ShareThis Page
Mayim Bialik visit to offer sympathy, support to Pittsburgh’s Jewish community | TribLIVE.com
Movies/TV

Mayim Bialik visit to offer sympathy, support to Pittsburgh’s Jewish community

Candy Williams
| Thursday, February 7, 2019 8:24 a.m
721940_web1_gtr-liv-Mayim---020819
Mayim Bialik will visit Pittsburgh Feb. 8-10 to show her support for the Jewish community.

Actor Mayim Bialik’s fans know her best from her current role as Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’s hit comedy series, “The Big Bang Theory,” or her past roles in “Blossom” (1990) and the 1988 movie, “Beaches,” with Bette Midler.

Many people may not be aware of her strong commitment to the Jewish community.

After the Oct. 27 mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Bialik expressed her sympathy for those close to the 11 people killed and seven that were injured during Shabbat morning services.

“My community was touched today by gun violence, by hatred, and by viciousness on our holy Sabbath,” she wrote on her Twitter page. “The Jewish community is a global family and we share the pain of our brothers and sisters in Squirrel Hill and greater Pittsburgh.”

Two days later, she took to groknation.com, an online community she founded, to write a heartfelt article expressing her thoughts and emotions about “such a horrific act of anti-Semitism.”

Reaching out to help

“Upon hearing the news, I felt like getting on a plane to Pittsburgh. I felt like finding the head of the Federation or the Jewish Community Center and offering to come lend my support. I felt helpless. I felt scared. I felt let down by America,” she wrote.

Bialik spoke to the Tribune-Review on Wednesday about the need she felt to meet and visit with families and friends of the shooting victims.

“I reached out after the shooting to offer my condolences and see if there was anything I could do,” she said. Since Jewish grieving is very specific, she waited until after the traditional three-month mourning process to plan a visit.

She talked with her sons, ages 10 and 13, about the tragedy and why she wanted to offer help.

An Evening with Mayim

She is getting a chance this weekend to participate in events in support of the Pittsburgh Jewish community. On Feb. 9, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh will host “An Evening with Mayim Bialik,” including a question-and-answer session, from 8:30 to 10 p.m. at This is Red event space in Homestead. Registration details are at jewishpgh.org.

Bialik also will participate in a prayer service on Feb. 8, at the Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh in Oakland, which is hosting “Ignite Shabbat with Mayim Bialik.” Following services, the center will host 260 undergraduate students for a Friday night Shabbat dinner in the ballroom at Rodef Shalom Congregation, according to Danielle Kranjec, senior Jewish educator at the Center and event organizer.

She said the Friday night events were open to pre-registered undergraduate participants only and registration is now closed.

For Shabbat day, the Center will be hosting a series of events, including spirituality, learning, and a panel on anti-Semitism featuring Rabbi Danny Schiff at the Hillel building. The Saturday events are open to all undergraduate students in Pittsburgh with photo ID, Kranjec said.

Community pride

Bialik, who has spoken all over the U.S. and Canada, mainly at universities and in communities, said she is really looking forward to the weekend events.

“I’m just excited to see the community in Pittsburgh. This is the most cohesive Jewish community I ever worked with. They’re all working well together,” she said.

Bialik has a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience, with minors in Hebrew and Jewish studies, and earned her Ph.D in neuroscience from UCLA in 2007.

Her mother and her late father are first-generation Americans and three of her four grandparents migrated from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary.

As for “The Big Bang Theory,” Bialik said the series is winding down in its 12th and final season, there has been no talk of a spinoff and she is looking forward to pursuing new projects.


Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.


Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

Categories: Features | Movies TV
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.