Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle 5-17-24

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With subdued state ceremony, Israel begins marking a somber

Israel’s annual state torch-lighting ceremony aired Monday night in a radically atypical format, as the country began marking a bleak 76th Independence Day, the first since Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror massacre in southern Israel.

The event was pre-recorded, with the only previous such instance being during the pandemic in 2020. Save for a separately recorded message from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an energetic and stirring address screened over historical footage and with patriotic music that fit awkwardly into the flow of the ceremony, the tone throughout was somber — a stark contrast to normal years, where crowds of hundreds of flag-waving Israelis would attend the celebration on Mount Herzl, with exuberant dancing, presentations and fireworks.

The event is typically broadcast live, but government organizers filmed it ahead of time this year, ostensibly because of security concerns but amid speculation that they wanted to avoid the heckling of ministers, including of Netanyahu, such as that seen at Memorial Day ceremonies hours before. Until recently, the prime minister had not generally addressed the state ceremony at all, since it was traditionally seen as an apolitical event marking the transition from Memorial Day to Independence Day and presided over by the Knesset speaker.

One darkly atmospheric section of the event — including tightly choreographed dancing — was filmed ahead of time in the parking area at Kibbutz Re’im, in the area where 364 people were killed at the Nova music festival.

The ceremony was held amid significant protest from those who felt the government should not be putting on a show at all, seven months after the largest single-day slaughter of Israelis in the country’s history unfolded on its watch, with IDF troops still in Gaza and with tens of thousands of Israelis internally displaced from their homes in the north and south. Some 1,200 were killed and 252 were taken hostage during the Hamas-led onslaught on Oct. 7, which sparked the ongoing war (and 128 of those hostages are still held in Gaza, many of them no longer alive).

Among the most vocal voices against holding the traditional ceremony were some of the relatives of the hostages and the families who have lost loved ones or been uprooted from their homes as a result of the fighting in Gaza and on the Lebanon border.

Some of them led an alternative “torchdousing” ceremony in an amphitheater in Binyamina, which was attended by roughly 1,000 people, many of whom held placards proclaiming, “No hostages; no independence.”

Tens of thousands more joined other hostage families to commemorate the start of Independence Day at a similarly solemn rally at Tel Aviv’s Hostage Square.

Addressing the pre-recorded state ceremony was Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, who offered a message to the 132 hostages still being held in Gaza (four of whom were held captive before the war).

“The state of Israel was not there on Oct. 7 in

Carolyn Slayton received her law degree from Duquesne University in 2012 but isn’t a practicing attorney.

The program director for the Pittsburghbased Ryan Shazier Fund, though, likes to keep her attorney’s license active — so, about eight years ago, when she was a staffer for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, she started taking Continuing Legal Education, or CLE, classes with Gefsky Community Scholar Rabbi Danny Schiff.

“When I went to the Federation, I wanted to keep my credits,” she said — and she found she could do that through the classes taught by Schiff.

Schiff led his 100th CLE session — and his first in-person session since the pandemic — at Rodef Shalom Congregation on May 9. That triggered frequent program participants like Slayton, who has studied for multiple years with Schiff, to think about their favorite topics the educator has tackled. Was it the one Slayton attended on the legal

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keep your eye on PittsburghJewishChronicle Still “Alice” THEATER All about beer Israel succeeds at Eurovision LOCAL WORLD S LOCAL
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Rabbi Barbara Symons says farewell to Temple David The exit interview: Rabbi Ron Symons
Page 5 Please see Schi , page 10 Please see Israel, page 10 May 17, 2024 | 9 Iyar 5784 Candlelighting 8:14 p.m. | Havdalah 9:20 p.m. | Vol. 67, No. 20 | pittsburghjewishchronicle.org $2 From abortion to business ethics to veganism: Rabbi Danny Schiff teaches his 100th class on Jewish law for lawyers
Alyssa Cholodfsky heads 412 Food Rescue  Rabbi Danny Schiff Photo courtesy of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh  A dancing segment filmed in the parking area at Kibbutz Re’im, where 364 people were killed at the Nova music festival, aired during Israel’s Annual Independence Day ceremony on May 13. Screenshot/GPO


Rabbi Barbara Symons leaves a legacy of relationships at Temple David


Speaking of Rabbi Barbara Symons, Rev. Lindsay White is succinct: “She really has been a force of nature.”

Since she arrived in Monroeville 18 years ago, Symons has been a constant fixture, not just at Temple David, where she serves as the congregation’s rabbi, but at council meetings, Gateway School District board meetings and as a member of the Monroeville Interfaith Ministerium.

She’s been a spiritual leader, friend, confidant and a counselor in the community.

And now, as Symons prepares to leave Temple David and move to New York with her husband, Rabbi Ron Symons, the congregation and region will have to find someone to replace the person whom White described as “the pulse” of the community.

White is a pastor at Cross Roads Presbyterian Church in Monroeville and has worked with Symons for the last four years on the Monroeville Interfaith Ministerium, a partnership of religious and spiritual community leaders living or working in the area.

Symons, White said, is well-known for her love of the community and her commitment to make it a better place to live.

“She will be deeply, deeply missed,” White said.

As an example of Symons’ leadership, White said that when there was a fire at Cambridge Square Apartments in 2023, damaging or destroying 28 units and displacing 65 people, first responders and the municipality reached out to Symons to see if the ministerium or its community

partners would be willing to support those affected.

“And Barbara wasn’t even the head of the organization at the time,” White remembered. “It was just, everyone knew she would respond.”

St. Bernadette Parish Deacon Michael Kelly said that Symons was the driving force behind many of the Ministerium’s activities.

“She been the one that pushed for things to happen,” he said.

Symons, Kelly said, was responsible for the periodic panel discussions the group had on various subjects, during which they shared views from various religious traditions, and she was partially responsible for what became the Monroeville Community Network, which works to affect positive change and goodwill in the Monroeville community.

The rabbi, he said, is leaving “large shoes to fill.”

Symons came to Monroeville in 2006 from her previous congregation in Franklin, Massachusetts. She interviewed with multiple congregations, she said, trying to find the right next move, “and this just felt like the right everything.”

The list of “rights” she found at the Reform congregation included its size, the opportunities available in the region for her husband and the right location to raise their three children. It even had provenance of sorts — Symons’ maternal grandmother was born and raised in the Hill District.

The family, Symons said, also was attracted to the community because of the diversity of the region and the Gateway School District.

The rabbi said she’s proud of the

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work she’s done as a leader working to strengthen Monroeville.

“It was important to have an authentic local voice and to use that voice,” she said.

Examples of using that voice, she said, included speaking at school board meetings or annually introducing Elie Wiesel’s “Night” to area 10th graders.

And while Symons may cast a wide shadow in the Monroeville community at large, she will be most missed for her leadership and the relationships she forged at Temple David.

“That’s why I’m here,” she said. “I am here to be the rabbi at Temple David.”

The rabbi said she relished the moments when she was able to preside over different life cycle events at the congregation. Funerals were always difficult, she noted, especially when it was a tragic death, but she recognizes the “tremendously powerful intimacy” of those moments.

“My favorite life cycle events are special anniversary blessings or special birthday blessings because I really get to hear people’s stories, and not in a eulogy,” she said. “It’s a celebration of life while we’re living.”

Symons might have preferred the celebratory over the sad and tragic, but Temple David’s Worship and Ritual Vice President Randy Boswell said he’ll never forget the rabbi’s warmth and comfort when both his mother and wife passed away.

“She was able to get me through those hard days,” he said. “And it wasn’t just me. She’s that way with everybody. I’ve seen it. I’ve been there. She’s so comforting — it’s amazing, how she can intertwine the lives of your beloved that has gone on and make it a memorable time. She’s just an artist.”

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p Rabbi Barbara Symons (center) has a wealth of memories to take with her when she leaves Temple David after serving the congregation for 18 years. Photo courtesy of Rabbi Barbara Symons Please see Barbara Symons, page 11


The exit interview: Rabbi Ron Symons

Alocal resident is asking the Pittsburgh Jewish community to remember — even after he moves — that “‘neighbor’ is not a geographic term, it’s a moral concept.”

Rabbi Ron Symons has guided Pittsburghers for more than 15 years through professional posts at the now-de funct Agency for Jewish Learning, Temple Sinai and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. Even before serving as senior director of Jewish life and director of the Center for Loving Kindness at the JCC, Symons made social justice the cornerstone of his efforts. He is certain the work will continue long after he and his wife, Rabbi Barbara Symons, relocate next month. Until then, “Rabbi Ron” will continue using his voice to foster engagement.

on Oct. 27, 2018. The strong network of interfaith, intercultural, interracial, civic engagement partnerships helped us to make our way through the impact of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue building. Much of that work was done in partnership with Rev. Liddy Barlow, the executive minister of Christian Associates in Southwest Pennsylvania, and it continues today.

You’ve been a supporter to so many colleagues. What would you like them to know?

Pittsburgh before, not only as a rabbi from a post-denominational seminary, but also as someone who has a younger perspective on the world around. I think that Hindy is going to bring even more innovation, more insights and even more connectivity than what we have experienced so far.

There will be a farewell event on May 30 in your honor. What does it mean to be celebrated before you go?

The well-known spiritual guide spoke with the Chronicle about his upcoming move, past projects and what’s ahead.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

I know you’ll still be neighbors with everyone in Pittsburgh, but where are you going and why?

We are moving back to the metro New York area, where we have family and friends, where there are people that still call me “Ronnie.” It is 100% a pull and not a push. We love Pittsburgh. We love the work that we’ve done. We love the people that we do that work with. And now we’re trying to find that balance of doing work and being with family and friends.

You’ve made quite the impact over the years. What brought you here in the first place?

We came to Pittsburgh 18 years ago when Barbara became the rabbi of Temple David.

What were you up to?

At the time, after having served in congregations and day schools, I was working for the Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa, Israel, helping them advance what eventually became their Zoom technology-based International Education Program and doing fundraising for them.

How about when you got here?

I continued that work and added being a regional educator for the Union for Reform Judaism, throughout Pennsylvania, advising congregations on how to strengthen their religious school programs. I also started working with the Agency for Jewish Learning, doing adult education and professional development.

Tell me about Temple Sinai.

Sixteen years ago, I joined the staff of Temple Sinai, originally to focus on building the Midrash Center for Jewish Learning, which was our version of doing lifelong learning. That expanded beyond the Midrash Center into the Tikkun Olam Center for

Social Justice, where we did a lot of faithbased community organizing with Black churches and others. It included standing up for issues of the environment, safe gun ownership and the Fight for $15, for UPMC employees. I was also happy to be part of so many holiday and life cycle moments at Temple Sinai, just learning with people and being with them at the most trying times and the most celebratory times of their lives.

At the JCC you’ve integrated many of your past involvements. How did your role at the center evolve?

I came to the JCC nine years ago as the senior director of Jewish life but was also responsible for transforming Jewish teen engagement in Pittsburgh. At the time, the Agency for Jewish Learning was closing down, and we realized in partnership with the Federation that the JCC was the right place to transfer those efforts. My first task at the JCC was to establish the Second Floor and build out a new model for how we engage with teens. I can say that is going strong, with somewhere over 350 teen memberships every year at the JCC.

And what about other methods of engagement?

We started the Center for Loving Kindness and Civic Engagement in 2017. We knew there was something in the way that community fabric was being woven. And we realized that in both the macro and the micro of the impact of the 2016 presidential campaign — not because of the outcome but because of the way that the conversation had changed. We began a conversation with thought partners around Pittsburgh, the JCC and around the country about what it would look like if we took the values that guide the work of the JCC and push those forward in a 21stcentury platform that allowed us to have regional impact. We figured out how to do that, and we are really grateful that we became stewards of the concept of strengthening the fabric of community by amplifying long-held values of “love your neighbor as yourself,” “do not stand idle while your neighbor bleeds,” and redefining the word “neighbor” from a geographic term to a moral concept.

What are the effects of those partnerships?

We’re really very humbled that we started this work in September 2017 and had a 14-month head start before tragedy hit us

I am so grateful to Brian Schreiber and Jason Kunzman, to the lay leaders and leadership team of the JCC, over these years for being so supportive of the innovative work that we’ve done in the area of teen engagement, in the area of Center for Loving Kindness, and also in the area of innovative Jewish engagement. Whether through PJ Library or our High Holidays of Hope, all of those innovations took a little bit of guts to move us forward in community life.

A new hire was named to help move the needle. Any insights about the days ahead?

I am very excited about the decision to hire Hindy Finman as the next senior director of Jewish life. Hindy will be ordained a rabbi by the Hebrew College in Boston this spring and will come to the JCC with a new set of eyes: not only someone that has not lived in

It’s very humbling. And the way I’m figuring out how to make my way through it is that it’s a celebration of what we all have done together. I’m looking forward to being with JCC staff and members — with members of the Jewish community and wider community — to celebrate our dream and vision of what we hope Pittsburgh could be. I’m hopeful that we got just a little bit closer because of how I’ve interacted with people and how they’ve helped me advance the cause. I know there is so much more to do, and that’s a big part of what that event is: to acknowledge that we’ve made it so far, and that we have more to do, so let’s keep on going with it.

Community members are invited to celebrate Symons on May 30 from 5-7 p.m. at the JCC in Squirrel Hill. RSVP by May 24 at rb.gy/4qixae. PJC

Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.

p Rabbi Ron Symons Photo courtesy of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh


Princeton-bound Isaac Bernstein hopes to continue making change


An Upper St. Clair student dedicated to education and advocacy is heading to Princeton University this fall. Before getting there, Isaac Bernstein, 18, will continue imparting the lessons he’s learned along the way.

Last summer, Bernstein was one of 20 American students selected to join 20 peers in Japan.

The High School Diplomats program enabled participants to “really talk about cultural differences,” he said.

Among the primary differences between the U.S. and Japan is “intensity,” according to the teen.

“America is definitely a more intense place. People are really inspired to go where they want to go and they’re not afraid to kind of push and shove to get there, in a sense, both literally and physically,” he said. “What was really honorable about [people in] Japan — and that I’ve tried to adopt in my own life in a sense — is they know they’re going to get where they need to be, and they’re very relaxed, they’re very respectful. They don’t talk in public places on the phone.”

Bernstein told the Chronicle that he’s trying to “be more grounded.”

Within the city, one in five residents is food insecure, according to officials.

Bernstein, who was bar mitzvahed at Temple Emanuel of South Hills, has combated the issue since April 2020 by operating Plates for Pitt.

To date, he’s raised nearly $46,000 — the equivalent of 206,000 meals — for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, he said.

Bernstein’s efforts were among the reasons

The honor, which involved a celebration in Atlanta weeks ago, comes with a $20,000

Bernstein and the other 149 awardees were selected from an initial pool of more than 103,800 applications, according to the CocaCola Scholars Foundation. Recipients not only “exemplify superior leadership, service and academics, they are change agents, positively affecting others in their communities.”

The suburban teen, who was also recognized by the Western Pennsylvania Jewish Sports Hall of Fame last week for his accomplishments in inline hockey, told the Chronicle the


“I’m very fortunate to be able to have the resources to involve myself in such activities,” he said. “My life motto thus far has been just find things that I really am passionate about, and try to impact people

Bernstein begins a new journey this fall but said he doesn’t expect to alter course: “What I will continue to do for the rest of my life is find things that I really strive to become involved in, and just try to touch and impact people.” PJC Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.


This is one in a series of articles about Elder Law by Michael H. Marks., Esq.

Michael H. Marks is an elder law attorney with offices in Squirrel Hill and Monroeville. Send questions to michael@marks-law.com or visit www.marks-law.com.

• If I don’t have a Will, does my property get forfeit to the State of Pennsylvania?

NO - Property that you leave behind without a Will goes to your closest family relatives or “heirs” or “heirs-at-law” under Pennsylvania’s law of inheritance – basically, your closest family first, then in outward circles – spouse, children, parents, siblings, etc. Note that any property with a (living) beneficiary or co-owner with right of survivorship named goes directly and automatically to that person because of your signed written instructions to the bank, etc. Only if you have no qualifying family left, then your property may “escheat” to the State. This is very rare.

• Help! I have no one close to me to help me or to name as my executor.

This can be a tough one, but there is help available.

I hear this most often from elderly folks whose family is all gone, or are new residents to the area. They have no person to name as “Agent” or “Executor.” There are professionals, for a fee, who will undertake these necessary responsibilities for you. There are small and large trust companies, and trust departments within financial organizations like Fidelity or TIAA to handle your money for you. There are smaller elder and disability care providers who can provide more personal decisions and health

services. And there are professional Guardians and Representative Payees to manage benefits.

• All my property is joint with someone else. Do I really need a Will?

It may be less urgent, but I still recommend itunless you can predict the future with certainty.

IF you have all your property joint with, or pay on death to someone else, and IF they survive you, then you won’t be leaving behind any assets in your name only that would pass under a Will (“probate assets”). But what if that person dies before you, leaving you back where you started, as the sole living owner of your property and no Will to control it?? Believe it or not there are also often lost, forgotten or stray accounts and assets that are discovered later, too, that would be properly disposed of under a Will. Having a Will is like having a spare tire in your car - because you never know when you might need it. If I’m making powers of attorney for you, we should go ahead and make sure you have a Will too at the same time.

• I already have a Will. Why do I need Powers of Attorney?

Because they help in different ways at different times.

Power of Attorney only applies during your lifetime to say who you choose and appoint to help you, usually with either financial or healthcare decisions. A Will only comes into effect later, when you die. It directs who will inherit your assets, and who will be in charge of winding up your affairs.

Power of Attorney is just as important as a Will, because before you become deceased, you might become disabled. Without a signed POA,

whoever is going to help – even your own spouse, often – instead has to go through a full court case to be appointed as your Legal Guardian.

• Doesn’t Medicaid take your home when you go into the nursing home?

No. Medicaid doesn’t take anything from you. If you apply for Medicaid to pay for nursing home care, Medicaid either says “yes”, you’re eligible and we’ll pay for you, or “no”, you’re not and we won’t. Now, to become eligible, you may need to choose to spend your money on your own care first, to get what you need - or better yet, to engage in smart asset protection planning strategies. If a nursing home doesn’t get paid, they may sue you – or your children! But no, neither Medicaid, nor the nursing home at the start, takes your home or anything else from you. Remember, though, there’s almost always something we can do to help

a nursing home patient save money, and it’s never too late to try.

• What’s the dollar amount limit that I’m allowed to gift this year?

It almost certainly doesn’t matter to you! The dollar amount limit is $18,000 per person, per year. It is part of the Federal Gift and Estate Tax system that only applies to the very rich. This annual “gift tax exclusion amount” will only be relevant for you if you die leaving behind more than $13 million per person, or $27 million per couple in 2024 (though that amount is coming down by half starting in the year 2026). There may be other legal or tax consequences to making gifts but generally, you’re free to give away whatever you want, to whoever you want.

At Marks Elder Law, we help people every day with issues like these. I invite your questions and feedback. Please let me know how I can help you and your family.

he was named a 2024 Coca-Cola Scholar.  Upper St. Clair teen Isaac Bernstein is all smiles in Japan. Photos courtesy of Isaac Bernstein
412-421-8944 Michael H. Marks, Esq. www.marks-law.com 4231 Murray Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15217 michael@marks-law.com We provide expert help with long term care planning, powers of attorney, wills, trusts and special needs. We explain the benefits, risks and opportunities involved with elder law, disability and estate planning and help you implement financial and tax strategies to protect your wealth during your life and afterwards. member, national academy of elder law attorneys PLAN AHEAD: Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones - Your Way


Former Squirrel Hill resident Alyssa Cholodofsky is hungry

Former Squirrel Hill resident Alyssa Cholodofsky is hungry to feed more Pittsburghers.

Given the success of 412 Food Rescue, achieving that objective should be easy as pie, explained Cholodofsky, the organization’s new CEO.

Founded in 2015, 412 Food Rescue reduces waste by responsibly redirecting items to food-insecure community members. Since its establishment, the group, and its thousands of volunteers, has recovered more than 31 million pounds of food — the equivalent of more than 26 million meals — and mitigated more than 60 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

Cholodofsky, 57, praised the organization’s work and credited 412 Food Rescue with developing a “people-powered solution” to a sizable problem.

So much time is spent “thinking about how we can bring people together to really think about solutions that will work across the community,” she said.

Thanks to its simple platform, 412 Food Rescue can easily engage with

diverse volunteers and stakeholders, Cholodofsky continued.

After downloading the app, volunteers are notified about upcoming food rescues. Volunteers then elect to perform either one-time tasks or undertake weekly routes of retrieving and delivering fresh food.

“Everybody has an opportunity to be part of it,” Cholodofsky said. “That’s kind of the

beauty of working through the software platform or the app that we have.”

The interface enables participants to branch out across the city.

“Any individual can go on and select a rescue and make a difference, whether it’s in their community or another adjacent community,” she said.

Cholodofsky, whose children were bar mitzvahed at Temple David in Monroeville, said 412 Food Rescue’s goals are consistent with familiar principles.

“Part of Jewish values, as I understand them, are repair the world and social justice,” she said. “We know that there’s an environmental impact in the community that we are all part of, and just making sure that people are fed is such a basic thing that I think we can all agree on.”

The Agriculture Department maintains that 12.8% of households are foodinsecure nationwide.

Within Pittsburgh, that number is higher.

More than 60,000 residents — approximately 20% — struggle to secure “healthy, adequate and culturally appropriate food,” according to Pittsburgh’s Department of Planning.

Cholodofsky, who comes to 412 Food Rescue after serving as chief program and policy officer at the United Way

of Southwestern Pennsylvania, said she recognizes local residents’ immediate needs: “We want to make sure that whether it’s because of access, or transportation or financial, that food is not a barrier to people getting healthy nutritious food.”

Part of combating food insecurity is understanding equity, she explained.

“We want to make sure that we’re not leaving anybody out when we try to look for solutions or impact into specific neighborhoods or populations of people, but really try to listen to all voices and make sure that everybody has an opportunity to be part of it,” she said.

Securing inclusion means providing effortless entry for volunteers and those yet to perform their first rescue.

“It’s very easy to get involved,” she said.

And once they do, volunteers can not only reshape Pittsburgh but secure a promising future.

The Midrash states that upon a person’s demise they will be asked about their labor. If the person answers, “I used to feed the hungry,” according to rabbinic literature, they will be told, “This is God’s gate. You, who fed the hungry, may enter.” PJC

Adam Reinherz can be reached at areinherz@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.

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to feed more Pittsburghers  Alyssa Cholodofsky is the new CEO of 412 Food Rescue. Photo courtesy of Liz Fetchin


Submit calendar items on the Chronicle’s website, pittsburghjewishchronicle.org. Submissions also will be included in print. Events will run in the print edition beginning one month prior to the date as space allows. The deadline for submissions is Friday, noon.


Join Tree of Life Rabbi Je rey Myers for Torah Studio, a monthly dialogue with interfaith clergy. This month’s special guest is Canon Natalie L.G. Hall of Episcopal Church of the Redeemer. 9:45 a.m. Levy Hall, Rodef Shalom Congregation.


Join Tree of Life Young Jewish Community for a tour by trolley of the historic Hill District Eric Lidji, archivist of the Rauh Jewish Archives, will be the guide through the area’s Jewish sites. Snacks included. This event is for individuals in their 20s and 30s. 1 p.m. Meet in Rodef Shalom’s parking lot, 4905 Fifth Ave. $10. treeoflifepgh.org/event/bustour.

Join the entire Jewish community for the best adult Israel Independence Day party in the ‘Burgh. Enjoy hora music and dancing, Israeli kosher food, photo booth, DJ Israeli music, face painting and more. 7 p.m. $45; $25 for students. JCC Pittsburgh, Levinson Hall. 412friendsofzahal.org.


Join Congregation Beth Shalom and Tiferet Project for seven weekly yoga sessions in the Zweig Library that explore the week-by-week countdown from Passover to Shavuot. The countdown links the freedom and liberation of Passover with the revelation and responsibility of Shavuot. 10 a.m. 5915 Beacon St. bethshalompgh.org/tiferetyoga.


Join a lay-led online parshah study group to discuss the week’s Torah portion. No Hebrew knowledge needed. The goal is to build community while deepening understanding of the text. 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit bethshalompgh.org.


Join Congregation Beth Shalom for a weekly Talmud study.9:15 a.m. For more information, visit bethshalompgh.org.


Temple Sinai’s Rabbi Daniel Fellman presents a weekly Parshat/Torah portion class on site and online. Call 412-421-9715 for more information and the Zoom link.

Bring the parashah alive and make it personally relevant and meaningful with Rabbi Mark Goodman in this weekly Parashah Discussion: Life & Text. 12:15 p.m. For more information, visit bethshalompgh.org/life-text.


Join The Branch for the May Family Forum Meeting “Arts and Community.” The Family Forum is a parent-driven e ort to support families of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing education, resources and the benefit of personal experience. 6:15 p.m. Sally and Howard Levin Clubhouse, 2609 Murray Ave. First Floor. RSVP by May 20 to akarabin@thebranchpgh.org.


Join Beth El Congregation of the South Hills for Hope & Healing on Zoom the first Thursday of each month, a 30-minute program led by Rabbi Amy Greenbaum. Chant, breathe, pray for healing and seek peace. Call Beth El at 412-561-1168 to receive the Zoom link. 5:30 p.m. bethelcong.org.

 SUNDAYS MAY 26; JUNE 9, 23; JULY 7, 21; AUG. 4, 18; SEPT. 1, 15, 29

Chabad of Monroeville invites you to BLT (Bagel, Lox, Tefillin), an in-person tefillin club followed by breakfast. No prior experience necessary. Tefillin available for use. 9 a.m. 2715 Mosside Blvd. RSVP appreciated at chabad@jewishmonroeville.com.

 WEDNESDAYS, MAY 29; JUNE 26; JULY 10, 24; AUG. 7, 28; SEPT. 4, 28

Chabad of Monroeville invites you to spend an hour playing mahjong and other games. Play,

shmooze, learn a word of the Torah, say a prayer for Israel and, of course, nosh on some yummy treats. Free. 7 p.m. RSVP is required: SusanEBurgess@gmail.com, or text or call 412-295-1838. 2715 Mosside Blvd. jewishmonroeville.com/mahjong.


Join the Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh for Jewish Genealogy Day, as Lara Diamond leads two dynamic sessions on Jewish genealogy: “Jewish Genealogy 101” and “Defying Expectations: The Story of Jewish Woman Who Took on the Russian Empire.” Sessions begin at 10:30 a.m. $10/$18. Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman St. heinzhistorycenter.org/event/jewish-genealogy-day.

 WEDNESDAYS, JUNE 19; JULY 17: AUG. 21; SEPT. 18; OCT. 16; NOV. 20; DEC. 18

Join AgeWell for the Intergenerational Family Dynamics Discussion Group at JCC South Hills the third Wednesday of each month. Led by intergenerational specialist/presenter and educator Audree Schall. The group is geared toward anyone who has children, grandchildren, a spouse, siblings or parents. Whether you have family harmony or strife, these discussions are going to be thoughtprovoking, with tools to help build strong relationships and family unity. Free. 12:30 p.m. PJC

Join the Chronicle Book Club!

The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle invites you to join the Chronicle Book Club for its June 9 discussion of “We Must Not Think of Ourselves,” by Lauren Grodstein. From Amazon. com: “Inspired by a little-known piece of history — the underground group that kept an archive to ensure that the lives of Jewish occupants of the Warsaw Ghetto in World War II were not lost to history — this is a heart-wrenching novel of love and defiance that People calls 'gripping, emotional, and against all odds, hopeful.'”

Author Lauren Grodstein will join us for the meeting!

Your Hosts:

Toby Tabachnick, editor of the Chronicle David Rullo, Chronicle senior staff writer

How and When:

We will meet on Zoom on Sunday, June 9, at 1 p.m.

What To Do

Buy: “We Must Not Think of Ourselves.” It is available at area Barnes & Noble stores and from online retailers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It is also available through the Carnegie Library system.

Email : Contact us at drullo@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org, and write “Chronicle Book Club” in the subject line. We will send you a Zoom link for the discussion meeting. Registration closes on June 7.

Happy reading! PJC

— Toby Tabachnick

www.pittsburghjewishchronicle.org Don’t miss an issue All changes can be submitted in writing or emailed to subscriptions@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org or call 412-687-1000, ext. 2


Arrest made in North Side antisemitic incidents case

Pittsburgh community security director.

Pittsburgh police arrested Mario Ashkar, 36, for damage to an Israeli flag in a North Side family’s yard.

The incident was one of many the family has endured over the last several weeks, including graffiti painted on a sidewalk outside of their home which read “For Blood and Soil,” a Nazi slogan.

Ashkar was caught on the family’s security cameras, installed after the first antisemitic incident on their property. He is being charged with ethnic intimidation, criminal mischief, theft and disorderly conduct, according to Shawn Brokos, Jewish Federation of Greater

Over the last several weeks, the family has had their Israeli flag removed from their yard and trampled, pro-Palestinian propaganda pasted on their front door and pro-Palestinian literature with pictures of dead children and the note “The child murders of Gaza” scribbled on it with a Sharpie shoved into their mail slot.

The FBI began investigating the incidents, along with the Pittsburgh police, as they became more threatening.

The homeowner, who asked that their name not be used out of security concerns, said that they were “pleased with the diligent work by our city police department in catching this individual and grateful to our community members

who offered the tips to make his arrest possible.”

They noted that law enforcement is still seeking the suspect or suspects who committed the other acts, “the graffiti on the sidewalk and flag as well as the propaganda on our door and in our mailbox.”

Brokos noted that the arrest was a result of an effort that included law enforcement, community members and community leaders.

Anyone with information about the antisemitic acts is urged to contact the Pittsburgh Police and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Community Security office at jewishpgh.org/form/ incident-report. PJC

Top Biden official tells Jewish leaders: Claim that US withheld intelligence on Hamas from Israel is ‘not true’

WASHINGTON — The White House denied reports that the United States withheld intelligence from Israel on the whereabouts of Hamas’ leaders.

The reports alleged that the United States would provide the intelligence in exchange for Israel curbing its offensive in Rafah, the city in southern Gaza.

“The United States is working with Israel day and night to hunt the senior leaders of Hamas, who were the authors of the brutal terrorist assault of Oct. 7,” a White House official told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

“We are providing unprecedented support — in ways that only the United States can — to help Israel bring them to justice. And we will continue to work relentlessly toward this objective in the period ahead,” the official said. “Any report to the contrary is false. Helping Israel target the leaders of Hamas, and providing any information we have as to their whereabouts, is a top priority for us, and not a quid pro quo. None of this is dependent on operational decisions Israel makes.”

The official’s statement follows an exchange on the subject in a meeting at the White House with Jewish leaders on Monday. At the meeting — whose focus was the rollout of Biden’s strategy to combat antisemitism — Rabbi Levi Shemtov asked Jon Finer, the deputy national security adviser, about the reported quid pro quo.

The White House confirmed the exchange between Finer and Shemtov, the executive vice president of American Friends of Chabad (Lubavitch) in Washington, and added that Finer said, “It’s not true.”

The forceful pushback comes as the Biden administration is endeavoring to make clear that despite recent tensions, it continues to support Israel’s war effort against Hamas.

Finer told the participants that he wanted to “clear up confusion” about President Joe Biden’s decision earlier this month to suspend the delivery of large bombs to Israel as a means of influencing the operation in Rafah.

Biden opposes a massive invasion because the city has become a refuge to hundreds of

thousands of displaced Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the invasion is necessary to rout Hamas’ remaining battalions.

Israeli and conservative U.S. media expressed alarm after The Washington Post reported that the Biden administration “is offering Israel valuable assistance in an effort to persuade it to hold back, including sensitive intelligence to help the Israeli military pinpoint the location of Hamas leaders and find the group’s hidden tunnels.”

The Post cited four anonymous sources.

Finer was a last minute addition to the meeting, and his presence reflected the Biden administration’s pushback against accusations that it is turning on Israel. At the meeting, Finer laid out 10 principles on the U.S.-Israel relationship at the same time that his boss, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, was stating them to the White House press corps.

“There’s been a lot more heat than light in the recent coverage and commentary about the war between Israel and Hamas,” Sullivan said at the briefing. “The United States has sent a massive amount of military assistance to Israel to defend itself against all threats, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran and its other proxies. We are continuing to send military assistance and we will ensure that Israel receives the full amount provided in the supplemental.” The supplemental is the $26 billion that Congress recently approved in emergency defense assistance to Israel and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians.

The other principles Sullivan listed covered

the Biden Administration’s commitment to removing Hamas from power; the return of Israeli hostages still held in the Gaza Strip; the need for a diplomatic solution as an outcome of the war; the urgency of delivering humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians; and the rejection of the charge that Israel is committing genocide.

Participants said that Nathan Diament, the Washington director of the Orthodox Union, welcomed the rejection of the genocide charges, but said the message was obscured by some of the rhetoric emerging from the Biden administration on how Israel handles human rights, including a State Department report last week saying that there were credible reports of Israel

violating international law.

The meeting, co-chaired by Douglas Emhoff, the Jewish second gentleman; Neera Tanden, Biden’s top domestic policy adviser; and Elizabeth Sherwood Randall, his top national security adviser, otherwise focused on the progress of the White House’s strategy to combat antisemitism as it nears its one-year anniversary on May 25.

Participants said the officials focused on areas of improvement, particularly related to universities, where administrators have struggled to balance free expression with what some Jewish students have said is an atmosphere made hostile by anti-Israel encampment protests.

“It’s about empowering and if necessary pushing campus administrators to understand their role in enforcement of, in many cases, their own existing policies,” said Amy Spitanick, the CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

Julie Fishman Rayman, the American Jewish Committee’s managing director, said the tone of the meeting was not one of triumph, but of having more work to do.

“Liz Sherwood Randall made a really nice statement, saying that the way they’re thinking about the strategy is the opposite of Dayenu,” Rayman said, referencing the song from the Passover haggadah whose refrain means “enough.” “Like, it’s never enough, and they have to do better because the problem keeps getting worse.”

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— David Rullo p A North Side resident’s home was defaced with graffiti and antisemitic propaganda. Photo by resident p U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan answers questions during the daily press briefing at the White House on May 13 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images


UN blames ‘fog of war’ for major overcounting of Gazan child deaths

The United Nations now claims that “the fog of war” is to blame for a major overstatement of the number of Gazan children who have been killed in the war.

In mid-March, the U.N. Children’s Fund stated that 13,450 children had been killed in Gaza, citing figures from the Hamas-run Gazan Health Ministry. Catherine Russell, the director of UNICEF, said in a television inter view on March 17 that those numbers were “staggering” and “really shocking,” and “We haven’t seen that rate of death among children in almost any other conflict in the world.”

Last Wednesday, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (O CHA) released updated casualty figures. Some 7,797 Gazan children had died in the war as of April 30, it said — a roughly 42% drop from the mid-March numbers.

JNS asked Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, at a press conference on Friday why the math doesn’t add up.

“The revisions are taken … you know, of course, in the fog of war, it’s difficult to come up with numbers,” Haq told JNS. “We get numbers from different sources on the ground, and then we try to cross-check them. As we crosscheck them, we update the numbers, and we’ll continue to do that as that progresses.”

The 13,450 statistic was cited frequently in the international press, leading to accusations that Israel had committed war cr imes, including targeting babies and children intentionally.

Even Hamas has since admitted that those numbers have turned out to be off by at least 40%. The United Nations revised its numbers last week, without providing an explanation.

“When it comes to Israel, it’s clear that the U.N.’s goal is not accuracy, but rather to immediately seize on any report, no matter how unsubstantiated or even manifestly false, in order to portray Israel as malevolent,” Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, told JNS.

“The right thing for the U.N. to do now would be to admit that their casualty count in Gaza is a complete failure,” Neuer added.

OCHA also revised its casualty figures for women by nearly a half — from more than 9,500 to fewer than 5,000.

In a little-noticed change, OCHA differentiated in its new figures between “reported” and “identified” fatalities, including the 7,797 children figure in the “identified” category.

Using OCHA’s math, out of 10,158 reported but unidentified casualties, 5,653 (56%) would have to be children to add up to the figures published in mid-March. That would be far more than is indicated by the information the United Nations released last week, which claims that children make up 32% of the identified deaths in Gaza.

Salo Aizenberg, an independent scholar and author, as well as a board member of HonestReporting, told JNS that “it’s absolutely true that the fog of war makes it difficult to assess casualties, but this was the case from the beginning of the war.”

“It’s outrageous that only seven months later, the U.N. is questioning the Hamas-supplied casualty numbers,” he said.

In early April, the Gaza Health Ministry said it had “incomplete data” for 11,371 of the 33,091 Palestinian fatalities it claimed to have documented at the time. The ministry later said it did not have names for more than 10,000 of the Gazans it claimed were killed in the war.

The ministry has not revealed publicly how it compiles its published information. No independent media exists in Gaza to try to verify it.

“For reporting Gaza deaths, there is no method and no standard of proof,” Neuer told JNS. “All the U.N. does is parrot figures supplied by Hamas, which is laundered and legitimized by the U.N. as the neutral-sounding ‘Gaza Ministry of Health,’ or ‘Government Media Office,’ when in fact both are run by the Hamas terrorist organization.”

‘The false data has infiltrated everywhere’

“Now that the U.N. has suddenly reduced some of the figures by half, they’ve essentially admitted to have been feeding the media and the world completely false numbers,” he said.

As recently as last month, the Hamas-run government media office has repeated claims that 70% of the deceased were women and children.

Haq, the U.N. spokesman, told JNS that “numbers get adjusted many times over the course of a conflict. Once a conflict is done, we’ll have the most accurate figures.”

But Aizenberg’s research has shown that “for many months, there have been obvious errors identified in the numbers published daily by OCHA, which are ultimately based on Hamas reporting,” the scholar told JNS.

Aizenberg pointed to an immediate claim by Hamas of nearly 500 deaths in an Oct. 17 strike on Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, which turned out to be a Palestinian

rocket misfire and evidence suggests a drastically lower death total. Still, Hamas hasn’t rrected its initial tally.

His analysis has also revealed that Hamas reported on certain days in the first months of the war that more women and children were killed than the total number f all fatalities.

“We’re just going with what we can absolutely confirm, which will always be the low end of what the numbers are,”

Haq, the U.N. spokesman, told JNS on

braham Wyner, a professor of statistics and data science at the University of Pennsylvania, published a statistical analysis two months ago that showed how Hamas faked casualty numbers.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy also released a report in January showing major discrepancies in the fatality reports, concluding they were most likely caused by manipulation.

“While it’s better late than never that the U.N. finally admits that the casualty numbers issued by Hamas for the last 200 days are not reliable, the false data has infiltrated everywhere,” Aizenberg told JNS.

He cited President Joe Biden’s claim in his March 7 State of the Union address that “more

than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed.”

The U.S. State and Defense Departments have also used that statistic officially, apparently relying on Hamas data.

Neuer told JNS that “If U.N. officials continue to legitimize a Hamas-run system that has now proven itself to be completely false, they will be complicit with terrorist propaganda.”

The revised Hamas casualty numbers, taken together with Israel Defense Forces claims of terrorists killed—a distinction Hamas does not make—“demonstrate that the civilian/casualty rate in Gaza is likely 1:1 or lower, which would amount to the lowest ratio in the history of urban combat, starkly contradicting any notion of indiscriminate IDF attacks,” Aizenberg told JNS.

JNS asked Haq on Friday if U.N. figures can be considered reliable.

“You can consider them reliable from the fact that we’re continually checking them,” he said. “We’ll continue to do that over the course of the war. But the numbers, you know, ultimately have to be regularly checked so that we can be sure that what we’re putting out is valid.”

In Jan. 2014, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights announced it had stopped updating the death toll from Syria’s civil war, as it could no longer verify the sources of information. PJC

p U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres briefs the press at the Rafah border crossing into Gaza. The SecretaryGeneral reiterated his calls for a humanitarian ceasefire and the cessation of violence, notably in Gaza on March 23.
Contact RANDY HARPER Owner (412) 612-1091 4027 Brentwood Drive, Canonsburg PA 15317 info@shstrees.com www.shstrees.com Tree Removal in the Greater Pittsburgh Areas, Commercial and Residential
Photo by Mark Garten/U.N. photo


Robert Kraft’s foundation airs ad slamming antisemitism at campus protests during NBA playoffs

An ad decrying antisemitism amid the recent wave of campus pro-Palestinian encampments aired during NBA playoff games last week, the latest effort by a national Jewish organization to spotlight threats against Jews at the protests, JTA.org reported.

The 30-second spot, produced by Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, features images from recent demonstrations, including a torn Israeli flag and a sign showing a swastika superimposed on a Star of David. Those images are juxtaposed with more benign protest visuals: peace signs, megaphones and raised fists.

“When you protest, bring your passion,” the ad begins. “Your tenacity. Your anger. But don’t bring hate to the protest.”

The voiceover goes on to encourage protesters to “scream until you’re red in the face, but don’t scream at the Jewish kid walking to class,” and “threaten to change history, but don’t threaten your Jewish neighbor.” In its press release announcing the ad, FCAS said the commercial’s visuals “include examples of hate from recent protests.”

The ad features photos from at least two campuses that have seen unrest: One shot depicts two people wearing Israeli flags as capes opposite Columbia University’s library. Another appears to show a broken window at Hamilton Hall, the Columbia building occupied by protesters. Another shows street clashes near the City University of New York.


Israel critic loses Indiana Republican House primary after campaign by

Jewish groups

A former Republican congressman in Indiana who is a longtime critic of Israel failed in his bid to return to the House of Representatives after the Republican Jewish Coalition and AIPAC mounted an effort to support his opponent, JTA.org reported.

Election returns in Indiana’s 8th district on May 7 showed state Sen. Mark Messmer, the RJC’s favored candidate, soundly defeating John Hostettler, who represented the district in Congress from 1995-2007.

“Tonight, we succeeded in keeping a vocal anti-Israel candidate out of the Republican conference,” the RJC said. “This is a major victory for the RJC, the Jewish community, for all pro-Israel Americans, and for common sense.”

The RJC spent $1 million on ads in the district mostly promoting Messmer, said Sam Markstein, a spokesman for the group.

Hostettler during his time in Congress was an isolationist who wrote a book after he left office blaming Jews for the Iraq War.

“Hostettler’s claim of ‘dual loyalty’ by prominent Jews repeats age-old slanders of Jewish disloyalty to their countries and outlandish notions of secret Jewish cabals pulling international strings,” Abraham Foxman, then the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote at the time.

Jewish tennis star Diego Schwartzman announces retirement

Jewish tennis player Diego Schwartzman announced on May 5 that he will retire

Today in Israeli History


Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education (israeled.org), where you can find more details.

May 17, 1977 — Likud wins first election

The Likud coalition wins an upset in the Knesset election, positioning Menachem Begin to become prime minister and end three decades of leadership by Mapai (Labor’s predecessor) and its allies.

Smithsonian Institution

May 18, 1954 — Ex-Hebrew U.

President Selig Brodetsky dies Selig Brodetsky, Judah Magnes’ successor as the president of the Hebrew University in 1949, dies two years after resigning for health reasons. He became deeply involved with Zionism while at Cambridge.

May 19, 1950 — Iraqi airlift begins

Two planes carrying 175 Jews leave Iraq for Israel via Cyprus, the start of Operation Ezra and Nehemiah, also known as Operation Ali Baba. The operation brings nearly 120,000 Iraqi Jews to Israel by January 1952.

from professional tennis after his hometown Argentina Open in February 2025, JTA.org reported.

The 31-year-old Argentine star, who sits at No. 142 in the Association of Tennis Professionals men’s rankings, shared the news on Instagram, calling it a “very difficult decision.”

“Every corner of the court, every second training, every point competing, every moment I was immensely happy,” Schwartzman wrote in Spanish. “I lived it with such intensity that today it is difficult for me to maintain. All those beautiful moments have become something that today carries weight, and it is difficult for me to continue fully enjoying it.”

Schwartzman, who peaked at No. 8 in the rankings in 2020, has won four ATP titles: the 2016 Istanbul Open, the 2018 Rio Open, the 2019 Los Cabos Open and the 2021 Argentina Open. Schwartzman also reached the semifinals in the 2020 French Open and two quarterfinals in U.S. Open Grand Slams in 2017 and 2019.

Schwartzman, who has 250 career singles victories, is affectionately known as “El Peque,” or “Shorty” in Spanish. Officially listed at 5-foot-7, Schwartzman in 2020 became the shortest man to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since fellow Jewish player Harold Solomon, who is one inch shorter, at the 1980 French Open.

Israel Bonds surpasses $3 billion in sales since Oct. 7

Israel Bonds has surpassed $3 billion in global sales in the seven months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre, a sum almost three times greater than the company’s recent annual average, JNS.org reported.

“On Oct. 7, we initiated what is the most powerful and successful campaign in support of the state of Israel in the history of Israel Bonds since 1951,” Israel Bonds President and CEO Dani Naveh said. “My managerial task, in collaboration with my amazing team, was to elevate Israel Bonds sales to a much higher level in a short time, as part of our obligation to support the state of Israel at war.”

Since Oct. 7, more than 35 U.S. state and municipal governments have invested in Israel Bonds for a total of $1.7 billion. With a $700 million investment, Palm Beach County in Florida has become the world’s largest investor in Israel Bonds.

Freed Israeli hostage to leave hospital after five months

Five months after being freed from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip, Elma Avraham was released from the hospital, Beersheva’s Soroka Medical Center announced, according to JNS.org.

Avraham, who celebrated her 85th birthday during her hospitalization, went home on May 8 following a press conference that included statements by family and medical staff.

Avraham, who has complex health issues, was taken hostage from Kibbutz Nahal Oz on Oct. 7. Although in generally good health when kidnapped, she deteriorated in captivity.

Released on Nov. 26 as part of a weeklong cease-fire deal with Hamas, Avraham was airlifted to Soroka in serious condition with a pulse of 40 and a body temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb

May 20, 1948 — Bernadotte is named peace mediator

The U.N. Security Council appoints Count Folke Bernadotte, a Swedish diplomat, to serve as the mediator for Middle East peace. He negotiates a cease-fire in June but is assassinated in September.

May 21, 2017 — Spy Shulamit Cohen-Kishik dies

Shulamit “Shula” Cohen-Kishik, a native of Argentina who spied for the Mossad, dies at age 100 in Jerusalem. Codenamed “The Pearl,” she gathered intelligence in Lebanon from 1948 until her arrest in 1961.

May 22, 1975 — Senators urge Ford to stand with Israel

After President Gerald Ford suspends economic assistance and reduces arms shipments to Israel, 76 U.S. senators sign a letter in opposition, stressing Israel’s need for enough aid to deter attacks.

May 23, 1969 — Arab politician

Hanin Zoabi is born

Hanin Zoabi, a member of the Knesset from 2009 to 2019 and the first Arab woman elected from a predominantly Arab party, is born in Nazareth. She works as a teacher and a civil rights activist before politics. PJC

p Selig Brodetsky served as the president of the World Maccabi Union, which oversees the Maccabi Games.
p Hanin Zoabi made history as the first Arab woman elected to the Knesset as part of an Arabmajority party.



Continued from page 1

its full strength and power as we all expected it to be, but since then, it has been working every day to return you home to your families,” Ohana said, adding that “all of those serving in the Israeli security forces are fighting tirelessly for your release.”

“All Israelis await your return. All synagogues in Israel and in the Diaspora are praying for your well-being. We will not despair and we will not give up. Do not lose hope,” he appealed.

Turning to the current political situation, Ohana noted that the last time the Independence Day ceremony was held without an audience was in 2020. This year too, Israelis were facing another pandemic, Ohana said. “The plague of strife, polarization and bigotry.”

The Knesset speaker preached the need for internal unity while Israel faces serious external threats. “We will have to shout less and listen more, even to our political opponents. They too proved that they are ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the Jewish and democratic state of Israel.”

Ohana’s comments come after a feud between him and Transportation Minister Miri Regev threatened to disrupt the already irregular ceremony. Regev, who has traditionally been tasked with organizing the ceremony under Netanyahu, had reportedly informed Ohana that he would not be given the traditional honor of addressing the event.

In retaliation, Ohana instructed the Knesset Guard not to cooperate with rehearsals. The tiff was resolved with Netanyahu’s intervention. Ohana delivered his address and the Knesset Guard participated in the ceremony.

Remembering the hostages

The Independence Day ceremony


Continued from page 1

distinction between “honoring” and “keeping” Shabbat? How about the one on sports ethics and the ethics of the NFL?

“As someone who’s worked with an NFL player who was injured, that was an eyeopener,” Slayton said.

The six-part annual series has been sponsored for several years by the Alan Papernick Educational Institute Endowment Fund. The cost to participate with CLE credits is $35 per class or $195 for the series. Participation without credit is $35 per class or $165 for the series.

“I think more people should take advantage of Rabbi Schiff’s CLEs,” Slayton said. “It’s a great opportunity for the community.”

Schiff said the CLE sessions resonate strongly — especially with people who know the importance of Judeo-Christian ethical codes in Western law. He admits one thing, though. They’re not all that practical for, say, someone practicing real estate law in Allegheny County.

“I don’t think most of what we offer is practically applicable to people’s jobs,” Schiff said. “But I don’t think we should underestimate the importance of understanding Jewish law. When you talk about the Jewish striving for excellence, it undergirds these topics … and it motivates people to ask themselves, ‘Is that the sort of ethics I bring to work?’”

Schiff started his CLE program at the Agency for Jewish Learning in 1998.

traditionally features a torch-lighting portion in which Israelis who are considered exemplary citizens are chosen to light 12 torches. This year’s torch-lighters were selected for their “heroism” on or related to Oct. 7.

Since the ceremony was pre-recorded and edited, it was able to be held in multiple locations.

Ahead of the main torch-lighting in Jerusalem, memorial torches were lit in southern communities Kfar Aza, Hof Zikim, Sderot, Nahal Oz, and other locations targeted on Oct. 7.

One of the torches was lit in Moshav Tekuma, next to a giant stack of burned cars destroyed on the highway in the Hamas attack.

During the main ceremony at Mount Herzl, 44 torchbearers lit 12 torches as representatives of the security forces, volunteer security squads, medical officials, heroic citizens, the Diaspora and more.

One torch was lit without bearers to symbolize the hostages in Gaza who have yet to return home.

The “security forces” torch was lit by representatives from the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet, the Mossad and Israel Police. Among them was IDF Capt. Shavit Ben Moshe, who fought terrorists on Oct. 7 while his brother was killed; and “Ayin,” codename for the unidentified head of the Shin Bet’s operational division, who commanded a small special forces unit on Oct. 7.

The “rescuers” torch was lit by civilians who acted courageously to save lives on Oct. 7.

Among those chosen for this honor were Youssef Elziadna, a Bedouin minibus driver from Rahat who saved 30 people from the Nova Festival while one family member of his was killed and four were kidnapped; and Rabbi Shahar Butzchak from Ofakim, who fought against Hamas terrorists even after being injured.

Nasreen Yousef, a resident of the Gaza border community of Yated, pulled out of the event

“I don’t recall whose idea it was to do these. It wasn’t mine — I wish it was!” Schiff laughed.

He transitioned to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh several years later.

“The idea of bringing Danny into our organization was to help establish the Jewish Federation’s thought leadership,” Federation spokesman Adam Hertzman said. “Having him teach in the legal area is a great part of that.”

due to threats on the lives of her and her family, apparently from within the Arab community.

Among those lighting the “local security team” torch was Inbal Liberman from Kibbutz Nir Am, who on the morning of Oct. 7 directed the members of her town’s security team to ambush incoming terrorists, saving many lives.

Among those who let the “rescue services” torch was Oshrit Hadad, a Magen David Adom paramedic who set up a field hospital on the border to treat dozens of people wounded during the Hamas attack.

The “public diplomacy” torch was lit by Yoseph Haddad, an Arab Israeli influencer who is an outspoken online advocate for the state of Israel; and Ella Keinan, another online influencer who coined the “HamasIsISIS” hashtag.

Lighting a torch representing “victory of the spirit,” was 95-year-old Ezra Yachin, the oldest active-duty reservist in the Israeli army.

A former member of the pre-state Lehi underground militia who enlisted at the age of 15 and was wounded in the War of Independence, Yachin returned to uniform after Oct. 7 to share his experiences with current IDF soldiers to boost morale.

Netanyahu’s address

In his pre-recorded video, Netanyahu used the opportunity to reiterate many of his wartime talking points about his determination to defeat Hamas.

While Israel might stand alone, as it did in the 1948 Independence War, its people have a secret weapon, “the spirit of an ancient people who refuse to die.”

“Thanks to this spirit, we defeated our enemies and secured our existence. Today we are infinitely stronger,” Netanyahu said in a clip set to upbeat music and featuring a montage of footage from Israeli history, including the Gaza

texts and modern thinking.”

During the pandemic, the sessions went virtual — but Schiff and those seeking CLE credit didn’t slow down.

In fact, the remote sessions, which the rabbi continued post-pandemic, were helpful for people like Schiff, who splits his year between Pittsburgh and Jerusalem. “People don’t even realize where I am at any given time,” he laughed.

“When you talk about the Jewish striving for excellence, it undergirds these topics … and it motivates people to ask themselves, ‘Is that the sort of ethics I bring to work?’”

“I think sometimes continuing legal education can be dry,” Hertzman added. “But Danny makes these topics come alive.”

At first, the program was offered about two or three times a year. But the need for attorneys to get their full 12 continuing education credits a year loomed large, and the program became increasingly popular.

Sessions quickly blossomed from 20 or 30 people in a room to 70 or 100, Schiff said.

The rabbi also started accompanying his CLE sessions with a 20- to 30-page handout with supplemental reading, which he said he labors to flesh out as a “whole compendium of classic

war, along with shots of himself and his wife Sara. (The prime minister’s office also posted his speech with English subtitles and without the footage and music.)

“This is not a normal Independence Day. The war is still in progress,” he said, before pledging to return the hostages to their families and ensure that the tens of thousands of Israelis who were forced to evacuate their homes along the northern and the southern borders will be able to return as well.

A message for the


Addressing Diaspora Jewry in a separate message unconnected with the official state ceremony, President Isaac Herzog said that Israel’s 76th year “has been marked by enormous pain and loss,” not just for the residents of the Jewish state “but for Jewish communities throughout the world.”

Highlighting the “shocking scale of the re-emergence of antisemitism in so many forms throughout the world,” Herzog said in a video posted online that “there is no question that this year, our Independence Day celebrations are different.”

But while the past seven months have been filled with suffering, they have “also been a time of important achievements,” he declared. “They have reminded us why we rose up from tragedy and found the strength and determination to establish a beautiful and beloved national home — the miracle that is the state of Israel.”

“They have reminded us, also, of our core qualities, of our power as a people to stand up, again and again, against hatred. To survive and speak our truth. Of our deep and sustaining caring for one another. Of our connection to the call that we have carried across the ages: To do good, to pursue peace and to repair our fractured world,” he said. PJC

“decided that nobody had written a halachic view on abortion.”

Schiff’s dedication to the program was matched by the diversity of the topics he embraced.

On March 16, 2018, he talked about “the Jewish approach” to capital punishment; on Dec. 14, 2006, he taught the legal differences between Christianity and Islam.

“(Jewish law) remains a significant conversation in our current world,” Schiff said. It all started on Jan. 30, 1998, when Schiff taught a CLE class titled, “Abortion In Jewish Law: A Case Study of the Development of Jewish Legal Texts.”

Schiff’s legal sources for the inaugural class were “drawn from numerous strata of Jewish legal history from antiquity to the present day, in order to demonstrate the dynamic nature of the Jewish legal system,” he said in the program description. He envisioned the first session while studying topics related to Jewish law and abortion at Hebrew Union College and

In 2019, it was veganism. On June 29, 2023, with the shadow of AI looming large, Schiff talked about plagiarism “in the internet age.” On April 7, 2000, he asked whether the separation of “church” and state is Jewish. (He revisited that one in 2009.) In 2017, it was about principles of Jewish business ethics; in 2000, the Ten Commandments; on Jan. 25, 2024, the concept of “usury” or paying interest on loans in Jewish law. Schiff even has addressed more obscure contemporary topics, such as autonomous vehicles.

“You would think Jewish law has nothing to say about this?” Schiff said. “But, it does!”

“We’re offering [the CLEs] six times a year, and I don’t see anything stopping it until I retire,” he said. “And, then, I imagine, my successor will continue it.”

Schiff said he tries to keep the series as fresh as possible — a real point of pride for him.

“We need to keep on refreshing the topics all the time,” he said. “And that, I think, is unique.” PJC

Justin Vellucci is a freelance writer living in Pittsburgh.



Barbara Symons:

Continued from page 2

While at Temple David, Symons led the congregation through sometimes difficult waters, including the aftermath of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and COVID-19.

Symons said that while the suburban congregation was geographically distanced from Squirrel Hill, the ripples of Oct. 27, 2018, were felt at Temple David, where shooting victim Rose Mallinger’s niece and great-niece were members.

“People had all kinds of relationships to the victims,” she said, “so, we were very connected.”

Symons endeavored to ensure the right kind of memorials took place, both in the immediate aftermath and the years that followed.

If Oct. 27, 2018, was a time of personal connection, COVID-19 presented the challenge of not being able to have a physical connection.

“It was hard because we were so separated,” she said.

Using technology, phone calls and personal notes, Symons and the congregation were able to maintain their relationships.

“All of the leadership at temple and I were trying to be present and have some normalcy and insight and inspiration from our texts and prayers,” she said.

One bonus for the rabbi was that during the pandemic’s downtime, she was able to

work on the book she edited for the Central Conference of American Rabbis, “Prophetic Voices: Renewing and Reimagining Haftarah.” It was published in 2023.

Reena Goldberg and her family have been members of Temple David for more

“[Symons] is very active, making sure Temple David, a medium-sized congregation kind of hidden away in the suburbs, wasn’t forgotten, which would have been easy to do otherwise,” Goldberg said.

She noted that Symons is recognized as a

“She’s so comforting — it’s amazing, how she can intertwine the lives of your beloved that has gone on and make it a memorable time. She’s just an artist.”

than 25 years. Her connections to Symons run deep — as a congregation member, former board member and immediate past president of the congregation, and as a teacher in its religious school, which the rabbi led.

She said that Symons was the “right fit” from her earliest days when she was getting to know the board and members at various meet-and-greets.

Goldberg said that Rabbi Emeritus Jason Edelstein helped with the transition from an interim rabbi to Symons and served as a mentor to the new full-time rabbi, something Symons acknowledged, as well.

While serving as president, Goldberg met regularly with the rabbi. The entire board, she said, was close.

leader and known for her achievements.

“She definitely has her own style, voice and strength and things she’s really involved in,” Goldberg said. “Especially here in Monroeville, a lot of people recognize her and know who she is because she is so involved in community events and building relationships.”

Symons said that she and her husband — the senior director of Jewish life at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh — have supported one another throughout their careers.

“Being the rabbi of a congregation takes a whole family,” she said. “That’s really important. Ron moved here unseen, which was a gift. Aviva, Ilana and Micah understood when I had to go to the

hospital to visit someone, or I wasn’t home for more than a quick dinner and then out to teach or to a meeting. It really was a family endeavor.”

As for her legacy, Symons said that her children, all working as Jewish professionals, are a testament to their time at Temple David.

The rabbi noted that it is interesting what compliments stick with you.

“Ten or 12 years ago, someone said to me that I made it so everyone could get involved on a leadership level, and that there weren’t any perceived barriers,” she said. “I took that really deeply as a compliment — that you don’t have to have that much knowledge or money or whatever.”

She said she’ll also remember the diversity of programs at the temple during her time there, which included a multiplicity of opportunities for people to become involved.

In the end, she said her time at the synagogue won’t be forgotten.

“As a rabbi, I helped to shape Temple David, but Temple David helped shape me and that’s something I will take with me as a move forward,” she said.

Temple David plans to hire an interim rabbi as it searches for its next full-time rabbi.

The congregation is honoring Symons with a weekend of events on May 17 and 18. PJC

David Rullo can be reached at drullo@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.


CARNEGIEMUSEUMOFARTTHEATER 7:30PM PRESENTEDBY JoinusforacelebrationofthegreatestJewish-themedshortfilmmakingfromaroundtheglobe.

As Israel turns 76, little to celebrate … except resilience and a unique history

Usually, there is an awkward, complex transition as Israel moves from mourning the fallen on Memorial Day to, with what feels like indecent speed, celebrating the start of another year on Independence Day.

Not so, this year.

The pain, grief and anger of the first Memorial Day since Hamas’ Oct. 7 slaughter was so profound and overwhelming that there could be no remotely full-throated celebration of the 76th anniversary of our independence.

The anguished ceremonies throughout Memorial Day underlined the abiding nightmare — with Doris Liber, a representative of the fallen, whose son Guy Illouz was murdered and his body abducted to Gaza on Oct. 7, tearfully appealing to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Monday’s main gathering on Mount Herzl to bring the hostages home. “I don’t have a grave” at which to mourn, she said.

But so, too, did the official state ceremony on Monday night ushering in Independence Day — distinguished by the presence, as torch lighters, of some of Israel’s heroes on and since Oct. 7, many of whom saved lives

that day and others who dealt with loss with extraordinary nobility.

The event was prerecorded, without an audience, ostensibly for security reasons but also, it was widely suggested, so that Netanyahu could deliver a message without risk of more of the heckling that he and

Hamas near-stalled, and with the United States, our one vital ally, increasingly wary of Netanyahu’s strategy or lack thereof. It marks the anniversary with 128 of the Oct. 7 hostages still held in Gaza, and with Hamas professing to have delivered a cease-fire document which is, in fact, a

Internally divided, globally isolated, there are precious few crumbs of comfort for Israel this birthday.

his ministers had received in the course of Memorial Day.

Simultaneously, vast crowds of Israelis gathered in solidarity with the relatives of the hostages in Tel Aviv’s Hostages Square, while in Binyamina, in northern Israel, an alternative “extinguishing the torches” event was held at which many participants held banners proclaiming “No hostages; no independence.”

Modern Israel has never had the luxury of taking its survival for granted, and the ongoing struggle on multiple fronts since the catastrophe of Oct. 7 has shown, again, that it dare not allow its guard to slip, dare not allow itself complacent assessments about its enemies and their intentions, because the consequences are devastating.

Israel turns 76 with its war to dismantle

cunningly constructed framework designed to end the war and secure the release of a great many murderous terrorists into the powder-keg West Bank in exchange for a very few hostages.

The northern border remains a ghost region, from which tens of thousands of Israeli residents remain internally exiled. Iran, openly dedicated to Israel’s destruction, recently attacked with hundreds of drones and missiles (almost all of which were intercepted), and is closing in on the bomb, to the undisguised despair of the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog organization.

Chronically incompetent on the “second battlefield,” with the PMO-run National Public Diplomacy Directorate underprioritized and overwhelmed and the Foreign Ministry marginalized, official Israel has

A field of hope in times of distress

Last week, I attended the annual PowerNET conference in Pittsburgh, an international event of the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies that JFCS Pittsburgh and The Branch had the privilege of hosting for the first time.

While this conference takes place every year, it felt especially important this year for professionals at Jewish organizations to meet, discuss challenges and successes, and learn about social service work that is being done across North America to serve our communities. Our agencies work with people with disabilities, run food pantries, resettle refugees, guide job seekers, provide mental health counseling and support our aging community members.

During the best of times, the work of social service organizations is exhilarating and exhausting, rewarding and frustrating. People often come to us for help when there is a crisis, and our staff understand and are trained to look beyond the anxiety and tension that is so prevalent among the people we serve. We push through the challenging moments and celebrate the successes that we are fortunate to witness and be a part of.

But these are not the best of times. From the 10/27 synagogue shooting to the pandemic, to the increasing political polarization, to the Afghan crisis, to the war in Ukraine, to the rising inflation, to the war in Israel and Gaza, to the rising antisemitism in the U.S., our community has been feeling frightened and out of control these

the needs of everyone in Pittsburgh who may be having a difficult time with a life transition or a sudden event. And the people providing the services are members of the same Pittsburgh community and are affected by the same challenges, as the people we serve. As we all know, in Pittsburgh there are few degrees of

There is tremendous kindness in the world that is easy to miss if we are not looking for it, especially during these difficult times.

past few years. Even those of us who are fortunate to have our basic, concrete needs met (sometimes quite substantially) are still struggling with our emotional needs. We worry about ourselves and our families. We worry about our planet. We fear for the future of our country. And we fear for the future of Israel.

The staff and volunteers of Jewish human service agencies are not all Jewish, nor are our clients. We are Jewish, Muslim, Christian, middle class, working class, city dwellers, suburbanites, fresh out of college, and looking toward (or already enjoying) retirement. We represent the Jewish community’s dedication to meeting

barely tried to explain the context of the war and the cynicism of a Hamas literally fighting from behind and beneath Gazans. But even if effective public diplomacy might have nudged the needle of international sentiment a little in its favor, Israel has faced, since almost immediately after Oct. 7, growing intolerance of its very right to defend itself — a carefully orchestrated intolerance that is morphing increasingly into plain old antisemitism.

Internally divided, globally isolated, there are precious few crumbs of comfort for Israel this birthday.

Except perhaps, that is, for the extraordinary resilience of the Jewish nation — through the 76 years of our modern existence, and the preceding millennia. Always, there have been those who rose to destroy the Jewish people. Always, they faded from history and the Jewish people did not.

Judaism, in its essence, has something divine to offer humanity — a code of life that we ourselves must ensure we exemplify. An ethos, enshrined in a faith, that values empathy and respect for others and that sanctifies life. It has surely been key to the Jews’ survival through the ages. And now again, so long as we maintain it, it retains the potential to sustain the beleaguered Jewish state. PJC

David Horovitz is the founding editor of The Times of Israel, where this first appeared.

separation between any of us.

The NJHSA conference was a chance for staff of agencies like JFCS and The Branch, from across North America and Israel, to support each other, to learn from each other and to marvel at the dedication our peers are demonstrating during these incredibly distressing and painful times.

After attending several inspiring plenary sessions and practical workshops, I entered a session on antisemitism in a small, crowded room where the mood was somber. The session immediately turned into an impromptu support group, with participants sharing their experiences with antisemitism in their home communities.

Some were work-related experiences, but many were personal.

Jews talked about frightening moments that they and their college children have had because they are Jewish. Non-Jews talked about their uncertainty about how to support their Jewish colleagues. Everyone talked about their worries for the future. There were a lot of tears and a lot of hugs — not a typical conference workshop but also not totally surprising at a Jewish social service conference.

Like many of the conference attendees, I left the conference feeling tired but inspired. It is an honor and a privilege to work with such dedicated colleagues and to serve the brave people who bare their souls at their darkest hours and take a risk with relative strangers who say they’d like to help. This work is not for the faint of heart, but it definitely draws those who are looking for a meaningful profession and the opportunity to have a lasting impact on people’s lives. There is tremendous kindness in the world that is easy to miss if we are not looking for it, especially during these difficult times. I’m fortunate to be part of a community of Jewish communal professionals who search for that kindness and do their best to help it blossom. PJC

Jordan Golin is the president and CEO of JFCS Pittsburgh.


Chronicle poll results: Yom Ha’atzmaut

Last week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic poll the following question: “Are you planning on going to a celebration for Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day?” Of the 183 people who responded, 52% said no; 32% said yes; and 16% said they were not sure. Comments were submitted by 29 people. A few follow.

I am embarrassed to admit that I would fear for my safety in these tumultuous times and not enjoy the experience and celebration as I should, and have, in past years.

I don’t think I can celebrate Israel’s Independence Day without mourning the loss of lives in the region.

Are you planning on going to a celebration for Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day?

I celebrate it in my heart with gratitude that Israel, our single best ally, is there.

Not my country. Not my holiday.

I can’t this year, but I will be thinking about Israel on that day, as I do every day.

Whether or not you plan to attend a celebration for Yom Ha’atzmaut, continued support for the state of Israel is vital to the future of the Jewish people.

I will be flying the flag of Israel.

I am having a big party and celebrating with everyone; 76 years and we have a country that is the best in the world.

Yes, though I am very worried about protesters/violence.

There is no reason for celebration as long as our hostages aren’t back and this government is still in place.

I’m avoiding all crowds.

I’ll be at the JCC in person with my husband and kids! PJC

Chronicle weekly poll question: Do you feel less safe as a Jew in America since Oct. 7? Go to pittsburghjewishchronicle. org to respond. PJC

Jews from Arab lands are the missing piece of the IsraeliPalestinian discourse

Igrew up in a small Syrian Jewish enclave in Brooklyn in the 1960s. It was a wonderful community with many old-world traditions. I missed it when I grew up and moved to Manhattan.

In the days before electronic marketing, I received tons of unsolicited mail. I also received mail that most people did not: donation requests from American Palestinian groups. If you were going through a phone book, you would definitely identify my last name as of Arabic origin and put me on the list.

Like many Jews who had centuries-long roots in Arabic countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Libya and Jordan, my family had also long ago adopted Arabic family names — often by the chosen trade. My last name “Sayegh” means “jewel maker” in Arabic and is spelled to reflect that guttural “gh” sound that even I cannot pronounce correctly.  So, it’s not totally surprising that Palestinian groups thought I was one of them.

Over the past years, I have often been

frustrated when I find people do not understand the trauma of the 700,000 Jews from all over the Middle East who were violently expelled from their countries in 1948 and how it resonates today. Pro-Palestinian activists who call out Israel as a “European settler colonial project” omit a critical part of the story that calls into question their claim. They ignore the Mizrahi majority in Israel who are descendants of Jews expelled from Arab lands when Israel was declared a state.

These “Arab Jews” — an often-contested term that I think is nonetheless fitting — experienced tremendous loss of life, property, family wealth and history that went back hundreds and sometimes thousands of years, and these experiences need to be acknowledged. By including it in the narrative of the current Israeli/Palestinian conflict, it will help balance the conversation by taking into account the actual historical events of 1948 and the impact on all the involved parties.

My family had a long history in Syria before my grandparents came to America in the early 1900s. My grandfather was a true Damascene who was ready for an adventure and left his very large family to see what America was all about. My grandmother’s family moved from Aleppo to Palestine where she was born and grew up. Faced by the extreme poverty in Jerusalem, her

Not all of the ‘50 Completely True Things” ring true

Regarding “‘50 Completely True Things,’ a Palestinian-American’s call for compromise” (May 10): Mo Husseini claims as one of his “50 completely true things” that “Israelis … have committed acts of terror” and “that some aspects of Israeli military activity may be war crimes.” These are lies and we all know it!

Israel is fighting a defensive war against terrorists who embed themselves among civilians, use civilians as human shields and fight without wearing identifying uniforms — all crimes in violation of the Geneva Convention. These are the real war crimes. Israel is responding to a sadistic, brutal attack against its civilians on Oct. 7, and Hamas has been clear it wants to

family decided to follow others to America. My grandparents met in Marseilles waiting for the boat that would take them to America.

Even though I have belonged to Jewish communities most of my adult life, my Syrian Jewish heritage continues to define me. It’s in the foods I like, the nasal intonation of the prayers that I often miss and in customs such as naming children after living relatives (a no-no among most Ashkenazim). I was blessed to have spent 30 years of my life knowing my grandmother Lily, aka Leah, after whom I am named.

And as a “Syrian Jew,” I know what it means to belong to a minority of a minority in America. The Ashkenazi majority, with origins in Eastern Europe, defines Jewish culture in America.  Many American Jews with roots in Yiddish-speaking lands do not fully acknowledge that Jews come from every corner of the world — Asia, Africa, the Middle East and parts of the Caucasus — all of whom have different languages and customs. Nor do they seem to be fully aware of the experience of Jews in Arabic countries in and after 1948.

When I moved to Israel in 1983, I finally met people who knew how to pronounce my last name and understood my Jewish cultural background. I also met my Great Uncle Daniel, who made it to Israel by foot after fleeing the extreme violence in Syria in 1948, and his large family.

As a descendant of Syrian Jews, I propose that now is the time to highlight these stories so they can take a prominent place in the conversation on the Middle East by all Americans — including all American Jews. What my family and hundreds of thousands of other Arabic Jews suffered and lost should not be forgotten, or eclipsed by the wellpublicized plight of Palestinians. With the founding of the State of Israel, many Arabic Jews  were expelled from their countries or were exposed to such horrific violence they had no choice but to leave. Many went to Israel. Their descendants now represent over 50% of the population of Israel.

The legacy of Arabic Jews might also give hope to all sides in a region where hope is in short supply.  There is no side in any war that is unscathed and unimpacted. For Palestinians, this history might allow them to point to people who rebuilt meaningful new lives even after experiencing traumatic events.

By bringing to the forefront the existence and truth of this often overlooked narrative, we can create a better future for all based on the realities of our histories. PJC

Lisa Sayegh is an American Syrian Jew. She lives in New York City. This first appeared on JTA.

commit its brutal, sadistic attack again, over and over.

It is very understandable that Jews would be “eager to read and identify with an essay that [appears to] seek common ground.” We Jews are desperately hungry for someone from the Arab world who speaks with anything close to what we would call moderation. But accusing the Jewish state of war crimes is not moderation and we need to stop giving a platform to someone who is spreading these libels against Israel.

We invite you to submit letters for publication. Letters must include name, address and daytime phone number; addresses and phone numbers will not be published. Letters may not exceed 500 words and may be edited for length and clarity; they cannot be returned. Send letters to: letters@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org or Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, 5915 Beacon St., 5th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15217

We regret that owing to the volume of correspondence, we cannot reply to every letter.

52% No
16% Not sure 32% Yes — LETTERS —
Simone Shapiro Squirrel Hill Guest Columnist Lisa Sayegh

Life & Culture

Switzerland may have taken the crown, and Croatia narrowly won the popular vote, but Israel received top points in the televote from the highest number of countries — including the “rest of the world” — at the 2024 Eurovision on Saturday night.

After months of calls for Israel to be banned from the international song contest, voters in 14 different countries — out of 37 that were eligible to vote — plus those in all non-participating nations as a group, handed the most possible points, 12, to the Jewish state. Overall, Israel’s Eden Golan finished fifth out of the 25 competitors in the Eurovision grand final this year.

Ultimately, Israel got top marks from voters in Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, plus the “rest of the world” aggregate. It also got 10 points, the secondhighest possible, from Albania, Austria, Cyprus, Czechia, Moldova, Slovenia and even Ireland, considered by many to be one of the most anti-Israel countries in Europe.

Overall, Israel received 323 televote points, just behind Croatia’s 337 points, and ahead of Ukraine’s 307 points from the public. Croatia got top marks from nine countries and Ukraine from seven.

Israel did notably less well in the jury votes, in which each country presents the results of a group of musical professionals. It got just 52 points there, 12th overall, prompting some Israelis to decry the snub as political. Still, the country ended up with more jury points than the UK, Greece, Latvia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Serbia, Spain, Austria, Georgia, Slovenia, Norway, Finland and Estonia.

There is often a gap between the juries’ picks and those of the public, which has led to much debate among fans over the years about abolishing the professional jury vote. Widespread televoting only came into use in 1998, when technological advances made it possible to tally them up quickly, and online voting was introduced later. This year, for example, the UK ranked 13th in the jury vote and yet received zero total points in the televote, leaving it in

18th place overall.

In terms of Israel’s own voting, both the public and the jury gave top marks, 12 points, to Luxembourg, which was represented this year by the Israeli-born Tali — one of the few contestants who agreed to be seen publicly with Golan. Israeli voters then gave 10 points to Ukraine, eight to Germany, seven to Italy, six to Armenia, five to Croatia, four to Georgia, three to Austria, two to France and one to Cyprus.

In the semifinal rounds, where only the televote is used to determine who advances, Israel received the most points overall on Thursday night, just edging out the Netherlands — a fan favorite which was later disqualified after its contestant, Joost Klein, was involved in a threatening incident backstage with a camerawoman.

Israel’s huge televote success came as an unwelcome surprise to the activists who had been trying for months to unsuccessfully

have the country barred from the contest. During the jury vote awarding portion of the competition, Israel’s representative, Maya Alkulumbre, was loudly booed by some in the audience, and some even booed each time any country awarded any points to Israel.

How did the country considered a pariah by so many over its ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza end up so popular? There’s no real way to analyze the motivations of millions of voters — and the European Broadcasting Union doesn’t reveal how many people voted — but a few trends are clear to see.

The most obvious is that the loudest voices on the internet do not necessarily represent either the overall majority or the majority of those who decide to vote in a song contest. Months of frantic hysteria on social media and Reddit forums clearly do not translate to real-life votes.

Those same corners of the internet

have of course blamed a global Zionist conspiracy for the televote results. The truth is that there was obviously an organized, dedicated effort by Israel supporters to give their votes to Golan in the face of intense threats and hatred, and it clearly drew votes from many who don’t otherwise tune into the Eurovision each year.

It is also much easier to vote in support of a country than against it — if anti-Israel activists didn’t rally around one particular contestant, and especially if they boycotted the vote, then their sentiments were not going to be counted.

Golan and Israel also ironically received a boycott boost — all the attention and media coverage of the controversy provided a much higher level of exposure to the song than in normal years. Some voters were also likely part of the backlash of those turned off by the pariah treatment given to the 20-year-old Golan by fans, Eurovision bloggers and even her fellow contestants.

And none of this should discount the fact that some votes were not political at all, and based, in fact, on music. Few could deny that Golan was a vocal powerhouse, whose live performances sounded almost identical to the studio recording. “Hurricane” was also one of the few power ballads of the evening, standing out amid a sea of upbeat pop tunes and folk-tinged songs.

Golan touched down in Israel on Sunday morning, just a few hours after competing, and expressed her gratitude to all those who supported her.

“Thank you to the whole country and the people who stood behind me, and I felt your love and support — you don’t know how much it helped me and gave me strength,” she said in comments shortly after deplaning.

“I represented the country and was our voice for everyone who needs to be brought home now,” she said, referring to the hostages held by terrorists in the Gaza Strip. The singer also made a special mention to the “security services who kept us safe” during the delegation’s two weeks in Malmo ahead of the contest, amid an elevated threat level.

Golan was largely confined to her hotel room for the weeks leading up to the show, skipping virtually all events surrounding the contest except for the live shows and dress rehearsals, due to a high threat level against her and the delegation. PJC

— MUSIC — Israel gets top public vote from 14 countries in Eurovision –plus ‘rest of the world’
p Eden Golan
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Life & Culture

‘A … My Name is Still Alice’ opens Front Porch

Theatricals’ 2024 season

While the songs in Front Porch Theatricals’ latest production, “A … My Name is Still Alice,” were written in the 1990s, they are just as relevant today, according to the show’s producer, Nancy Zionts.

“The relevance of these stories — some of them are absolutely the same as they were then, for better or worse,” she said.

The production, which runs at the New Hazlett Theater from May 17-26 and features an all-female cast, explores issues that were important to women 30 years ago — issues that continue to be debated and discussed.

That theme is captured in the song “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back,” Zionts said, noting that while progress has been made on some issues, “on others, we haven’t made all the progress we want.”

Director Nancy McNulty McGeever called “A … My Name Is Still Alice” a “light-hearted look at the tribulation seven women bring to the life and times of the ’90s everywoman.”

It’s “the continued story of the trail blazing women of the ’90s,” she said. “A time when their careers, clothes, bodies and families were targeted daily by a deeply sexist society.”

Make no mistake, though. Despite the heavy themes, “A … My Name is Still Alice” is filled with hope and humor, Zionts said, adding that there is a lot of joy on stage, backstage and in the rehearsal room.

“It’s a joyful offering,” she said, “because if you didn’t end every scene with hope and optimism you could cry.”

In fact, the only way to present these ideas from the stage, Zionts said, is by making the audience laugh.

“It’s very, very funny. That’s the way you take subjects like that and bring them to a mainstream audience,” she said. “We’ve never had a funnier show.”

The revue wasn’t selected for its connection to the ’90s, Zionts said. Rather, Front Porch Theatricals was seeking the same things in a show that it wants every season: solid, strong stories to tell. The music that accompanies the stories includes something for everyone, spanning gospel to country, rock to pop ballads.

The company, Zionts said, likes to stage works that aren’t frequently produced, but sometimes shows written decades ago can seem outdated.

“Some of that stuff,” she said, “you just can’t pull it forward.”

Not so with “A … My Name is Still Alice,” which has strict requirements relative to ethnicity and diversity, something that aligned with what Front Porch Theatrics was seeking.

“This stuff stands the test of time,” she said, then quickly added, “unfortunately.”

It’s the decades-long struggles, Zionts noted, that make the show relevant for so many people of all ages.

“This show is nice for multiple generations because you either lived through the time or you’re living through it now and didn’t realize it,” she said. “We didn’t invent it. These issues have been around for a long time.”

original production but has a more femaleaffirming — rather than male-bashing — vibe than the original work.

“I see no reason to write half the people out of the audience that want to come to a show,” Zionts said. “Every one of the stories,

and it comes back ‘none.’ Then I don’t have to think about it. Whatever it is, though, everyone is going to eat.”

Balancing out the season, Front Porch Theatricals will present “Bandstand” from Aug. 16-25.

Despite the heavy themes, “A … My Name is Still Alice” is filled with hope and humor, Zionts said, adding that there is a lot of joy on stage, backstage and in the rehearsal room.

The cast features Kristiann Menotiades, Becki Toth, Natalie Hatcher, Saige Smith and Delilah Picart, as well as understudies

Michaela Isenberg and Maya Fullard portraying the different personalities and roles that women play throughout their lives.

“I see myself in most of them,” Zionts said.

The revue is a sequel of sorts to “A … My Name is Alice,” conceived in the 1980s by Joan Micklin Silver and Julianne Boyd. Zionts’ producing partner, Bruce E.G. Smith, saw the production in the ’90s at the Pittsburgh Public Theater and loved it, Zionts said.

“A…My Name is Still Alice” continues the strong feminist themes of the

songs and vignettes has an element of hope to it, which is lovely.”

The production is choreographed by Ashley Harmon. Douglas Levine is the music director.

Zionts knows how challenging it can be to work in theater, when actors are often rushing from day jobs or taking care of families. To make things just a little easier for the cast and crew, the producer wears another hat during Front Porch Theatricals productions: head chef.

“There’s always going to be food,” she said. “There are different kinds of salads and vegetables and fruit and Popsicles and Fudgesicles — it changes every day. My favorite thing is when I ask about allergies,

“We got the rights to the show the day they became available,” Zionts said.

The show, which is set in 1945 and includes live swing music, is about a group of soldiers who come back to the States after serving overseas. They form a band and go around the country trying to get their big break.

“It’s the struggle of veterans coming back and trying to reintegrate and make a life for themselves after the war, and the loves they left behind and the hopes they had before, and the way they look at the world now,” Zionts said. “And the music is unbelievable.” PJC

David Rullo can be reached at drullo@ pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.

p Natalie Hatcher (left), Saige Smith, Kristiann Menotiades, Delilah Picart and Becki Toth star in Front Porch Theatricals’ production of “A … My Name is Still Alice.” Photo by Deana Muro

Life & Culture

‘Is your fav author a zionist???’ A viral list reignites


fears in the literary world.

Jewish novelist Talia Carner’s agent got in touch on Thursday morning to let her know she was on a list that had gone viral.

Usually, that’s good news for an author. But Carner knew better: Since December, she said, she has faced harassment from people who believed the content of her latest book, set in the aftermath of the Holocaust, proved that she supports Israel. Now, she had landed on a viral Google Doc titled “Is your fav author a zionist?” — firmly in the “yes” category.

She didn’t dispute the conclusion, but she feared the consequences. While the ad age says all publicity is good publicity, “it’s not for me. It gives me agita,” she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “The antisemitism is eating me.”

The spreadsheet, created earlier this week by an X user named Amina, compiles social media posts, public statements and close readings to sort authors into categories: “Pro-Israel/Zionist,” “ProPalestinian/Anti-Zionist” and various shades of “It’s complicated,” including “Both sides-ing it.”

Th e spreadsheet also offers suggested responses to the title question. “If YES, it’s suggested you do not give them any money (purchasing their books, streaming their shows/movies) or promote their work on any social platforms,” a key reads. “If UNCLEAR, at the end of the day it’s up to you. I suggest refraining from buying/promoting until more evidence is out.”

To advocates for Jews in the literary world, the spreadsheet offered bitter confirmation of a climate of intolerance in w hich authors who are perceived to be pro-Israel are facing exclusion and harassment.

“ We’ve been hearing about lists like this one for months now. Seeing this one p ublicly, and the explanations, is truly chilling,” Naomi Firestone-Teeter, CEO

p A screenshot of the viral “Is your fav author a zionist” Google spreadsheet shows some of the reasons that the document’s creators deemed writers pro- and anti-Israel. Screenshot via JTA

of the Jewish Book Council, said in a statement.

“ This is shades of the 1930s. Calling for a boycott of Jewish authors and their books achieves the same effect as book-burning,” the group’s president, Elisa Spungen Bildner, said in a statement. (Bildner is also on the board of 70 Faces Media, JTA’s parent company.)

The list adds to extensive turmoil in the literary world as prestigious literary prizes, leadership at the Jewish New York cultural center 92NY, major awards ceremonies and the staff of Artforum magazine have all been upended by tensions over the sevenmonth-old Israel-Hamas war. Last month, the literary free-speech group PEN America canceled its annual awards ceremony and festival after most of its award nominees called for a boycott of the group, citing insufficient criticism of Israel.

The spreadsheet, which had grown to nearly 200 names by Thursday, suggested that simply not weighing in on the divisive war was enough to earn skepticism.

Karen McManus, the author of “One of Us is Lying,” was labeled “unclear” in her v iews, with the comment, “Seemingly not engaged with any discourse.” So was

Salman Rushdie, the Booker Prize-winning novelist who was almost killed in 2022 by a man enraged by his criticism of Islam; Rushdie has supported a Gaza fundraiser but also participated in a PEN America event, the document says, leading to t he conclusion that he is “at best, both sides-ing it.”

Most of the authors on the list are identified as pro-Palestinian because of social m edia posts expressing concern about Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. Some participated in a February event in which authors auctioned signed books to raise money for child amputees in Gaza. One, Antonia Angress, is included because she posted an Instagram graphic from the Jewish non-Zionist group IfNotNow calling for a ceasefire and because a character in her novel “Sirens & Muses” expresses opposition to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories. “Actively supports palestine and is also jewish so they deserve extra support,” the spreadsheet says.

Many of the authors who are identified as pro-Israel or Zionist are Jewish, but not all of them. (Most U.S. Jews feel a sense of connection to Israel, surveys show, though a growing number of younger Jews say they

do not or hold harshly critical opinions about Israel.) Some are open advocates for Israel, but others were assigned to that category on the basis of a single post deemed pro-Israel, such as an October link to a fundraiser for an Israeli emergency services provider, in the case of bestselling novelist Kristin Hannah. Another author, Annabel Monaghan, is deemed a Zionist because she “created a pro israel instagram post with no mention of palestine.” The linked post, dated Oct. 12, expresses concern for Jewish friends alarmed by Hamas’ attack on Israel and antisemitism.

“I’m in good company, if they put someone like Kristin Hannah on it,” Carner s aid. “The question is how effective this list is going to be, and the longer it gets the better we all are, especially if it contains people like that.”

The list seemed likely to swell further as views to the tweet announcing it topped 1 mi llion — with more than 8,000 shares — and it was being viewed by dozens of people at a time. The spreadsheet’s creator, identified within the document as Amina Hossain, was updating it on Thursday afternoon.

S he did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday but acknowledged on X that her document had gone viral — and was eliciting criticism.

“As this is straying past its intended audience I urge my followers to not engage with some of these rage-bait acco unts,” she wrote. “It is not worth your time and energy and that’s exactly what they want.”

Firestone-Teeter said the list underscores the need for the council’s efforts to support Jewish authors who face antisemitism, which include a new system to report concerns.

“ This list, coupled with the many ways in which our authors have been targeted — review bombing, Jewish book event cancellations, online abuse and harassment, censorship — is deeply troubling, and is a part of our concerns about wider scale antisemitism in the literary world, and more generally,” she said. PJC

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Torah Celebrations

B’nai Mitzvah

Judah Max Arnold, son of Hadassah Max and Jonathan Arnold, will become a bar mitzvah at Congregation Beth Shalom on May 18, 2024. Judah is brother to Alia and Micah, and grandson of Paula and Jeffrey Max (Liverpool, England) and Laura and George Arnold (Pittsburgh). Great-grandmothers are Ida Powell and Doris Kennedy. Judah is a seventh grader at Community Day School, where he plays saxophone in the band and participates in Odyssey of the Mind. Judah loves building with Legos, playing complicated board games with his friends, and biking and skiing with his family.

Sam Broverman is a seventh-grade student at Jefferson Middle School in Mt. Lebanon who especially enjoys math. Outside of the classroom, he plays goalie for his soccer team, loves playing with his beloved goldendoodle Pepper, and has attended Camp Young Judaea for the past few summers. Through Beth El and CYJ, his love of Judaism and Israel have flourished. Parents are Leslie and Jeremy Broverman. His grandparents are Jerome (Jerry and Louise Bernstein from Cheshire, Connecticut, and Michael and Lynn Broverman of the Villages, Florida, and Francine Broverman (of blessed memory). In the lead-up to his bar mitzvah, Sam has volunteered with SHIM helping to bag food and hygiene supplies for needy neighbors and will be donating pet food, treats and toys to area shelters. He will become a bar mitzvah at Beth El Congregation of the South Hills on May 18.

Ava Irene Rofey Golomb, daughter of Dana Rofey and Adam Golomb of Fox Chapel, became a bat mitzvah at Adat Shalom during Shabbat morning services on Saturday, May 11, 2024. Ava is the younger sister of Ella and older sister of Nora and is the granddaughter of Nancy and Perry Rofey of Boca Raton, Florida and Sandy and Lee Golomb of Collier Township, Pennsylvania. Ava is in the sixth grade at Dorseyville Middle School and enjoys musical theater, horseback riding, helping animals and hanging out with her friends and family. For her bat mitzvah project, Ava made and delivered toiletry bags to people with insecure housing.

Nathan and Janice Bahary of Squirrel Hill are thrilled to announce the engagement of their daughter Sigalle Eytan Layman, son of Lenore and Rabbi Jonah Layman of Olney, Maryland. Sigalle’s grandparents are Muriel and Arthur Lorring, the late Herbert Perlin, and the late Suzette and Heskel Bahary. Eytan’s grandparents are Ruth and Rabbi Robert Layman, Estelle Leibowitz and the late Ephraim Leibowitz. Sigalle is an associate analyst for Giant Eagle. Eytan is an education program administrator for The Brooklyn Heights Synagogue. Sigalle and Eytan met while both attending the University of Maryland. PJC

Counting days and weeks

There is something strange about the way we count sefirah the 49 days between Passover and Shavuos mentioned in this week’s Torah portion, Emor.

The Talmud says: Abaye stated, “It is a mitzvah to count the days, and it is a mitzvah to count the weeks.” This is because both are mentioned explicitly in the Torah. We thus fulfill both mandates. For example, at the conclusion of the first week, we count as follows: “Today is seven days, which is one week to the Omer.”

Why does the Torah instruct us to count both the days and the weeks simultaneously? What do we gain by counting the week after we have already counted the days? What would be missing if we left out the weeks?

What is this sefirah count all about anyhow? What is the point of counting days and weeks that will pass regardless of your count? All other mitzvos — beside this one — accomplish something tangibly (whether we fully grasp their significance or not). Our ears hear the sound of the shofar; our arms get wrapped in tefillin; our money goes to a poor person, etc. But what happens when I say, “Today is 33 days?” No matter whether I count or not, it will be 33 days!

The truth is that the count from Passover to Shavuos is really the count from the day we were set free and given independence to the day we stood at Sinai and received the Torah. The count is significant because it represents the count from Jewish peoplehood to Jewish identity.

On Passover we became a people. An entity called “the Jewish nation” emerged after being enslaved to another nation for decades. But that was not the end of the story. We immediately began counting the days in great anticipation until Shavuos, the day we would stand at Sinai and receive the Torah — the day we would create a covenant with G-d and accept His constitution, the Torah, as our eternal mandate and blueprint.

That is why we include both days and weeks in our count, to highlight and synchronize two ways of defining the meaning of Jewish peoplehood and identity.

A day is a unit of time created by the cycles of nature. The 24-hour period is the natural result of sunrise and sunset. Nature gives us the day.

A seven-day week, on the other hand, is not a result of any natural system. Why does a week have seven days and not six, eight or the complete number of 10 days? Nothing astronomically occurs at the end of seven days to justify it as a time marker, like the lunar cycle completed every 29-and-a-half days marking the end of a month, or the solar cycle completed after 365 days marking the end of a year, or the daily solar orbit completed every 24 hours, giving us day and night. Who came up with the universally accepted idea of a seven-day week? And why?

Judaism’s perspective is clear: From the days of Adam and Eve, the seven-day week was enshrined into human life. “Six days you shall work and on the seventh day is Sabbath,” Moses tells the Jewish people. It was the seven days of creation culminating with the Sabbath that introduced the notion of a seven-day cycle into the way we mark time. Beginning with

Adam and Eve and their descendants, time was divided into seven days, representing the notion that G-d created the world, and on the seventh day He rested. The origin of the universally accepted seven-day week is directly from Torah. “Six days you shall work, and on the seventh day you shall rest.”

Now, there are “week-Jews” and “day-Jews.”

A “week-Jew” sees himself, his people and Judaism as orbiting within a Divine cycle of time. For this Jew, Jewish peoplehood and identity are defined exclusively by the “week”— by a Divine plan. In his or her perception, the essence of our existence is our relationship with G-d and His blueprint for the world.

For the “week-Jew,” the oxygen of the Jewish people is Torah and mitzvos — the means of our relationship to G-d. And it is this alone that is responsible for our survival throughout the ages. The tefillin have remained the same throughout all of history. The matzo is the same before and after electricity, before and after the internet. The gefilte fish and cholent haven’t changed much.

The “day-Jew,” on the other hand, sees Jewish peoplehood in natural terms — we are a nation like other nations, subjected to the ordinary laws and patterns of nature. Nations rise and fall like sunrise and sunset. The Jewish nation, they will concede, has demonstrated unique survival skills, but that is because of various historical and cultural factors. In essence, though, they will argue we are part of the natural family of nations.

The “day-Jew” strongly believes in cultivating our standing among the nations of the world. Our survival depends on ensuring that “nature” is on our side. We must remain firmly etched in the modern world, mastering its professions and embracing all its opportunities, to ensure our continuous success and existence.

This argument has been going on for much of Jewish history. The “day-Jews” would scornfully define the “week-Jews” as “weak-Jews,” believing in the intangible, not relying enough on their own prowess and strength. While the “week-Jews” would define their brothers as “dazed-Jews,” half-asleep, not alert and sensitive to the extraordinary story of our people and to the deeper dimensions of reality.

The truth is that both perspectives must be combined. We must count the “days,” representing the requirement to do all in our power to be a strong and united people. At our core we remain “week-Jews.” What is the ultimate definition of our peoplehood? That we are “Am Hashem,” G-d’s people, a people chosen by the Creator to be the ambassadors of holiness to the world. The day is part of the week; the week is not part of the day. Our experience as a nation among many must always be seen in context of the “week,” within our larger identity as G-d’s people.

As we all pray for the complete victory in Israel and the release of the hostages, we know that while we must do everything possible in the realm of nature (days) to secure victory, it is ultimately the blessings and protection of G-d (weeks) that will prevail.

This is therefore the story of our people: We never only count days; we also count weeks. PJC Rabbi Mendel Rosenblum is director of Chabad of the South Hills. This column is a service of the Vaad Harabonim of Greater Pittsburgh.

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Rabbi Mendel Rosenblum Parshat Emor | Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23


GUP: Mark Kramer Gup, peacefully on Sunday, May 5, 2024, age 93, at his residence in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Husband of Helen Gup. Father of Cynthia Rudolph (Joe) of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania; Daniel Gup (Terri Klein) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Amy Gup (Joelle Mueller) of Boulder, Colorado. Brother of Alex Gup and Ann Litvak of Pensacola, Florida. Grandfather of Mark Rudolph, Emily Gup and Noah Gup; great-grandfather of Jonas and Ara Rudolph. Mark was drawn to tennis from an early age, starting in Pensacola with off-duty Navy airmen and continuing until recently with the many friends he met playing in Pittsburgh. More than a handful of younger players at Mellon Park recall being bested by him into his late 80s. Professionally, he worked in the field of marketing research for several Pittsburgh companies. In addition, he loved his longstanding teaching career as a part-time marketing instructor in the University of Pittsburgh Business School. Mark appreciated time spent outdoors, at the ocean, listening to music, reading, traveling, attending plays and symphonies, learning new things, taking photographs, dancing and, most of all into his last days, spending time with his beloved family and friends. Mark made friends wherever he went, from growing up in Pensacola to summers in Chautauqua and, more recently as a resident of Weinberg Terrace. Services were held at Temple Sinai. Interment private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to an organization of your choice that is meaningful to you. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. schugar.com

Alan Lebow, age 75, of Pittsburgh passed away unexpectedly on May 6, 2024. He was born on May 8, 1948, to the late Morris and Charlotte Lebow of Squirrel Hill. Loving husband to Linda Lebow of 42 years. Beloved father of Brett Lebow. Cherished stepfather of Patrick (Alison) Keating. Brother of Roberta (David) Brody. Poppy of Landon Lebow, Mackenzie Keating and Maddie Keating. Uncle to Jason (Troy Harris) Lando and Brad (Laura) Lando. Alan was very passionate about Pitt sports, especially football, and loved his family immensely. Arrangements by Beinhauers. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Moe Lebow Tree of Life Fund, P.O. Box 5273, Pittsburgh, PA 15206.

Violet “Vicky” Flitt Miller, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, passed away on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at the age of 98. She is survived by her devoted children, Madelyn Gale Miller (David Sobal) of Pennsylvania and Harris Richard (Teresa) Miller, of Sharon, Massachusetts; adoring grandchildren Davis Miller and Lauren Hayward (Sunmin Ahn); precious great-grandchildren Hayward, Iden and Jammin Ahn. She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Irvin Milton Miller, loving siblings Ester F. Hoffman, Tillie F. Luery, Harry Flitt, Isadore Flitt and Sarah F. Klein; and loving parents, Julia and Mayer Flitt. Services were held at Sol Levinson’s Chapel, 8900 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, MD , on Sunday, May 12, 2024. Interment Beth El Memorial Park. Please omit flowers. Contributions in her memory may be sent to Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah, 7000 Rockland Hills Drive, Baltimore, MD 21209. Please check the Sol Levinson website for

Alan H. Perer, a warm, exuberant presence who brought laughter and merriment to all who knew him, passed away on May 12, 2024, at the age of 76. Born in 1948 to Beatrice and Leonard Perer, Alan was a lifelong resident of Squirrel Hill. His hometown was a never-ending source of pride for him. But wherever Alan roamed, the fun always followed. Upon graduating from Taylor Allderdice High School, Alan attended Washington & Jefferson College. After an extended road trip to Woodstock interrupted his studies (in characteristic Big Al fashion, he got lost and didn’t make it to the legendary festival on time), Alan graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1973. He went on to earn his law degree from Pitt in 1976, where he also met the love of his life and wife of nearly 50 years, Diane. Alan felt a calling to use his considerable skills as a plaintiffs’ lawyer, fighting for the rights of individuals. His passion for helping others in their time of need defined his work at the law firm he founded. Beyond his professional accomplishments, Alan’s true joys were his family and friends. He had an unbridled zest for living life to the fullest, something of a veritable walking nightclub. A lifelong sports fan and music aficionado, Alan could often be found playing tennis or golf, listening to his carefully curated playlists, strumming his acoustic guitar, or hosting lively gatherings, which earned him the self-proclaimed (and undisputed) title of “Social Chair.” A lifelong Marquis, and later, a Harrumpher, he had a gift for bringing people together through his affable sincerity and love of a good time. Into his 70s, he joyfully threw birthday celebrations for himself, each one becoming more extravagant. Alan’s talent for living left an indelible mark not only on every room he entered, but the entire world as a whole. He is survived by his wife, Diane; his two children, Langley (husband Scott Rosenberg) and Abby (husband Brendan Dunuwila); four grandchildren, Bowie, Sawyer, Dean and Serena; sister Rochelle Shelley Droz (husband Gary Droz); his nieces Lauren and Sara; and countless dear friends who became like family. Alan’s favorite novel was the Larry McMurtry classic, “Lonesome Dove,” a quote from which sums up Alan’s life perfectly: “It’s been quite a party, ain’t it?” In lieu of flowers the family is asking that donations be made to The Kiki Fund For Leptomeningeal Research (danafarber. jimmyfund.org/site/TR?fr_id1200&pg=team&teamid=13259), a charity Alan helped start to raise money and awareness for his daughter Langley’s illness. Services were private. A celebration of Alan’s life was held at the Duquesne Club. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel,

Helene Girson Myers of Pittsburgh and Palm Beach, Florida, adored wife of the late Morton Myers, passed away peacefully, surrounded by love on Mother’s Day, May 12, 2024. Beloved mother of Jaymi Myers-Newman (Kenneth T. Newman); cherished grandmother of Grant Newman, Cole Newman and Heath Newman. She was preceded in death by her son, the late Craig Myers, her parents, the late Harry and Lillian Ohringer Girson, and her brother, the late Ronald Girson. Helene was proud to have been born and raised in Squirrel Hill and gave that same childhood to her own children. She loved her daily walks through her neighborhood, stopping “upstreet” to chat along the way. She had enormous empathy, a vivid imagination, a quick laugh and a generous spirit. Helene was a great beauty. She modeled in Pittsburgh and New York, and was the Dapper Dan Girl and Miss Pittsburgh. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, she taught second grade at Wightman School. She went on to own and operate a gift shop called Knock on Wood on Walnut Street in Shadyside. Helene loved her family, and she loved the movies. There was not a movie that she did not see. Oscar Night was her big event. But to her family, she was always the real star. She always will be. Service and interment were held at Homewood Cemetery. If you would like to make a charitable donation in Helene’s memory, kindly consider the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave. 17th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. schugar.com

SILVERMAN: Madeleine Beth Silverman. Madi Silverman of Kailua, Oahu, passed away at home with family by her side on April 25, 2024, after battling metastatic melanoma since June 2023. Madi excelled at life. She was a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother to her family, a loyal friend and great neighbor. She loved running the Honolulu marathon (with minimal training), played and coached soccer, paddled for Kailua and loved the outdoors and hiking. Everyone described Madi as brave, courageous and tough but also uniquely full of life, optimistic and eternally happy. She uplifted all who knew her with her exuberance, thoughtfulness and love. Her passing is felt deeply by her family, many friends, workmates and colleagues throughout the islands. Madi was born in Pittsburgh to Dr. Mendel and Tamara Silverman and was the oldest of four children. She attended Taylor Allderdice High School and graduated from Duquesne University with a BS in special education in 1976. She served in the Peace Corps in Gabon, Central Africa, from 1976-’78 before moving to Hawaii to obtain a master’s degree in public health at UH Manoa. Following graduation, she filled a variety of roles at several health clinics before accepting a state position at HHS in the Long-Term Care Branch. She was best known for her work as the project director of the Hawaii “Money Follows the Person/Going Home Plus” Program. She was responsible for over 700 successful transitions of people from institutions to the community, allowing those desiring to age in place to do so with dignity. Madi will be sorely missed by her husband, Dale Jensen; children, Will (Tessa) and Samantha (Grey Saul); her four granddaughters, Bodhi, Pippa, Talia and Ophelia; her two sisters, Dr. Jan Silverman (Dave Rand) and Dr. Susie Smith (Scott); brother, Ron Silverman; her sister-in-law, Diane Jensen; her several nieces, nephews and her large community of friends in Kailua, across Oahu and the mainland. A memorial service for Madi will be held at Kalama Beach Club, Kailua, Hawaii, on Sunday, June 30. Donations can be directed to Institute for Human Services (ihshawaii.org/donate/), No Kid Hungry or Doctors Without Borders.

TRIPP: Barbara Tripp, 90, passed away peacefully at her home in Boynton Beach, Florida, on May 3, 2024. She was the beloved wife of the late Irving Tripp, with whom she shared 65 wonderful years of marriage. Born in New York City on Feb. 1, 1934, to the late Charles and Sadie Heitner Smith, Barbara was the sister of the late Howard Smith. She spent most of her life in Edison, New Jersey, before moving to Boynton Beach in her later years. A graduate of NYU, Barbara embarked on a fulfilling career as a travel agent, a profession that perfectly complemented her passion for exploring the world. She cherished her regular visits to New York City,

Please see Obituaries, page 20




Continued from page 19

where she attended classes at the New School and immersed herself in the city’s vibrant theater scene and renowned museums. Barbara generously shared her love for New York City with her family, creating lasting memories of their adventures together. Barbara leaves behind a loving family who will deeply miss her: her daughter Karen Friedman (Jack) and son Steven Tripp (Ellen); grandchildren Hillary Friedman, Max Friedman (Maggie), Tovah Tripp (William) and Charlie Tripp (Danielle); and great-grandchildren Brooks and Ava Friedman, and Michael and Samara Rafelson. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that contributions be made in Barbara’s memory to a charity of your choice.

WECHT: Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., 93, passed away peacefully on May 13, 2024. He leaves behind his loving wife, Sigrid; four children, David (Valerie), Daniel (Anna), Benjamin (Flynne) and Ingrid (Harold); and 11 grandchildren, Dylan, Sophie, Zoe, Gabriel, Nathan, Jacob, Sarah, Alexander, Macey, Emma and Jessica. Cyril was born in Pittsburgh on March 20, 1931, to immigrant parents Nathan and Fannie Wecht, and raised in Bobtown, McKees Rocks and the Lower Hill District. A standout student, violinist and athlete at Fifth Avenue High School, he graduated as class valedictorian and went on to the University of Pittsburgh, where he distinguished himself as president of Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity, concertmaster of the Pitt Symphony, business manager of the Pitt News, and president of the YMCA, among many other honors. After earning his medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Cyril was called into his country’s service and proudly served as a captain in the United States Air Force. It was there that he met his wife, Sigrid, herself an immigrant, who also was serving in the United States Air Force. After they both were honorably discharged, they married at Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh, and lived briefly in Baltimore, where Cyril obtained his first law degree from the University of Maryland while working in the Medical Examiner’s Office, and where their first child, David, was born. After returning to Pittsburgh in 1963, Cyril and Sigrid had three more children, Daniel, Benjamin and Ingrid, and Cyril obtained his second law degree, this one at Pitt. Cyril embarked on a long and stellar career combining his training in medicine and

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Dr Joseph Simon

Elva Hendel Perrin

law, and his then-rare expertise in the nascent field of forensic pathology. Early on, Cyril juggled four jobs — as a forensic pathologist/deputy at the Coroner’s Office; as an assistant district attorney/medical-legal adviser to the district attorney; as a pathologist at the Veterans Administration Hospital – Leech Farm; and as an attorney practicing with his friends David and Roslyn Litman. He went on to win election to several terms as Allegheny County coroner, where he modernized the office and made it into an international model, attracting trainees from all over the world. He later served as Allegheny County’s first chief medical examiner. Cyril also was elected county commissioner, county Democratic Party chairman and president of several professional organizations, including the American College of Legal Medicine, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the American Board of Legal Medicine and many others. Cyril founded the Pittsburgh Institute of Legal Medicine and the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law at Duquesne University, where he taught for some 60 years. He was the first civilian permitted to examine the evidence from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy at the National Archives, and the first person to discover that the president’s brain, and related material, was missing. He was the nation’s foremost critic of the Warren Commission’s infamous single bullet theory. He personally conducted tens of thousands of autopsies, consulted and testified in countless criminal and civil cases, spoke around the world to professional, lay and student groups, held several faculty appointments, authored dozens of books and hundreds of scholarly articles, and collaborated on numerous film and television projects, including the award-winning films “JFK” and “Concussion.” He worked avidly and expertly to discover the truth surrounding deaths and injuries suffered by others, and brought comfort and justice for countless grieving and victimized families around the globe. He loved Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, and, although he traveled the world, he never would consider living anywhere else (save for his two years of military service and his brief time in Baltimore after discharge). Most of all, Cyril loved his family, and made the happiness, well-being and education of his wife, his children and his grandchildren his top priority in life. He also was blessed to share the love and affection of many close and lifelong friends and colleagues, most of whom have departed from this realm as well. Services, interment and shiva private. A public memorial service will be announced in the future. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Cyril’s memory can be made to Stand With Us, standwithus. com, PO Box 341069, Los Angeles, CA 90034. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. schugar.com

Contact the Development department at 412-586-2690 or development@jaapgh.org for more information. THIS WEEK’S YAHRZEITS —

Sunday May 19: Hilda Parker Cohen, William Feivelson, Max Geltner, Lena Gescheidt, Samuel Goldblum, M .D , Albert Lawrence Jacobs, Grace Lebovitz, Samuel H Miller, Elva Hendel Perrin, Mary Evelovitz Rom, Andrea Sue Ruben Serber, Florence Specter, Morris Stern, Cecelia Tepper, Louis E Walk, Bernard Weiss, Maurice Wilner

Monday May 20: Jeanne Gettleman Cooper, Isadore Cousin, Louis Diamond, Regina Friedman, Bennie M Granowitz, Sam Greenberger, Isadore Gutkind, Solis Horwitz, Hyman Kramer, Anna Finestone Levit, Renee Malt Hart, Samuel Monheim, Louise Plotkin, Leonard J Singer, Jewel Weiss

Tuesday May 21: Larry Abelson, Rosella Lillian Barovsky, Rita Marcus Faberman, Paul M Fierst, Fannie Glick, Sarah Viola Heller, Saul I Heller, Anne Marks, Samuel Mendlow, Ruth Nusin, Harry Sandson, Dr Joseph R Simon, Benjamin Weinberg

Wednesday May 22: Joseph Harry Berger, Jacob Brody, Greta Glasser, Lewis E Hainick, Frances Shiner Miller, Nathan Neiman, Abraham Pincus, James Henry Podolny, Bella Ratowsky, Philip Rogers, Manuel Wilner

Thursday May 23: Anna Blitz, Ruth Pearlman Browarsky, Ruth Coltin, Jacob Gould, Martha Stern Green, Samuel C Levy, Ferne Meadowcroft, Isadore Irwin Schaffer, Ruth Solomon, Shirley Solomon, Louis Wilder

Friday May 24: Bernhardt Blumenfeld, Edward Harry Frankel, George Jaskol, Henry Kamin, Ida Lazier, Sophia Mallinger, Minnie Margolis, Samuel Novak, Israel Rosenberg, Jack E Ryave, Max Snider, Charles Ben Stewart, Max Unikel

Saturday May 25: Allan Calman, Sonia Cohen, Abe Finegold, Dr Charles M Friedland, Sara Fay Sachs Goodman, Pearl Greenberg, Goldie Lerner, Gusta Dickler Linett, Goldie Love, Abe Picovsky, Sam Portnoy, Goldie Prashker, William B Roth, Gertrude Routman, Rose M Rudov, Fannie Ann Samuels, Sherman Howard Schenk, Julius Stahl, Samuel E Swartz

WEINROTH: On Tuesday, May 7, Sarah Weinroth (Migdal), 94, recently of Suffern, New York passed. She was the beloved wife of the late Ignace (Iggy) Weinroth, mother to Juliette (Pepper) and Joseph, grandmother of 10, and great-grandmother of many more. Raised in Brussels, Belgium, she survived the Holocaust and Nazi occupation in hiding at a nearby Catholic convent. After the war, she met and married Iggy, and they immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Pittsburgh. She worked tirelessly to build a good life for her family, starting the Eastmont Cleaners with Iggy and successfully running it for 20 years together. They happily retired to Scottsdale, Arizona, thereafter. They were married 50 years until his passing in 2001. Sarah was a cherished matriarch in every sense of the word. She always had kindness and wisdom to share with her family and friends, and never tired of doing what she could to help those she loved succeed. Sarah was as determined as one can imagine, and almost always found a way to achieve her goals — as well as helping others find a way to achieve theirs. Sarah was a generous and much-loved soul, and she will be dearly missed. Burial services were held at Shaare Torah Cemetery on May 8. Shiva will be observed at her son Joseph’s home in Squirrel Hill. The family requests any contributions be made to the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh. PJC

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Real Estate

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Life & Culture

‘More than just a beverage’: All about beer

In a world where the pace of life often feels frenetic and the demands of daily existence can be overwhelming, there exists a simple pleasure that has stood the test of time, offering solace, conviviality and sheer delight: beer.

Beyond just a beverage, beer is a cultural cornerstone, a symbol of celebration and a canvas upon which artisans craft their liquid masterpieces. Let’s dive into the captivating world of beer, where every sip tells a story and every pint holds a promise of camaraderie and joy.

Beer is more than just a thirst-quencher; it’s a sensory experience. From the moment the cap is popped or the tap is pulled, a symphony of aromas dances forth, teasing the senses and inviting anticipation. Whether it’s the citrusy hop notes of an IPA, the roasted malts of a stout, or the crisp, refreshing profile of a pilsner, there’s a beer to suit every palate and occasion.

And there is nothing like a Miller High Life (the Champagne of beers) after mowing the lawn on a hot summer day.

Let’s break down beer.

The terms “top fermenting” and “bottom fermenting” refer to the two main types of

yeast fermentation used in brewing beer: ale fermentation (top fermenting) and lager fermentation (bottom fermenting).

Top fermenting (ale fermentation) : Ale fermentation is conducted by top fermenting yeast strains, which means that during fermentation the yeast cells rise to the surface of the beer. These yeast strains tend to produce more esters and other flavor compounds, contributing to the diverse and often fruity flavors and aromas found in ales.

Bottom fermenting (lager fermentation): Lager fermentation is conducted by bottom-fermenting yeast strains, which settle at the bottom of the fermentation

vessel during the process. Lager fermentation is characterized by a slower and more gradual fermentation process compared to ale fermentation.

Lager yeasts typically produce fewer esters and other flavor compounds, resulting in a cleaner and crisper taste profile compared to ales. Lagering, or cold storage, is a key step in the production of lagers, during which the beer is stored at near-freezing temperatures for an extended period, allowing for further maturation and flavor development.

Ultimately, the main differences between top fermenting and bottom fermenting lie in the type of yeast used, the fermentation temperatures, the flavor profiles produced and the fermentation times. These differences contribute to the wide variety of beer styles available, each with its own unique characteristics.

So let’s talk beer and kashrut.

Kosher laws regarding beer mainly focus on the ingredients used in its production and any additional processing. Here are some key points.

Ingredients: The primary ingredients in beer are water, malted barley, hops and yeast. In terms of kosher laws, all these ingredients are generally considered kosher. However, there can be exceptions. For example, if non-kosher additives or flavorings are used, the beer may not be considered kosher.

Equipment and processing: The equipment used in the brewing process must also

be kosher. This means that the equipment should not have been used for non-kosher products, and any non-kosher ingredients or flavors must not have been processed on the same equipment.

Kosher certification: Many breweries obtain kosher certification to ensure that their products comply with kosher laws. This certification involves inspection of ingredients, equipment and processes by a kosher certifying agency.

Here are some beers to try:

Goldstar Dark Lager (Israel, kosher certified), Munich Dunkel lager.

Coney Island Merman IPA (USA, kosher certified), India pale ale.

Duvel (Belgium, kosher certified), Belgian strong ale.

Deschutes Da Shoots! Pilsner (USA, kosher certified), American lager style.

Beer offers a comforting reminder of the simple joys that make life worth living. From its diverse array of flavors and styles to its ability to foster community and connection, beer is more than just a beverage; it’s a celebration of the human experience. PJC

Uriel Marcovitz is a former restaurateur in Pittsburgh. He studies wine with the Court of Master Sommelier and holds advanced-level sommelier status.

Seinfeld to Duke grads: ‘Don’t think about having, think about becoming’

After accepting an honorary degree from Duke University, actor and comedian Jerry Seinfeld gave a laugh-laden commencement speech in which he bestowed some sound advice to his audience.

On Sunday at the academic institution in Durham, North Carolina, he started by joking that in inviting him, administrators must have thought, “Let’s bring the sophistication and erudition of the Duke experience down a couple notches.”

As he was about to receive his honorary degree, a number of anti-Israel protesters stood up and walked out of the ceremony as they chanted, “Free, free Palestine.”

That didn’t stop the comedian from offering his “three real keys to life.” He said, “No jokes in this part, OK? They are, No. 1: Bust your ass. No. 2: Pay attention. No. 3: Fall in love.”

In advocating for love, Seinfeld emphasized that the value extended beyond people to finding enthusiasm and joy in the mundane.

“I suggest falling in love with anything and everything. Every chance you get,” he said.

“Fall in love with your coffee, your sneakers, your blue-zone parking space. I’ve had a lot of fun in life falling in love with stupid, meaningless physical objects.”

An example of this ethos came recently in Seinfeld’s “Unfrosted,” a lighthearted comedy about the invention in 1963 of

the Pop-Tart, which arrived on Netflix on May 3. Seinfeld both stars and makes his directorial debut in the film that showcases his well-known love for breakfast cereals.

“I have truly spent my life focusing on the smallest things imaginable,

“Do not lose your sense of humor. You can have no idea at this point in your life how much you are going to need it to get through.”

completely oblivious to all the big issues of living,” Seinfeld said.

And then he offered what he called “the most important thing I am confident that I know about life.”

He said: “Do not lose your sense of humor. You can have no idea at this point in your life how much you are going to need it to get through. Not enough of life makes sense for you to be able to survive it without humor.”

Offering some final advice, he added: “Don’t think about having, think about becoming. Having is fine, but focus on becoming. That is where it’s at.” PJC

Photo by Tembela Bohle via Pexels
p Jessica Seinfeld and Jerry Seinfeld at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival Photo by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons


Community Day School was one of six new recipients of a sapling from the Anne Frank Center USA, an organization dedicated to transformative education honoring the legacy of Anne Frank. The sapling, which was dedicated in memory of Holocaust survivors Moshe and Malka Baran, was planted on the CDS campus next to the Gary and Nancy Tuckfelt Keeping Tabs: A Holocaust

Machers and Shakers

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh celebrated Rachael Speck and Rebecca Remson with the Ira & Nanette Gordon Community Professional Achievement Award. The May 8 honor recognizes early career professionals who have demonstrated outstanding service to the Federation, its core partners and the Jewish community.

Where the lions are

Members of the Lions of Judah women’s giving society and Lion of Judah Endowment holders attended the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s annual

Held at Energy Innovation Center, the May 8 event included remarks from Fortune Chalme, a New York-based artist and designer.

p CDS Head of School Avi Baran Munro speaks about her parents, Moshe and Malka Baran. Hannah Kamin Lion of Judah Event. p Federation President and CEO Jeffrey Finkelstein congratulates Rachael Speck. p From left: Event Chairs Becca Tobe, Julie Silverman and Bobbi Zimmer Kann p Councilperson Erika Strassburger reads a proclamation from the City of Pittsburgh. Photos courtesy of Community Day School p Federation President and CEO Jeffrey Finkelstein congratulates Rebecca Remson. Photos by David Bachman p Fortune Chalme talks about creating laser cut genuine leather Judaica. Photos by David Bachman
24 MAY 17, 2024 PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE PITTSBURGHJEWISHCHRONICLE.ORG Let our expert shoppers navigate the aisles for you with Curbside pickup & delivery. save time and money

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