Carnegie Shul Chatter – November 5, 2012

The following article appeared last week in the Tribune-Review and The Signal Item, which is published by Trib Total Media and is delivered every Thursday in the Carnegie area.

Jewish congregation marks 116 years

By Tribune-Review

Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Congregation Ahavath Achim is the oldest Jewish congregation, or shul, in the South Hills and western suburbs of Pittsburgh.

Located in Carnegie, they started informally with 10 families in 1896, incorporating in 1903 and holding services on Broadway Avenue, site of the current Family Dollar parking lot.

The building was destroyed by fire in 1934. They have been in their present building at 500 Chestnut St. since 1937.

Their first high holiday services in 1896 were held in the ballroom of the Husler Building shortly after it opened. The Husler Building now is the home of the Historical Society of Carnegie.

Many of Carnegie’s early businesses were run by shul families, including Bales, Miller, York, Raskin, Spivak, Peresman, Speizer, Zemon, Isaacs, Klee, Stern and Steinberger.

Services are on Saturdays at 9:20 a.m. Kiddush and lunch follow at 11:40.

Although the members are mostly senior citizens, there are occasional socials and outreach.

Member Adrienne Arenson founded the Hoops for a Cure basketball fundraiser games, which match members of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chartiers Valley School District faculty in a springtime charity event.

She began this event 17 years ago when she lost her husband, Nathan, to pancreatic cancer.

During the past 16 years this charity has raised more than $1 million for cancer research.

Richard D’Loss, shul president for the last 12 years, also serves as a Carnegie councilman. He was elected as council president in January.

Larry Block stepped up to the duties of shul president earlier this summer.

During the 1960s-1970s, many residents moved out of Carnegie and into Scott Township and Mt. Lebanon. This led to talk of merging with the Beth El Congregation on Cochran Road, Scott Township.

However, more people wanted it to stay open.

Thus, the congregation is proudly celebrating its 116th year in Carnegie.

For more information, call 412-279-1566 or visit

Charlotte Smith is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media and can be reached at 724-693-9441 or


1 Comment

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One Response to Carnegie Shul Chatter – November 5, 2012

  1. Sondra Greer

    A very nice article about Ahavath Achim. I love this synagogue because it feels like family to me. There is a warmth and sincere feeling each time I enter this place of worship. Kudos to the writer of this article.

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