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s u m m e r 2012

A DAY IN…sewickley

Jewish Pittsburgh Living

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Centennial Mega Mission to Israel

Jews & our Pets

Lessons of Life & love on a leash

STEELTOWN ENTERTAINMENT the Ellen Weiss Kander award OPERATION E-Cycle: Technology Tzedakah Hadassah @ 100 MOT: carol leifer summer 2012



J Magazine

MAGAZINE STAFF Roberta Lando Brody, Executive Editor Audrey Brown, Art Director Holly Rudoy, Associate Editor Shelley Lipton, Photographer Jessica Svec, Contributing Writer Erin Lewenauer, Contributing Writer SALES STAFF Susan Mangel, Sr. Sales Rep. Roberta Letwin, Sales Rep. Donna Mink, Sales Rep. Debra Levy, Associate Sales Rep. BUSINESS STAFF Joseph Soloski, Comptroller Josh Reisner, Office Manager Marcy Kronzek, Receptionist BOARD OF TRUSTEES Richard Kitay, President Cindy Goodman-Leib, Vice President Larry Honig, Secretary Andrew Schaer, Treasurer Davida Fromm, Past President Carolyn Hess Abraham Brian Balk Daniel Berkowitz Lynn Cullen Milton Eisner Stephen Fienberg Malke Frank David Grubman Thomas Hollander Evan Indianer David Levine Ari Lightman Mitchell Pakler Amy Platt Benjamin Rosenthal Charles Saul Adam Shear Jonathan Wander Lou Weiss Volume 2, Number 3 J is published four times a year by the Pittsburgh Jewish Publication and Education Foundation, 5915 Beacon Street, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15217, 412-687-1000 (phone), 412-521-0154 (fax). The information presented is from varied sources considered to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Opinions expressed are those of the indentified subjects and do not reflect the views of J Magazine or the Pittsburgh Jewish Publication and Education Foundation. Letters and editorial solicitations should be sent to: J Magazine, Executive Editor, 5915 Beacon Street, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15217. Unsolicited manuscripts, photography, artwork or other materials will not be accepted, and unless accompanied by return postage, J Magazine is not responsible for their disposition.

All 290 members of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh's Centennial Mega Mission gather at Masada.

summer 2012 Issue 6 MEMBER OF THE TRIBE An interview with funny woman, comedy writer, and dog rescuer, Carol Leifer, who’s been making us laugh for decades. 10

JEWS AND THEIR PETS: If you’ve never known the mazel of a nuzzle with a muzzle, then you might want to consider adopting a pet. Learn more about what Judaism teaches us about our beloved animals.


HADASSAH @ 100 After a century of serving healthcare needs in Israel, Hadassah gives our homeland the birthday gift of a lifetime.

18 DOING GOOD: Meet Barbara and Jerry Shafran of the North Hills, who have found a way to give tzedakah through recycling computers. 20

STEELTOWN ENTERTAINMENT Part III of Carl Kurlander’s series shines a light on Ellen Weiss Kander and the award named for her.


A DAY IN…SEWICKLEY It may well be 12 miles from downtown, but a day in this delightful “village” is well worth the drive.

Volume 2, Number 3

27 RECIPES & RESERVATIONS: VIVO KITCHEN This modern restaurant serves up some of the finest food in Sewickley. 28 FACES & PLACES Celebrations and events throughout the community. 38 PETS ON THE STREET Ah…to be a pet in a Jewish home! Meet some of our city’s favorite Fluffys and Fidos!

On the Cover:

Our “coverdog” is Kye Lando, a beautiful Weimaraner who kindly -- and calmly -- posed for us at the Bagel Factory in Squirrel Hill. Our thanks to Kye’s owner, Jason Lando, and to Bagel Factory owner, David Feldstein. Look for Feldstein’s new venture, the Bagel Factory Marketplace, opening on South Craig Street this summer. summer 2012


Letter from the Editor


s this issue of J was getting ready to go to press, I learned the sad news of the untimely passing of Ellen Weiss Kander, at the age of 51. The loss of Ellen leaves a huge hole in the hearts of her family and friends, as well as in the community she loved and to which she gave freely of herself.

Bones Brody, Sparky Rudoy, Sam Lipton, Brainy Brown

The third article in Carl Kurlander’s series on Steeltown Entertainment (see page 20) was written prior to Ellen’s passing, and it was agreed that the story should run as written, because it captures Ellen as she should be remembered. She was a devoted wife, mother, daughter and sister, but beyond her family, was a woman of many other accomplishments. She was a successful Wall Street attorney, a cofounder of the Steeltown Entertainment Project—with Carl Kurlander and Maxine Lapiduss—and of Cancer Be Glammed (see page 21) -with Lisa Lurie. Yet Ellen still found time to serve on numerous nonprofit boards and have a significant impact on the world around her. The entire staff of J Magazine extends our deepest sympathies to the Kander and Weiss families. May her memory be a blessing. Friends of Ellen have said that the Kander family dog, Sunny, was always at her side. When you read our cover story, you will learn more about how Judaism and the care of animals are inter-related. Judaism teaches us to give the same loving care to our pets as they give to us. I hope you enjoy Holly Rudoy’s article on a topic that is near and dear to those of us who covet our pets, whatever species they may be! Also in this issue, we celebrate Hadassah’s 100th birthday, a major milestone for an organization with an active Pittsburgh chapter. The culmination of their centennial will be the opening of a new hospital tower in Jerusalem. And while we’re on the subject of doing good, we’d like to introduce you to Barbara and Jerry Shafran of the North Hills, who have dedicated themselves to improving the nonprofit computer at a time. By the time you read this, 290 fortunate members of our community will have just returned from the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Centennial Mega Mission to Israel! To read more about this exciting trip, check out the Israel blog at: You’ll find a few mission photos inside our pages…with more memories to follow in our next issue! Whether it be Jerusalem or the Jersey shore, wherever your summer travels may take you, the staff of J wishes you a safe trip and a warm —but not too hot—summer! See you in September… Roberta Brody Editor


J Magazine

Outfit by Hey Betty! Vintage Clothing


Interviews with Jews in the News…

Carol Leifer by Holly rudoy


nless you’ve been living off the grid for decades, you know Carol Leifer and her work. If you were a fan of Seinfeld or The Larry Sanders Show, then you know Carol Leifer. If you loved Saturday Night Live back in the mid ‘80s, then you know Carol Leifer. If you’ve enjoyed Billy Crystal’s jokes during his several Academy Awards hosting gigs, then consider yourself lucky to know Carol Leifer. A three-time Emmy nominee, she’s enjoyed decades of success and recognition in Hollywood, either performing or writing for these gold standards of comedy. Most recently, she received a 2012 Writers Guild Award for a Modern Family episode she cowrote, Two Pandas and a

Monkey. She is currently on tour opening for long-time friend Jerry Seinfeld. (Speaking of Seinfeld, Leifer was the reported real-life inspiration for the Elaine character on the show, a rumor that has been denied.) But this issue’s MOT is more than just another funny Jewish lady. She’s poignant and honest and smart, all of which are revealed in her 2009 book, When You Lie About Your Age, The Terrorists Win. With comedic grace and amazing aim, she tackles real issues—the death of her father, her awakening to Judaism, her falling in love with a woman who is now her partner, the adoption of their son and even the process of rescuing seven—yes seven—dogs. Lauded by fellow comics Bill Maher, Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld and Ellen DeGeneres, her book is also endorsed by the Jewish Book Council. We spoke to Carol before her recent appearance at Rodef Shalom for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Pacesetters Thank You Event for donors of $1,000 + to the Annual Campaign. J MAG: What would you be doing if not writing comedy and performing? LEIFER: Sadly, I don’t think I’m very good at anything else. In high school I was fired from Roy Rogers for eating French fries on the job. There was a corporate spy watching me from the parking lot. Later I was a waitress for three seconds, but I was a disaster because I brought out the drinks one at a time. I’ve been doing what I do since my junior year in college, and I’m so glad I found it. J MAG: What do you like better—writing or performing? LEIFER: I really like it all; that’s the luxury of my career. I’m thankful I get to do both performing and behind-the-scenes work. When I perform, I have to do press and go to parties. I get tired, so it’s nice to go behind the scenes. When I’m writing too much, then I get jealous of the performers. It’s kind of the yin and yang of my personality to explore both.


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Through lifecycle transitions and crises From parenting, school adjustment, aging and bereavement to relationship issues, hunger, unemployment, infertility and more, you can rely on JF&CS for help. Call 412-422-7200 or visit ADOPTION • INDIVIDUAL CAREER & CORPORATE OUTPLACEMENT SERVICES COUNSELING • CRITICAL NEEDS/SOS PITTSBURGH EMERGENCY AID ELDER CARE COORDINATION & CAREGIVER SERVICES • FOOD PANTRY• GUARDIANSHIP IMMIGRATION-RELATED LEGAL, NATURALIZATION & EMPLOYMENT SERVICES• REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT SCHOLARSHIP• SPECIAL NEEDS

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Helping others is a Mitzvah…Donate Today! 8

J Magazine

MOT J MAG: How do you choose your projects? LEIFER: Well, I have to be as aggressive as anybody. And I go after what I like. For Modern Family, basically, I’m a great fan of the show and I kept running into Steve Levitan, one of the show’s co-creators. I told him I wanted to pitch some stories. I go for what inspires me; I never want to lose that. J MAG: What’s a typical day like for you, or is there no such thing? LEIFER: No, it’s pretty typical. We get up early now (for six-year-old son Bruno). I used to sleep in, but now I get up between six and seven A.M. Lori (her partner) takes Bruno to school and he’s out by 7:45, then I work from home on my projects. I’m lucky that Starbucks is a nice ten-minute walk from my house. I also help our live-in (housekeeper) walk five dogs two times a day. J MAG: Since this issue of J Mag is about Jewish pets, can you tell us about yours? LEIFER: We now have five dogs, and since our dogs are all rescue dogs, we feel a deep connection with them—it’s truly a living example of tzedakah. We are giving them a second chance. They are so resilient; they shake off their old lives to start again. Shelter dogs have been persecuted and in freeing them, we give them a new life. J MAG: What made you and Lori decide to be B’nai Mitzvahed? LEIFER: I decided to take the plunge because every year in High Holiday-services I was getting really frustrated not knowing what was going on. We studied together with our class every Thursday night for six months, and it was a wonderful experience… so transformative and otherworldly. My father passed away two weeks before my Bat Mitzvah, but he had given the tallit he wore at his Bar Mitzvah to me to wear.

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J MAG: Any advice for B’nai Mitzvah girls and boys? LEIFER: It’s a great right of passage, but I think we get Bar Mitzvahed too early! There was so much more meaning for me as an older person. My advice is to appreciate it because when you get older, you certainly will. For more information on Carol Leifer and her upcoming projects, visit her website at www.

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summer 2012


J Magazine


a match made in heaven


Courtesy of Laurey Simkin-Silverman

By Holly Rudoy Photography by Shelley Lipton

A Pet in a Jewish Home… It’s Shabbat in the Squirrel Hill home of the Caplan family and like they do every Friday night, the family passes the challah so mom (Marci), dad (Eric) and kids Ian (10) and Carly (8) can break off a piece. But not without first making sure that dogs Dudley and Izzy each get their own chewy hunk to nosh on, too. “The kids insist that the dogs get it first,“ says Marci. Smart kids; in fact, maybe as wise as the Talmud sages who ruled that one is forbidden to eat until he has fed his animals. In the Schwimmer household in Squirrel Hill, everyone knows it’s a special day when mom (Kelly) makes matzo ball soup. This includes dogs Ernie, Phineas and Ziva, who never miss a good helping of the steaming broth poured over their own kibble before dad (Chuck) and kids Elena (9) and Levi (7) sit down to eat. “I know that all the trainers say that dogs are dogs, but we do feed our dogs first, “ Kelly explains. “We find that if our dogs are full, they are less likely to beg or sniff around the table.” Besides, it’s the word of the Talmud. Certainly Jews are not alone in indulging their beloved animals—the $50 billion dollar pet industry attests to that. But we do have centuries of religious teachings as a foundation for treating animals with respect, both physically and emotionally. Starting with the Ten Commandants… As we know, our ancestors were shepherds and farmers who depended on animals playing an essential role in their lives. As such, Torah, Talmud and tradition are rife with details of the treatment of animals and their needs. In April of 1991, Rabbi Mark Mahler of Temple Emanuel gave a sermon addressing the treatment of animals, as he told of the heartbreak of putting his family’s beloved dog to sleep. It details not only the unexpected light the Rabbi saw in his Chi’s eyes in that moment, but also the many references to animal welfare in Jewish text. To date, it is the most requested sermon he has ever given in his 32 years at Temple Emanuel.

Clockwise from left: Shayna, Haley and Alexa Silverman share a snuggle with Max. Tank is in good hands with Dr. Larry Gerson. It's a family venture for Marci and Eric Caplan, along with Izzy and Dudley at their Petland store in East Liberty. Jeremy, Cassie Lou and Carlie Platt say cheese.

So is it really any wonder that Izzy Caplan gets to eat the challah first or that Phineas (a spin on Pinchus) Schwimmer gets to sleep in his mommy’s down-filled bed every night? And let’s face it…don’t most Jewish dogs get the shank bone after Passover Seder? Raising a Jewish Pet… Max Silverman, Lilly Bahm, Sam Cohen, Lewis Schwimmer, Schmuely Levy,—sounds like roll call at Hebrew School, but they are all pets bestowed with human names, indicating, among other things, that they be treated with respect. Some pets are given Yiddish nicknames, Hebrew names or family names, just like real children are given. In it, the Rabbi says that Jewish tradition’s sensitivity to animals begins with the Fourth Commandment: “The seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God; you shall not do any work… neither your ox, your ass, nor any of your cattle.” Mahler offers that this Commandment inspired the sages of the Talmud to derive the principle Tza’ar Ba’alei Chaim, “Concern for the Well-Being of Animals.” His sermon cites Deuteronomy’s direction that animals working in the field must not be muzzled because it would be cruel to not let them eat while they work. It also forbids yoking an ox and a mule together because their unequal size and strength would bring suffering upon both animals. Mahler also points out that the regard for animals is not just for their physical—but also their emotional—needs. He cites the Torah stipulation that “when one takes an egg from a bird’s nest, one must first shoo away the mother bird, so as to spare her the anguish of witnessing her egg being taken away from her.” He goes on to explain that Shabbat laws may be transgressed for the purpose of relieving an animal in pain or danger and of course that the laws of kosher slaughter were devised to minimize suffering of the animal. Further, the Torah even mandates that “if one sees the ox or the ass of an enemy fall under its load by a roadside, one must set aside personal enmity and assist the animal. The easing of suffering—even that of beasts of burden—takes precedence over the rivalries that may divide human beings.”

The Caplans, owners of the East Liberty Petland, once had a tiny dog that they cleverly named Pitzel—Yiddish for small. When they brought Pitzel to their vet, Larry Gerson, he told them of the many small Jewish dogs he treats, all named Pitzel. Later, Gerson himself brought home a small dog. “I had no intention of keeping her, but I brought her home and cared for her for weeks. She was dehydrated and weak and she fit in the palm of my hand so I started calling her little pitzela. Now she’s Pitzel,” he offers. And she’s there to stay. Another dog, (okay, this was one of mine) was given the nickname Hunta Bell --- hunt being Yiddish for dog and bell for the clinging and clanging of her dog tags. That’s a crazy one to yell out the back door, but boy did she get excited when you called her that. Sometimes, it’s a family name you can’t resist. When famed comedienne Carol Leifer, (this issue’s MOT) and her partner, Lori Wolf, were walking the aisles at their local shelter looking for a rescue, they couldn’t help but notice Julius and had to take him home. Both of their grandfathers had been named Julius. “It was B’shert,” Leifer says in all seriousness. They later rescued a shelter dog during Chanuka and declared that he be called Maccabee. Kelly Schwimmer, upon bringing home her third dog, a six-pound parti toy poodle, gave her two young children a list of 10 Hebrew names they could choose for their new little addition. They settled on Ziva, for light and beauty. The Platt family of Forest Hills, mom (Suzanne), dad (Eric) and kids Carlie (13) and Jeremy (11) love Cassie Lou, their border collie mix. But after talking to us for this story, they’ve decided to bestow a Hebrew name upon her, just like they did for their human children. spring 2012



a just match made in heaven Speaking of Children—and about anyone… Laurey Simkin-Silverman of Mt. Lebanon says that she’s always felt a personal responsibility to take care of animals. “Just from my upbringing, I knew it was our duty to take care of animals because we are able to. I know it’s more complicated than that but whenever possible, it is our duty to treat them humanely.” It’s a lesson she and husband Steve share with her three children Haley (15), Alexa (13) and Shayna Rose (9) as they care for Max, their 3-yearA MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN old cockapoo mix. “It’s so important for children,” she says. “To teach them responsibility, a love for animals and to show them how to be comfortable around animals. They are more responsible and more comfortable because they have a dog. It’s just an amazing experience they can’t learn until they have a pet of their own,” she adds. The beautiful thing about children and animals is that just about any pet will do when it comes to teaching children responsibility. Elena Schwimmer has sole responsibility for her pet bearded dragon, Lewis, who lives in her bedroom. Jeremy Platt researched and planned for a year to learn how to take care of the two parakeets, Athena and Pluto, who share his room. Plenty of children tap some fish food into a tank or fill up a dog’s water bowl and gradually start learning how to give attention and care to something other than themselves. Dr. Gerson, the Caplan’s Point Breeze vet and a regular pet columnist in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, agrees that pet ownership is a tremendous value for children. “It gives kids confidence,” he states, adding that in today’s hectic world, a dog’s greeting and attention may be the nicest gesture a child receives all day.

Dr. Larry Gerson with daughter Dr. Stephanie Berger taking care of Magda. Tank with Dr. Larry Gerson.


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J Magazine

“Ask anyone the name of their first pet, and they will remember. They may not remember their first love or their first teacher, but they will remember their first pet. It imprints on them,” he exclaims. Gerson and his wife, Barbara, have been married for 36 years and share Millie, a Bernese mountain dog; Pitzel, the Maltese; and a cat appropriately named Kitty. He is a strong proponent of animal companionship, not just for children, but also for everyone including the elderly and people living alone. “Wow, talk about the benefits of pets,” he starts. “I’ve had single people tell me it helps them meet guys or girls like crazy,” he laughs. “They’re very social—you meet people when you’re out with your dog instead of sitting home alone. It keeps you healthy and keeps you walking.” Gerson also notes the benefits of pet companionship for older people who suffer inevitable physical setbacks. Having a pet waiting at home “is a great incentive for getting out of rehab or the hospital. I’ve seen it in practice,” he states. It also puts an older person on the clock, Gerson points out. “You can’t linger around for half the morning. It regulates you to have have something to care for.”

There’s also the research showing that simply petting an animal can reduce your blood pressure. In Schwimmer’s case, she swears by it. “I don’t know what it is but I just want to lay next to my dogs and inhale them. I can actually feel my body relax. I’m almost 47-years-old and I’m not going to apologize!” Even when pet ownership is painful and difficult, it serves a valuable purpose. The Silverman family, like most in this article, has lost beloved family pets after years of companionship. In their case, it was a teaching moment for the children, who learned that taking care of sick animals is their religious and spiritual responsibility. “They got to witness the cycle of life. Of course it gives children a lot of perspective, and they learn to grieve.” As pet owners know, the joys and benefits far outweigh the sorrows. Gerson sums up, “If your life isn’t what you want, go to an animal shelter!” And join a long tradition of Jews who sometimes indulge their animals enough to have inspired the well-known sentiment about coming back in your next life as a Jewish dog. Could be worse. After all, Cassie Platt is joining her family for a two-week vacation in Chautauqua this summer. Not too shabby!

Mutter’s Day Heroes Squirrel Hill residents Debbie Sigal and Ilene Ross recently cochaired a fashion show gala, Mutter’s Day, to benefit the Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center. Held at the Grand Ballroom of Priory, the event featured canines walking the runway with their owners who wore fashions provided by Carabella of Oakmont. The afternoon was sponsored by Kenny Ross Automotive and Little’s Shoes and raised more than $30,000. For more information on the Animal Rescue League and upcoming events, visit their web site at


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summer 2012


Doing a Mitzvah

In numerous interviews for this article, subjects spoke of the mitzvah of rescuing a shelter animal and the value of the experience for their children. It was in this vein in November 2009 that Petland owners Marci and Eric Caplan made the decision to sell only shelter dogs and cats. All of the store’s dogs come from Petmatch, a consortium that rescues animals slated for euthanasia and their kittens and cats from the Animal Rescue League. Eric stresses that Petland had previously sold fully accredited healthy dogs from USDA-certified breeders for years but that they decided to focus on selling rescue animals, partly in response to community suggestion. Selling from the breeders “kind of became an attack on our character and we didn’t like that,” he offers. While pet sales are no longer a profit center for the store, Eric says, “We’ve been able to continue to grow at the same pace. We now fund pet sales instead of profit from them. Basically it’s a nonprofit running out of our business,” he explains. With the help of Dr. Gerson, Petland takes care of the spaying and neutering, all vaccinations and de-worming to guarantee the sale of healthy pets. Says Gerson, “Spaying and neutering is what’s kind and humane to animals. There is absolutely no reason to have an intact dog in the house unless you’re breeding a show dog.” The Caplans recently spoke at Temple Sinai’s Family Mitzvah Day on the Mitzvah of Adoption and “how to treat animals Jewish-ly,” says Eric. Participants donated collars for their tzedakah project and made Shrinky Dink dog tags bearing “Please Adopt Me.” For more information on Petland, visit their web site at www.petlandvillageofeastside. com or their facebook page at Petland Pittsburgh Village of East Side.

Uniquely Jewish The growth in specialty Jewish pet items mirrors that of the booming pet industry in general. For example, a company called Chewish Toys sells a stuffed bone for your dog that reads “KOSHER” and a fish for your cat that reads “LOX.” I can attest that the stuffed KOSHER bone is Sparky Rudoy’s go-to toy of choice. Eric Caplan notes that Petland stocks plenty of Chewish Toys-type products during the holiday season. Petland also stocks Evangers, a line of kosher and kosher for Passover pet food. It is usually in stock, though Eric recommends calling ahead to be sure. Chewish Toys are also available at Pinskers. If you’re looking for something for yourself instead of your dog, there’s always the good read, How to Raise a Jewish Dog, or if your dog already understands English and is ready to move on, there’s Yiddish for Dogs, both available on Amazon. And don’t forget the latest trend— elaborate Bark Mitzvahs—13th birthday pseudo-traditional observances for dogs, complete with doggy tallit and kippahs. It’s the latest craze in Jewish dog circles. But fear not, cat lovers, Meow Mitzvahs are also on the rise! 14

J Magazine

Local Author Pens Children’s Book About Dog

The dog book market isn’t just for adults. Monroeville resident and author, Susan D. Stein, 59, has shared the adventures of Nicki, one of her own dogs, in a beautifully illustrated children’s tale, “Nicki and the Groundhogs”. Stein actually wrote the book 20 years ago and based it on a cock-apoo that she had adopted from the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society in Elizabeth. The book tells the tale of Nicki overlooking her large yard and watching strange looking groundhogs burrowing in their holes. Eventually Nicki’s curiosity gets the best of her and she begins to chase them in a playful game. Nicki and the groundhogs become unlikely friends, underscoring the importance of never judging a book by its cover. Stein, a 1970 graduate of Peabody High School, first realized the appeal of her story when she read her draft aloud to her now-grown daughter’s kindergarten class years ago. She knew by the positive reaction that she had written something special, but getting it published wasn’t easy. “Every five years, I’d send it to a publisher, only to get a rejection letter and put (the book) aside. Over a year ago, I sent it to Mirror Publishing, who replied that they liked the concept, but asked that I increase it to 600 words. I did, and they finally accepted it. “I can’t believe it’s finally been published,” says Stein. “I hold it in my hand and look at it and can’t believe it’s mine.” Artist and illustrator, Julie Leiman Weaver, of St. Petersburg, Florida used photographs that Stein provided of Nicki, her house, yard and daughters to make the drawings realistic. The book is available for purchase online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble or at local bookstores for $12.99.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. -Mae West

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Hadassah @ 100!

By Jessica Svec


n 1912, a young woman named Henrietta Szold founded an organization that changed the face of health care in Israel. One-hundred years later, Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is celebrating its centennial and the immense success of Szold’s vision with the grand opening of The Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower, a $400 million, state of the art medical facility in Jerusalem that is taking medicine, education and research to the next level. Hadassah Pittsburgh’s centennial president, Zandra Goldberg, is one of the seven local Hadassah members that will travel to Israel this coming October and partake in the dedication and the biggest event of the 100th birthday celebration. The Tower, a fourteen story, environmentally friendly building that dominates the landscape of Jerusalem, will be the new anchor of the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem and the most modern facility in Israel for health care and medicine. It will house their most advanced work in gene and cell therapy, molecular medicine and stem cell research. With 500 beds, 20 operating rooms and five underground floors (fully functional in case of an attack on Jerusalem), The Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower is the most ambitious and groundbreaking project of Hadassah to date. With almost 400,000 members, Hadassah is the largest volunteer and women’s organization in the U.S. and is committed to the land and people of Israel without regard of race, religion or ethnicity. The organization strives for the enhancement of worldwide health through its support of medical care and innovative research.

“Hadassah empowers its members and supporters, as well as youth in Israel and America, through opportunities for personal growth, education, advocacy and Jewish continuity.” ( Hadassah of Greater Pittsburgh, which is 2,900 members strong, began their centennial celebration with a $100 life membership special in honor of their 100th year. Local Hadassah members have also been celebrating the 100th birthday at local senior care facilities with a birthday party for the residents and Hadassah members. While enjoying birthday cake, members reminisced about Hadassah, listened to speakers and learned more about The Tower. After five years, the $400 million project is on time and on budget and is poised for the centennial celebration in Jerusalem on October 15, 2012. This facility is a testament to Hadassah’s life partnership with Israel, and will ensure that the people of Israel will be able to receive the most technologically advanced medical care. “It is amazing that this organization is 100 years old,” says Ms. Goldberg, who added that her personal goal for the next 100 years is “to get as many people involved in this Hadassah as I can!”

Hadassah chapter representatives with the Arlene Lhormer Volunteer Recognition Award from Family House. Top row, from left: Sandy Goldstein, Bobbee Slotsky Kramer, Marlene Silverman, Chana Brody. Bottom row, from left: Irene Sidel, Annie Weidman, Zandra Goldberg, Mimi Halpern Pictured at left: The new Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower in Jerusalem.

“Hadassah empowers its members and supporters, as well as youth in Israel and America, through opportunities for personal growth, education, advocacy and Jewish continuity.” (

The Pittsburgh members of Hadassah fundraise all year to help support the cause, whether it is hosting luncheons, holding wine tastings or planning weekly mahjong gatherings. For more information about our local Hadassah Chapter or The Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower, please visit pittsburgh. summer 2012



Operation E-Cycle by Erin Lewenauer


he Hebrew word tzedakah literally means the spirit of philanthropy, justice and benevolence, but it also signifies charity as an important part of leading a spiritual life. Jerry and Barbara Shafran are shining examples of tzedakah in the many ways they selflessly support their Pittsburgh community. Jerry Shafran has been an industrious Jewish entrepreneur for more than 20 years and is currently the owner of Ceeva, Inc., an IT firm that provides networking, technical support, e-forensics, and other technology solutions. He also owns Compliance Assurance Corporation, which offers regulatory compliance software to the insurance industry. Jerry’s wife, Barbara Grushesky Shafran has a masters degree in foreign language education and is on the advisory board for Classrooms Without Borders, a program run by Tsipy Gur, through the Jewish Federation. Barbara met Tsipy through a group of non-Jewish mothers who were raising Jewish children called “The Mother’s Circle” in the North Hills. They gathered to share holidays, rituals, spiritual beliefs, and, of course, recipes! After formally studying Judaism for three years, Barbara converted, and is currently very involved in the North Hills Jewish community. “I felt that, although I was raised Presbyterian, I was really an old Jewish soul from Sinai,” says Barbara. The Shafrans’ Ceeva clients were frequently upgrading their systems and offering used equipment to the Shafrans, which they would then refurbish and sell. When the couple realized that they could use their company as a community resource, they jumped on the opportunity, and together, founded the National Center for Non-Profit Excellence (NCNE). “The NCNE believes that all individuals, who choose to, can be empowered to build better socio-economic and socioemotional lives for themselves,” says Barbara. “We have been blessed with a great board and a great partner, Lee Hipps, a seasoned non-profit professional. Together, it is our mission to 18

J Magazine

Photography by Shelley Lipton help people by providing career training, mentoring, furniture, and high-quality, refurbished technology tools.” One of the NCNE’s wildly successful programs is Operation E-Cycle, which is in its second year. Due to the overwhelming response last year, the NCNE is pleased to announce the expansion of this year’s program, which includes soliciting used desktops, laptops, servers, monitors, printers, and computer equipment, refurbishing the machines, and then giving the equipment away for free to local non-profits and social-service providers. “What excites me the most about Operation E-Cycle is the impact we have on the community,” says Barbara. “The number of people that we’ve helped has grown very quickly as we aid the non-profits, who in turn, help their many constituents and their families. I love that our Operation E-Cycle program enables me to do lots of mitzvot for our local non-profits.” Operation E-Cycle is unique in that they seek funding, donations, and support from the “for profit” business community as well as foundations that enable them to offer free technology to local non-profits. This aids them in improving their efficiency and stretching their budgets. The Shafrans have supplied computers to both Temple Sinai and Temple Ohav Shalom in Allison Park, where they are members. They already have nearly 50 satisfied customers in only 18 months of operation. “This year’s goal is to provide at least 200 computers to nonprofits…free of charge,” says Barbara. “In addition to helping ensure that these groups have the equipment they need to maintain or increase their efficiencies, our program keeps these computers from ending up in landfills…so everybody wins.” If you have technology items to donate or are a 501(C)(3) in need of technology equipment, please call Barbara Shafran at 412-977-6688, email, or visit their website or their Facebook page.

Homewood Cemetery introduces the newest addition to its Star of David section! Completed Spring 2012...Available Now...Space Limited

Artistically developed around our original Star of David section • Gated on four corners • Family Estates available • Call or visit our office to learn more about our discounted pre-arrangement program. The Homewood Cemetery 1599 South Dallas Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15217 412.421.1822

STEELTOWN'S ELLEN WEISS KANDER AWARD: Shining a Light on the Woman Who Started It All

by Carl Kurlander

Ellen Weiss Kander co—founder of the Steeltown Entertainment Project


learned the word “B’shert” from Ellen Weiss Kander, shortly after meeting her for coffee in May 2003, with her best friend Maxine Lapiduss. And I have thought about that word and wondered just what is meant to be—what is one’s destiny—both as an individual and a community. It may be easy to look at the movies and TV shows coming to town; the expanding digital presence playing a role in Southwestern Pennsylvania’s future; the comeback of the region which is now routinely touted as “Most Livable,” the new “Hollywood of the East,” and even “Hipper than Portland” and say that this was all inevitable. But when I received the great gift of being introduced to Ellen by Maxine, as we were discussing Pittsburgh’s potential to become a player in the entertainment industry, the city was generating headlines for many other reasons, far less flattering. For back then, people were still focused on the brain drain, and this was a place where people were still coming from instead of coming to. Now I’m not saying that Ellen single-handedly changed all that—but if there is a destiny to our lives, if we are held accountable not just for how we live our lives day to day, but for the big picture of whether we make a difference in our own community and in our world, then Ellen certainly is on the side of those who did not just sit back and hope, but went out and did something to change things. 20

J Magazine

On May 12, 2012, a sold-out crowd at the Rauh Theater at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama gathered for the presentation of the inaugural Ellen Weiss Kander Award. The award was given out as part of the third annual Steeltown Film Factory, a filmmaking competition presented by the Steeltown Entertainment Project, an organization which Ellen co-founded and to which she served as founding executive director, and whose mission is to build an entertainment industry in Southwestern Pennsylvania. That day, City Councilman Corey O’ Connor, declared it “Ellen Weiss Kander Day” in the City of Pittsburgh, for Ellen’s “extraordinary efforts to create jobs and mentor talent in the region (which) has turned Pittsburgh into a player in the entertainment industry.” Maxine, who in addition to being Ellen’s best friend, has written and produced such classic TV sitcoms such as Roseanne, Home Improvement, and Dharma & Gregg and is also a co-founder of Steeltown, talked about Ellen’s remarkable qualities -- her passion, humor, determination, her inner and outer beauty —which brought Steeltown to life and made others want to follow where she was leading. That day at CMU, the three finalists for the Film Factory had their short film scripts read by CMU’s world-class students, as one of them waited to become the first honoree of this very special award. Because of the dreaming and doing of Ellen Weiss Kander, the winner would have their own dreams come true, but also hopefully open doors for others in what is notoriously a tough, closed industry. And making the Film Factory come to be was its own act of determination, persistence and sheer guts that Ellen was responsible for. A few months after the 2003 “Steeltown Entertainment Summit” which Ellen staged at WQED and Maxine hosted, producer Bernie Goldmann (300) called to say that his company was interested in producing George Romero’s Land of the Dead, and wanted to make it in Pittsburgh. But because of the tax benefits, his partners were inclined to shoot the film in Canada. Still wanting to do something for their hometown, Bernie and George offered to arrange for a Pittsburgh premiere of the film as a fundraiser for the then fledgling Steeltown Film Factory. Ellen, working with an almost all volunteer staff, and still volunteering herself, soon pulled off a sold-out event at The Byham that attracted the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, and even Michael Jordan ended up crashing the after party. The evening was called in a front page article in the Post-Gazette“as close to a love-fest as Pittsburgh gets without sports being involved” and raised over $40,000 for the Film Factory. And that evening, Ellen met Greg Nicotero, the Oscar-winning special effects artist who had worked on Land of the Dead and who was working on a creature for a project called R.L. Stine’s Haunting Hours: Don’t Think About It, which was also being budgeted for Canada. But inspired by meeting Ellen at the Land of the Dead premiere, Greg helped redirect the project back to his hometown. Though there were still not the state tax credits that would open the floodgates of movies to film here, Ellen and Steeltown’s Founding Board Chair Anne Lewis raised $900,000 to co-invest in the movie which would bring the film here, creating 115 jobs in the region and over $2 million in economic spending. It also created an innovative new model for the region to co-invest successfully in Hollywood productions, which has returned hundreds of thousands of dollars that are to be re-invested in future projects.





Straddling the “for profit” and “non-profit” world is no easy feat. And it would take someone like Ellen, a former Wall Street attorney, to pull this off (working closely with Anne Lewis and Steeltown’s future board chair Stephanie Dangel Reiter.) Ellen had already begun an impressive legal career in New York, but she and her husband Gregg chose to come back to her hometown of Pittsburgh because they loved the place and wanted to raise their children here. As privileged as I was to work with Ellen so closely during the first four years of Steeltown, years where she gave so selflessly, with no staff, and often no funding, I can never fully understand how she kept going when so many others would have given up and how it meant so much to her that her children—and everyone else’s children—would not have to leave town to use their talents elsewhere. Among the judges deciding who would get the Ellen Weiss Kander Award was Steeltown’s first intern, Tom Pellegrini, who has gone on to become a Hollywood producer, most recently producing the acclaimed documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. After Maxine’s moving tribute to Ellen, she announced with Ellen’s children—Ben, Jacob, and Kate—that the first Ellen Weiss Kander Award would



1. Maxine Lapiduss 2. Overview of the Steeltown Film Factory with Maxine Lapiduss and Carl Kurlander, the judges, and part of the sold out audience. 3. Ellen's parents Jack and Andi Weiss, her husband Gregg Kander, their children Ben, Kate, and Jacob, and City Councliman Corey O' Connor with the "Ellen Weiss Kander Day" Proclamation. 4. The winners of the 2012 Film Factory including Yulin Kuang (front row, left) who won the Ellen Weiss Kander prize. 5. Carl Kurlander and Lapiduss. 6. Steeltown Founding Board Chair Anne Lewis with Corey O' Connor declaring it "Ellen Weiss Kander Day"

be given to Yulin Kuang, a CMU senior born in China and raised in Kansas. She won for her clever script The Perils of Growing Up Flat Chested, about a young girl who overcomes her adolescent anxieties about her body image to find romance. Yulin will use the $15,000 cash prize she won to produce her film this summer, and Perils will screen in the fall at The Three Rivers Film Festival to kick off next year’s Film Factory. Hopefully, each year, the most talented folks in Pittsburgh, and perhaps from elsewhere, will continue to come and gather here for the Steeltown Film Factory to compete for the Ellen Weiss Kander Award. And as the vision of “entertainment becoming the new steel” comes closer to reality, we will all take a moment to thank one of the most talented, wonderful, inspiring people many of us have ever met—Ellen Weiss Kander. For Ellen has not only taught me what the word “’B’shert” meant, but also “tikkun olam” as she has truly helped repair the world. Donations may be made to the Ellen Weiss Kander Award Fund, Pittsburgh Foundation, 5 PPG Place, Suite 250, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-5414 (

Cancer Be Glammed Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, Lurie found it a challenge to find practical yet stylish products to help her recover from surgery and treatment and cope with body issues, including a double mastectomy. Frustrated, she turned to her good friend, Ellen Weiss Kander, for help.

Ellen Weiss Kander and Lisa Lurie

“Ellen and I began to search for products that were practical yet fashionable,” says Lurie, “especially ones that would let me look and feel the best I could and keep my dignity and style intact.”

Cancer and Glam are two words that most women don’t associate with one another, but Ellen Weiss Kander and Lisa Lurie were determined to change that when they formed their company, Cancer Be Glammed, in 2010.

The women found their search difficult and realized that other women going through cancer treatment must face similar challenges, so they started Cancer Be Glammed to help women recover in comfort and style. They launched a

website (, which features more than 200 products from post-op through recovery, thoughtful gifts, a personal concierge service and Give A Glam!, their charitable giveback to Gilda’s Club of Western PA. They also wrote a style guide, What The Doctor Didn’t Order, to help women be prepared for the side effects of treatment and offer product and style solutions. It is downloadable for free on their website. “Cancer Be Glammed has been a labor of love for Ellen and me,” says Lurie. “Even though Ellen had to scale back last year due to her illness, so much of our success can be attributed to her passion, vision, collaborative spirit and outstanding fashion sense. She is truly one of a kind.” summer 2012


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A Day in... sewickley By Roberta Brody

Photography by Shelley Lipton


ocated about 12 miles northwest of downtown Pittsburgh, Sewickley Borough sits along the Ohio River. Its history dates back to the mid 1700s, and at only one square mile, it boasts an unusually vibrant business district, which runs primarily along Beaver and Broad Streets. It is said that the word “Sewickley” is Native American for “sweet water” which could either be a reference to the Ohio River or the syrup derived from the many maple trees that grow there. Either way, this community of approximately 4,000 inhabitants—along with neighboring Sewickley Heights—is home to many former and current Steelers and Penguins who reside in the bucolic hills that surround the charming, tree-lined streets of the town proper. Although it’s considered a suburb of Pittsburgh, many see it as its own distinct village. Sewickley is different from the typical Pittsburgh “suburban” shopping districts in that most of its businesses remain independently owned and operated. From Orr’s Jewelers (of the Squirrel Hill Orr’s) to the Antiquarian Shop (classic furniture and decorative pieces) to the pampering Sewickley Spa, you can find the best of everything in this quaint town. But don’t be daunted by the high-end businesses, there are many options for all budgets. You can start your day in Sewickley with a stop at Crazy Mocha, one of the locally owned chain’s many coffee emporiums or at the Ultimate Pastry Shop for a rugelach to accompany your morning brew. If you’re shopping with a “tween girl” you might want to visit MAK Studio for a great selection of young fashions. Or take yourself into Maria, Rosewood Boutique, or Threadz for a wide range of women’s fashion; Spoiled Chics for affordable accessories and bags; or Carly M for Pandora jewelry. For the home, there are great options, such as House 15143 for vintage gifts and home accessories; St. Michele Fine Linens and Tournesol (the tabletop store that recently relocated from Shadyside); Sewickley Traditions and A Small Shoppe for antiques, knick-knacks and summer 2012


A Day in... sewickley collectibles; and Cuttings, for beautiful gifts for home and garden, as well as flowers and plants. When you’re ready for a lunch break, Sewickley has several good eateries. There’s the Sewickley outpost of the Shadyside favorite, China Palace, the historic tavern at the Sewickley Hotel, Italian-American fare at the Sweetwater Grille, or al fresco dining at the Sewickley Café, just to name a few. If you disdain the big box stores and have been longing for an old-fashioned hardware store from yesteryear, then you owe it to yourself to visit Robinson’s Home and Garden Center and The Basket Loft, where they’ve been selling hardware, pet supplies and home and garden merchandise since 1903. A mid-afternoon treat is easy to find in Sewickley, and Sincerely Yogurt or the Sewickley Confectionery will offer you some refreshing choices. Before you head home from your day, you might also want to stop in at the newly opened Cocothe, featuring a selection of chocolates and teas. Or pay a sweet visit to Village Candy for some of the nostalgic favorites from your childhood. If you plan to stay for dinner in Sewickley (see Vivo in Recipes & Reservations), stop in at the Naked Grape, a Tuscan-inspired wine tasting room, where you can relax with a glass of wine before dinner. One thing is certain…a day in Sewickley is sure to leave you wanting more!


J Magazine

Resources: Orr’s Jewelers 532 Beaver St. 412.741.8080

Sewickley Spa 337 Beaver St. 412.741.4240

Maria 234 Beaver St. 412.741.6149

Tournesol 425 Walnut St. 412.741.7600

Sewickley Café 409 Beaver St. 412.741.0300

Antiquarian Shop 506 Beaver St. 412.741.1969

Crazy Mocha 531 Beaver St. 412.741.4444 720 Blackburn Rd. 412.749.9470

Rosewood Boutique 412 Beaver St. 412.999.5210

Sewickley Traditions 555 Beaver St. 412.741.4051

Threadz Boutique 431 Beaver St. 412.534.4025

A Small Shoppe 428 Walnut St. 412.749.3826

Robinson’s Home & Garden The Basket Loft 527 Blackburn Rd. 412.741.8740

Spoiled Chics 350 Beaver St. 412.741.0977

Cuttings 524 Locust St. 412.741.7227

Carly M 415 Beaver St. 412.259.8772

China Palace 409 Broad St. 412.749.7423

House 15143 439 Beaver St. 412.259.8953

Sewickley Hotel 509 Beaver St. 412.741.9457

St. Michele Fine Linens 348 Beaver St. 412.741.2695

Sweetwater Grille 424 Walnut St. 412.741.4944

Ultimate Pastry Shop 445 Beaver St. 412.741.9150 MAK Studio 447 Beaver St. 412.741.1119

Sincerely Yogurt 509 Beaver St. 412.259.8763 Sewickley Confectionery 600 Beaver St. 412.741.7075 Cocothe 412 Broad St. 412.259.8847 Village Candy 344 Beaver St. 412.741.1490 Naked Grape 515 Broad St. 412.741.6420

summer 2012


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vivo kitchen 432 Beaver St. Sewickley, PA 412-259-8945 Open Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm-9:00pm • Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm-10:00pm Closed Sunday & Monday • Full bar available. Special Offer: Say you saw it in J and receive one complimentary dessert of the chef’s choice for two people -- maximum two desserts per table -- from July 16-30.

Photography by Shelley Lipton





ivo is a destination restaurant for many J Magazine readers, but it’s a destination that is worth the drive especially, on a lovely summer evening. Husband and wife, Sam and Lori DiBattista, who operated the original Vivo in Bellevue, decided last summer to close that restaurant and move to a sleek, modern location in the charming village of Sewickley. Executive Chef Sam got his start at the age of 14 when he cooked at the (former) Hilton Hotel downtown. Now, after 10 years at the helm in his Bellevue location, he oversees the kitchen of his new, elegant neighborhood eatery that offers an eclectic, yet evolving menu. Vivo Kitchen kindly shared their recipe for Italian Potato Salad and Zucchini Fritatta with J Magazine.

Italian Potato Salad: 3 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1" cubes, cooked in salted water till tender 4 large ripe tomatoes, rough chopped 1/4 c diced celery 1/4 c diced fennel 1/4 c diced red onion 1/4 c chopped flat leaf parsley 1/2 c good olive oil salt & pepper to taste Mix all ingredients in a bowl, season to taste. Set aside, covered.

Zucchini Fritatta 6 eggs 1/2 c grated parmigiana 1 lg zucchini, diced 2 shallots, rough chopped season to taste with salt & pepper Medium size, non stick fry pan, hot. Mix all ingredients together, pour into pan, cook on stove top for three minutes, put into oven on 375 until golden brown. Once cool, cut into pie shapes, and then spoon potato salad on top, serve. Enjoy! Owner, Sam DiBattista

summer 2012



FACES PLACES Mission to Israel 1. 1


1. All 290 members of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Centennial Mega Mission to Israel gather for the first time on Mt. Arbel. 2. Members of the Pittsburgh Centennial Mega Mission gather before Shabbat. 3. Young boys on the Pittsburgh Centennial Mega Mission having fun with Israeli soldiers.



If you were on the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh's Centennial Mega Mission to Israel, we'd love to hear from you. Please email your favorite memory of the trip, along with a high resolution photo to jmagazinepittsburgh@ Be sure to include your name, contact number and a caption for the photo.


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The Jewish Association on Aging

JFilm, the Jewish Film Forum held its first-ever Robinson Short Film Competition, honoring the memory of Sanford N. Robinson Sr. Entries arrived from all over the world, including Australia, Israel, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the U.S. and Austria– and $16,000 in cash prizes was awarded. At the screening event, from left: David Robinson, Bridget Robinson, the Zahav (Gold) Prize winner Asaph Polonsky, Grant Robinson, Judy Robinson and Heather Robinson.

On Thursday June 7th the Jewish Association on Aging celebrated their annual Eight Over Eighty fund raising event when they honor eight people over the age of eighty who have contributed much to the Pittsburgh Jewish community. Pictured- JAA Board Member and Event Chair- Mitchell Pakler; JAA President and CEO Debbie Winn-Horvitz, and Bruce Horvitz.

Sue's run 4 kids Sue's run4kids, a 5K run/ walk and 1-mile family walk will take place on September 23rd at Riverview Park! The event is held in memory of Sue Lipman, (pictured left, with her daughter, Jill) who lost her courageous battle with pancreatic cancer in 2010.

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Come see what all the fuss is about.





Whether you're a serious runner or seriously don't like to run, this is a great event for your entire family! There will be food, drinks, music, activities, games, and a raffle at the finish line. Register by September 1st to be guaranteed a T-shirt and race bag! All proceeds benefit the Lipman Youth Fund at KidsVoice. Visit their website for more information:





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May 20, 2012, marked Temple Sinai's 15th annual Mitzvah Day, this year with children as well as adults participating in projects as diverse as repairing bicycles to picking up trash, from painting classrooms to planting gardens. Some groups were comprised of families who worked together while other groups were either adults or children.

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Richard J. Kitay CPA Harry Back, head of Temple Sinai's Tikkun Olam Center for Jewish Social Justice, and Informal Education Director Jackie Braslawsce, of the Midrash Center for Jewish Learning, joined forces to create a day that would strengthen our congregation's commitment to social action and its identity as a caring community.

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Pittsburgh’s First and Only The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Women's Philanthropy Spring Event featured Jeannie Smith, who shared the story of her mother, a righteous gentile responsible for saving Jews while working for a high-ranking German official during the Holocaust. Shown at the event are, from left, Phyllis Silverman; Women’s Philanthropy Campaign Co-Chair Ellen Teri Kaplan Goldstein; Campaign Chair Linda Joshowitz; and Gene Dickman.

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FACES PLACES baT mitzvah

Campbell Kurlander celebrating her Bat Mitzvah at Temple Sinai.

JF&CS Annual Meeting

Guests mingle prior to start of meeting

Rodef Shalom’s 2012 Pursuer of Peace Award

Nancy and Bill Rackoff, Pursuer of Peace Co-Chairs and William E. Strickland, President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and recipient of Rodef Shalom’s 2012 Pursuer of Peace Award presented on Sunday evening, June 10 at Rodef Shalom Congregation.

Annual Meeting Chair & JFC&S Board Member Paul Dubner (R) with JF&CS board chair & 2012 Mermelstein Award recipient Joel Rosenthal and Ericka Fricke, Chief of Staff for PA State Representative Dan Frankel

Gary & Eva Friedman, pictured with Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O'Connor (L), were part of the Consecutive Giving Club honored at the 2012 JF&CS Annual Meeting

Pittsburgh Pacesetters

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Pacesetters Thank You Event, recognizing donors of $1,000 or more to the Centennial Year Annual Campaign, is underwritten by the Ira and Nanette Gordon Endowment Fund of the Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation. Jewish Federation President and CEO Jeff Finkelstein left, is pictured with Ira and Nanette Gordon.

The Guttman Family was honored at the Jewish Federation’s Pacesetters event with the PNC Community Builder’s Award, presented by Sy Holzer, President and CEO of PNC Bank – Pittsburgh. The honorees, recognized for their exemplary philanthropy, include, seated from left, James and Sara R. Guttman and Sara Guttman; standing from left, Daniel Guttman, Richard and Lori Guttman, Jeremy Guttman and Alan Guttman. summer 2012




Community leader Judy Wein was recognized at a Board meeting of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh with the Gerald S. Ostrow Volunteer of the Year Award. Making the presentation were Gerry Ostrow, left, and Woody Ostrow.

On Thursday, May 31, a night of Comedy Improvisation took place at Tree of Life/Or L'Simcha under the direction of Marshall Stern, artistic director of Chicago Improv Associates. Stern led congregants in multi-generational theatre games where they made up spontaneous skits. Left: Stern working with David Shensa and Pam Ludin on the human puppet exercise.

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Jewish Pittsburgh Living


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IF YOU’VE HAD AN EVENT THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE, please e-mail a high-resolution – preferably candid -photo to us at: jmagazinepittsburgh@ Your submission grants us permission to use your photo. Photos used as space permits.






Teen volunteers Sydney Wassing and Drew Klein pitched in at a session of Federation February Fonings, to raise Annual Campaign dollars in support around the of vital health and human service programs in Pittsburgh, Israel and

Jeremy Farbman celebrating his Bar Mitzvah at Temple Sinai with his parents, Louise & Steve.


of its Federation When the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh held the first session the youngest February Fonings on behalf of the Centennial Year Annual Campaign, volunteer, Etai Rubin, really got into the spirit of the “Mega-foning.”


Lexicon to make sock Some 45 Jewish Federation Mitzvah Day volunteers gathered at Project monkey toys for patients at Children’s Hospital.









Family House was a favorite site – actually three favorite sites – for volunteers of the Jewish Federation Mitzvah Day. Cooking a meal for residents of the Centre Avenue Family House were, from left, Thomas Burke, Craig Reinfeld, Myron Taube, Helene Kessler Burke, Brian Burke, Lauren Burke and Marsha Stern.



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The Jewish Federation’s local delegates to the Jewish Federations of North America National Israe Young Leadership l Bond prepared dinner Cabinet Marcu(NYLC) s hono s of Family House and fortoresidents Phila as he rel rs Harolpart oc as d of delph the families, visited clock with ia. Pic ates program wise six-year NYLC’s tur Marcu intensive fro top, ed training, s (rig mleadership encompassing Ge Harol ht) lernte d ki Sa community and r & SteJac Jewish Ha rold learning vage ve Ge left, with Ma service. lernte are come from xine Shown, r. die Lapid Friedman, Dan daug Keller, Matthew nn e uss. hter HaKatie Am Whitlatch, Randy rold, Whitlatch, y, an his d Elias. n Jos Scott Tobe, Debbie Graver, David Grubman and Andrea so h. 32 JM AG AZI NE

Some 300 young adults attended the annual Vodka and Latke party, a program of the Jewish Federation’s Shalom Pittsburgh, the outreach arm of the Young Adult Division. Shown here, clockwise from left, are Jenny Jones, Alona Bloom, Marla Werner, Lauren Bartholomae, Liza Baron and Becca Hurowitz.

Pittsburghers of all ages, including hundreds of children, came to Schenley Plaza to party at JFest: A Celebration of Israel Independence Day and the Jewish Community. The festivities included an archeological dig sponsored by PJ Library, an Israeli art gallery, Israeli dancing, a biblical petting zoo, a raffle for a free flight to Israel, performances by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the Spirit of Israel Delegation from Karmiel and Misgav, and special appearances by the Federation mascots Tahini Talia and Chick Pete.





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J magazine issue 7  

J magazine issue 7

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