On Shabbos, Feb 9, we had two special visitors at the shul.
Susan Stein lives on the upper West Side of Manhattan, but she’s not home often. She travels the country and the world performing her play “Etty” about the life of Etty Hillesom. Etty was a Dutch Jew who was murdered at Auschwitz when she was 29. She left behind diaries that give a glimpse of the last few years of her life. Susan gave 4 performances of her play at Carnegie Stage, one of two live theaters we have in Carnegie. And while in town she also managed to conduct the play for over 300 school students. And come to shul on Saturday morning! We were delighted to have her. She participated in services and stayed afterward for Kiddush. If you missed her performance, you can take 30 minutes and watch this interview she gave to Lynn Cullen.
At the end of services a young man came into the shul just looking around (he didn’t appear dangerous). I introduced myself and he said he was Joe Klee. He was in town on business and his father had advised him to visit the Carnegie Shul while in Pittsburgh. Well, as Dr. Block would say, “there are no coincidences”. Just 10 minutes earlier, while announcing yahrzeits, I mentioned that on Tuesday we would remember Dr. Harry A. Klee who was the main benefactor for the construction of our shul. His name appears on the cornerstone of our building. Joe stayed for Kiddush and afterwards I showed him the plaques for the Klee family on our yahrzeit tablets. The Klee family was numerous and one of Joe’s forefathers, Selig Klee, was a charter member of the congregation 120 years ago. The following day, I spoke with Joe’s father on the phone, Harvey Klee. Harvey explained that his parents were Joseph Klee and Rose Nadel. His grandparents were Hyman Klee and Lena Wilk. I was not aware of the Wilk connection, and will be looking forward to comments from the Wilk family.
As a complete aside, I saw Ethel Sherman McCarthy at the Pour House on Saturday night. She was there celebrating the birthday and retirement of her best friend, Cheryl Riley. As some of you know, Jim and Cheryl have sold the Pour House and are retiring to Florida. Of course I told Ethel that we would like to see her more frequently at shul. Her grandfather Markus Sherman was the founder of our congregation. The minyan met in his house from 1896 until 1903 when they built the first shul on Broadway St.
Filed under History, News
The Giant Eagle GetGo in Gibsonia
For many months we have been reporting that Giant Eagle was in the process of purchasing property across the street from the shul. Well, things are finally happening. On Friday, October 31, they completed the property closings. Last Monday, Borough Council approved the “vacation” of a portion of Williams Street that runs through the middle of the property. And yesterday, the demolition crew started razing buildings.
What does this mean for us? Firstly, it means some parking concerns that we will need to address. The parking lot directly across from the shul had belonged to the Fulton family. About 40 years Al Fulton, who owned the Buick dealership on Main St., had given us permission to use his lot on Saturday mornings indefinitely. Fulton Buick is now long closed. Al’s son Pete owned the property in recent years. Now it belongs to Giant Eagle. In that parking lot there will soon be a convenience store. Certainly, when they open we will approach the manager about using some spaces on Saturday mornings. But in the meantime we will need to use what we can. There are generally about 6 spaces on the street near the shul. And I have spoken with the manager of CVS. She has given us permission to use available spaces in the farthest row from the store (the row next to Lydia Street). That should take care of our normal Saturday morning minyan. But we will also be talking with the new owners of the Xytec building (the glass and aluminum office building on Lydia Street just past the shul). That company is called Heyl & Patterson. They purchased the building earlier this year.
The good news is that this vacant property will now be renovated and be an asset to our community. The long term viability of our congregation depends on us being in a healthy neighborhood. Having a new GetGo across the street will bring some new life to the area, just as the CVS did.
This is the lot where we normally park on Shabbos. We may still be able to park there for a few more Saturdays, but I can’t predict.
The J&L Travel building was right there, until yesterday. Blink, and it’s gone.
A backhoe razes the Fulton Buick garage in the background. That’s where the gas pumps will be located, adjacent to Main St. The convenience store will be located in the area where this pickup truck is sitting, adjacent to Lydia St.
Local Carnegie residents are well familiar with the 3rd St. Gallery. It is owned and operated by painter/musician Phil Salvato. Phil is not just active in the Carnegie arts scene, but he is a good friend as well. He has been vocal, dedicated, and hard working. He is a great asset to the borough and those who have been working to revitalize the town.
On a regular basis, Phil hosts small jazz concerts in his studio. I attended the Don Aliquo concert just last Sunday. About 25 people showed up for the informal and cozy program. Very enjoyable. So, I was pleased to see Phil announcing that he is bringing an Eastern European ensemble to the gallery for a program. The program titled “Furious Gypsy Jazz & Soulful Klezmer” should be quite a treat. I hope you’ll take this opportunity to visit 3rd St. Gallery and enjoy Phil’s hospitality. Click here for more info.
Rabbi Mendel and Batya Rosenblum
This Saturday, Feb 9, we will join Chabad of the South Hills for Shabbos morning service. Service starts at 10:00AM and is followed by Kiddush.
This is not the first time that we have joined with Chabad for services. In fact, we have stopped having Purim and Tisha B’av services in Carnegie some years ago and have invited our members to attend at Chabad since that time. However, joint Shabbos services have been infrequent. We have been reluctant to lock the doors for even a single Shabbos in Carnegie; the couple of times that we didn’t have services were due to severe weather.
Nonetheless, Chabad and Rabbi Mendy have always welcomed us and we enjoy their company. So, we take a mid-winter break and join them for a Shabbos morning. Services will resume in Carnegie on Feb 16.