Pittsburgh has a large, active and welcoming J Street local with deep roots in the community. We offer insightful and inspiring speakers, discussions, outreach programs and other community events on a monthly basis. Come join us!
Sign up to receive J Street Pittsburgh emails here.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and if you'd like to volunteer to help with Education/Programming, Advocacy, Outreach, PR/Communications, Media relations, or Fundraising.
J Street Pittsburgh Discussion Group
Wednesday, January 11th at 7:00pm
5505 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
The J Street Pittsburgh Discussion group is kicking off this year with another great conversation. Join us to talk about the recent acts of violence perpetrated by settler extremists, and what it could mean for the future of a two-state resolution to the conflict.
On August 23rd, J Street's Two-State Summer Campaign culminated in a National Day of Action. In Pittsburgh around 40 people presented gigantic postcards addressed to Pennsylvania Senators Toomey and Casey, delivered 1,000 postcards to constituent advocates from the senators' offices, and waved terrible towels. (The terrible towel is a symbol of the Pittsburgh Steelers for those of yinz not from southwest PA!). The postcards from PA were signed by those who support the urgent need to reach a two-state solution. Almost 200 postcards, signed in person, were also delivered to Congressman's Doyle's office from his constituency. Nationally, 21,000 postcards were delivered to over 100 Congressional Offices.
On Sunday July 31st, J Street Pittsburgh co-sponsored a community discussion and video chat on Israel's "Anti-Boycott Law" with Gili Re'i, Associate Director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The new law makes it illegal to call for economic, cultural, or academic boycotts of Israel or any of the territories under its control. Click here to read J Street's statement on the Knesset's passage of the boycott bill.
Congratulations to Nancy Bernstein, Co-Chair of J Street Pittsburgh, on being named the 2011 recipient of the Sonia and Aaron Levinson Award by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh! The award is given annually to a member of the community who furthers the community-relations mission of the United Jewish Federation's Community and Public Affairs Council. We join the Federation in honoring Nancy for her many accomplishments and contributions, including her tireless efforts for J Street and beyond.
Dr. Bernard Avishai, Adjunct Professor of Business at Hebrew University
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, Palestinian physician
Gershom Gorenberg, Historian
Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street President
Sarah Kreimer, Associate Director of Ir Amim
Ori Nir, Spokesman for Americans for Peace Now
October 24, 2011 - 8:00 pm
Temple Sinai presents: A Progressive Vision for Israel with Jeremy Ben-Ami and Peter Beinart
A pre-recorded broadcast from NYC’s 92nd Street Y Series
Temple Sinai, 5505 Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill
8:00 PM - Broadcast
Sponsored by Temple Sinai with J Street Pittsburgh
Bernard Avishai is Adjunct Professor of Business at Hebrew University and was a strategy and technology editor at Harvard Business Review for many years. He has written widely on the Middle East conflict for The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Haaretz, and many other publications. He holds a Ph.D. in political economy from the University of Toronto, and a B.A. in history from McGill. His most recent piece, “A Plan For Peace That Still Could Be,” was the February 7, 2011 New York Times Magazine cover story on the Olmert-Abbas negotiations. Avishai is the author of many books including The Hebrew Republic: How Secular Democracy and Global Enterprise Will Bring Israel Peace At Last. His new book, Promiscuous: Portnoy’s Complaint and Our Doomed Pursuit of Happiness, will be published in February 2012. He blogs at TPM Café, Al Arabiya English, and bernard avishai dot com.
Program Partner: Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee
Saturday, September 24, 2011 - 8:00 pm
Pittsburgh screening of the award-winning film: "BUDRUS"
Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Avenue, Oakland
Followed by a special Q&A and reception with Nadav Greenberg, Outreach and Programming Coordinator of Just Vision
Budrus is an award-winning feature documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer, Ayed Morrar, who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. Success eludes them until his 15-year-old daughter, Iltezam, launches a women’s contingent that quickly moves to the front lines. Struggling side by side, father and daughter unleash an inspiring, yet little-known, movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that is still gaining ground today. In an action-filled documentary chronicling this movement from its infancy, Budrus shines a light on people who choose nonviolence to confront a threat. The movie is directed by award-winning filmmaker Julia Bacha (co-writer and editor of Control Room and co-director Encounter Point), and produced by Bacha, Palestinian journalist Rula Salameh, and filmmaker and human rights advocate Ronit Avni (formerly of WITNESS, Director of Encounter Point).
Sponsors: Pittsburgh Filmmakers with J Street Pittsburgh and the Global Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh
Tuesday, May 10th, 4:30 - 8:30 PM
Yom Ha'Atzmaut Celebration at the Jewish Community Center of Squirrel Hill. It was great to see all those who stopped by the J Street booth.
JCC Squirrel Hill, 5738 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Sunday, April 3, 2011, 4:00 pm
Pittsburgh premiere of "Precious Life" by Shlomi Eldar
100 people turned out to see the film "Precious Life" sponsored by J Street Pittsburgh at the 18th annual JFilm Festival, a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. In this true story, a Palestinian couple who has lost two infants due to complications with their immune systems works with Israeli doctors and a Gaza reporter to save the life of a new baby suffering similar problems. Also depicted are the conflicts from events outside the hospital that inevitably take their toll as the doctors race against time. The Israeli doctor featured in the film, Dr. Raz Somech, spoke to the audience by Skype from Israel and answered questions after the film. The film was voted co-winner of JFilm's Audience Award for Best Documentary.
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish is a Palestinian physician and infertility expert, born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. A scholarship to study medicine in Cairo set him on his path to be a doctor in service to his community and the region. On January 16, 2009, during the Gaza War, the Israeli army shelled his home and 3 of his daughters and a niece were killed. In the hours following, Abuelaish would make international news for his astonishing public reaction, broadcast live on Israeli television, in which he emotionally described to Israeli audiences what such a loss meant. Dr. Abuelaish now lives with his family in Toronto, where he is an associate professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. His website and foundation can be found at www.daughtersforlife.com.
Program Partners: Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee, Social Action Committee of Temple Ohav Shalom, Congregation Dor Hadash.The event took place at the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh, Levinson Hall, 5738 Forbes Ave in Squirrel Hill.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
An evening with Gershom Gorenberg: "The Accidental Empire: Israel's Settlement Dilemma, Past and Future.
Gershom Gorenberg is the author of The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977. The book examines the birth of the settler movement in the 10 years following the Six Day War and finds that it was as much the child of Labor Party socialism as of religious extremism. Based on previously unpublished documents, Gorenberg calls into question much of what we think we know about this issue that continues to haunt the Middle East. His previous book, The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount, portrays the role of religious radicalism in the Mideast conflict. A senior correspondent for The American Prospect, Gorenberg has also written for The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review Of Books, Foreign Policy, Mother Jones, The Jerusalem Report and The New Republic, and in Hebrew for Ha’aretz. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife, journalist Myra Noveck. They have three children, two of them now serving in the Israel Defense Forces. Temple Sinai, 5505 Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill. Free and open to the public.
The event took place at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh - Levinson Hall.
Former Pittsburgher and Associate Director of Ir Amim, Sarah Kreimer, spoke at the Jewish Community Center, Kaufmann Building, 5738 Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill, Room 202. In the 1980s, Ms. Kreimer lived in the Arab village of Tamra working as part of the Interns for Peace team, to build connections between Jewish and Arab communities in the Galilee. In 1988 she founded the Center for Jewish-Arab Economic Development, which she co-directed together with an Israeli Arab colleague for 14 years. In 2002 she was awarded the Speaker of the Knesset's Award for Quality of Life in the Field of Tolerance. She received her BA from Yale University and her MA in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University. She lives in Jerusalem with her two children, and is currently writing a book on her experiences in Israeli society.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Ori Nir: East Jerusalem and the Settlements: Myths and Facts.
Temple Sinai, 5505 Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill. Ori Nir is a spokesman for Americans for Peace Now. J Street Pittsburgh Partners are the Tikkun Olam Center for Jewish Social Justice of Temple Sinai, Social Action Committee of Temple Ohav Shalom, Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee, Rodef Shalom Congregation, Parkway Jewish Center. Nir also met with Reform Rabbis and Faculty from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.
Tuesday, April 20th, 2010, 4:30 - 8:30 pm
Yom Ha'Atzmaut at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill. Ten volunteers sat at our interactive J Street booth to educate the Jewish Community about J Street's mission and positions. We raffled off a nice bottle of wine and Israeli Peace Flags from Peace Now. Eight new people signed up to be on J Street's mailing list.
Saturday, April 10th, 2010, 7:15 pm
"Faces of Globalization". J Street Pittsburgh and the Middle East Peace Forum of Pittsburgh co-sponsored Z32, an Avi Mograbi film at the Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival.
Current Events Discussion Group Series. Sponsored by The Tikkun Olam Center for Jewish Social Justice of Temple Sinai, at Temple Sinai, 5505 Forbes Avenue.
Wednesday, September 14, 7:00 PM
The Protests in Israel: From Cottage Cheese to Mass Demonstrations. Location: Temple Sinai, 5505 Forbes Avenue, in the Library, 2nd Floor. Sponsored by The Tikkun Olam Center for Jewish Social Justice of Temple Sinai. RSVP HERE
Wednesday, July 13, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
"Jerusalem is Already Divided". Location: Temple Sinai, 5505 Forbes Avenue, in the Library, 2nd Floor. Sponsored by The Tikkun Olam Center for Jewish Social Justice of Temple Sinai.
Akiva Eldar, Jerusalem is Already Divided. Haaretz, May 31, 2011.
Chaim Levinson, Threat of Violence Keeps Police Out of Jerusalem Haredi Neighborhood. Haaretz, May 30, 2011.
Yossi Sarid, Jerusalem Day Celebrations Will Not Cover Up the City's Rot and Discrimination. Haaretz, June 1, 2011.
Wikipedia entry on Jerusalem: Sections 2.7.1 through 2.7.3 Modern Period, 4 and 4.1 Demographics and Criticism of Urban Planning, 6.1 Political Status.
Tuesday, May 17, 7:00 PM
The Fatah/Hamas Agreement: Implications for Negotiations and a Peace Agreement. Location: Temple Sinai, 5505 Forbes Avenue, in the Library, 2nd Floor. Sponsored by The Tikkun Olam Center for Jewish Social Justice of Temple Sinai.
Matthew Duss, Fatah-Hamas Agreement Presents Opportunities and Challenges. Center for American Progress, April 29, 2011.
Tony Karon, Fatah-Hamas Agreement Starts Palestinians on a Rocky Road to Independence. Time, May 4, 2011.
Barak Ravid, Israel Foreign Ministry Views Hamas-Fatah Deal Differently than Netanyahu. Haaretz, May 4, 2011.
J. J. Goldberg, Israel's Security Elite Joins the Opposition. The Forward, May 11, 2011.
Avi Issacharoff, Fayyad to Haaretz: Palestinians are Prepared for Statehood. Haaretz, May 13, 2011.
Daniel Levy, How Hamas-Fatah Unity Could Break Middle East Deadlock. The Guardian, April 28, 2011.
Sunday, April 10, 2011, 1:15 pm
Breaking the cycle of violence: Can it be done? Reading: Hussein Ibish, We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Conflict. ForeignPolicy.com.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 7-9 pm
Egypt in Flux: What does it mean for Israel?
Tuesday, January 18th, 2011, 7:30 - 9:00 pm
Obama in Cairo: What did he say? Obama in Jerusalem: What might he say? In his 2009 speech in Cairo Egypt, President Barack Obama called for improved mutual understanding and relations between the Islamic world and the West and said both should do more to confront violent extremism. While confirming Israel's desire for a Jewish homeland, he also gave legitimacy to Palestinian aspirations for statehood. Participants watched excerpts from Obama's Cairo speech and then discussed what Obama might convey in a Jerusalem speech.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Issues and Opinions: Divisions in US Support over Israeli Policies. Scott Morgenstern and Eve Wider, Education Committee Chairs, reviewed several highly visible articles published in leading news outlets. The focus was on Peter Beinart’s “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment” (6/10/10) published in the New York Review of Books as well as the rejoinder by Abraham Foxman, and two NY Times articles from the Week in Review on 6/6/10, "Chosen but not Special" and "What to do about Israel." Links to the New York Review of Books and New York Times articles are listed below.
Peter Beinart, The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment. The New York Review of Books.
'The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment': An Exchange. Abraham H. Foxman, reply by Peter Beinart. The New York Review of Books.
Michael Chabon, Chosen, but Not Special. Op-ed contribution to The New York Times.
Helene Cooper, Washington Asks: What to Do About Israel? The New York Times.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
"Why Two States, Why Now?" We watched some video footage of speakers from the National J Street Conference as the basis for discussion.