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A Publication of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition


Winter 2015

If you could help make an amazing difference, would you?

Some kids face challenges that would overwhelm the toughest adults. They come to The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh from across the region — sometimes across the country or around the world — and that’s when the amazing differences begin. Your contribution to The Children’s Institute can keep the amazing differences happening. Won’t you help change the future for the kids and families who so greatly deserve it?

Any gift, great or small, can make an amazing difference. To learn more, visit


Squirrel Hill For more great content visit our NEW website at!

Features 8

The Giving Season

In Every Issue


Winter Pet Care By Meghan Poisson-DeWitt



Finding a New Resolution By Andrew Shull

SHUC President’s Message What has SHUC Done Lately • A Brief Report for 2015


What’s New From Our Advertisers


This Just In


18 26

From Hollywood to Home Building Squirrel Hill Entrepeneur Michael ‘Shlomo’ Jacobs By Meghan Poisson-DeWitt How to Celebrate the Holidays By Katie Maloney Caring for Seniors Over the Holidays By Elizabeth Waikman


Treasure Awards Recap


David Stock — In Memoriam By Marian Lien


Squirrel Hill Gift Guide By Mickey Gast

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Familiar Faces


Book Review Exploring Holiday Traditions By Mark Russell


SHUC Snapshots News and Notes from your Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition


Squirrel Hill Historical Society Holidays through the Centuries By Helen Wilson


Good News from Our Schools


Events Calendar

Neighborhood Notes Cover photo: A collection of holiday decor. Photographed by Meghan Poisson-DeWitt

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter @SquirrelHillMag and at

From the Editor As Editor of Squirrel Hill Magazine, I want to welcome to our First Ever Holiday Issue! So much work and care went into crafting an issue that can be enjoyed by all our readers. In such a diverse neighborhood, it can be hard to include something that interests everyone. We did our best! As we adjust to the new production schedule, we strive to bring you the best content we can find. Here’s to wishing you a happy holiday season, however you and yours celebrate this festive time. If you have comments or suggestions for future issues, please send them to Meghan Poisson-DeWitt at If you’re interested in advertising, please email or call (412) 422-7666. Advertisers can now pay with Visa, MasterCard or Discover.

Murray the Squirrel

Murray is available free of charge for visits and events to local organizations and schools. Give SHUC a call at 412.422.7666 or email

The Landmarks Issue PAGE1

SQUIRREL HILL URBAN COALITION OFFICERS: Raymond N. Baum, President Richard Feder, Vice President Ceci Sommers, Vice President Chris Zurawsky, Vice President Barbara Grover, Secretary Peter Stumpp, Treasurer James Burnham, Assistant Treasurer Steven Hawkins, Immediate Past President BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Norman Childs, Vivian Didomenico, Andy Dlinn, Lori Fitzgerald, Ed Goldfarb (Board Member Emeritus), Michael D. Henderson, Marshall Hershberg, Gina Levine, Ari Letwin, Lois Liberman, Cynthia Morelock, Melanie Seigel, Sidney Stark (Board Member Emeritus), Erika S. Strassburger, Erik Wagner, Roger Westman Marian Lien, Executive Director MAGAZINE STAFF: Meghan Poisson-DeWitt, Editor CONTRIBUTORS: Ray Baum, Melissa Friez, Mickey Gast, Carolyn Ludwig, Katie Maloney, Meghan Poisson-DeWitt, Mark Russell, Andrew Shull, Tina Calabro, Elizabeth Waickman, Helen Wilson DESIGN & PRINT: Patricia Tsagaris, Pinkhaus Design, Creative Director Knepper Press, Printer Printed with soy inks and 100% wind energy! A Publication of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition

Squirrel Hill Magazine, Vol. 13, Issue 5, is published through the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, 5604 Solway Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15217. Please direct any questions or comments to SHUC by calling 412.422.7666 or emailing To inquire about advertising, please contact Please support our advertisers—their ads solely finance this magazine! Reserve your space today for the Spring 2016 issue!


Our Mission The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition is a non-profit community organization dedicated to preserving, improving and celebrating the quality of life in the 14th Ward of the City of Pittsburgh.Volunteer-supported standing committees provide leadership to our community by studying, debating, and advocating positions on issues affecting our neighborhood’s vitality. Our mission is implemented through a long-range planning process, which fosters community-based initiatives in the areas of education, public safety, transportation, parks and open spaces, and commercial, institutional and residential development.

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What has SHUC Done Lately:

shuc president’s message

A Brief Report for 2015 By Raymond N. Baum, President Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition

2015 has been a busy and successful year for the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition. So much has been going on and so much has happened as a result of the splendid work of our executive director, Marian Lien, our board and committee members and the support of our community partners and funders that it’s hard to know where to begin within this limited space. Here are some highlights: ► Squirrel Hill Magazine Squirrel Hill Magazine is now being mailed to 16,500 homes and businesses and distributed in several public locations. Thanks to our editor, Meghan Poisson-DeWitt and our magazine committee, the quality has soared and advertising support allows us to break even. With generous grants from the McCune Foundation and the Thomases Foundation, our website has been substantially upgraded and integrated with Squirrel Hill Magazine. Our aim is to keep you informed on all issues important the community. ► Education Committee Squirrel Hill is blessed with many invaluable resources, none more important than our schools. The Coalition is refocusing on working with all of the public schools in Squirrel Hill and in the Allderdice feeder pattern to help the parents, faculty and community develop additional capacity to support, improve and celebrate our public schools. We are very fortunate that Bill Isler has

agreed to co-chair our Education Committee beginning after his fourth and final term on the Board of Education ends on November 30, 2015. ► Squirrel Hill Development Our Gateway, Commercial Development and Long Range Planning Committees, under the leadership of Mardi Isler and Rich Feder continue to produce amazing results. The Gateway Committee, with ongoing support from the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works (DPW), Councilman O’Connor and many others, brought us the new U.S. Post Office parklet and new Squirrel Hill Welcome sign. New trees and streetlights now dot Murray and Forward Avenues all the way to Forbes. The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the mayor’s office and Councilman O’Connor have been very supportive and helpful in encouraging the complete redevelopment of this area. The Coalition is working with the community, the city and other stakeholders to develop plans for this area and for increased safe pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular access and connections. In so doing, we will attract quality development to the entire Forward-Murray Gateway area. ► Stormwater Task Force Stormwater flooding and stormwater-caused sewer back-ups continue to plague Squirrel Hill. The Coalition’s Storm Water Task Force, headed by Chris Zurawsky, continues

to work with all stakeholders, especially most recently the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy which is continuing to develop plans to take action to very substantially reduce storm water run-off and damaging siltation in Schenley Park. We are very fortunate to recently receive a grant from the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) to collect data and develop a mapping system in the Squirrel Hill watersheds. ► Squirrel Hill Night Market Squirrel Hill enjoyed two very successful night markets in August and September attracting capacity crowds. The Coalition collaborated with Uncover Squirrel Hill, Councilman O’Connor’s office, Police District Zone 4, and NextGen:Pgh. Tens of thousands of attendees came out to experience the best of our Squirrel Hill commercial district. We look forward to more night markets next year. ► Litter Patrol Committee Chair Barbara Grover led over 140 volunteers in a community-wide litter pick-up in April, as she has for many years. Her husband Dave Grover is now working to organize block captains to help “Adopt a Block” and keep litter to a minimum in the community throughout the year. ► Treasure Dinner Our Treasure Dinner in October was another tremendous success and beautiful

continued on page 4

The Holiday Issue PAGE3

shuc president’s message cont.

celebration thanks to our sponsors, our attendees and especially our Squirrel Hill Treasures—Taylor Allderdice High School, Bill Isler, David Stock and Mike Chen. It was another great community party.

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► Parks and Open Spaces Committee Gary Crouth continues to lead the crusade to have more and more residential shade trees planted throughout the community. Tree Pittsburgh has trained over 60 tree tenders who qualify Squirrel Hill for free trees wherever we can obtain homeowner approval. So far, the community has succeeded in obtaining and planting over 100 trees since 2010. ► Solarize Allegheny/ Solarize Squirrel Hill We formed Solarize Squirrel Hill to work with Solarize Allegheny to provide information, workshops and technical assistance to demonstrate how affordable solar energy can be to produce renewable energy and create substantial cost savings. The response has been so great that the solar panel suppliers and contractors are working overtime to keep up. ► Coalition Community Open House Thanks to Rich Feder, Marian Lien and a large group of volunteers, we held our first Community Planning Open House at the JCC in Squirrel Hill on October 15 to let everyone share information on a wide array of subjects including Stormwater Management; Pedestrian-Bicycle Trails; Transportation (transit, roads/traffic, and parking); Neighborhood Design Guidelines and Economic Development; and Ongoing Projects including Gateway and Solarize Allegheny. The great attendance and exchange of ideas were very heartening.

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from our advertisers

What’s New Forbes Jewelry When what is now Forbes Jewelry first opened in 1981, it served the Squirrel Hill community as a simple jewelry repair shop. Within a few years, Ella Livshin and her husband wanted to expand their offerings into their own original designs and redesigns. Now, as one of several jewelry stores in the area, they specialize in custom designs, internationally recognized designers, and even handmade pieces. They also reset and redesign older pieces, updating their designs, a service that has become very popular across the globe in recent years. One of the highlights of their in-store collection are necklaces and bracelets designed by Ella herself. Made of only semi-precious stones and precious metals, each piece is painstakingly crafted and personally designed to be a balance of colors and textures across a variety of stones. Forbes Jewelry features pieces from world famous designers such as Damiani, Kwiat, Tacori, Scott Kay, Christopher Design, Tiffany, Fred Leighton, and many more. They still offer jewelry repair services including cleaning and restringing pearls, a service which jewelry experts recommend every 3 to 5 years. Look for their ad in the pages of this issue for an instore discount!

Rewind Memories Located on Murray Avenue in the heart of Squirrel Hill, Rewind Memories is proud to announce that they are now under new ownership. Katie Funaki started as an employee in 2011 and gained valuable experience both technically and personally for the services that the business offered. Under her ownership, Katie will proceed to maintain the same services as before, but will implement several new and exciting features in 2016. Rewind Memories provides the service of transferring tapes, films, photos, and slides in a digital format that can be conveniently viewed and preserved. In the digitizing industry, they provide a more unique service for customers and clientele. This provides comfort and relief for individuals

who are hesitant to drop off their personal, sentimental, and one of a kind items. All transfers are completed inhouse at their Squirrel Hill office by trained technicians that treat each project as their own. Their services are heavily requested during the Holiday Season and make excellent gifts for family and friends. Visit for more information.

Kidz and Company Kidz and Company is here for all your holiday shopping needs! This upscale children’s clothing boutique, located on Forbes Avenue, offers designs from popular clothiers like Mayoral, Kissy Kissy, and Mini Shatsu, plus toys and accessories! When Pittsburgh native Paul Kenney noticed the distinctive lack of a kids clothing store in his neighborhood, he took it upon himself to fill that need. Each season, he personally chooses the designs and products his store will feature, taking into account the season and popular styles. “I try to [buy] the coolest things I can find,” Kenney said. Coming up on its four year anniversary, Kidz and Company continues to provide the same level of high quality, durable and washable products for all ages. Boys clothing is available in sizes newborn to 10. Girls sizes are available in Newborn to 14, expanding to size 16 with the spring collection. You can also shop online at Stop in today!

The Holiday Issue PAGE5

fresh off the street

This Just In expressed at the December meeting. A restroom complete with drinking fountains is to be built near the Solway entrance. Across the park, a multi-use shelter will allow families to hold events and parties, while giving much needed cover during surprise weather. The entire park, once home to marshlands, had to be designed to improve stormwater management, drainage, and deal with overflow issues. To better combat these issues, the center of the park features a multi-phase infiltration pond that will collect and disperse excess water into the ground. This marshland area will not only serve the parks drainage needs, but will bring an element of wilderness to the already nature oriented area.

Plans for Wightman Park Revealed In early October, Pashek Associates shared their $2.8 million dollar master plan for the redesign of Wightman Park with the community, asking for questions, comments and their overall responses. Currently providing space for youth baseball alongside basketball courts, a playground and an asphalt track, the much used park has been in dire need of an update for some time. Spearheaded by Councilman Dan Gilman, the project’s conception began last December with an open community meeting to discuss issues with, and hopes for, the space. At the October meeting, John Buerkle and Elaine Kramer of Pashek Associates presented drawings of the plan alongside reference images to help attendees better visualize the layout and design elements of the park. Kramer explained each element in detail. The plan includes two main entrances, one on Wightman and one on Solway.The Solway entrance will feature a slide entrance as well as a boulder field for stormwater management and nature play. A walking path of .2 miles (5 laps making 1 mile) winds around an open field with a youth baseball diamond (updating the current diamond field space). This area will be regraded, the higher field allowing for better water drainage.

While no timetable is set for this project, several phases are expected to be needed to complete the park renovation. The next step is to secure the necessary funding to break ground and start these improvements. The staff at Squirrel Hill Magazine will keep our readers apprised of changes and progress as it occurs.

Organic Cold Pressed Juice Comes to Squirrel Hill In what was once a bakery on Murray Avenue, cousins Chris D’Orazio and Bill Donahue have brought a more health conscious option into the neighborhood: 100% organic juice. Processed, packaged and sold on site, GreenLight Juice offers a collection of cold pressed juices that satisfy any appetite. After exploring the Los Angeles juice scene, these entrepreneurial cousins decided to stake their claim in Squirrel Hill. “My family had us juicing [when I was growing up],”Chris explained, “It’s a great way to get all your greens for the day.” Fresh ingredients arrive at GreenLight every morning to be transformed into delicious juices, nut milks and health shots. GreenLight also offers three levels of juice cleanses which detox the body and reboot the system.

On the right side of the park, there will be three play areas to accommodate children of different ages and abilities. The plan also retains the basketball element, painting the court to make it dual use as a pickleball court.

The biggest difference between GreenLight and many other juice joints is the process: “The one thing we have to explain to people when they come in,” said Chris, “is that we do make it fresh daily in the back, it’s just not made to order.” Produce delivered daily is prepped, then pressed into large batches of juice in a commercial press. The newly pressed juice is bottled and loaded into the front cooler, available for customers at any time of day.

Brand new additions to the park took into consideration the wants and needs of the community, as

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squirrel hill gives

Don’t forget about the hardworking charitable organizations this Giving Season!


here are over 3000 registered nonprofits in Pittsburgh, with over 30 in Squirrel Hill alone. From cultural and arts organizations to community development groups to social service agencies to scholarship programs, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Your interests are the only things that determine where or how you give. Here are just a few organizations making life better right here in our community of Squirrel Hill: Nine Mile RunWatershed Association First Tee of Pittsburgh Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill Jewish Family & Children’s Service Squirrel Hill Food Pantry

Jewish Association on Aging Sixth Presbyterian Church Pittsburgh Promise Pittsburgh Filmmakers Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh American Jewish Museum Construction Junction Good Grief Center Girls on the Run The Friendship Circle Frick Art & Historical Center Tree Pittsburgh Squirrel Hill Historical Society The Children’s Institute

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shuc familiar faces

Familiar Faces: Your Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition Board Members

Cynthia Morelock When Cindy joined the Coalition Board in 2014, she really hit the ground running. Her Board involvements include work with the Litter Patrol, Squirrel Hill Treasure Dinner, Squirrel Hill Night Market, Squirrel Hill Master Plan Open House and much more. Cindy moderated the Coalition’s 2015 Pittsburgh School Board Candidate Forum, which was held at the JCC in partnership with the Jewish Federation

By Raymond N. Baum, President Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition

The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition and our community are fortunate to have so many people who are dedicated to our community. This is the fourth in a series introducing you to the Coalition’s stalwart board members. Peter J. Stumpp Pete Stumpp has been the Coalition’s treasurer since 2013. Not only has he worked tirelessly to get our finances in top shape and to provide board leadership, Pete has been a driving force in our development efforts and community events. This year, he inspired our incredibly successful evening at the Independent Brewing Company and our first annual Squirrel Hill golf outing at the Bob O’Connor Golf Course. Pete came to us with a resume of community leadership including serving on the board of the Allegheny YMCA, as treasurer of the North Side Chamber of Commerce, as a board member of Gwen’s Girls and as a member of the Loan Review Committee of the North Side Development Fund.

you “The more rself to give of you greater others, the the return.”

Pete has been a banker for over 15 years and is the manager of the Squirrel Hill branch of First Commonwealth Bank, where he focuses on building their customer base and portfolio management. He has used his considerable people and business skills and his network of friends and customers to enhance the Coalition’s relationships with the Squirrel Hill business community. Pete Graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1999 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and a distinguished career as a Division I cross-country and track athlete. Pete is deeply involved in our community because, as he says, “Givers gain. The more you give of yourself to others, the greater the return. It’s extremely important to give your time and energy into the organizations that support and make your neighborhood a great place to live, work, and play.” Pete and his family love to shop at Little’s Shoes and all the other merchants, as well as the walkable, international and multicultural feel of the community in which he has become such an important part.

of Greater Pittsburgh. Cindy is originally from Kansas City where she worked with the Kansas City Royals during high school and college. Cindy graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders in 1982 and obtained her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Central Missouri State University “I app in 1984. Cindy also Squirrel reciate that recently completed “walkable Hill is a truly coursework at the com University of Pittsburgh with evemunity” for her K-12 Principal I need c rything lose by. certification.

After college, she worked as a speech-language pathologist in Kansas City. Cindy is currently the Associate Chief School Administrator of The Day School at The Children’s Institute. The Day School provides educational programs for students 5 through 21 with multiple disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. Cindy has lived in Pittsburgh for 29 years and in Squirrel Hill for 17. Cindy’s reasons for being on the Coalition Board: “I enjoy being involved with a group of people who are committed to addressing important issues in Squirrel Hill. I care about this community and I want to contribute by volunteering my time, particularly for issues that most directly affect families and children. I found Squirrel Hill to be a great place for my daughter to grow up, and I would like it to continue to be a family friendly/family oriented community.” Cindy also finds living in Squirrel Hill its own reward: “I appreciate that Squirrel Hill is a truly “walkable community” with everything I need close by. I am fortunate that I can even walk to work. Our proximity to Oakland and Downtown Pittsburgh is very appealing. Having our neighborhood flanked by two beautiful parks — Frick and Schenley — contributes greatly to the quality of life in Squirrel Hill.” While it’s clear that Cindy gets a lot from living and working in Squirrel Hill, she certainly also gives a lot back! The Holiday Issue PAGE9

neighborhood notes Remembering Lucy Spruill (1944-2015)

vides in-home services for about 200 people annually. As Director of Public Policy and Community Relations at CLASS, she influenced policy at the local and state level.

By Tina Calabro

Lucy was a founding member of the Port Authority’s Committee for Accessible Transportation and the Three Rivers Community Foundation. She was appointed to the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council, the City-County Task Force on Disabilities, and Pittsburgh City Planning Commission. In the 1980s, she was instrumental in influencing the Port Authority to establish the nation’s first paratransit system and to aspire to be one of the most accessible urban bus systems in the nation.

Disability rights advocate and longtime Squirrel Hill resident Lucy Spruill, who passed away in June at age 70, left a legacy of activism for social justice that created lasting change in the Pittsburgh community. Lucy’s advocacy for disability rights reflected her broad commitment to eliminating all types of discrimination. Born with spina bifida in Washington D.C. and raised in Greene County, Lucy’s advocacy for people on the margins of society spanned five decades. “She worked toward meaningful justice in the broadest sense,” said her daughter Jennifer Spruill, of Chicago. In addition to her work on disability rights, Lucy was active in the movements for black civil rights, women’s rights, anti-apartheid, and peace. The 40-year resident of Waldron Street loved living in Squirrel Hill, said Jennifer Spruill, who grew up with her younger brother James in the family’s three-story, yellow stucco house. “We bought a house here because of the usual interests – the nearby park, good schools, community-oriented neighbors, convenient public transportation. But we also came to appreciate living in a neighborhood that welcomed us,” noting that her mother had been turned away from apartments for rent. It wasn’t the first time Lucy had faced discrimination. In the mid-1960s, when she arrived for her freshmen year at Albright College, she was turned away because she could not walk without crutches. Undaunted, she enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh where she earned an undergraduate degree in speech pathology and a master’s in social work. She later returned to Pitt as an adjunct professor and visiting speaker. As a disabilities rights advocate, Lucy was at the forefront of the movement to enact the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as well as a force for implementing it as the first ADA Coordinator for the City of Pittsburgh during Mayor Tom Murphy’s administration. Over nearly 20 years with Community Living and Support Services (CLASS, formerly UCP Pittsburgh), Lucy established the attendant care program that proPAGE10

Lucy’s Waldron Street neighbors knew her not only as public figure whose name was often in the newspaper, but as a caring person who was there for them as they were for her, said her daughter. “My mother always had a wonderful flower garden out front. We planted it every year on Mother’s Day. She enjoyed sitting out front and talking to her neighbors, their children and their grandchildren.” SHM

Greenfield Bridge Demolition to Reroute Parkway Traffic The Holiday season is always a bustling time of year and the impending demolition of the Greenfield Bridge will, unfortunately, add an extra hassle to your festivities. According to the project website, “Bridge Implosion [is scheduled] December 26, 2015 – January 3, 2016. [The] contractor will have a seven (7) day window to close the I-376 Parkway East for five (5) days including charging the bridge, laying 15” percussion buffer (soil), the implosion and clean-up.” During this time, the parkway will be closed, and all traffic detoured around the construction site. This will bring parkway traffic through Squirrel Hill, Oakland, and Shadyside. Below is one example of the route drivers will be asked to use. For more information about these detours and the bridge project, visit SHM






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squirrel hill pet care By Meghan Poisson-DeWitt

Winter Pet Care The winter holidays are full of fun, family and food but don’t forget to take care of your furry family members as well! The winter months are especially hard on our pets, so follow these tips to keep your pets happy, healthy and safe over the next few months!

Keep Them Warm Keeping your pets warm is the most important cold weather tip. Keep pets indoors whenever possible and keep walks and outdoor excursions short. If you and your pet prefer longer walks, consider investing in a jacket or booties to keep them comfortable. Jackets and sweaters may also help smaller pets or pets with short hair keep their normal body temperatures and be more active in colder months. If your pet must be outside, make sure to provide a warm and dry shelter to protect them from the elements. Provide a little extra food as their bodies use more energy to keep warm. Check their water often to make sure it hasn’t frozen. While taking your pets on car trips might be tempting, keep the trips short and take them to locations they are allowed to enter. Much like leaving them outside, leaving your pet in a cold or cooling car endangers them, possibly causing hypothermia.

Protect Their Paws

Be a Good Neighbor It’s not just your pets that are at risk this time of year, but your neighbor’s pets as well. Even if you don’t own a pet, there are many things you can do to help keep local animals safe and healthy. Clearing your walkways of snow and ice helps not only pets, but people too, preventing slips and falls. If you can, use pet friendly salt on your walk and driveways to prevent local pets from getting sick due to salt exposure. Car owners should keep an eye out for animals beneath their cars when they leave in the morning. The warmth of the engine makes the undercarriage an attractive place for cold, lost or homeless animals. Check under your vehicle and honk your horn a few times to scare any animals before starting your car. Many chemicals used in cars, like coolants, deicers and antifreeze can be lethal to pets. Be sure to clean up any spills and consider switching to products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. These few changes could save a cat or dog’s life! For more information on cold weather pet care, visit these sites: The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) The American Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty (ASPCA)

Just like humans, winter weather is hard on our pet’s skin, especially their paws. Take a few extra steps each day to help prevent their skin from getting dry and cracked. Start by leaving a towel by the door to dry off your pet’s legs, paws and belly. This will help them warm up faster. Pay special attention to the spaces around their toes and paws, making sure to remove any snow or ice that might be stuck there. Also, keeping the hair around their paws short helps to keep snow and ice from sticking. Rubbing your pet’s paws with petroleum jelly before a walk can help protect the pads from ice, snow and chemicals. When you return, always wash their paws to remove salt, deicing agents and other chemicals. In winter, it’s best to bathe your pet sparingly. Unlike humans who can moisturize their skin after a shower, our pet’s skin is left susceptible to the dry winter air, which can cause cracks and bleeding and lead to infection. The Holiday Issue PAGE13

squirrel hill feature

Finding a New Resolution By Andrew Shull


s the neighborhood gears up for the Holiday season, one tradition is less about the more prevalent themes of community and family: the New Year’s Resolution. And often, the New Year’s Resolution is a lofty goal that can seem daunting. But we don’t have to greet this impending new year with the sense of dread that usually accompanies selfimprovement. Why not avoid cliches and try to something a little more fun, and a little more local this year?

The winter is the easiest time of year to get stuck in a rut, so why not try something new? When my last lease was up, I was attracted to Squirrel Hill for a number of reasons: a fantastic community, an easy commute, and the chance to live in a unique, diverse, walkable neighborhood. But all of those reasons are a distant second place to my favorite neighborhood amenity: we have the best food here. If there is a drawback to that, it’s that it’s easy to quickly identify a few favorites, and stick with them. Why not start with new neighbors? As far as new faces go, it’s hard to miss the facelift GreenLight Juice provided to Murray Ave. The bright, clean storefront offers a variety of different juices, and according to their website, their mission is “to provide the highest quality organic cold pressed juices.” That’s certainly sounds worth investigating for a healthy start to the new year.

Let’s start by being a better neighbor. It’s Winter, and we live in Pittsburgh. Have you shoveled your walks? If you’re able, be courteous to your neighbors and do it. There are few things more annoying to a pedestrian than an obstructed walkway. It’s also dangerous, especially for our seniors and neighbors with disabilities. Speaking of whom, do you know somebody who is physically unable to shovel their walks? Why not help them out? If you’re unable to shovel your walks, call the United Way’s help line by dialing 211. They have programs specifically for older people and people with disabilities who might need a little extra help, especially when the weather won’t cooperate. We can also help the whole neighborhood by volunteering locally. There are any number of fantastic nonprofits based in the neighborhood that could use a hand. Organizations like the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry, AgeWell Pittsburgh, or the Squirrel Hill Branch of the Carnegie Library are just three among many. Pittsburgh as a whole has a robust philanthropic and nonprofit community, so find something you’re passionate about, and get involved.


Another spot that made a splash is Chengdu Gourmet, which has been serving authentic Szechuan cuisine on Forward Avenue for almost a year now. The restaurant has received universal praise for it’s menu that will absolutely alter the perceptions of Chinese food held by somebody used to Americanized offerings. Outside of food, there are plenty of cultural events and happenings begging to be explored. Check out a new museum or gallery, especially with our cultural options right in our backyard. Go see a play at PICT, Quantum, or the Kelly-Strayhorn. A terrific cultural experience is never more than a neighborhood away. The JCC and the local Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh all offer rotating cultural programs, which might be nice when it’s just too cold for a long trek. Which really makes it easy to Keep it Local. We have thriving business districts, a cornucopia of fantastic restaurants, an abundance of interesting residents, and a dedicated core of people who work and volunteer to make this a fantastic community. We don’t have to go far to make a tremendous difference, and have a fantastic time. Let’s support each other. Let’s build a better community. I’m in if you are. Happy New Year Everybody. SHM

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Exploring Holiday Traditions By Mark Russell of Carnegie Library — Squirrel Hill

he winter holidays are quickly approaching, and for most families, that means taking part in a variety of time-honored traditions. If your family or friends celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas, very soon you may find yourself lighting a menorah, decorating a Christmas tree, spinning a dreidel or singing carols. If the children in your family are anything like mine, they are entertained by these activities, but also curious about their origins.


When you are in a position to explain a holiday tradition, I’m sure it is tempting to simply look it up on a phone or a computer and let the internet do the talking. However, finding answers in a book can be much more satisfying and enjoyable. If this sounds like an activity that your family would enjoy, I would highly recommend the following two books about Christmas and Hanukkah for your seasonal investigations. In A Short History of Christmas, by Sally Lee, the author combines contemporary photographs and historical illustrations with short, factual paragraphs about Christmas and its various traditions. Lee explains how the holiday originated, as well as the history behind Santa Claus, Christmas trees and caroling.

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Trudi Strain Trueit’s Hanukkah is another great book for holiday research. Accompanied by cheerful illustrations from Rebecca Thornburgh, Trueit provides the history of the Festival of Lights. The origins and significance of Hanukkah traditions are also explained, such as the lighting the menorah, playing with a dreidel and eating potato pancakes. Additionally, the book contains a number of Hanukkah poems and songs, as well as a recipe for sweet potato pancakes and instructions for building your own menorah. Both books have glossaries that define challenging words, and both also provide a list of additional titles for further reading. Be sure to check them out at your local library, and have a wonderful holiday season! SHM

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The Holiday Issue PAGE15

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From Hollywood to Home Building: Squirrel Hill Entrepreneur Michael ‘Shlomo’ Jacobs By Meghan Poisson-DeWitt

quirrel Hill is known for many things: its wide range of cultural diversity, its strong Jewish community, its walkability and its appeal to…former Hollywood entertainment producers? Well, perhaps that last one isn’t so well known but it’s definitely worth mentioning.


eventually led to him Film School at NYU. Degree in hand, Jacobs and his wife moved to California, where he began the long, slow process of building a career in entertainment.

“I pounded away and started to develop a little niche learning film and television international distribution,” Jacobs said. “Basically, Michael Jacobs, known as Shlomo within the everything that gets made in the United Jewish community, is the owner of MarVista States and Hollywood gets shown all over Rentals in Squirrel Hill, as well as co-president the world and somehow that product, be it TV, movies or DVDs, has to get put there, of Yeshiva Schools. His rental company is so somebody has to sell it.” That someactually the second incarnation of the body was Michael Jacobs. From selling, he MarVista name, which graces his previous was able to back into producing, as raising venture, MarVista Entertainment, now the funds in the key to production. biggest movie and television distributor in the United States. After years of building relationships with international distributors, retailers and Jacobs worked for MarVista Entertainment satellite providers, Jacobs decided to start as executive producer for over nine years his own company. MarVista Entertainment before selling his shares and leaving the began producing and distributing content industry entirely. His interest in film began in 2003. Known for their ties to networks like long ago, when he began making movies as Disney, Nickelodeon, Lifetime, Hallmark kid. When Public Access Television took and SyFy, MarVista co-produces and distribhold in America in the 1980’s, Jacobs leapt utes films and television shows across 125 at the chance to work with professional global territories. grade equipment, a passion which

A few years after they settled in Pittsburgh, Jacobs decided to leave the film industry behind. Selling off his shares in MarVista Entertainment, he jumped headlong into a field his family had dappled in for years: real estate. Not one to just buy and sell, Jacobs took the more hands on approach of renovation. MarVista Rentals purchases run down homes and apartments in the Squirrel Hill

area and ‘flips’ them, replacing old features with granite counter tops and hardwood floors. The finished products are high end apartments and townhomes that appeal to young professionals and families.

“People say to me, how do I make the leap from the movie business to building? But it’s quite similar. In the movie business you have to use two sides of your brain. You’ve got to use the business side and the creative side.” Though they have their own architect, Jacobs fills the role of General Contractor and So what drew this Hollywood producer to designer, which allows him more control Pittsburgh? Simple: he’s a family man. “[My over the look of each project. Their most wife and I] were looking for a Chabad school recent project is two high end townhomes that had a strong Judaic program but also on Woodmont Street, which included the had a strong secular program,” explained demolition of the single family home that Jacobs. “Yeshiva Schools in Pittsburgh came once sat on the lot. MarVista currently owns up as THE top school within the Chabad 75 rental properties, all in Squirrel Hill. community.” As his job allowed him to “We’re very Squirrel Hill centric,” said work from any location, the move to Pittsburgh was an easy decision. All nine of Jacobs. “We love it here. We think it’s a great community. We have that really great balance his kids are currently attending Yeshiva, of community, city, and suburb all rolled and as co-president, Jacobs is very involved into one.” SHM in their education. He spends many hours per week volunteering there, helping students and staff in any way he can.

“I’ve produced over 100 movies and television episodes,” said Jacobs proudly. Some of his most popular features were co-produced by the Disney Channel, including 16 Wishes and Radio Rebel, both featuring Disney star Debbie Reynolds.

The Holiday Issue PAGE17

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How to Celebrate the Holidays

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Prepare for a Cozy Night In

By Katie Maloney

Now that you’ve dusted off your holiday decorations, untangled your lights and started hunting for the perfect gifts for your loved ones, it’s time to start celebrating the holidays — and Squirrel Hill is the place to do just that. Get into the holiday spirit with these Squirrel Hill shops and Pittsburgh holiday events.

Where to Shop For the Holidays Gift giving is one of the most exciting parts of celebrating the holidays and thanks to all of the specialty businesses in Squirrel Hill, you can find the perfect gift for your loved one. Here are just a few ideas to help get you started. For more ideas, check out our gift guide on page 37.

Restore Family Memories Creating memories with the people you love is what the holiday season is all about. Rewind Memories, located on Murray Avenue, helps you do just that by restoring old photos, transferring tape or film to DVD, converting audio to CD or even creating a DVD slideshow of all of your family photos. Depending on the package you choose, they will even pick up your footage and deliver the finished product to your home. Rewind Memories 2002 Murray Ave. 1-800-504- 4782

Get in Tune with Your Giftee’s Wish List A new instrument is at the top of almost all musicians’ holiday wish list. Stop into Acoustic Music Works on Murray Avenue and choose the perfect acoustic or electric guitar, banjo, mandolin or ukulele for your musically inclined giftee. But what good is an instrument to a music lover without any musical inspiration? Once you’ve chosen an instrument, stop into Jerry’s Records just down the street on Murray Avenue and check out the seemingly endless selection of vinyl records. PAGE18

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Sometimes, the best gift is one you can share while cuddled up on the couch with your partner and favorite blanket. If your loved one is looking for a cup of hot cocoa and a movie, a Cozy Night In themed basket may be the perfect gift. Stop into The Exchange on Forbes Avenue to pick up your favorite holiday movies, then visit The Chocolate Moose just down the street for some chocolate and other treats. The Exchange 5862 Forbes Ave. (412) 422-2123 The Chocolate Moose 5830 Forbes Ave. (412) 422-2208

Let Them Choose Dinner and a Movie A night on the town is the perfect gift for the couples you love. With its classic old Hollywood feel, The Manor Theater on Murray Avenue is the perfect start to a romantic night. Pick up movie gift cards in the theater’s lobby and allow your giftees to choose which movie they want to see. Once you have your movie gift card, visit one of the many Squirrel Hill restaurants to purchase a dinner gift card. Manor Theater 1729 Murray Ave. (412) 422-9851

Where to Eat For the Holidays Food is an important part of most holiday celebrations – where would we be without festive snowflake cookies? These Squirrel Hill restaurants and bakeries will assure that all your holiday feasting needs are covered. Dobrá Tea Cafe Take a break from hot chocolate this winter and stop into Dobrá Tea Café, located on Murray Avenue. This Bohemian style tea room offers a variety of teas from regions all over the world. The teas are served in traditional vessels from the country of origin or in handmade pottery. Dobrá also offers a variety of vegan, gluten-free and organic snack options. 1937 Murray Ave. (412) 449-9833

2104 Murray Ave. (412) 422-2138 NU Modern Jewish Bistro After a long day of holiday shopping, visit NU Modern Jewish Bistro for some potato latkes and what the chefs like to call “Jewish Penicillin,” or soup with either matzo ball, kreplach, or noodle spaetzle. 1711 Murray Ave. (412) 422-0220

Where to Celebrate the Holidays It can be easy to get swept up into the bustle of the holidays and forget what the season is truly about: family. These Pittsburgh events will help you put aside the shopping and food preparation and allow you to truly celebrate the season with family and friends.

Sunday, December 6th at the Congregation Beth Shalom. Latkepalooza will feature crafts, games, prizes and, of course, plenty of latkes. The JJEP will also be collecting nonperishable food items for families in need. For more information visit Holidays Around The World The Carnegie Museum of Natural History will host Holidays Around The World on December 12th and 13th. This interactive journey through holiday-themed stations allows Carnegie scientists and attendees to explore diverse cultures through crafts, food and artifacts. This family friendly event is free with museum admission. For more information on Holidays Around The World, visit

Peoples Gas Holiday Market at Market Square Inspired by the original German Christkindlmarkets, the Holiday Market runs through December 23rd and offers an international holiday shopping experience to local Pittsburghers. All of the holiday themed shops are tucked inside of Alpine-style wooden cottages and illuminated by holiday lights. Don’t forget to check out the daily live performances and take a picture with Santa. For more information on the Peoples Gas Holiday Market, visit Yinz’r Scrooged Bricolage Production Company presents, Yinz’r Scrooged, a Pittsburgh-based parody of the classic holiday story, A Christmas Carol. Watch as Ebenezer Scrooge comes face to face with ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, or in this case, Pittsburgh celebrities and locals. This family-friendly show runs from December 3rd through December 19th. For tickets visit Latkepalookza! The Joint Jewish Education Program will be hosting the 6th annual Latkepalooza! on


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Pink Box Bakery If you’re looking to expand upon your usual holiday sweet cravings, visit Pink Box Bakery on Murray Avenue. With sweet buns filled with strawberry, green tea, red beans, coconut or pineapple, and savory buns stuffed with bacon and egg, green onion and pork, your taste buds will be delighted to find new holiday favorites. Pink Box also offers tiramisu, coconut macaroons, almond brittle, red velvet cakes, strawberry cake and more.

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SHUC Snapshots Fall 2015: News and Notes from your Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition There were no formal programs or presentations. Instead, community members enjoyed the opportunity to speak one-on-one with representatives from SHUC’s Built and Natural Environment committees and from the City of Pittsburgh, including officials from city planning, Port Authority and the Pittsburgh Bike and Pedestrian coordinator.

SHUC Host First Ever Golf Fundraiser On a sunny Friday afternoon on September 11th, SHUC hosted their first Golf with SHUC event at the beautiful Bob O’Connor Golf Course. Supporters and friends joined them for a 9-hole Shamble, including Councilmen Corey O’Connor and Dan Gilman, co-owner of Pamela’s Diner Gail Klingensmith, and many of our dedicated board members. Individuals and teams playfully competed for longest range shot, quickest finish, as well as last to finish. Participants received a SHUC visor and enjoyed drinks and dinner provided by the Mac & Gold Truck. Spearheaded by SHUC board member Pete Stumpp, the event was a huge success and SHUC hopes to make this a yearly event. Join them on the course next year!

SHUC Hosts Community Open House On October 15, over 120 participants joined SHUC for an evening of community building and discussions regarding the neighborhood’s future. SHUC volunteer citizens and board members were on hand to staff tables on five current Coalition projects: Stormwater Management; Pedestrian-Bicycle Trails; Transportation (transit, roads/traffic, parking); Neighborhood Design Guidelines and Economic Development; and Ongoing Projects including the Squirrel Hill Gateway and Solarize Allegheny.

The most enthusiastic public response for the evening was on the subject of pedestrian-bicycle issues. Over 100 participant comments were gathered and twenty participants signed on to the newly formed SHUC Pedestrian-Bicycle Committee. There was a spirited discussion of the strengths and challenges Squirrel Hill presents to the community of walkers and bicyclists, including transit from Squirrel Hill to Oakland, downtown and the array of bike trails in and around Greater Pittsburgh. The SHUC Pedestrian-Bicycle Committee will become the representative voice of the neighborhood as it starts to collaborate with the dozens of other neighborhood ped-bike committees active with BikePittsburgh. For more about Pedestrian-Bicycling committee and upcoming meeting times or information about SHUC Built and Natural Environment projects, please go to or email us at

PWSA Grant Awarded for Green Infrastructure Project SHUC is proud to announce that their proposal for a green infrastructure project was awarded a $5,000 mini-grant from the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA). Green infrastructure (GI) can be a cost-effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly solution for managing the volume, rate and water quality of stormwater runoff. As part of PWSA’s inaugural 2015-16 Green Initiative Grant Program, SHUC will begin work immediately with Daniel Bain at University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Geology and Planetary Science on data collection and mapping systems that will identify neighborhood level priorities for green infrastructure in four Squirrel Hill watersheds- Forbes Run, Nine Mile Run, Panther Hollow and Saline Run; and craft an implementation strategy for better management of runoff based on that analysis. With this analysis, the Coalition hopes to engage the support of key stakeholders, and ultimately reduce the “transition costs” of installing street trees, permeable pavement, rain gardens, curb cuts, bioswales, and other GI interventions. The Holiday Issue PAGE21

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Holidays through the Centuries By Helen Wilson Vice-President, Squirrel Hill Historical Society

ecently, I asked a Revolutionary War-era re-enactor, “How did the settlers in Western Pennsylvania celebrate autumn and winter holidays in the late 1700s?” She thought for a moment and then replied, “It depended on the customs the ethnic groups brought from Europe.” This was certainly true at the turn of the 19th century. By the turn of the 20th century, however, holiday customs had intermingled into a recognizably American pattern.


Squirrel Hill’s first holiday celebrations followed Scotch-Irish traditions. German and Jewish influences came later. In his book, They Came to … Pittsburgh, Clarke Thomas writes, “Thousands of Ulster [Northern Ireland] Scots poured in through Philadelphia … and became the preeminent frontiersmen and settlers.” Most of the early settlers in Squirrel Hill were Scotch-Irish (or Scots-Irish, as they are also called). Their strict Presbyterianism caused them to observe Christmas Day as a solemn religious holiday. Their big celebration was Hogmanay on New Year’s Eve. That holiday is kept alive at the Oliver Miller Homestead in South Park, where visitors can experience

squirrel hill historical society how Hogmanay was celebrated on the frontier. Mary Pat Swauger, president of the Oliver Miller Homestead Associates, says that “in the 18th century, the Scots-Irish … celebrated on New Year’s Eve, when people could shoot off their guns, light bonfires, toast the New Year and let loose without worry of spoiling the solemnity of Christmas.” The homestead offers a preview of Hogmanay in December. Swauger says, “We will imagine that it is New Year’s Eve. The old year is shooed out and the new one welcomed in. Haggis is prepared on an open hearth, and Scottish dancing takes place in the barn.” For more information about the Oliver Miller Homestead, go to The Germans were the second largest cultural group to come to Squirrel Hill in the 1700s. They brought most of the customs that became associated with Christmas, such as Christmas trees and stockings hung by the chimney with care. A hundred years later, Ethel Spencer wrote a vivid memoir about growing up in a strict Scotch-Irish Presbyterian family in Shadyside. In The Spencers of Amberson Avenue, she writes, “I don’t suppose Mother and Father got any more sleep than other parents do the night before Christmas, for the tree had to be decorated, the presents set out, and the stockings filled.” Christmas Day was spent unwrapping presents, visiting relatives and feasting. Ethel Spencer wrote about growing up in the late 1800s and early 1900s. At the same time, Jews from Allegheny City (North Side) were moving to Squirrel Hill and the East End. They were mostly of German heritage who were to a great extent already assimilated into American culture because they had been in the United States since the 1840s. Their arrival in Squirrel Hill, and that of more recent Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe in the 1900s, brought a different set of holiday celebrations to Squirrel Hill. Major Jewish holidays take place a few months before Christmas. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated in autumn at the end of one agricultural cycle and the beginning of the next. Yom Kippur, which falls on the 10th day of the new year, calls on Jews to repent and reflect. The harvest is celebrated during Sukkot, when Squirrel Hill’s homes sprout outdoor structures rarely seen in other places in Pittsburgh—sukkot booths, commemorating the temporary dwellings used at harvest time, with a second reference to the Exodus from Egypt. While the autumn holidays have their roots in the harvest, the winter holidays celebrate the return of light into the world after the winter solstice. Both Christmas and Hanukah use light as a symbol of the holiday. So what is ahead for Squirrel Hill in the early years of the 21st century? Diversity has been increasing in the last half of the twentieth century. The Asian population alone has reached 18 percent. The variety of cultural traditions will add even more variety to the holiday mix. SHM Anyone interested in learning more about Squirrel Hill history is invited to attend the meetings of the Squirrel Hill Historical Society, held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave. Go to to view upcoming lectures and events. They are also posted in the calendar in this magazine. Please consider joining the SHHS. Membership is only $15 per year ($25 for families). There is no charge for attending the meetings. The Holiday Issue PAGE23

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Caring for Seniors Over the Holidays By Elizabeth Waickman

he holidays are a time of joy and reconnecting with family. At the same time, though, visiting older loved ones during the holiday season can sometimes mean coming face-to-face with changes related to aging. Adult children may be left unsure about whether their loved ones need extra help or support.


“Whether you live near or far, the holidays present a great opportunity to do an overall check-in with aging parents or older loved ones. Notice their surroundings: Are they eating well? Is their home clean and taken care of? Are they wearing clean clothes?” said Stefanie Small, psychotherapist and clinical services supervisor at JF&CS. “If those answers are yes, then this can be a benchmark for monitoring changes that happen as your loved ones age. If you have concerns, it may be time to have a gentle conversation about your loved ones’ changing needs and to find resources and supports.” In Squirrel Hill, a multitude of services exist to help older adults and their loved ones manage the challenges often associated with aging. Most notable among these is AgeWell Pittsburgh, a collaboration of Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS), the Jewish Association on Aging (JAA) and the Jewish Community Center (JCC). AgeWell Pittsburgh operates as a “one-stop” referral source that connects seniors and their loved ones to programs and support within, and outside of, the three partner agencies. AgeWell Pittsburgh provides services to everyone in the community. “When someone calls the AgeWell Pittsburgh phone line, we put them in


touch with programs and services that will work for their individual needs,” said Maxine Horn, Information & Referral Specialist for AgeWell Pittsburgh. “It’s the place to start when adult children or older adults themselves have questions or need information about what they’re experiencing. It is a continuing source of information for all aspects of the aging process.” AgeWell Pittsburgh can connect older adults to a variety of community services, such as the AgeWell Rides volunteer transportation service for seniors who do not drive, adult day services through the JAA’s Anathan Club, JF&CS’s Caregiver Connection for older adults who may need short or long-term caregiver services and even weekday kosher lunches at the JCC’s J Café. Above all, Small stresses the importance of ensuring older adults understand that conversations about their wellbeing are not an attempt by family members to take control or make decisions without their input. She advises adult children to educate themselves about the aging process and the resources that are available, including AgeWell Pittsburgh and professionals who are skilled in the field of geriatrics. “Early involvement and open communication are often the best ways to successfully approach the challenges of aging while maintaining positive relationships between adult children and their elderly loved ones,” Small said. “These can be tough conversations to have, but it’s all in the approach. Saying to your older loved one, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ is an easy place to start and can open many doors.” SHM

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good news from our schools

Allderdice on a Winning Streak By Melissa Friez Principal Pittsburgh Allderdice High School

National Merit Scholarship Program This year we are proud to recognize Adam Barsouk, Kielan Donahue, David Frisch, and Timothy Pugh as our National Merit Semi-finalists. In addition to our Semi-finalists, we also have nine Commended students: Margaret Cummings, Nolan Dickey, Michael W. Jeong, Zoe LeGarrec, Clare McKenzie, Louisa Molin, Harrison Smith, Violet Turri, and Zachary Weinberger. Sports Update For the third year in a row, Allderdice has secured a City Championship in Girls Volleyball. In addition to this, our Boys Soccer team finished first in WPIAL section 4 and won their playoff game against Peters Township. There are so many opportunities to cheer on our Dragons. On December 8th, we will recognize our City Champions from last year at the 7 pm basketball game against North Hills. Please consider attending and supporting our school. Squirrel Hill Treasure Dinner On October 22nd, Allderdice was recognized as the Place Treasure by the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition. We are humbled by this recognition and proud to be a prominent part of the Squirrel Hill community. We would like to thank Mr. Baum, Mr. Levin and the Coalition for presenting us with the beautiful plaque which we will display proudly in the school.

Colfax Charges into New School Year By Carolyn Ludwig

This year, Colfax welcomes 13 new educators and over 100 new students! About 90 international students, speaking over 19 languages, highlight our cultural diversity. Amazing happenings include our enthusiastic Student Council, who are collecting for our annual Pennies for Peanut Butter drive to help the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. They are also organizing a Middle-Level Fall Dance. Team Colfax joined in the Run Shadyside 5K Race on October 3rd to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Shadyside and the PTO. Approximately 140 students from grades K-3 got to participate in the annual Chef in the Garden event, with our partner Grow Pittsburgh, led by Farmer Paul. Four professional chefs set up a portable kitchen in the garden space and taught a cooking lesson where they demonstrate how to utilize food grown in our Edible Schoolyard. Fall fundraising has kicked off with Colfax Spirit Wear and water bottles. Upcoming fundraisers include the Ask Drive and our 10th annual Party for Play event on February 20th. Middle-level fundraising includes Kids Stuff books, Prantl’s pies, Winner’s Circle Pittsburgh Sports Memorabilia and Sarris Chocolates. Colfax librarian, Ms. Jane McKee, has been busy fundraising as well. The first fundraiser, in conjunction with Barnes and Noble, featured local writer and Colfax parent Joshua David Bellin. A second fundraiser followed with the Fall Scholastic Book Fair.

Hillel Partners with JF&CS on Inclusion Program By Meghan Poisson-DeWitt

This fall, Hillel Academy has partnered with Jewish Family & Children Service (JF&CS) on a new student inclusion program. This program brings three social workers and therapists into the school during the school day to help evaluate student behavior and staff approaches in hopes of helping students that may be struggling in the classroom setting. Hillel already offers a learning support center that provides assistance to kids with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia. Most public schools also offer support for students with behavioural issues, ADHD and autism spectrum disorders. Until this year, no such program was available for Hillel students. “We weren’t reaching certain kids and that really bothered us,” said Rabbi Sam Weinberg, Principal and Director of Education at Hillel. “Every kid deserves a great education. We’re making sure we can give all kinds of kids a chance to succeed here.” Aprilyn Artz, the Director of Quest Therapeutic Camps, is part of the team in charge of implementing this program at Hillel. While the first month was simply observation, the program is now meeting with staff and students regularly to help address and accommodate student needs. While the program is still in its beginning stages, Rabbi Weinberg hopes that by creating a common language used by students, staff, and parents, they can “develop a full team approach for caring for the child.” The Holiday Issue PAGE29

squirrel hill treasures

2015 Squirrel Hill Treasure Award Moments Our 5th annual Treasure Awards Dinner was a great success! This year we honored the late Composer David Stock, Restauranteur Mike Chen, Pittsburgh Public School Board Member Bill Isler, and our 2015 Place Treasure, Taylor Allderdice High School. We are happy to announce that we surpassed our fundraising goal of $50,000, netting over $36,000. Rick Stern generously donated our top raffle prize for evening: two annual passes to the Manor Theatre. Special thanks to Goldstein Photography for capturing another wonderful night of SHUC memories. Thanks so much to everyone who supported by giving and joining us for the festivities. We look forward to seeing you next year! 1.

1. Board Member Ceci Sommers presenting the award to Bill Isler 2. Executive Director Marian Lien, Treasure Mike Chen, Honorable Mayor Bill Peduto, Treasure Bill Isler (Left to Right) 3. Mr. McFeely delivered the Place Treasure Plaque, which was presented to Allderdice Principle Melissa Friez by Robert Levin (Left to Right)




r David Stock, who passed away this November, was an American composer and conductor. He was a longtime resident of the Pittsburgh area where he served as a professor of composition and as the conductor of the Contemporary Ensemble at Duquesne University. David often drew on his Jewish heritage in his own music by making reference to Jewish texts, prayers and culture. In 1976, he founded the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and was the music director for 23 years until his retirement in 1999. Described as the “personification of new music in Pittsburgh” by the Pittsburgh PostGazette, David did more than any other individual to advocate for and perform new classical music in Pittsburgh. Accordingly, his willingness to commission the works of young composers made an indelible mark on the new music world.

Squirrel Hill Treasure in Memoriam

The Coalition is so honored to have had David as a Treasure. He was aware of the honor before he became gravely ill and was delighted to have been chosen.

The Stock Family watching the Treasure Awards film — Sara Stock Mayo, Celia Stock, and Rachel Stock Spilker

The Holiday Issue PAGE31

More Award Moments We would like to thank this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s generous sponsors: Platinum Level ($5000+) Levin Furniture and Levin Mattress Company Gold Level ($2500+) Debbie Demchak Vivian& Rocco Didomenico / Rockwel Realty Elsie Hillman PNC Bank

4. 5.

Silver Level ($1000+) Ray and Harriet Baum Eyetique S&T Bank Susan& Dick Nernberg Paul Peffer and Leslie Miller Summerset At Frick Park Howard Hanna Realty Services Serta Mattress Marvista Construction, LLC Anonymous

* Treasure Film Production Costs underwritten by anonymous in memory of Clara Cooper Kline *The Joe Negri Trio Appearance underwritten by Elsie Hillman


4. Vivian DiDomenico presenting the award to Mike Chen 5. Treasure Award committee members and sponsors Dr. Kerry Bron and Robert Levin 6. Treasure recipients Bill Isler, Allderdice Principle Melissa Friez, Celia Stock on behalf of her husband David Stock, and Mike Chen (Left to Right)



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squirrel hill gift guide


Evelyn James Interiors Handmade luxury soaps made of all natural ingredients and essential oils will make a perfect gift for someone special. They were specially selected by the owners of Evelyn James Interior from the High Point Market trade show. $25 set of 3. 5870 Forbes Ave.

Christine Frechard Gallery Blue River Band is a watercolor dry brush on paper by Indian artist Suman Gupta. Gupta blends the elements of an abstracto-realist painter – a Dionysian, blissfully besotted by the colors, forms and lights of tranquil oasis of nature. 5871 Forbes Ave.

Contemporary Concepts This Cask and Crown serving tray is laser engraved. It comes in pine stain finish with a heavy wrought iron base. $199.99 5820 Forbes Ave.

Paititi This three panel set features an artist’s rendering of the Nazca Lines. A mystic place only visible from the air, the Nazca Lines are an indelible part of Peru’s landscape. $30 for the set. 1823 Murray Ave.


Mexico Lindo Delicately crafted in sterling silver and porcelain by Maestra Emilia Castillo of Taxco, these jaguar-shaped salt and pepper shakers ($150) and roosting parrots plate ($160) will be the talk of the party. 2027 Murray Ave.

squirrel hill gift guide


Classic Lines Classic Lines is bringing gorgeous children’s books to Squirrel Hill this holiday season. Chanukah Lights by Michael J. Rosen and Robert Sabuda ($35.00), Auntie Claus Home for the Holidays by Elise Primavera ($17.99), Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein by Amanda Peet ($17.99), Marguerite’s Christmas by India Desjardins and Pascal Blanchet ($19.95 5825 Forbes Ave.

Games Unlimited Robot Turtles is THE board game if you want to teach your child how to code. Designed for 2 to 5 players, ages 4 and up, the game needs an adult Turtle Mover to guide Turtle Master into chaining together a string of moves to get their turtle to their jewel. $24.99 2115 Murray Ave.

Kidz & Company Get a super hip outfit from Kidz & Company. The quilted jacket is machine washable and has a fleece lining. $59.95. The chunky striped sweater also comes in sizes 2 to 9. It’s a blend of acrylic and angora. $37.95. 5815 Forbes Ave.

Color Me Mine

SW Randall

If you prefer the gift of experiences over objects, give your kid a nice memory at Color Me Mine. They offer dozens of educational paint classes that will inspire kids to explore the corners of their imagination through creative expression. $7 ages 10 and under; $9 ages 11 and up. www.pittsburgh. 5887 Forbes Ave.

Find a classic tin wind-up toy in the shape of your favorite Star Wars character ($20.95) to go with your choice of Star Wars Lego sets (starting at $16.48). 5856 Forbes Ave. The Holiday Issue PAGE35

squirrel hill gift guide


Capriccio Boutique These charming necklaces are handmade out of upcycled crushed coffee capsules by Ronit Schulman. $35 - 60 The artisan handbags by Maruca Design are an exquisite tactile treat. Made in Boulder, CO, from textiles custom designed and woven in the USA. Bags; Small $55, Medium $65, Large $105 5867 Forbes Ave.

Forbes Jewelers This exquisitely crafted leaf brooch by Fred Leighton features natural 9 carat pink and white diamonds, set in 18 carat white gold. Price upon request. 5884 Forbes Ave.

Cheeks Stop by Cheeks, the newcomer of the neighborhood, for a premium selection of P.J. Salvage loungeware. Pictured here is the super soft fleece pajamas inspired by the great outdoors. $78 5873 Forbes Ave.

Margaret’s Fine Imports


The heat-resistant glass teapot comes with a metal infuser and one beautiful blossoming tea bud. The blooming tea originates from Primula’s Tea Gardens, in the Fujian province of southeast China, a region famous for its exceptional soil and climate. After you infuse and drink your tea, you can fill the pot with cold water and display the blossom as a centerpiece for several days. $26.99 for the teapot + 1 blooming tea. $24.99 for set of 12 blooming tea buds. 5872 Forbes Ave.

squirrel hill gift guide


Contemporary Concepts If you ever thought that coasters can’t get fancy, here’s proof to the contrary. Handcrafted in Ohio from marble quarried in Verona, Italy, these coasters will be the talk of any black and gold party. Naturally resistant to moisture, the marble coasters are hand-printed with Pittsburgh-themed images that won't flake or peel off. $45 5820 Forbes Ave.

Littles Shoes

Global Market Retail These leather wallets are very affordable because they’re bought directly from the artisans who make them. The goat skin will get smoother as it ages. $25 2016 Murray Ave.

Ugg Adirondack Pendleton Boots are made of waterproof leather and custom designed Pendleton jacquard print. Guaranteed to get you through the rough Pittsburgh winter in comfort and style. The removable and replaceable UGGpure™ wool insole will make them last for more than one year. $225-250. 5850 Forbes Ave.

Ten Thousand Villages Ten Thousand Villages Geologic Tilt Bookends are handmade in Pakistan out of fossil stone, these bookends add depth and texture to your shelf. Crafted by Dominion Traders, an organization that works with underprivileged artisans who make stone and shesham wood crafts in the city of Karachi. 5824 Forbes Ave.

Look dashing for the holiday party and support skilled makers in Guatemala. This bowtie is made of cloth recycled from traditionally patterned clothing. $12 5824 Forbes Ave.

The Holiday Issue PAGE37

events & happenings

Calendar Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill Branch 5801 Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill (412) 422-9650 or Genre Book Club Meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm December 16: One More Thing by B.J. Novak B.J. Novak’s One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut that signals the arrival of a brilliant new voice in American fiction. January 20: Station Eleven by Emily St. John An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. Yoga with Phyllis Every Saturday at 10 am Wear comfortable clothing, bring a floor covering and enjoy the relaxation and healthy benefits of yoga. Classes lead by Phyllis Berkovitz. Please call ahead to check for class cancelations or schedule changes. Conversation Salons Meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 1 pm Conversation Salons provide a forum for active participation in the discussion of the meaningful and interesting events of our time. Salons meet once a month in hosting libraries to discuss the topics of their choice. Subjects are usually general in nature and are drawn from such diverse sources as current events, the arts social and cultural issues, political, ethics, entertainment, science and technology. ACLA provides training to volunteers who serve as group discussion facilitators.

Squirrel Hill Historical Society The Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Avenue Events are held on the second Tuesday of each month FREE at 7:30 pm December 8th: “History of Glenn Greene Stained Glass Studio” Speaker: Glenn Greene, Artist and Owner of “Glenn Greene Stained Glass Studio” January 12th: “150 Years of Beer at Penn Brewery” Speaker: Linda Nyman, Co-Owner of “Penn Brewery” February 9th: “History of the City Theater: 40 Years of New Plays in Pittsburgh” Speaker: Tracy Brigden, Reginald L. Douglas, and Clare Drobot of “City Theater”

Peoples Gas Holiday Market in Market Square Market Square November 20th to December 23rd Inspired by the original German Christkindlmarkets, the Holiday Market offers an international holiday shopping experience to local Pittsburghers. All of the holiday themed shops are tucked inside of Alpine-style wooden cottages and illuminated by holiday lights. Don’t forget to check out the daily live performances and take a picture with Santa. For more information on the Peoples Gas Holiday Market, visit

Yinz’r Scrooged 937 Liberty Ave, 1st Floor December 3-19th Bricolage Production Company presents, Yinz’r Scrooged, a Pittsburgh-based parody of the classic holiday story, A Christmas Carol. Watch as Ebenezer Scrooge comes face to face with ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, or in this case, Pittsburgh celebrities and locals. For tickets visit

Holidays Around the World Teen Time: Full STEAM Ahead Every third Thursday of the month Build, concoct, explore, and enjoy cooking adventures at a STEAM inspired Teen Time. Every third Thursday of the month, you will find a new experiment in the works. This program is for teens in grades 6-12 or ages 11-19. For more information on these classes, email


Carnegie Museum of Natural History December 12 & 13th This interactive journey through holiday-themed stations allows Carnegie scientists and attendees to explore diverse cultures through crafts, food and artifacts. This family friendly event is free with museum admission. For more information on Holidays Around the World, visit Continued on page 40

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events & happenings cont. Latkepalookza! Congregation Beth Shalom 5915 Beacon St Sunday, December 6th Hosted by the Joint Jewish Education Program, the 6th annual Latkepalooza! will feature crafts, games, prizes and, of course, plenty of latkes. The JJEP will also be collecting nonperishable food items for families in need. For more information visit

snowflakes to the pristine Sugar Plum Fairy pas de deux. Interwoven with Pittsburgh vistas and charm, PBT’s The Nutcracker brings the story home for a holiday tradition that the Post-Gazette calls “the most lavish of all in Pittsburgh.” Visit for more information.

A Musical Christmas Carol Byham Theater, 101 6th Avenue – Downtown December 4 – December 23 Join Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and a host of colorful characters for a remarkable CLO holiday production of A Musical Christmas Carol. With dazzling special effects, holiday charm and ticket prices even Scrooge would approve of, this Charles Dickens classic is a wonderful way to celebrate all the tradition of the season. Visit for tickets!

Highmark First Night 2016 The Cultural District Thursday, December 31st – 6pm - 12am Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, is an arts-focused, alcohol-free, and family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. The celebration offers something for everyone including music, dance, and activities for the kids. The evening culminates on the Highmark Stage with a national headlining act, the Countdown to Midnight, and the raising of the Future of Pittsburgh Ball set against the backdrop of a beautiful Zambelli fireworks display. Admission button prices remain among the lowest in the country: advanced buttons are $8, $10 at the door, and children under 5 are admitted free.

Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium Breakfast or Lunch with Santa Pre-registration required Saturdays and Sundays (412) 521-2222 x252 BUSINESS December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19,(412) & 20780-2402 MOBILE (412) and 521-6916 FAX a special stop at Santa Claus is coming to town he is making the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Enjoy a fun holiday atmosphere with great food, make a holiday cookie, create a holiday craft, and meet zoo animals. REAL ESTATE SERVICES Winter Mini Camp 5887 Forbes Avenue Monday-Wednesday Pittsburgh, PA 15217 December 28, 29, & 30 – 10 am - 3 pm Ages 5 to 9

Winter Flower Show and Light Garden Phipps Conservatory, One Schenley Park November 27 – January 10 The most magical time of the year arrives with the Winter Flower Show and Light Garden. Bringing the familiar carol “Deck the Halls” to life, each of the changing exhibit rooms will embody the spirit of the holiday tune, complete with artful arrangements of LED lights, decorated fir trees, whimsical props, and, of course, plenty of seasonal favorites. Little ones can also be on the lookout for tiny troll figures hidden throughout the displays, a clever twist on the “troll the ancient yuletide carol” lyric of the song. Adding to the festive atmosphere, in our Outdoor and Discovery Gardens, the Winter Light Garden will sparkle with luminous orbs, trees and fountains of light. Garden Railroad will be on view too, taking you on a magical trip through the plots of nine fairy tales and fables brought to life with interactive buttons for children to push, and miniature living plants, shrubs and trees. Daily hours for Winter Flower Show are 9:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. and 5 – 11 p.m. for Winter Light Garden. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and students, and $11 for children (ages 2 – 18). Members and kids under 2 enter free.

The Nutcracker Benedum Center, 7th Street – Downtown December 4 – December 27 Holiday magic envelopes the stage in Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's classic The Nutcracker. Set to Tchaikovsky's sublime score, a dreamlike journey unfolds through a moonlit snow scape to a whimsical Land of Enchantment. More than 100 dancers bring to life iconic choreography from the wondrous waltz of the PAGE40

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Kosher Pareve Bakery on-site for special orders

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Holiday 2015  

Our FIRST EVER Holiday Issue!

Holiday 2015  

Our FIRST EVER Holiday Issue!