2016 Annual Report



Jeff Finkelstein Cynthia ShapiraThe earliest Jews in Pittsburgh recognized the power of the collective. These pioneers formed civic associations to aid Jewish immigrants and to help each other establish businesses, synagogues and charities.

Today, our Jewish community still benefits from doing good — together — for the Jewish community. That collective action will unite us and secure our future as Jews.

This year, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh emphasized harnessing the wisdom of our leadership and the generosity of our donors to work toward empowering a culture of inclusiveness and excellence.

At the heart of this strategy, recognizing that we will remain strong if we remain united, we will renew our commitment to Jewish continuity. We will work to ensure that the next generation of Jewish youth identifies as Jewish adults.

The urgency of this commitment has resulted in blossoming innovation: new approaches to early childhood education through the expanded Pittsburgh Jewish Early Childhood Education initiative; Dynamic Vision for the Active Study of Hebrew (DVASH), a program to improve Hebrew teaching for all kids while improving inclusion of children with disabilities; reorganization of Jewish teen education to increase effectiveness; renewal at our Jewish day schools, which continue to attract students from across the United States; and expanded Israel experiences with Birthright Israel, Onward Israel and MASA Israel Journey.

This strategic renewal relies on you. The collective power of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh — volunteer-led, philanthropist-funded — literally would not exist without your generosity and hard work.

Your contributions will support a new study of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community, the first such study in 15 years. The study will provide up-to-date demographics and a needs analysis, helping the community make sound, data- informed decisions over the next decade. 

Working as one, we will find new ways to do what Jewish Federation does best: finding solutions to complex problems that require broad community support.

These solutions continue to uncover ways to leverage our collective power: uniting human service agencies through AgeWell Pittsburgh, which helps aging adults stay independent; reaching out to help through the Jewish Federation Volunteer Center, which mobilizes more than a thousand volunteers on Mitzvah Day; and through Partnership2Gether connecting Pittsburghers to our sister region in Israel, Karmiel-Misgav, to nurture economic development, human services and Jewish-Arab coexistence.

Thanks to your support and a generous $170,000 dollar-for-dollar matching grant from the Giant Eagle Foundation, the 2016 Annual Campaign raised a record $13.65 million with 4,150 donors contributed to the Annual Campaign. The Jewish Community Foundation added $18.8 million in new dollars, resulting in assets under management of nearly $219 million. Participation in the state’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit program secured more than $3.4 million to support Jewish day schools and preschools, a decline from last year due to lower tax liability for some donors, state budget delays and the sale of a large corporate donor.

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) contributed a $900,000 block grant for social services. Our sincerest thanks to the JHF for continuing support.

This amazing outpouring of your financial support, so necessary to continue Jewish Pittsburgh’s growth, is but one element of our collective power. Leveraging your brainpower and your hard work continues to build a foundation for the future — in Pittsburgh and around the world.

The power of the collective can help us reach every individual in our community. Join us — a dynamic, united force — as we come together to deliver excellence in Jewish Pittsburgh into the next decade and beyond.

Looking forward to working with you toward a vibrant, joyous future,





The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh is the central fundraising and planning organization for the Pittsburgh Jewish community. The Federation engages in a wide range of financial resource development efforts to ensure a stream of funding that will help the community remain strong and vibrant. 

Annual Campaign

Federation programming offered through Young Adult Division, Women’s Philanthropy and Men’s Philanthropy enables donors to take part in a wide range of meaningful learning, leadership development and volunteer activities. Such engagement leads to community commitment to the Annual Campaign — commitment from donors in their philanthropy and in their hearts.

Jewish Community Foundation

The Jewish Community Foundation enables donors to fulfill their philanthropic dreams and leave a legacy that will impact our community in the decades to come. Resources made possible by endowments, trusts, bequests and philanthropic funds help address pressing needs, enrich our culture and strengthen our community now and into the future.

Donors to the Jewish Community Foundation work with Foundation professionals to choose a vehicle suited to donors’ circumstances. Such a vehicle could be an annuity that provides payments during the donor’s lifetime; a life insurance policy; a permanent endowment; or a donor-advised fund, which serves as a low-cost philanthropic fund with tax advantages.

The Foundation’s Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future (CFJF) provides immediate and ongoing financial resources for Jewish learning and engagement. CFJF funds formal and informal education, Israel travel for youth, Jewish summer camp, and other activities that connect youth to our rich heritage. By removing cost barriers to high-quality programming, CFJF makes Jewish experiences widely accessible.

Corporate Giving

Many corporations and businesses provide essential event sponsorship that enables the Jewish Federation to provide high-quality events and to focus Federation dollars on addressing community needs.

In addition, the Federation raises funds through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, the Educational Improvement Pre-Kindergarten program and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) program. Participation in these programs results in needs-based scholarships that allow children to attend Jewish day schools and pre-kindergarten programs in Pittsburgh and elsewhere in Pennsylvania.

Supplemental Giving

Jewish Federation professionals work closely with major donors who wish to give above and beyond their increased Annual Campaign commitments to make an impact in areas they feel especially passionate about.


The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, the largest Jewish grant-making organization in Pittsburgh, helps people in Western Pennsylvania, in Israel and around the world. The Federation works with direct-service agencies to address current Jewish needs and to plan for the future. 

The Federation engages a broad cross-section of community members in the funding process, bringing a wealth of viewpoints and expertise to ensure that the programs and institutions that enrich Jewish community remain strong and vibrant.

Funding and planning efforts focus on three areas of need:

  • Aging and human needs. Federation efforts help its partners provide services to seniors, individuals with special needs, families in crisis and others who are vulnerable.
  • Jewish learning and community life. Federation planning and funding result in a range of programming. Examples include formal sessions in a Hebrew school, experiential learning, and immersive experiences at overnight Jewish camps.
  • Israel and world Jewry. Federation’s contacts provide quick emergency response (food and health care to Jews in Europe) and long-term Jewish-identity initiatives, such as educational trips for youth and cultural exchanges with Israel.



As a convener of Jewish agencies and other organizations that share in mission, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh forms synergistic partnerships to address communal needs. 

For example, each of three beneficiary agencies of the Federation — Jewish Association on Aging, Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh (JCC) and Jewish Family & Children’s Service — offers distinct services to Pittsburgh’s aging individuals and their families. With Federation support the three agencies work under the umbrella of AgeWell Pittsburgh. The result is coordinated case management that enables many elderly people to remain safe and healthy in their own homes. Each $100 spent on AgeWell services saves $1,500 per senior, if these services allow the senior to avoid an emergency room visit. This $100 spending per senior saves $9,800 when AgeWell helps the senior avoid hospital admission and $77,000 when the senior can stay at home for a year rather than spending the time in a nursing facility.

Another community-building endeavor, The Pittsburgh Jewish Community Scorecard, enables local service providers to assess and address needs jointly. The Scorecard, a metrics-driven initiative, collects data and facilitates review of community performance. The goals of such review are using resources efficiently and identifying actions that will help Jewish Pittsburgh grow.

In addition, Federation programs, initiatives and affiliates offer community-building programs and services. Examples are

  • Classrooms Without Borders (CWB) offers Jewish learning through travel and special events. CWB focuses on “educating the educators” about Israel, the Holocaust and Jewish history. CWB also sponsors speakers and cultural events for the community and the public.
  • The Community Relations Council (CRC) educates and advocates for change locally, nationally and internationally. Programs have included missions to Washington, D.C.; Israel advocacy training; an economic summit of Israeli and Pittsburgh political and business leaders; and interfaith dialogues. CRC’s Delegates Assembly convenes representatives from local Jewish organizations to reach consensus on issues significant to the Jewish community. CRC’s Urban Affairs Foundation supports initiatives that strengthen the community and region.
  • The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh provides programs to commemorate and memorialize the Holocaust and its victims and to teach the tragic lessons of the Holocaust. The staff of the Holocaust Center works with educators to create age-appropriate curricula and innovative ways of teaching tolerance.
  • The Jewish Federation Volunteer Center matches volunteers with community agencies and the organizations that need them. On Mitzvah Day, an annual event that the Volunteer Center plans, more than 1,000 volunteers serve over 80 sites in the Pittsburgh region. Ongoing Volunteer Center options include VOOM! (Volunteer Opportunity of the Month), which enables volunteers to try a volunteer task without making a long-term commitment; volunteer missions to Israel; and projects designed for small groups.
  • Partnership2Gether celebrates the Pittsburgh Jewish community’s sister-city relationship with Karmiel and the Misgav region of Israel while building enduring relationships. P2G engages youth by bringing Israeli teens to Pittsburgh and sending counselors in training, from the JCC’s Emma Kaufmann Camp, to Israel. P2G supports regional development that helps build and strengthen Karmiel and Misgav.
  • South Hills Jewish Pittsburgh increases opportunities for Jews in Pittsburgh’s southern suburbs to engage in Jewish activities. The initiative works in partnership with South Hills synagogues and the JCC.



Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh engages a broad cross-section of community members in raising funds, convening stakeholders to determine the areas of greatest need and distributing these funds efficiently. By bringing a wealth of viewpoints and expertise to these efforts, we work to ensure that the programs and institutions that enrich our Jewish community remain strong and vibrant. The Federation is the largest Jewish grant-making organization in our community, helping people at home, in Israel and around the world. The Annual Campaign and the initiatives of the Jewish Community Foundation say that we — as a community — address critical needs today and position ourselves to meet changing needs in the future.

Aging and Human Needs

Federation supports innovative programs and services for seniors, individuals with special needs, families in crisis and others who are vulnerable. That support means, for example, that more seniors will be able to age safely in their homes, thanks to AgeWell Pittsburgh’s four evidence-based initiatives, which are designed to increase seniors’ strength, mobility, recall and prescription management.

Jewish Learning and Community Life

Federation dollars support all kinds of Jewish learning and engagement — from formal sessions in a Hebrew school classroom, to interactive learning, to immersive experiences at an overnight Jewish summer camp, to an expanded PJ Library program. These activities enrich the lives of our young people by providing them with educational and fun experiences that help to strengthen their Jewish identity into adulthood.

Israel and World Jewry

Our overseas work includes providing supplemental food and health care to vulnerable Jews in the former Soviet Union, providing aid to Jewish families in conflict areas such as Ukraine, strengthening the global Jewish community and strengthening Jewish identities by involving our youth in educational trips to Israel. Our extensive support for Israel includes human services such as assistance for the economically disadvantaged and the disabled, coexistence programs, economic development in developing regions and peoplehood efforts to connect Israelis with Jews in the United States.





  • AgeWell Pittsburgh ‡
  • The Aleph Institute
  • Friendship Circle
  • Jewish Assistance Fund
  • Jewish Association on Aging*
    • Anathan Club
    • Home Health Services & Outpatient Rehabilitation 
    • Kosher Meals on Wheels
    • Charles Morris Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
      • Sivitz Jewish Hospice & Palliative Care
      • Weinberg Terrace
      • Weinberg Village
  • Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS)*
    • Career Development Center of JF&CS
    • Central Scholarship & Loan Referral Service, a program of the Jewish Federation
    • SOS Pittsburgh
    • Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry
  • Jewish Residential Services*
    • Howard Levin Clubhouse
  • Riverview Towers*
  • Squirrel Hill Health Center



  • The Edward & Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center*
    • J’Burgh
  • Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
  • Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh
  • Jewish Cemetery & Burial Association
  • Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh*
    • Diller Teen Fellows
    • HaZamir Choir
    • J-Serve
    • Emma Kaufmann Camp 
    • James & Rachel Levinson Day Camp
    • Teen Engagement Initiative
    • Teen Philanthropy
    • Youth Group Program Grants
  • Jewish Federation Volunteer Center
  • JFilm: The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum
  • PJ Library
  • South Hills Jewish Pittsburgh



  • American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • Birthright Israel & MASA
  • Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Jewish Federation Israel Scholarship Program
  • Onward Israel
  • Partnership2Gether



  • Community Day School*
  • Federation Educational Enrichment Fund
    • (supporting 17 synagogue religious schools)
  • Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh*
  • Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh
    • J-Line
  • Jewish Federation Community Education & Capacity Building
  • Kollel Jewish Learning Center
  • Yeshiva Schools*

*Beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

‡AgeWell Pittsburgh is a joint program of three Federation beneficiary agencies: Jewish Association on Aging, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh and Jewish Family & Children’s Service.


2016 Total Financial Resource Development Distributions



The 2016 Annual Campaign achieved its goal and raised a record $13.65 million, thanks to more than 4,150 generous donors—including more than 999 new donors.

The Giant Eagle Foundation’s dollar-for-dollar matching grant of $170,000 inspired donors and provided a tremendous boost to the Campaign. Generous support from other corporate sponsors provided additional momentum. 

The programming that contributed to these impressive Campaign results consisted of old and new components. At the Annual Campaign Thank You Event and the King David Society Reception, which preceded it, Daniel Gordis, PhD, was the speaker. Dr. Gordis, author of many books and distinguished articles about Israel, attracted hundreds of attendees, prompted new insights about the Middle East and strengthened Campaign engagement.

Ben and Becca's B'nai Mitzvah
Actors portraying Ben and Becca combined scripted and improvised comedy at Ben & Becca’s Totally Retro B’nai Mitzvah Bash. Attendees participated in the faux b’nai mitzvah party, a fun fundraiser sponsored by the Young Adult Division.Photo by Joshua Franzos


Several exciting new engagement programs were implemented under the aegis of the Annual Campaign:

  • Bridges, a very successful new series of events for professional women, provided networking and educational opportunities.
  • The Young Adult Division offered an inspired new fundraising event, Ben & Becca’s Totally Retro B’nai Mitzvah Bash, which was an immersive “comedy for a cause” and an evening of philanthropy.
  • Shalom Pittsburgh began offering the monthly Shabbat Dinner Series at synagogues. The series has resulted in increased engagement among young singles and couples.

In total, these three new programs engaged 447 attendees, many of whom were new to or re-engaged in the Annual Campaign or Federation involvement.


Women’s Philanthropy

Lion Lunch and Learn
Following an inspiring program at the 2016 Hannah Kamin Annual Lion of Judah Event, Ellen Teri Kaplan Goldstein (left), Women’s Philanthropy chair, and Marlene Silverman share a moment.

Women’s Philanthropy fundraising resulted in 11 new Lions of Judah (women making a commitment of $5,000 or more in their own names). In addition, five women became new participants in the Lion of Judah Endowment (LOJE) program, creating permanent endowment funds that will endow their Lion of Judah–level gifts in perpetuity. 

Lion of Judah programming. Throughout the year attendance at Lion of Judah programs set previous records for local Lion of Judah events. In the fall, 89 women attended the 2015 Hannah Kamin Annual Lion of Judah Event. The Lion of Judah Lunch and Learn Series — this year featuring Foundation Scholar Rabbi Danny Schiff, who presented a series about Jewish ethics — attracted the series’ largest attendance to date.

Bridges: Jewish Women’s Professional Network. The Bridges network, new this year, offered four events that provided high-quality programming of special relevance to Jewish professional women. The events, held downtown in a lunch-and-learn format, offered participants a great new way to connect with the Jewish Federation. Bridges programming will continue to develop in 2016–17.


Men’s Philanthropy

Men's Night Out

Shofar Society members who attended the reception before the 2016 Men’s Night Out event interacted with the evening’s speaker, actor and dyslexia activist Henry Winkler (in the green tie).Photo by David Bachman

This year, 18 men increased their giving to the Shofar Society level. (The Shofar Society is a giving society in which each member is a man who contributes at least $5,000 to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Annual Campaign.) In 2016 Shofar Society members increased their giving by 3.2%.

Men’s Night Out. To kick off the 2016 Annual Campaign, in fall 2015, Men’s Philanthropy sponsored the second annual Men’s Night Out event. The featured speaker — Henry Winkler, actor, philanthropist and activist for people suffering from dyslexia — drew more than 150 attendees. This event attracted 88 participants who had never attended a Jewish Federation event or had not attended one in many years.

The Shofar Society Reception. This year, nearly half of Men’s Night Out attendees also attended a VIP reception for members of the Shofar Society. Reception participants had the opportunity to meet the evening’s special guest, Henry Winkler.

Young Adult Division

Events. In 2015–16, the Young Adult Division (YAD) and its outreach arm, Shalom Pittsburgh, provided 35 successful events. Many reflected new, innovative approaches. A total of 602 individuals attended Shalom Pittsburgh activities. Total attendance at YAD at Shalom Pittsburgh events, including people who attended multiple events, reached 2,500.

Ben & Becca's B'nai Mitzvah

A 1980s-style cell phone boosted the retro comedy-drama at Ben & Becca’s Totally Retro B’nai Mitzvah Bash, presented by the Young Adult Division.Photo by Joshua Franzos

One of the most innovative events of the year was YAD’s signature Annual Campaign event, Ben and Becca’s Totally Retro B’nai Mitzvah Bash, an interactive dinner-theater–style event with a 1980s theme. The bash drew more than 250 attendees and served as the venue for the rollout of a new monthly sustaining donor program. 

With the support of Shalom Pittsburgh’s primary corporate sponsor, Huntington Bank, Shalom Pittsburgh offered a wide range of programs, including “lunch and learn” sessions, Shabbat dinners and other social events. Back by popular demand in 2015–16 was the Apples & Honey Fall Festival, which drew more than 600 participants to Rosh Hashanah–themed family activities, and the annual Vodka/Latke Party, with 300 young adult attendees.

At Jewish History Happy Hours, presented with the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh and The Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives, attendees learned the background of local Jewish organizations. At the same time, attendees socialized with other young Jewish adults in a memorable setting, the Sen. John Heinz History Center. 

Other notable Shalom Pittsburgh events were Boo Brews With the Jews, a thriller-themed night that included pizza, beer and a movie; and for young families, Pancakes Before Passover in collaboration with PJ Library, a program administered locally by the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh.

The Ben-Gurion Society. The Ben-Gurion Society is a giving society for young adults who give $1,000 or more to the Annual Campaign. In 2015–16, society membership grew by 17 members.

The SteelTree Fund. This fund allows members to make a collective impact on Pittsburgh’s Jewish community by determining how to allocate grant funding for proposal-based projects. Participants make a $500 commitment or increase to the Annual Campaign, and those dollars are matched by grants from the Jewish Community Foundation and from a private donor. The donors decide to which projects the matching grants will go. In 2016, the SteelTree Fund distributed $45,000 to support innovative projects focused on youth. SteelTree gained nine new members this year, bringing $13,060 in new dollars to the Annual Campaign.

Leadership development. Shalom Pittsburgh continued to develop young leadership through the Wechsler Leadership Development Institute and participation in the Jewish Federations of North American’s National Young Leadership Cabinet.


Corporate Giving

Many corporations and businesses support the Jewish Federation’s mission — a mission that, in addition to strengthening Jewish Pittsburgh, strengthens the entire Pittsburgh region. This year, corporations gave $60,825 to support Federation programming.

Corporate sponsorship. Corporate sponsorship of events helps the Federation provide meaningful, substantive programming. What is more, each dollar that corporate sponsors provide is a Campaign dollar that the Federation can use to address needs in the community.

Corporate giving through state programs. Three state programs help the Federation fund its Jewish scholarships:

  • Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program
  • Educational Improvement Pre-Kindergarten program
  • Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit program

In 2015–16, businesses that participated in these programs provided more than $3.42 million, resulting in 753 scholarships to children attending Jewish day schools and pre-kindergarten programs.


The Donor Center

In August 2015, the Jewish Federation launched the Donor Center, an internal initiative to help ensure that every interaction a donor has with the Federation creates positive feelings about giving.

The initiative has involved close study of the Federation’s business practices. Results have included

  • An emphasis on keeping donor information current and accurate
  • Improvement in billing and tax-letter processes
  • Increased coordination involving Development, Accounting and Marketing

The Donor Center continues to seek efficiencies and extend reach through use of its database and interdepartmental collaboration.


Emergency Campaigns

After severe flooding in West Virginia in late June 2016, the Jewish Federation launched a fundraising effort to help the several Jewish communities affected by the disaster. Generous donors contributed more than $1,000 to fund relief in the flood-ravaged communities.


In 2015–16, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s community-building efforts included planning, programming and service expansion.

AgeWell Pittsburgh

AgeWell Pittsburgh is a joint program of three Federation beneficiary agencies: the Jewish Association on Aging, the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Pittsburgh, and Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JF&CS). By combining the expertise and connections of the three agencies, AgeWell Pittsburgh helps older adults and their caregivers maintain a healthy, independent life. The AgeWell collaboration serves more than 7,000 seniors in Allegheny County.

This year LeadingAge PA, an association of nonprofit senior-services providers, named AgeWell Pittsburgh the winner of the 2016 Distinguished Services Award for Innovation.

AgeWell innovations included these service expansions in 2015–16:


AgeWell Pittsburgh programs help senior citizens maintain their health, independence and spirit.Photo by David Bachman

  • AgeWell Visits. This program connects seniors with volunteers who meet with the seniors in their homes, with the goal of enhancing socialization and well-being.
  • HomeMeds program. Through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, AgeWell Pittsburgh has expanded the HomeMeds program, a computerized risk-assessment screening to help avoid medication problems.
  • The Aging Mastery program®. Available through the National Council on Aging, this program combines education with goal-setting, daily practices, and peer support. The purpose of the program is to help participants to make meaningful and enduring changes in health, finances and life enrichment and to increase advance planning.


Inclusion Initiatives

In Pittsburgh, one in six Jewish households is home to someone with a disability. In 2015–16, the Jewish Federation continued to make inclusion of community members with disabilities — some 3,000 individuals — a focus by funding programs and projects like these:

Rosh Pina. Along with Jewish Residential Services and JF&CS, the Federation launched Rosh Pina, a year-long fellowship to create a strategic plan to identify disability inclusion opportunities in Jewish Pittsburgh. 

The ReelAbilities Film Festival. The third ReelAbilities Film Festival, coordinated by JFilm: The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum, drew more than 500 people. The festival offered four films and other programming that celebrated the lives and artistic expressions of individuals with disabilities. 

Digitization of the Connections newsletter. By helping to move the Connections newsletter to a digital format, the Jewish Federation helped to deliver the newsletter to more local Jewish organizations, building awareness of disabilities-related challenges and resources.


Jewish-Identity Programs

Building the Jewish identity of teens and young adults remained a high priority in 2015–16. With the help of the Jewish Federation, a total of $203,500 in scholarships enabled young people to participate in educational trips to Israel with peers. Donors to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh supported

Diller Teen Fellows
Members of Diller Teen Fellows Cohort 6 posed with pride at their graduation, in January 2016, from the Diller leadership program, which receives support from the Annual Campaign. Chris Herman of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, Diller Teen Fellows coordinator, joined the group for the photo.
Photo by Sanford Riemer

  • Diller Teen Fellows, which engages 20 Pittsburgh and 20 Israeli teens in leadership training and U.S./Israel travel
  • Birthright Israel, which took 67 local university students to Israel this year
  • Onward Israel, which placed 23 young people in summer internships within Israeli businesses and institutions
  • The Emma Kaufman Camp (EKC) CIT (Counselors in Training) Program of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh offers an extraordinary amount of life-skills and training, including a three-week long trip to Israel to create future staff leaders at EKC. Jewish summer camping and Israel travel are two of the most important factors in shaping children’s lives in a positive way through Jewish goals and values, ensuring that these children identify Jewishly as adults. In the summer of 2016, 29 Pittsburgh teens participated in the CIT program, spending three weeks in Israel, one of which was in Pittsburgh’s “sister city” Partnership2Gether region, Karmiel/Misgav.

The Federation now administers the Passport to Israel program, which facilitates Israel experiences for youth by enabling families to plan and to save — and to have the Jewish Community Foundation match their savings. This year 144 new and re-enrolled families participated in Passport to Israel.


Focus on Israel in the 20th Year of Partnership2Gether

The year 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of Partnership2Gether, a sister-city program that builds relationships between Pittsburghers and residents of Pittsburgh’s Partnership region in Israel. The Partnership region consists of the city of Karmiel and the surrounding region, Misgav. To celebrate the anniversary, Partnership2Gether offered a variety of events.

Yitzchak Rabin Memorial Project

Educators from Karmiel/Misgav led discussions of an exhibit about Yitzchak Rabin. The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Partnership2Gether program brought the educators and the exhibit to the South Hills and Monroeville.

  • Exhibit of the Yitzchak Rabin Memorial Project. The year began with an exhibit of the Yitzchak Rabin Memorial Project, which originated in Karmiel/Misgav. Educators from the region accompanied the exhibit and led discussions in the South Hills, with students from The Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center, and at Temple David, Monroeville, with the participation of the four congregations from the eastern suburbs. 
  • Steering Committee sessions. In January, Israeli and American Partnership2Gether Steering Committee members met in Pittsburgh to discuss future plans and collaborations. In addition, the Israeli committee members — some of whom are parents of Diller Teen Fellows alumni themselves — met with Pittsburgh Diller parents to share and reflect on Partnership2Gether experiences.

HaZamir Teen Choir

In March 2016, HaZamir Teen Choirs from Pittsburgh and Karmiel/Misgav offered a joint performance, one of the many events in 2016 that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Partnership2Gether program.Photo by David Bachman

  • Performance of HaZamir Teen Choirs. In March, the Pittsburgh HaZamir Teen Choir performed with its HaZamir counterpart from Karmiel/Misgav. An audience of 250 people attended the performance, which was at the JCC Squirrel Hill.
  • Pittsburgh visit by Waldman Competition winners. In April, the Israeli winners of the Waldman International Arts & Writing Competition, organized by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, visited public and private schools throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area. The visitors shared their award-winning submissions with Jewish and non-Jewish students. 
  • Shlichim. Israeli youth visiting Pittsburgh included four shlichim (Israeli emissaries) who worked at the JCC’s summer camps and 12 Israeli youth campers at Emma Kaufmann Camp.
  • Israel Week. In May, Partnership2Gether sponsored Israel Week, which included a visiting delegation from Israel, an award-winning chef, dancers, a rabbinic scholar and an artist — all from Pittsburgh’s Partnership2Gether region. Israel Week consisted of 17 events that reached more than 2,000 people throughout Greater Pittsburgh. Israel Week included
    • Yom Hazikaron observance. More than 400 people attended the annual Yom Hazikaron observance, a remembrance of Israel’s fallen and victims of terror. The ceremony included remembrance of Alon Bakal (z”l), a Karmiel native who was killed in 2016. Also remembered were Israeli relatives of the Israel Week delegation.
    • Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration. Nearly 500 people attended this annual celebration of Israel independence. The Israel Week delegation conducted five events. Featured activities included a family concert by Josh & the Jamtones, storytelling by renowned educator Peninnah Schram, and a shuk that offered Israeli foods. 

Israel Week
Left: In 2016, the Yom Hazikaron observance included remembrance of Alon Bakal, a Karmiel native killed by terrorist violence. Photo by Lori Judd CohenRight: In celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut, internationally known storyteller Peninnah Schram shared Jewish tales. Photo by David Bachman

Yom Haatzmaut
Left: A young Yom Ha’atzmaut attendee explored Israel without leaving Squirrel Hill. Photo by David BachmanRight: The mosh pit at the Josh & the Jamtones family concert was the site of interactive fun during the Jewish Federation’s 2016 Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration.Photo by David Bachman


Overseas Projects

An Annual Campaign allocation provides funds that are directed to overseas projects. 

In 2015–16, the Jewish Federation helped fund these efforts in Israel:

Kishorit worker

Volunteers work in the organic garden at Kishorit, a home for life for special-needs adults in the Western Galilee. Kishorit received support from the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

  • Economic Empowerment for Women, a business incubator for Israeli Jewish and Israeli Arab businesswomen in the Galilee.
  • ELI (Israel Association for Child Protection), an organization dedicated to decreasing the number of abused children with special needs and treating the emotional consequences of abuse.
  • Ethiopian National Project, which provides Ethiopian-Israeli students in grades 7–12 with scholastic assistance and emotional, social and nutritional support.
  • Kibbutz Eshbal, an outdoor-challenge program for at-risk youth. The goals of the program include generating social cohesiveness, acquainting students with Israel’s landscape and history, teaching survival skills and increasing confidence.
  • Abayudaya Jewish Women’s Community Bakery Cooperative, a means for low-income women to generate cash and provide their families with basic foods. 
  • Chabad of Karmiel, which provides lunch to needy children, improving their concentration in school.
  • Hand in Hand Galilee Bilingual School, a multicultural school where Jewish and Arab Israelis interact daily on the basis of equality and mutual respect, learning to appreciate each other’s culture, religion and history. The Jewish Federation grant aims to attract additional Jewish students to the school, to improve balance.
  • Israel Elwyn, an early-intervention program for children with multiple disabilities who are not independently mobile. The goal of the program is to enable children to use the innovative Wizzybug powered wheelchair.
  • Israel Tennis Centers Foundation, which employs tennis as a means of bringing together children of multicultural backgrounds. Pittsburgh’s Jewish Federation directed resources to the Karmiel–Misgav region.
  • The Jerusalem Foundation, a program at the YMCA, which helps Palestinian Arab and Jewish Israeli youth make and discuss films. The Jewish Federation grant funded film equipment.
  • Kishorit, a home for life for special-needs adults in the Western Galilee. The Jewish Federation funded an organic garden, allowing residents to develop employment skills and join the Work on Organic Farming initiative. Volunteers from around the world now visit Kishorit to work with residents.
  • Krembo Wings, which provides weekly activities for children with disabilities. The activities help develop social skills, physical abilities and self-confidence and give parents a break from the constant care of their children.
  • Leket Israel, which enlists tens of thousands of volunteers annually to glean fields and orchards throughout Israel. Leket Israel also provides employment, offering jobs to a staff of previously exploited agricultural workers and casual laborers.
  • Mother to Mother, a support organization for mothers. The Jewish Federation funded training for volunteers.
  • Karmiel municipality, to establish and develop a regional center for the treatment of problems caused by sexual abuse.
  • NA’AMAT, to fund a women’s health center. Jewish Federation funding helps provide services; lectures; tours; and classes that focus on exercise, nutrition and empowerment.
  • Northern Israel Center for Arts and Technology, which provides arts education to improve student outcomes.
  • Orr Shalom, a center that rescues infants from severe abuse and neglect and ensures that at least one emergency foster home is available.
  • Yad Sarah, an organization that assists approximately 6,000 sick, elderly and injured special-needs individuals by providing the free loan of medical and rehabilitative equipment. Funding from the Jewish Federation helped establish Yad Sarah in the Karmiel area.
  • Yemin Orde, a program that helps immigrant and at-risk youth define their personal identities and integrate into Israeli society by building their understanding of Judaism and Israel.

In 2015–16, the Jewish Federation helped fund these overseas efforts outside Israel:

  • Joint Distribution Committee. Jewish Federation funding helped to provide elderly Jews in need in Moldova with hunger relief and medical care, including at-home medical assistance
  • Jewish Agency for Israel. Resources from Pittsburgh’s Jewish Federation are helping to revitalize Jewish life in Moldova by providing experiences that help Jewish youth develop a sense of Jewish peoplehood and leadership skills. Programs include Jewish summer camp, Sunday school and informal after-school Jewish education.
  • World ORT. The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh provided funding to help sustain Jewish education in Kishinev, Moldova, by investing in teachers and students at the ORT Herzl Technology Lyceum.
  • WUPJ. Funding from Pittsburgh’s Jewish Federation helped 20 students enroll in the Institute for Modern Jewish Studies, Moscow. The students’ goal is to increase their understanding of Jewish heritage and practices and to develop a basic knowledge of Hebrew.


Leadership Roundtable & Resulting Task Forces

As a result of the Leadership Roundtable, a community process that identified new priority areas for community planning, the Jewish Federation convened task forces to examine national trends and make recommendations for local programming in three areas:

  • Jewish camping and immersive Israel experiences
  • Young-adult leadership development
  • Affordability of Jewish life

So far one of the task force’s recommendations is to improve awareness of already-available scholarship opportunities that can make Jewish programs more affordable. Another is to create a year-long educational program for young adults. Program participants will develop and execute a project focused on communal need. The program will include a potentially transformative trip to Israel.


The Pittsburgh Jewish Community Scorecard

In 2015–16, the Pittsburgh Jewish Community Scorecard initiative, now in its fourth year, continued collecting data from more than 70 organizations throughout Jewish Pittsburgh. For all Pittsburgh-area Jewish organizations, the Scorecard initiative hosted a professional development workshop, “Creating a Data-Driven Culture Within Your Organization.” The Scorecard Steering Committee created a definition of community excellence, which will guide the collection effort moving forward. 


Jewish Community Facilities Study

The Federation-spearheaded Jewish Community Facilities Study continued to work with 19 agencies and congregations in Pittsburgh’s East End to explore space needs collectively. A consultant is working with project participants to bring resulting facilities-sharing ideas to fruition.


The Jewish Cemeteries Task Force

This year, to preserve Jewish cemeteries in the Pittsburgh region, the Federation convened the Jewish Cemeteries Task Force. The task force met three times to discuss, examine and plan for the short- and long-term future of Jewish cemeteries in Western Pennsylvania.

The task force has defined, as the first step in its work, the comprehensive study of the cemeteries in the region. A contractor will collect data on each cemetery’s current and anticipated needs. In step 2, a business strategy consultant will analyze the data and recommend an organization structure that can meet the cemeteries’ needs. The Task Force will generate an evidence-based plan for the community’s cemeteries and then launch a fundraising campaign to make that plan a reality. Data collection, funded by a grant from the Jewish Community Foundation, is scheduled to begin in fall 2016.


Pittsburgh Jewish Early Childhood Education

Jewish Early Childhood Education

The Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative incorporates the Reggio Emilia approach, which emphasizes learning through experience.

Building upon a community approach to Jewish early childhood education, the Jewish Federation secured strategy “buy-in” from 10 of the 11 local Jewish early childhood education (ECE) centers. The strategy defines shared goals for excellence in Jewish ECE and the rubrics for measuring goal achievement.

Institutional and programmatic change continued at sites of the Pittsburgh Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative (JECEI), with emphasis on further development of the Reggio Emilia approach. The JCC Squirrel Hill and Temple Ohav Shalom completed their fifth year of Pittsburgh JECEI, and Temple Emanuel began its first year of participation.

The Federation retained the services of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management to provide all participating Jewish ECE sites with business- and capacity-assessment analysis. Such analysis will help the sites plan and provide the Federation with a reliable understanding of the financial health, trends, and enrollment capacity pertaining to community-wide ECE.


The Community Relations Council

Through work with the media and outreach to many community groups, the Community Relations Council (CRC) addressed anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment.

CRC Community Conversation about public schools
At a forum sponsored by the Jewish Federation’s Community Relations Council, Saleem Ghubril, executive director of The Pittsburgh Promise, and Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda S. Lane, EdD, shared their hopes for Pittsburgh schools. The forum allowed direct communication between the guests and students’ parents.

This year, CRC:

Campus Ambassadors

Israel Campus Ambassadors are students who support a pro-Israel climate on Pittsburgh college campuses. The students receive training through the Jewish Federation Community Relations Council in partnership with The Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center.

  • Invited parents of students in Pittsburgh Public Schools to a forum for direct conversation with Superintendent Linda S. Lane, EdD, and Saleem Ghubril, executive director of The Pittsburgh Promise
  • Provided community briefings on Israel and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement
  • Hosted the Israeli consul general from Philadelphia for an evening in solidarity with Israel; more than 300 attended
  • Organized Arab Israeli Education Day to inform the community about issues faced by Arab Israelis
  • Partnered with The Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center to create Israel Campus Ambassadors, a program that develops student leadership to support a pro-Israel climate on Pittsburgh college campuses
  • Convened the CRC Delegate Assembly, comprising representatives from 75 Jewish organizations throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania, to agree upon policies opposing BDS, stereotypes and discrimination
  • Hosted two community conversations about the worldwide refugee crisis; in total, nearly 150 community members attended
  • Hosted a community conversation after the Orlando shooting, a conversation that nearly 200 people attended
  • Continued the partnership with Vibrant Pittsburgh, distributing $50,000 to grassroots organizations that strengthen the region


The Jewish Federation Volunteer Center

The Jewish Federation Volunteer Center engaged almost 2,200 volunteers in 2015–16, including some 850 who have volunteered repeatedly through the center.

  • This year the Volunteer Center increased the number of customized volunteer parties, which are designed to suit a group’s specific interests.
  • VOOM! (Volunteer Opportunity of the Month!) took volunteers to several new sites this year.
  • I-Volunteer, a partnership with Friendship Circle, engaged circle alumni in meaningful service.
  • The ever-popular “mega events,” Mitzvah Day and Good Deeds Day, engaged more than 1,000 volunteers. Mitzvah Day drew a record 1,100 participants to 98 sites. Good Deeds Day drew more than 250 volunteers to six sites.
  • The Volunteer Mission to Israel allowed 12 participants to perform meaningful service in Karmiel and Misgav. Mission sites included Kishorit, a community for individuals with disabilities, and Mishol, a low-income neighborhood.

Mitzvah Day
Left: Volunteers of all ages observed Mitzvah Day by lending a hand at Triftique, a nonprofit boutique and thrift store. The Jewish Federation Volunteer Center managed the mitzvah activities of 1,100 participants at 98 sites.Photo by Joshua FranzosRight: Through the Jewish Federation Volunteer Center, volunteers at one of the six Good Deeds Day sites helped to dry-wall a home for a family in need.


South Hills Jewish Pittsburgh

South Hills Jewish Pittsburgh Men's Madness

In March, Jewish men — both affiliated and unaffiliated with Jewish organizations — packed a South Hills venue to watch the NCAA basketball tournament and build Jewish connections. The event, South Hills Men’s Madness, was sponsored by South Hills Jewish Pittsburgh, an initiative of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

In its second year, South Hills Jewish Pittsburgh (SHJP) continued its mission to connect South Hills Jews with each other, with their five synagogues and the JCC’s South Hills location, and with the entire Greater Pittsburgh Jewish community.

SHJP’s 20-member Community Council approved 22 grants totaling more than $40,000 for new or enhanced programs or services to be offered by the six South Hills Jewish institutions and other organizations. In addition to the South Hills institutional grant recipients, grantees included PJ Library, Friendship Circle, Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee, South Hills Interfaith Ministries, and JFilm: The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum. 

In all, SHJP facilitated more than 50 events and activities in 2015–16. Collectively, the events drew more than 4,500 participants.


The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh

In October 2015, the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh opened its first independent public venue. The new space — in Squirrel Hill Plaza, 826 Hazelwood Ave., Pittsburgh 15217 — offers more than 2,000 square feet of gallery and meeting room. The new facility provides a hub for the center’s spheres of activity: Holocaust-related exhibitions, curriculum development and teacher training, and programs and events.

The Holocaust Center achieved its 2015–16 accomplishments with the leadership of a new director, Lauren Apter Bairnsfather, who joined the staff in July 2015.

Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh
The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh realized the long-held goal of establishing a public gallery and meeting space. The center’s first exhibit captured the testimonies and indomitable spirit of 23 Holocaust survivors.

“In Celebration of Life” Exhibition. The first exhibition in the new space, “In Celebration of Life: Living Legacy Project,” captured the experiences of 23 Holocaust survivors, celebrating the fullness of their lives in photos, text, and other media. More than 1,000 students toured the new center to see the exhibition and hear survivors’ live testimonies.

Curriculum development and teacher training. The Holocaust Center’s work on behalf of educators included these highlights:

  • A partnership with Carnegie Mellon University yielded a new, interdisciplinary undergraduate course that challenges students to imagine the Holocaust Center of the future.
  • The Holocaust Center worked with faculty at the University of Pittsburgh to augment the content of Holocaust-related courses.
  • Through collaboration with intermediate units, the Holocaust Center’s Teacher Institute taught more than 150 educators to teach about the Holocaust. The institute trained 30% of teachers statewide who qualified for Pennsylvania’s “Act 70 of 2014” certification.

Programs and events. In 2015–16 the Holocaust Center:

  • Offered the annual Kristallnacht commemoration, which drew more than 400 to the Sen. John Heinz History Center.
  • Provided the annual Yom HaShoah observance, which brought 500 to the JCC Squirrel Hill.


Classrooms Without Borders

Classrooms Without Borders (CWB) takes study of the Holocaust, Israel and culture out of the classroom to provide experiential learning for teachers and students.

Thanks to rich resources and robust pre- and post-trip mentoring, CWB helps educators create new and unique curricula gives educators the experiences they need to bring the curricula to life in the classroom. Most CWB alumni, both teachers and students, remain connected with the organization for years by attending CWB-sponsored lectures by world-renowned speakers, films, plays, and other professional-development activities.  

2015–16 program reach. This year, Classrooms Without Borders reached:

  • 205 educators and almost 5,000 students with Holocaust- or Israel-related education through programs and travel
  • Educators from 60 public, charter and independent schools; 13 community members; and 15 students with travel-study seminars relating to trips to Israel, Greece or Germany
  • 4,920 students and 145 teachers in 30 schools in the Pittsburgh and Wheeling, West Virginia, areas with through curriculum development and in-school programming
  • 778 community members through community programming
  • 2015–16 program highlights. Highlights included
  • Curriculum and teaching relating to “The Diary of Anne Frank.” For 25 schools, CWB developed curriculum to accompany Pittsburgh Public Theater’s production of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” a play based on the diary of a girl who perished in the Holocaust. CWB sent professionals into the schools to teach about the play’s historical context and sent almost 800 students to see the play. Without CWB support, many of the students’ families could not have afforded to give the students the experience.
  • Public dialogue about anti-Semitism. Classrooms Without Borders brought to Pittsburgh Eldad Beck, Berlin-based correspondent of the Israeli daily “Yedioth Ahronoth,” and Andreas Eberhardt, CEO of the German-Israel Forum Foundation. These two experts led a discussion of anti-Semitism that more than 100 Pittsburghers attended.
  • Free lecture featuring Douglas Morris. Among the events that CWB co-sponsored was a free lecture featuring Douglas Morris, attorney at The Federal Defenders of New York and author of “Justice Imperiled: The Anti-Nazi Lawyer Max Hirschberg in Weimar Germany.” Mr. Morris spoke at the exhibit “Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich,” which CWB co-sponsored.
  • Four Global Learning and Professional Development Travel Seminars. The seminars, which included travel outside the United States, were “Children’s Village Teen Service Seminar,” “Inside Israel Archeology Seminar,” “Early Childhood Educators’ Israel Seminar” and “Poland Personally Holocaust Education Seminar.” Educators met for 10 hours before the trip, received a source book that they used on the trip, and did follow-up projects after the trip.
  • Expansion of online curriculum support. Now affiliated with CWB are curriculum support professionals who provide lesson plans, answer teachers’ questions and provide insights about classroom technique. Currently, the program has two specialists in Israel. Plans include the addition of new experts. For information about online pedagogic support, visit www.classroomswithoutborders.org.

Classrooms Without Borders
Educators received the resources and experience they needed to teach about Israeli archaeology by taking a travel-based seminar from Classrooms Without Borders, which receives support from the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

For a full report on Classrooms Without Borders activities in 2015–16, visit www.classroomswithoutborders.org.



The Jewish Community Foundation enables donors to fulfill their philanthropic dreams and leave a legacy that will impact our community in the decades to come. Resources made possible by endowments, trusts, bequests and philanthropic funds help address pressing needs, enrich our culture and strength our community. This year, assets under management in the Jewish Community Foundation reached nearly $219 million. This amount represents an increase in the number of funds but a decrease of 3% in total fund value. This decrease was due to record distributions and declining investment value.

The Foundation added almost 100 new funds, including three new Lion of Judah Endowment funds, bringing the total number of funds to 1,277. The Foundation added $18.8 million in new dollars.

The Foundation made grants, from its unrestricted endowment, totaling almost $786,000. The Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future distributed more than $624,000 to support Jewish learning and engagement. Taken together with distributions from restricted endowments, donor-advised funds, Campaign endowments, and synagogue and agency funds, Foundation distributions totaled $16.8 million, an increase of $3.3 million over the prior year.


2015–16 Funding Highlights

In 2015–16, the Foundation allocated grants totaling $785,650 from the unrestricted endowment to provide funding for:

Foundation Scholar in Residence
Funding from the Jewish Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation made the teaching of Rabbi Danny Schiff, DHL, accessible to adult learners throughout Pittsburgh.

  • The Jewish Community Foundation Scholar-in-Residence Program, which made the teaching of an engaging scholar accessible to adult learners in Pittsburgh and enhanced the Jewish context of Jewish Federation programs
  • An allocation for a community study, the first in Pittsburgh in more than 15 years.
  • The relaunch of The Jewish Chronicle as a widely distributed free Jewish newspaper with enhanced online presence and content.
  • A learning innovation coach to support Community Day School (CDS) educators in integrating quality STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs and activities into CDS classrooms.
  • A nationally recognized nine-month adult learning program, Chai Mitzvah in Action, in which a consortium of local congregations will engage
  • Expansion of programs for women: the Center for Women Internship and Job Shadowing Program of the local chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women and the Woman2Woman Toastmasters Club, for women returning to the workforce

The Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future, with $24.3 million in total commitments, funded these projects:

  • Phase 2 funding for DVASH, the Dynamic Vision for the Active Study of Hebrew. DVASH is a multisensory, best-practices curriculum for teaching Hebrew. DVASH helps all students learn Hebrew and makes Hebrew more accessible for students with learning disabilities and other differences. Following the successful DVASH pilot program, Phase 2 DVASH funding allows additional early childhood education centers to begin using DVASH. 
  • Onward Israel summer internships for college students who build their resumes and their connection to Jewish life by working in Israeli businesses and organizations.
  • One Happy Camper, a program that provides incentive grants to children participating for the first time in a full session at Jewish overnight camp.
  • PJ Library, which provides free Jewish books to preschoolers. Since 2014, 450 young families engaged in Pittsburgh-area Jewish life for the first time through PJ Library.

Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future
Left: The Jewish Community Foundation’s Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future provides grants that help children attend Jewish overnight camp.Right: In addition to providing Jewish children’s books for at home-reading, PJ Library hosts events that help children connect with Jewish culture and other Jewish families. PJ Library receives support from the Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future.



2016 recipient: STEPHEN HALPERN
The Spector Award is the highest honor presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. The award is given for exemplary service to the community in a single year or over the course of many years.

2016 recipient: DR. SUE BERMAN KRESS
This award recognizes the special efforts of a volunteer leader who has dedicated significant service to the community and has fostered partnerships among the Federation and its agencies.

2016 recipient: LAUREN BARTHOLOMAE
To encourage talented new professionals in communal work to continue in this field, the Gordon Award recognizes a professional who, in the early years of his or her career, demonstrates outstanding service to the Jewish Federation, its beneficiary agencies and the Jewish community.

2016 recipient: DEBORAH WINN-HORVITZ
The Rudolph Award recognizes the exceptional personal and professional commitment of a Jewish communal professional employed by the Federation or one of its partner agencies. The awardee is selected for his or her contribution to improving the quality of services offered in the community and to the enhancement of Jewish life.

The Campaigner of the Year Award recognizes the efforts of a volunteer or volunteers who work on behalf of the Annual Campaign and whose leadership serves as a role model for others.

2016 recipient: RANDY WHITLATCH
The Stark Award recognizes the achievements of an outstanding young leader who serves as a role model and exemplifies the ideals essential for the next generation of Jewish community leadership.

2016 recipient: STANLEY M. MARKS, MD
The PNC Community Builders Award recognizes a Jewish Federation leader or leaders whose volunteer efforts have resulted in a stronger and more vibrant Greater Pittsburgh community.

2016 recipient: DAN LEGER
Created in 1996, the Shore-Whitehill Award celebrates volunteers who promote, through advocacy or direct service to individuals or families, the inclusion of people with disabilities in the fabric of Jewish life.




Contributing to the Federation enables corporate donors to reach one of the most educated, influential and sophisticated consumer markets. It allows companies to enjoy visibility and exposure to donors via multimedia marketing and event-related benefits.

How to become a corporate donor or supporter

The Federation is proud to recognize and thank the following corporate contributors. This list includes corporate donors that contributed $1,000 or more and have permitted use of their names.



3 Rivers Ice Cream
Ainsman Levine, LLC
Burstin, Frantz & Hicks
Citizens Bank 
Community Supermarket
Contemporary Concepts
Judy Danenberg–Two Sisters Catering
Daniels & Miller, Inc. 
EQT Corporation
Fair Oaks Foundation Inc.
Representative Dan Frankel
General Wire Spring Co.
Highmark Inc.
Huntington Bank
James Joshowitz
Lendable Linens
Lobos Management Co.
LunaMetrics LLC
McKnight Development Corporation
McKnight Realty Partners
Charles M. Morris Charitable Trust
Murray Avenue Kosher
Oxford Development Company
Louis Plung & Company
The Plung & Resnick Families
PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
PNC Wealth Management
Prime Communications
Schorin Company, Inc.
Ralph Schugar Chapel & the Ryave Family
Steve Schwartz Associates, Inc.
Michael Silverman
S&T Bank
TWIN Capital Management, Inc.
UPMC Health Plan
Verona Foods, Inc.
Wagner Agency Inc.



Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program gives qualifying Pennsylvania corporations and businesses a tax credit for supporting qualifying educational and pre-kindergarten programs.

How your business can benefit from a tax credit and provide low-income students scholarship opportunities to Jewish day schools

In 2015–16, the corporations and businesses listed below generously contributed $3.42 million through the EITC program, providing 753 scholarships for children to attend Jewish day schools and pre-kindergartens.

Advanced Computer & Network Corp.
AMS Real Estate Ventures, LLC
Atlas Materials Recycling Corporation
BHC Holdings, Inc.
Bridges & Company
Concast Metal Products Company (A Cubed Corporation)
Cowden Associates, Inc.
Ditto, Ken & Steve Shriber
Dollar Bank
Fifth Third Bank
First Commonwealth Bank
Glimcher Group Incorporated
Guttman Group
Highmark Inc.
Home Instead Senior Care, Inc.
Huntington Bank
Impel Strategies, LLC
JKM Trading Company
Littles Shoes
LunaMetrics LLC
Marvista Real Estate Holdings LLC
McKnight Development Corporation
McKnight Realty Partners
MSA–The Mine Safety Company
Nartak Media Group
The Pfeffer Family
PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
Karen & Tony Ross
Kenny Ross Automotive Group
Saxon Uniform Network, Inc.
Signature Financial Planning
S&T Bank
Town Development
Trumbull Corporation
UGI Storage Company
UHS of Pennsylvania
UPMC Health Plan





Cynthia D. Shapira, Chair of the Board
Meryl K. Ainsman, Vice Chair
Charles Porter, Vice Chair
David Sufrin, Vice Chair
Louis B. Plung, Treasurer
Scott Tobe, Assistant Treasurer
Edgar Snyder, Secretary 
Ellen P. Kessler, Assistant Secretary 

Board Members at Large
Milton Eisner
Stephen Halpern
Judi Kanal 
Eileen Lane

List of all board members and past chairs



Charles Porter, Chair

Audit Committee
Richard Guttman, Chair

Finance Committee
Gil Schneider, Chair

Foundation Investment Committee
Andrew Stewart, Chair



James P. Wagner, Chair

Planning & Funding Committee
Scott Tobe, Chair

Foundation Grantmaking Committee
Woody Ostrow, Chair

Aging & Human Needs
Meyer Grinberg, Chair

Israel & World Jewry
Laurie Moser, Chair
Jeff Markel, Overseas Funding Chair
Debbie Resnick, Partnership2Gether Co-Chair
Joshua Resnick, Partnership2Gether Co-Chair
Jan Levinson, Israel Programming Israel Week Chair

Jewish Learning & Community Life
Scott Leib, Chair

Community Relations Council
Cindy Goodman Leib, Chair

Volunteer Center
Vickie Holthaus, Chair

Holocaust Center Commission
Lori Guttman, Co-Chair
Barbara Shapira, Co-Chair
Dr. Barbara Burstin, Holocaust Education Committee Chair
Dr. Joel Schuman, Holocaust Programming Committee Chair
Marc Friedberg, Holocaust Center Finance Committee Co-Chair
Randi Shaw, Holocaust Center Finance Committee Co-Chair
Harry Schneider, Holocaust Survivors Organization Co-Chair
Dr. Yolanda Avram Willis, Holocaust Survivors Organization Co-Chair



David Sufrin, Chair

Woody Ostrow, Chair
Edgar Snyder, Co-Chair

Annual Campaign
Meryl K. Ainsman, Chair
Linda Joshowitz, Co-Chair

Men’s Philanthropy
Jan Levinson, Chair
Chuck Snyder, Co-Chair

Women’s Philanthropy
Ellen Teri Kaplan Goldstein, Chair
Shelly Snyder, Co-Chair

Young Adult Division
Randy Whitlatch, Chair
Marcie Solomon, Co-Chair
Kristin Keller, National Young Leadership Cabinet Chair
Laura Pechersky, Shalom Pittsburgh Co-Chair
Aviva Rosenberg, Shalom Pittsburgh Co-Chair

Cardozo Society
Dodi Walker Gross, Chair

Marketing Communications Committee
Robbin Steif, Chair



Jeffrey H. Finkelstein, President & CEO
Tracy Grandelis, Assistant to the President & CEO


Milo Averbach, Chief Financial Officer

Tracy Gressang, Controller
Linda Gordon, Financial Manager
Monica Waya, Accounting Associate
Erin Wyland, Accounting Associate

Human Resources & Office Operations
Deborah McGuire, Manager
Rob Dziekan, Maintenance Staff
Bryan Ellsworth, Maintenance Staff
Darrell McDonald, Maintenance Staff

Information Technology
Bob Ellsworth, Director
Bill Petro, Senior Technology Specialist



Deborah A. Baron, Chief Operating Officer

Ilene Rinn, Senior Manager, Planning & Allocations
Raimy Rubin, Community Scorecard Manager
Kimberly Salzman, Director, Overseas Operations
Debbie Swartz, Overseas Planning Associate
Ateret Cope, Administrative Assistant
Joyce Hinnebusch, Administrative Assistant
Eric Probola, Administrative Assistant

Community Relations Council
Joshua Sayles, Director

Jewish Education & Community Capacity Building
Rabbi Amy Bardack, Director
Carolyn Linder, Director, Early Childhood Education
Shelly Parver, Planning Manager
Christa Maier, Administrative & Communications Coordinator
Deb Taylor, Early Childhood Education Associate

South Hills Community Engagement Initiative
Rob Goodman, Director

Volunteer Center
Amy Cohen, Manager
Haley Chizever, Program Associate

Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh
Lauren Bairnsfather, Director
Matthew Hamilton, Education Program Manager
Rachel Herman, Holocaust Educator
Zachary Zafris, Development & Chutz-Pow! Program Manager
Christina Sahovey, Operations & Outreach Coordinator

Classrooms Without Borders
Tsipora Gur, Director



Brian Eglash, Senior Vice President & Chief Development Officer
Emily Richman, Associate Director, Development Operations
Jessica Brown Smith, Director, Campaign & Financial Resource Development
Tiffany Babinsack, Administrative Assistant

Annual Campaign
Rebecca Hurowitz, Senior Campaign & Missions Manager
Roi Mezare, Senior Manager, Financial Resource Development
Lori Judd Cohen, Events Coordinator
Joseph Enten, Senior Development Officer
David Guzikowski, Donor Services Associate
Rachel Lipkin, Director, Jewish Women’s Philanthropy
Jessica McClelland, Database Administrator
Jason Oppenheimer, Young Adult Division Director
Joel Schwarz, Development Associate
Carolyn Slayton, Shalom Pittsburgh Coordinator
Sally Stein, Manager, Corporate & Government Relations
Kristen Brandt, Database Technician
Laura Cherner, Administrative Assistant
Meryl Franzos, Administrative Assistant
Chrissy Janisko, Administrative Assistant

Jewish Community Foundation
Daniel O. Brandeis, Director, Foundation Resource Development
Sharon Perelman, Associate Director/Director of Planned Giving 
Jenny Kaplan, Senior Financial Analyst
Rabbi Danny Schiff, Federation Scholar
Patti Dziekan, Administrative Assistant
Patti Flister, Administrative Assistant

Adam Hertzman, Director
David Chudnow, Marketing Associate
Mihal Ehven, Digital Marketing Associate
Quito Ollero, Graphic Designer
Stacy Skiavo, Marketing Associate
Toni Murray, Writer-Administrative Assistant




Cynthia D. Shapira, Chair of the Board
Meryl K. Ainsman, Vice Chair
Charles Porter, Vice Chair
David Sufrin, Vice Chair
Louis B. Plung, Treasurer
Scott Tobe, Assistant Treasurer
Edgar Snyder, Secretary 
Ellen P. Kessler, Assistant Secretary


Aaron Bisno
Zachary Block
Marc Brown
Max Dizard
Milton Eisner
Karen Wolk Feinstein
Jeffrey D. Freedman
Ellen Terri Kaplan Goldstein
Cindy Goodman-Leib
Meyer Grinberg 
Richard Guttman
Stephen Halpern
Vicki Holthaus
Evan Indianer 
Michael Jacobs
James Joshowitz
Linda Joshowitz 
Judi Kanal
Stuart Kaplan
Kristen Keller
Eileen Lane
Scott Leib 
Jan Levinson
Laurie Moser
Nancy Rackoff
Reid Roberts
Gil Schneider
Robbin Steif
Andy Stewart
James P. Wagner
Randy Whitlatch


Barbara S. Burstin
David Burstin
Sidney N. Busis
Richard E. Kann
Douglas H. Ostrow
Louis B. Plung 
Donald M. Robinson
James A. Rudolph
William C. Rudolph 
Stanley C. Ruskin
Ruth G. Schachter
Daniel H. Shapira
David S. Shapira 

Annual Report Archive

Please click the links below to browse past annual reports for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. If you have any questions about our Annual Campaign, please contact Jessica Brown Smith at jbsmith@jfedpgh.org. Thank you!



FED Talks: Ideas to Power an Inspired Community | August 30, 7:00-9:00 PM | Kelly Strayhorn Theater


Annual Meeting


2016 Annual Report