbsp. kosher salt 2 Tsp. fresh basil 1 ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs Vegetable oil (for frying) 2 cups marinara sauce Shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish Chopped parsley for garnish Preparation: Heat oil in medium—sized pot. Add rice & onion. Add stock ½ cup at a time until absorbed. Stir in basil and salt & pepper. Set aside to cool. When cooled, form golf ball sized balls, press thumb in to form a cavity, add mozzarella and pack more rice around tightly. Coat rice balls in flour, egg, and then bread crumbs. Fry in 375 degree oil until golden brown & cheese is melted. Sprinkle parmesan & parsley on top. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce. Enjoy! Owner, Corinne Fortunato and daughter, Danielle
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A MISSION FOR THE AGES
The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Centennial Mega Mission to Israel Builds Communities and Relationships
By Erin Lewenauer
o celebrate its Centennial, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh organized a Mega Mission to Israel this summer, from June 19th through June 28th. This was the largest group of Pittsburghers ever to travel to Israel on a Federation mission. Mission co-chairs, Meryl and David Ainsman, Jennifer and Alan Friedman, Laurie and Geoffrey Gerber, Elaine and Carl Krasik, Stanley Ruskin, and Judy and Rocky Wein, painstakingly planned every detail with Federation staff to ensure a memorable journey for the 290 participants. “A mission of such enormity—both in size and programmatic opportunities—is not something you undertake every year, or even every decade,” says Jeff Finkelstein, president and CEO of the Federation. “But our Centennial year deserved nothing less. There can be no better way to celebrate 100 years of community and Jewish connectedness than taking a large group from our own community to Israel—to experience Jewish peoplehood in all its glory.” The Federation innovatively planned for participants to customize their own itineraries with multiple tracks offered; there was something for everyone. Clockwise from top: Geoff and Laurie Gerber and the Mission’s b’nai mitzvah participants lead a moving service at Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to victims of the Holocaust. Susan Berman poses with an Israeli soldier—or as an Israeli soldier—during the Mission’s visit to an IDF base, where mission-goers expressed appreciation for the soldiers’ service to Israel. Proud to have made it down the snake path at Masada are, from left, Cindy Goodman-Leib, Scott Leib, Jen Poller and Laurie Moser. First-time vistior Warren Pete catches up on the news while floating in the Dead Sea. Jewish Federation chair Lou Plung addresses some 290 Mission participants, as well as Israeli friends from Karmiel and Misgav, Pittsburgh’s sister communities in the Partnership2Gether program. 32
“Our Centennial Mega Mission was, essentially, several missions all rolled into one— with an active, outdoor track for families with young children, a track for first-timers that included all the must-see sites and a track for veteran Israel travelers that enabled them to build their own itineraries,” says Finkelstein. “Then we all joined together for incredible Mega Events where our sheer numbers lent an air of excitement to each celebration.” “There was an opportunity for everyone to explore his or her own interests, whether it was doing yoga on a windy hillside in the Galilee, participating in an archeological dig, or tasting wine in Tel Aviv,” says Meryl Ainsman, Mega Mission co-chair. “The Mega Events, held each night, were always a joyous celebration. Imagine feeding and entertaining over 300 people every night for eight nights! These events helped to solidify the camaraderie and feeling of community.” Among the other Mega Events were dancing with Israeli soldiers on an IDF base and descending Masada together with light-sticks at night. In addition, this mission was able to showcase programs and services made possible by the Federation in Israel through local funding.
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A MISSION FOR THE AGES
Enthusiastic first-time participants, Warren and Donna Pete, both 68, have lived in Pittsburgh for 19 years and consider themselves to be traditional Jews. In December, they saw an ad for the Mega Mission in J Magazine, which got their attention. They attempted a trip 25 years ago, but had to cancel as a result of the violence and had never rescheduled. They jumped on this opportunity to go, and asked two couples to join them, one from Pittsburgh and one from Philadelphia. “As a Jew it’s the only place in the world you can go where 75 percent of the people are Jews,” says Warren. “And when you meet another Jew, there’s an immediate Jewish geography. It’s a good-feel connection.” Warren especially enjoyed the educational elements and serious atmosphere of Israel, in addition to the landscape. “The view from Masada moves a person’s mind,” he says. “The trip was so well organized and the accommodations were great,” Warren continues. “And I learned more about the Federation. I never knew how much good work they do in the local community and in Israel. It inspired me to make more of an effort to give to the community and the Federation.”
Clockwise from top: Upon arriving in Israel’s north, Mission cochairs led participants in a Shehecheyanu prayer, giving thanks for coming to this special point in time. At front, from left, are Stanley Ruskin, Carl and Elaine Krasik, David and Meryl Ainsman and Jennifer and Alan Friedman. In back are Judy and Rocky Wein and Laurie and Geoff Gerber. Mission-goers who chose a culinary track as part of their itinerary shop in an Israeli open market. Warren Pete of Pittsburgh poses with Israeli soldiers. 34
Elena Leib, 19, is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania. She was raised Conservative and is still very involved with the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and with Hillel. “There is a unique, diverse and special community here in Pittsburgh,” says Elena. “Outside of New York City, it’s one of the last city communities.” This trip was Elena’s fifth to Israel, but she looked forward to visiting for the first time with her grandparents. “Every time you go, you see something new because there’s something new in your life and your perspective has changed,” Elena says. “The Federation did an excellent job of showing off the diversity within Israel and making it accessible. I left feeling the most proud I’ve ever felt to be a Jew. It was a humbling and empowering experience.” Debbie and Matt Graver, 43 and 36 respectively, are an interfaith couple (Debbie is Jewish and Matt is Catholic) who have an 18 month old daughter whom they plan to raise in the Jewish faith. This was Debbie’s
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A MISSION FOR THE AGES
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fifth and Matt’s first trip to Israel. “I always enjoy going back because there’s something new every time” says Debbie. “It was wonderful for me to experience Israel through Matt’s eyes. What he seemed to enjoy most about the country was the sense of peoplehood, nationalism and pride in their country. I guess that’s something I took for granted about Israel and the Jewish people.” The couple stayed three days after the group left and went back to Jerusalem, which was Matt’s favorite place. They walked the Stations of the Cross, which meant a lot to Matt, but it also meant forgoing a second trip to the Western Wall for Debbie. “We left with an appreciation of each other’s faiths,” says Debbie. “It put into perspective for him why my Jewish faith is so important. And we felt ourselves sacrificing something for each other.”
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All five travelers mentioned the inspired experience of dancing with soldiers at the IDF Army Base and the joy of reconnecting with fellow Pittsburghers.
Provides access to the photographs and documents for family historians, students, scholars, the media, and for community events. To learn more about how you can be part of preserving our region’s Jewish history, contact Susan Melnick at 412-454-6406 or email@example.com.
“The second you hear music and you’re with Israelis, you know it’s going to be a dance party,” says Elena. “That night we were all singing the words to the same Jewish folk songs. We were Jewish, not American, not Israeli.”
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“This year the Jewish Federation is looking back on a century of growth and accomplishment,” Finkelstein concludes. “But we must also look forward. The shape of our community in the coming years is going to depend on our collective Jewish knowledge and commitment. This mission helped inspire all of us for the joys and challenges that lie ahead.”
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Mission-goers break into a hora during a visit to Beit Amigour, a residence for elderly Israelis, many of whom performed for the Pittsburgh group.
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Friends and family gathered at the Hard Rock Cafe on June 9 to help Zach Rudoy celebrate his Bar Mitzvah. In the center photo, from left: Max Cohen, Zach Rudoy and Jonathan Levy.
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1. Jaffa, Israel. the night ILSI went to Jaffa to see a deaf, blind and mute performance. 2. Bulgarian teens at the Tsarevets in Bulgaria 3. Street Sign in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The second largest Jewish population in Bulgaria. 4. Abby Neft (left) and Hannah Frank (right) in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria right before dinner. 5. A synagogue in Sofia, Bulgaria. 6. The entire ILSI 2012 group near the border between Israel and Serbia. 7. David Mitchel's teaching group visiting a cemetery. 8. Teens enjoying chicken swarma in a shop in Safat, Israel.
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dancing for a cause Dr. S. Rand Werrin, with dance instructor Colleen Shirey, performed for Dancing with the Celebrities of Pittsburgh at the Westin Convention Center. The event raised $100,000 for charity.
Nathaniel Evans celebrating his Bar Mitzvah at Temple Sinai. Right, Gerald Farbman, Sue Heller, Abbie and Michael Evans, Betty Evans, Art Evans, in front Ari and Nathaniel.
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JCC PLANNING MEETING for BIG NIGHT 2013 2
Cathy Green Samuels (center), JCC senior director of marketing and sales, recently held the first planning meeting for the JCCâ€™s Big Night: The Time of Our Lives, with caterers, event designers and JCC staff. The event takes place Saturday, March 9, 2013. 3
Kickoff for BBYOâ€™s Keystone Mountain Region More than 115 Pittsburgh teens gathered on September 9 at Community Swim Club in Fox Chapel to kickoff a new year of BBYO friendship and activities. Other regional events for the year include Leadership Training October 19-21; New Member Weekend January 25-27; Tournies March 1-3; Beau/Sweetheart Semi Formal April 20; J-Serve April 28; and Regional Convention May 17-19. The group is also looking for a few good men and women to become volunteer chapter advisors. Openings currently exist in Fox Chapel and South Hills. For more information on this or any of the above programs, contact Chuck Marcus, senior program director at 412.421.2626.
Temple B'nai Israel in White Oak held their Centennial Celebration in August. Pictured above are; 1. White Oak Mayor Ina Jean Marton & Temple President Lou Anstandig. 2. Rabbi Tuchman, Lindi Kendal & Rabbi Walter Jacob. 3. Claudia Finkel, Barbara Rosenberger, Debra Iszauk, Rabbi Tuchman, Lindi Kendal, Marsha Leffel, Margie Baum.
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Jill Lipman Beck (pictured at left), co-founder of Sue’s Run 4 Kids, addresses the participants and others in attendance at the first run/walk in September. The family event, which benefited KidsVoice, honors the memory of Jill’s mother, Sue Lipman, who lost her courageous battle with pancreatic cancer in 2010.
HONORING HAROLD MARCUS
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Suzanne and Carlie Platt with great grandmother Lenore Adelson.
LOUIS PLUNG & CO. 90TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
Clockwise from top, Lori & Louis Plung, group shot of guests celebrating at the Plung & Associates’ 90th Anniversary at the Heinz Regional History Center; Howard Plung and Louis Plung; Richard Halpern, Barbara and Dan Shapira, Jeff Letwin.
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Carlie Platt celebrating her Bat Mitzvah this fall (Eric, Carlie, Jeremy and Suzanne Platt). Photos by Dimitry Babichencko and Steve Lebo.
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Holocaust Center’s Nazi Olympics exhibition Exhibition videos include German Jewish athlete Margaret Lambert, Dr. George Eisen, and American Jewish athletes Milton Green and Marty Glickman reflecting on the dilemmas facing Jewish athletes and their experience during the 1936 Olympics.
hadassah & Heppenheimer @ 100
The achievements of African American athletes at the 1936 Olympics are presented in video, which includes John Woodruff (center), 800 Meter Gold Medalist and others reflecting on the relevance of their achievements and participation.
In August, the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of Hadassah held a special 100th birthday party for Bella Heppenheimer at the Concordia of the South Hills. Both Hadassah and Bella shared this milestone. Many of her friends and family traveled from as far as Israel to honor this special woman. Pictured with her are the Hadassah committee members, who planned this event. They are, from left to right: Shirley Zionts, Nancy Shuman, Marlene Silverman, Sarita Eisner, Judy Palkovitz, Bernice Meyers and Janice Greenwald. Front row: Bella Heppenheimer.
John Woodruff's gold Medal from the XI Olympic Games, Berlin, Germany, 1936; on display at Hillman Library, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
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