2014 Program

 5th Annual Global Day of Jewish Learning

Jews from more than 400 communities in 48 countries will participate in more than 600 events on the same day.  This year’s theme is “Heroes and Villains, Saints and Fools: The People in the Book.”  Rabbi Goldie Milgram, founder and director of Reclaiming Judaism, will be keynote speaker, followed by a choice of workshops led by local clergy and a PJ Library workshop for children. Visit Website

Sponsored by the Bureau of Jewish Education, Congregation Shir Shalom, and Temple Beth Zion in cooperation with local synagogues and Jewish organizations.


Israeli Art Expo

This exciting show featured the work of 45 Israeli artists and more than 2,000 pieces of handcrafted fine art, Judaica, ceramics, wood, sculpture, glass and jewelry!


Michael Lasser, Author

Author Michael Lasser, singer Cindy Miller and Alan Jones introduce five important songwriters – three of them Jewish – all born and raised in Buffalo. The group includes: Chauncey Olcott, known for “My Wild Irish Rose”; composer Ray Henderson who defined the wild, wacky sound of the 1920s; E. Ray Goetz who wrote “For Me and My Gal”; Jack Yellen who wrote “Happy Days Are Here Again” and “My Yiddishe Mama”; and Harold Arlen, son of a cantor who gave us “Stormy Weather,” “Birth of the Blues,” and “Over the Rainbow.”

Raised in the shadow of Broadway, Lasser is the Peabody-Award-winning host of public radio’s “Fascinatin’ Rhythm” and a frequent lecturer at museums and universities. Dessert reception, book sale and signing to follow.

Sponsored by the People of the Book Fund and the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies
Dessert Reception Sponsored by Hadassah


Rivka Caroline, Author

From Frazzled to Focused, The Ultimate Guide for Moms who want to reclaim their time, their space and their lives.

Written by a mother of seven with the overwhelmed, stretched-too-thin, sleep-deprived mom in mind, From Frazzled to Focused walks busy readers through the easy-to-follow steps that will help them arrange their lives so they have more time to do what they love each day. Learn how to free up space, reduce anxiety, and spend more time on the things that really matter.

Rivka Caroline, M.S., is a Mom of 7, Rabbi’s wife and a nationally-recognized time management expert, author and speaker. Aside from teaching small businesses how to be more productive she regularly speaks to large national audiences and hosts international workshops and webinars. Dessert reception, book sale and signing to follow

Sponsored by the Jewish Program Venture Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo
Dessert reception sponsored by Jewish Women’s Connection


Dr. Regina Grol, Author

Saving the Tremors of Past Lives – A Cross-Generational Holocaust Memoir

The Jewish community of the Polish town of Brzéć, population 30,000, was wiped out during the Holocaust with only about 10  members surviving. One of them was Masza Pinczuk, who escaped from the Brzéć ghetto on the eve of its liquidation on Oct. 15, 1942. Her future husband succeeded in escaping from the Warsaw ghetto. They were the sole survivors of their respective families.  This book, written by their daughter, shares their story and explores the lingering impact of the Holocaust on following generations.

Dr. Grol has taught Polish Studies at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (2007-2010) and is currently a Fellow at the Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies at the same university. She also directed the SUNY overseas program in Jerusalem (1982-1984). Dessert reception, book sale and signing to follow

Co-sponsored by Congregation Havurah, Suny-Empire State College
Co-sponsored by The Rubin & Luba Literman Fund of the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo


Rabbi Sid Schwarz, Author 

& Keynote Speaker for Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo Annual Meeting

Jewish Megatrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish Community

The American Jewish community is riddled with doubts about the viability of the institutions that well served the Jewish community of the twentieth century. Synagogues, Federations and Jewish membership organizations have yet to figure out how to meet the changing interests and needs of the next generation. In this presentation, Rabbi Sid Schwarz will set out four guiding principles that can drive a renaissance in Jewish life and give evidence of how, on the margins of the Jewish community, those principles are already generating enthusiasm and engagement from the very Millennials that the organized Jewish community has yet to engage.

Rabbi Sid Schwarz is a senior fellow at Clal: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership where he directs the Clergy Leadership Incubator (CLI), a program that trains rabbis to be visionary spiritual leaders.  He is also the director of the Rene Cassin Fellowship Program, a year-long fellowship on Judaism and human rights for young professionals with hubs in New York, London and Jerusalem.

Sid founded and led PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values for 21 years. He is also the founding rabbi of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, MD where he continues to teach and lead services.  Dr. Schwarz holds a Ph.D. in Jewish history and is the author of two groundbreaking books–Finding a Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews Can Transform the American Synagogue (Jewish Lights, 2000) and Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World (Jewish Lights, 2006).

Free program, in conjunction with the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo’s Annual Meeting
Sponsored by the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies
Sponsored by the Sam & Sophie Weinstein Fund


PJ Library Night with Author Aubrey Davis

PJ Library was a delightful evening of storytelling with award-winning author and storyteller, Aubrey Davis, whose books include PJ Library favorites, Bagels for Benny, A Hen for Izzy Pippik and Bone Button Borscht. Mr. Davis has been telling stories for more than 30 years to people of all ages.

Bring your favorite Aubrey Davis PJ Library book to be signed. Books available for purchase.



Rabbi Heschel Greenberg, Author


Most books on the Torah look for life-lessons from our glorious past. In Light from the Future, the author endeavors to find Judaism’s view of the enlightened future—hinted in the weekly Torah reading—and applying it to the present. This book is the first of a projected series of 20 volumes culled from more than 1,000 essays on the weekly Torah portion that were published and syndicated over the last 20 years.

Rabbi Heschel Greenberg has authored more than 50 scholarly papers in Rabbinic and Talmudic Journals as well as 1,000 essays on weekly parsha, e-mailed to thousands and published weekly in Bais Moshiach magazine. He is the Director of the Jewish Discovery Center and the Institute of Jewish Studies in Buffalo, New York and served as an adjunct lecturer in the State University of New York at Buffalo’s Judaic Studies Program for more than 35 years.

Sponsored by the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies


Michael Bihovsky, Playwright

Staged reading starring Michael Bihovsky, Michael Frisch, Noah Kotzin and Darleen Pickering-Hummert

Without End documents a spiritual and loving journey shared by a grandson and his late grandparents, Marty and Esther Bates, esteemed members and leaders in the Buffalo Jewish community. This autobiographical drama follows these intergenerational relationships over the course of 21 years, in moments filled with adoration and rebellion; science and spirituality; life and loss. And above all, a story of transcendent – unending – love.

Michael Bihovsky is a NYC-based musical theater composer, writer, performer, and director. He has written three original musicals, including the YouTube Les Mis food allergy parody, “One Grain More,” which won the “Best of Faux: Audience Award” and “Best Short” in Portland’s Faux Film Festival. Bihovsky graduated from New York University, with a combined major in musical theater, astrophysics, and mythology. For more, visit www.michaelbihovsky.com. Staged reading of Without End, features:  Michael Bihovsky, Michael Frisch, Darleen Pickering Hummert and Noah Kotzin.

Sponsored by Congregation Shir Shalom

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