Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
Results for: News
Know what you're looking for?

Our Kids Deserve Our Respectful Debate

These are extraordinary times. As noted in the Jewish Chronicle’s June 21, 2018, opinion piece, “The purpose of a newspaper,” the more polarized opinions become, the more we need lively, respectful debate over issues that are important to us. I couldn’t agree more. Respectful debate between people seems harder and harder these days.  A 2016 NORC Center for Public Affairs Research study found that that 74 …

read more

I Need Shabbat This Week

I need Shabbat this week because all I have heard is people talking over and through each other. I need Shabbat this week because all I have seen are images of children separated from their parents. I need Shabbat this week because all the values about family and human dignity I thought were foundational to our American way of life are being challenged. I need Shabbat this week …

read more

JCC Spotlight Newsletter

Summer 2018 Our new Mission Statement tells the story of the JCC: NURTURING PEOPLE: Early Childhood When will the cocoons become butterflies? Tatum, 4, and Piper, 3, are guided by their teacher Shardaya to observe, experiment and discuss this as part of a typical day in the JCC’s Early Childhood Development Center. Exploring nature is just one aspect of the child-led learning that educators nurture in our ECDC program—inspired by …

read more

Updating Our Mission Statement

Over the past year, our lay and professional leadership went through the thoughtful and intentional process of updating our Mission Statement. Our goal was simple – to help our members, guests, professional staff, donors, partners and other stakeholders know more than what we do, but WHY we exist and who we aspire to be. Mission statements are more than just assemblies of words. Each word has weight and …

read more

It’s about the oil

I'd been making latkes for many years before I finally realized something about this food tradition: Chanukah is the oil holiday - a celebration of miraculous oil that lasted 8 days. For me, good latkes are a small miracle too. Over the years, I've learned a few tricks to making (what I think are) the best latkes. The recipe: Joan Nathan's from her classic book, The …

read more

Drink your water!

It's Drinking Water Week -- a good time to remind us of the many, many benefits of drinking water. Here are some of the benefits of staying hydrated from Patti Sciulli, our JCC expert on fitness and building a lifelong healthy habits: Improved digestion: Every system in the body requires water to function properly. Water helps distribute the nutrients we consume, making the vitamins and minerals …

read more

PJ Library Celebrates Authors & Illustrators Week

With the week of February 5th being Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week, what better opportunity than to highlight a few of my favorite PJ Library books!  As the director of PJ Library in Pittsburgh, I get the privilege of receiving nine wonderful, high quality Jewish children’s books every month - one for each age group from 6 months to age 8, and then one for …

read more

Community is our Middle Name

February 3, 2017 At this time of challenging and often contentious public discourse, we proudly wear ‘COMMUNITY’ as our middle name. From our founding at the turn of the 20th century, we helped thousands of immigrants and refugees become an integral part of the American dream.  As the work that we began in 1895 continues today in so many ways, we affirm our core value “to welcome …

read more

The Maccabee Way of Thinking

Each year, as I re-encounter the story of Chanukah, I am inspired by the persistence of a small group of Maccabees who fought for their core values in the face of seemingly incredible odds. When confronted with oppression and limitations, they thought broader and wider than any narrow definitions that others might have used to define them. No matter the historical circumstances, that 'Maccabee way of thinking' is …

read more

Day Without Art

Day Without Art, begun on December 1, 1989, and recognized annually, makes us aware that we can all be affected in some way by AIDS. The straightforward, potent phrase compels us visualize the bleakness of life devoid of art, creative expression, or artists. To recognize the gravity of the day, museums exercised a form of activism for many years by dimming their lights or covering artwork. These days, …

read more

I voted as a proud American Jewish citizen. Will you?

I live in Pennsylvania, where things matter this year in presidential politics, and I already voted through absentee ballot because my schedule won’t allow me to vote in person. Sitting on my family room couch as I looked at the ballot, I took into consideration my shared identity as an equally proud American and Jew, as I cast my vote.  I want to share with you ‘how’ …

read more

Carolyn Martin: 50 Years at the JCC and Counting

Here's an extraordinary story: JCC staff member Carolyn Martin is celebrating 50 years at JCC. Ask Carolyn if things have changed, and she’ll respond with a big laugh. “Yes. Yes. Yes,” she says. “Big time!” Carolyn grew up in the Hill and as a child, attended after-school and day camp (where she had her first train ride on a camp field trip) at the Irene Kaufmann Settlement on Centre …

read more

Rachel Marcus: A Lifetime of Service to the Community

“Take a look at these photos,” says Rachel Marcus, handing over a snapshot of three campers in T-shirts, smiling broadly, and a beautifully composed black and white photo of a young girl sitting on a counselor’s lap, both laughing gleefully. “Happy kids,” Rachel says, characteristically matter-of-fact. “That’s what we’re about.” Marcus, JCC Associate Executive Director,  has been focused on providing programs that enrich the lives of families and children …

read more

JCC Digital Update

Capping off our year-long celebration of the 120th year at the JCC, we are moving swiftly into the future with significant updates to our digital presence -- the JCCPGH.org website. In the next couple days, the homepage will have a new feel to it. Reflecting what members have told us matters most to them, we simplified both the desktop and mobile experience and made the Program Guide …

read more

The Untold Story of Gino Bartali – Le Tour de France Legend

For the next three weeks Le Tour de France will dominate all conversation in my household where race coverage will be blasting from every electronic device from sun-up to sun-down. Most discussions center on routes, team tactics, doping scandals and tour favorites. My thoughts every July, though, turn to Italian cycling champion and humanitarian Gino Bartali. Italian cyclists have been crowd favorites since the Tour began …

read more

AgeWell at the JCC Receives Senior Community Center Grant

A state Senior Community Center grant will fund AgeWell at the JCC's pilot of an innovative program for caregivers. The Aging Mastery Program (AMP)® for Caregivers through AgeWell at the JCC, developed by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), will be offered in both Squirrel Hill and South Hills beginning in the fall of 2016.  AMP for Caregivers is a 12-week course that will “wrap around” …

read more

Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream

If you're wondering what that long line is across the street from Casbah on Highland Avenue, people are waiting to try Millie's homemade ice cream. It's worth the wait. Millie's is the brainchild of husband and wife duo Lauren and Chad Townsend. Chad was the executive chef at Salt of the Earth. Before opening their brick-and-mortar storefront in Shadyside, the couple made ice cream out of their home in Wilkinsburg, …

read more

Father and Son: Klezmer Insights

PSO Brings Music for the Spirit to the JCC The JCC's Katz Theater will be the site of a special Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Music for the Spirit event - Father and Son: Klezmer Insights on Wednesday, June 15. Noah Bendix-Balgley, the former Concertmaster of the PSO, will share a behind-the-scenes look at Klezmer in anticipation of the June 17-19 world premiere of his new violin concerto, Fidl-Fantazye: A Klezmer Concerto. …

read more

CDS Artwork Shines at AJM

The artwork included in Community Day School’s (CDS) Student Art Show at the American Jewish museum, organized by CDS art teacher Jeremy Lerner, reverberates with playful exploration and buoyant energy. The works are based on curriculum around aesthetics, the principles and elements of design, and analysis of the methods and concepts artists throughout history have used. Some of the student artists reference specific artists including Constantin …

read more

Get your tickets now: JFilm festival  opens tomorrow

Opening tonight is one of my favorite events - JFilm: The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum. Every spring, JFilm brings in a whole range of films from Israel and around the world—true stories, comedies and dramas that often wouldn’t make it to town otherwise, some provocative, some moving, some roaringly funny and almost all, a treat. For me, one of the most enjoyable films from previous festivals is …

read more

Pet Memberships now Available

Imagining Tomorrow: Pet Memberships Let me share an interesting stat with you. According to a recent study by the USDAW, 34% of family households in the United States own a pet. When you narrow this geographic range to Pittsburgh, this figure jumps to 47%. Given the growing trend in pet ownership, the JCC has recognized an opportunity to spread our impact through the animal community. That is why I am pleased to announce the JCC will begin …

read more

Men Boycott Big Night Because of Final Four

We're celebrating April Fool's Day early this year. We hope this got a rise out of you. It is true: The Final Four falls on the same night as Big Night. If you have a case of FOMO, it will be Hoops Heaven in our Final Four Lounge. We will be serving beers from Penn Brewery and there's talk about Manischewitz Vodka Shots. It should be a slam-dunk of an evening. Do yourself a favor, buy …

read more

An Illustrative List of the 613 Commandments.

Community Spotlight: Classic Lines Bookstore The book "The 613" immediately caught my eye as I perused the shelves at Classic Lines, the cozy bookstore located on Forbes Avenue, adjacent to Commonplace Coffee. Wondering whether there was a connection with the 613 Jewish Commandments, I asked the proprietor Dan Iddings if in fact there was one. That is exactly what the book is about, he told me. Mr. Iddings says he is …

read more

PJ Library Launches New Program: PJ our Way

PJ Library, a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh in partnership with the JCC, is expanding! A new program, PJ Our Way, will provide books to children ages 9-11 who live in the Pittsburgh community, bringing Jewish books into older children’s lives as effectively as PJ Library has done with younger children over the last ten years. Building on the success of PJ Library, which …

read more

Which Purim Character are you ?

Purim is the Jewish equivalent of Halloween--in Spring We dress up in costumes, have our faces painted and eat homemade hamantashens. Still deciding on a costume? Take this quiz, find out which Purim Character you are and pick your costume accordingly. Then come join us--we have planned quite the extravaganza. The JCC will host Peace * Love * Purim at the JCC in Squirrel Hill on Sunday, March 20, from 1-4 pm. There …

read more

Square Cafe–With Love

Community Spotlight: Sherree Goldstein, Community Champion It’s often said that it takes a village to raise a child. It’s no stretch to say that it takes a Sherree Goldstein to raise a community. “In 2003 I had the vision to bring fresh seasonal and local food to Regent Square,” Goldstein writes on the restaurant’s website. “The quality and tastiness of the food were as important to me …

read more

Community Spotlight: The Wilson Group

Community and Philanthropy Key to The Wilson Group's Success The Wilson Group LLC functions as much more than a vendor of workflow solutions. With a commitment to Western Pennsylvania as a locally owned and operated company, its Golden Rule to treat customers the way we would want to be treated, and a record of giving back, this fast-growing young firm is truly a partner in the community. …

read more

AJM shines light at First Fridays on Penn

Unblurred: First Fridays on Penn is a monthly event sponsored by the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative. It is a chance for folks to come check out amazing art and meet the artists and the gallery owners. For last week's Unblurred, the JCC's American Jewish Museum partnered with artist Lori Hepner to create a series of interactive workshops that will evolve as an exhibition over the next month at Assemble, a community …

read more

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. Will Knock Our Socks Off at Big Night

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. has invoked Frank Sinatra more than once to sing his way through adversity. As a West Virginia boy transplanted to the violent streets of Detroit, where, he says, “you could lose your life in a fight on a basketball court,” he’d calm down his buddies by singing Fly Me to the Moon. ”They would bust out laughing,” he says. “They thought …

read more

Beverly’s Birthdays Spreads Cheer Across Pittsburgh

One of my best birthdays was a party I had at the JCC. I spent that day with my friends swimming, playing basketball and deck hockey. After three hours of non-stop activity, we congregated in Room 301 to eat kosher pizza (remember Yacov's?) and cake. Of course, presents! I still remember it like it was yesterday. When I first heard about Beverly's Birthdays in Next Pittsburgh's article, 5 People Making Pittsburgh a Happier Place, the …

read more

39 S’more Recipes That Will Warm You Up for J&R365’s Next Event

On January 31, our next J&R365 event will take place at the Family Park. Expect a day filled with arts & crafts, sledding, hot cocoa and of course, s'mores! To get you ready, we came across this Buzzfeed listicle of amazing s'more recipes that we will try out, but we won't blame you if you can't wait and go ahead and test cook some beforehand. Don't forget to register by January …

read more

PJ Library: Creating Community All Around Town

How many books does it take to grow a community? PJ Library, a Jewish family engagement program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh in partnership with the JCC, seems to have come up with the formula. In December, PJ Library reached a huge milestone: 1,000 children in the Greater Pittsburgh area are now active subscribers. The milestone caps a growth of 38% in the past year. Expansion has not only occurred in the …

read more

I am Not Done SCREAMING!

Will you SCREAM with me about HATE SPEECH and how it can lead to HATE ACTION? Elie Weisel teaches us: One of the Just Men came to Sodom, determined to save its inhabitants from sin and punishment. Night and day he walked the streets and markets protesting against greed and theft, falsehood and indifference. In the beginning, people listened and smiled ironically. Then they stopped listening; …

read more

Countdown to our 10th Big Night

If our past Big Night events have anything to tell us about what to expect at our special 10th anniversary Big Night on April 2, it’s that you never know what you’ll encounter when you arrive. You might be greeted by hippie protesters (2011: Peace, Love and the IKCs) and when you walk in the door, get stared down by Men in Black (2010: Party with …

read more

At the JCC, the First “C” is for Community

There’s a lot of disturbing talk these days, talk that is designed to play on people’s frustrations and fears. It’s talk that seems to free some people from their common decency, from tolerance and acceptance of others. It’s talk that breeds the hatred that destroys community. It won’t happen here. The JCC is a diverse, welcoming community. Our members come from down the street and all over …

read more

STAND UP! Be the SHAMASH

Each and every year, as we light the candles for Hanukah, we are very particular to ensure that the shamash serves its purpose. You know what I am talking about: the shamash (helper candle) is supposed to a light the fire for all eight days.  It has a weighty responsibility, that shamash, when it comes to the rituals of Hanukah.  Without a shamash, the other 36 …

read more

The JCC Last Minute Gift Guide

Hanukah starts Sunday evening and Christmas is just around the corner, so we took some time to explore some awesome ideas for those still looking for the ultimate last minute gifts for friends and family. Successful last minute gift shopping is a skill. Nothing to feel bad about; we've all been there. Let us help. We have compiled some great options that range from online to something you can …

read more

“Self Portrait” — a Portrait of Hope

As we retreat into the warmth of family and holiday tradition, we’d like to share a poem that envisions the shared values of our community. Self Portrait The Day After The Paris Massacre Today I identify with my All-Clad colander on the granite counter between my kitchen and the table where sits my racially, all-clad American family. I pour a boiling pot of noodles through the colander into the sink. The water runs off but the noodles stay, ready for …

read more

412 Food Rescue Boards the J Line

A special program at the JCC with J Line on Sunday defined for me the positive direction in which we’re moving, and our own potential and enthusiasm to bring Jewish learning to life for teens. Last Sunday morning, in partnership with 412 Food Rescue, nearly 40 J Line teens and staff met at the JCC to pack more than 120 bags of food for local students in …

read more

#GivingTuesday – A Chance to Think Beyond the Turkey

#GivingTuesday – A Chance to Think Beyond the Turkey You’ve made it through Thanksgiving dinner. You’ve fought your way through the spend-so-you-save shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You’ve had a chance to start working off Thanksgiving bounties at the JCC. You’ve had a weekend to recover and a day back at the office. Now it’s time to think beyond the turkey. Join us, Tuesday, December 1, …

read more

Pittsburgh Pizza — Who Knew?

My jaw dropped when I looked at the food column in the New York Times last Sunday. One of my favorite food writers, Mark Bittman, chose to make his farewell column, entitled "Slice of Heaven," about Bread and Salt Bakery in Bloomfield. Not Queens. Bloomfield, Pittsburgh. I'm not going to lie; I was confused. First, because I've been in Pittsburgh long enough to enjoy its under-the-radar-ness, …

read more

Girls Just Want to…Run!

As I was reviewing the curriculum for our Girls on the Run team, I realized that we are now more than halfway through the program. We have such an amazing group of third to fifth grade girls from five different schools, and with so many different personalities.  It got me thinking about the vision of the program: “We envision a world where every girl knows and …

read more

Carnegie Museums Turn 120

Last week I saw a tweet that the Carnegie Museums are celebrating their 120th year anniversary: I made a new dinosaur friend @CarnegieMNH #CarnegieClash https://t.co/kTLPMIECek — Sally Wiggin (@SWigginWTAE) October 19, 2015 How cool is it that both the Carnegie Museums and the JCC share the same birthday! To celebrate this historic anniversary, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Science Center and the Andy …

read more

Take Action Against Domestic Violence

In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the JCC has partnered with Southwest PA Says No More and their new partnership with Verizon to support the HopeLine Program, which collects no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries, chargers and accessories in any condition, from any service provider, and turns them into support for domestic violence awareness and prevention organizations. This ties directly with the JCC’s tikkun olam (repair the …

read more

Meet us at the corner of Darlington and Murray

We'll see you at the next Squirrel Hill Night Market We are really excited about being a part of the second Squirrel Hill Night Market, this Saturday, September 26, from 6-10 pm. Stop by the JCC table in the First Niagara parking area on Darlington, just off Murray Avenue, for Night Market Membership Special Offer coupons (we're waiving the processing fee -- a savings of $149!) and …

read more

The End of an Era: Saying Goodbye to Kaufmann’s Department Store

For those of you who know me well, I am a lover of history (though I often quote American Jewish theologian, Mordecai Kaplan who stated that the “the past has a vote, not a veto.”)  What that means to me is that we need to acknowledge, respect and draw from our history as we move into the future. This is a special anniversary for the JCC. …

read more

Sherree Hall’s Silver Anniversary

This year marks the Silver Anniversary (25 years) that Sherree Hall has been part of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. At the Annual Meeting September 9, we will recognize her continuing impact here at the JCC. Sherri began working at the JCC about the same time I started attending as a kid. I remember her tiny office in the Kaufmann gym, where my friends and …

read more

Squirrel Hill Night Market is Big Hit!

Destination Awesome: Squirrel Hill Night Market Where will you be Saturday night? We're heading around the corner from the JCC for a new community event: The Squirrel Hill Night Market. Located on Murray Avenue, between Forbes and Bartlett Streets, the first Squirrel Hill Night Market will be Saturday, August 29, from 6-10 pm. The Squirrel Hill Night Market will feature some of the city’s best shopping, music, food, art …

read more

JCC Annual Meeting – Celebrating 120 Years

Join us for our Annual Meeting - Wednesday, September 9, 2015 The JCC's Annual Meeting will include the launch of a year-long celebration of the JCC's 120th anniversary with a special video to commemorate the event.

read more

Jane Haskell: Drawing in Light

An exhibit at the American Jewish Museum at the JCC October 20, 2015-February 19, 2016 Opening Reception: Saturday, October 24, 6-9 pm Jane Haskell: Drawing in Light surveys the career of artist and philanthropist Jane Haskell (1923-2013), who made Pittsburgh her home for nearly 50 years. Curated by Vicky A. Clark and Melissa Hiller, the exhibition includes 30 sculptures, paintings and drawings. Haskell mined the physical, experiential and phenomenal …

read more

JCC to Participate in Summer Food Service Program in Squirrel Hill and Monroeville

Monday, June 15, 2015 The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh is participating in the Summer Food Service Program. Kosher and kosher-style meals will be provided to all children, ages 18 and under, without charge and are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. Squirrel Hill Come …

read more

Rabbi Ron Symons Appointed New Senior Director of Jewish Life

May 14, 2015 The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh is pleased to announce that Rabbi Ronald B.B. Symons has been appointed to the new position of Senior Director of Jewish Life, effective July 1, 2015. The position will oversee key initiatives that enhance the JCC’s mission and core values to enrich Jewish life, tradition and community. Amongst his duties, Rabbi Symons will oversee the JCC’s …

read more