ChaiLights calendar: April 26-May 11

Starting April 26

JSU plans community-wide Israel Engagement Week 

Jewish Student Union welcomes the community to a series of events with Ben-Shachar, Jerusalem University’s Director of Israel Education. He will serve as scholar-in-residence during JSU’s Israel Engagement Week, April 26-30.  Topics of the Israel Engagement Week will include an in-depth look at the BDS movement, media bias, Israel’s moral dilemmas, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the reunification of Jerusalem 50 years since the Six Day War.  There will also be a “Spinning Through Israel” class — a virtual cinematic tour of Israel at both the Washington University and the Jewish Community Center’s indoor cycling studios.  For a list of events, visit

ThursdayApril 27 

Temple Israel’s choir performs

At 7 p.m. Chavurat Shira, Congregation Temple Israel’s volunteer choir, will present a concert of choral and solo music, featuring favorites from Broadway, Jewish melodies, and more. The concert is presented in conjunction with the second annual Celebrating Art for Senior Engagement Festival. This event is free and open to the community and is handicapped accessible. 

Crown Center dance program

Crown Center and Celebrating Art for Senior Engagement presents “Dance as Human Expression” at 6 p.m. In this combined lecture/performance of About Dance, Karlovsky & Company Dance will explore non-verbal forms of personal, social and cultural expression. RSVP to 314-991-2055.

Friday, April 28

Covenant Place screens ‘Lion’

At 1 p.m. Covenant Place will screen “Lion,” the Academy Award-nominated movie starring Dev Patel. Rated PG-13. The film will be shown in the Helene Mirowitz Theater of Covenant II. Free and open to the public.  

St. Louis NORC Men’s Breakfast 

From 9 to 10 a.m. join neighbors in the St. Louis NORC during a men’s breakfast at McDonalds in Creve Coeur. 

SaturdayApril 29 

NHBZ: ‘Other People’s Shoes: Judging People Favorably’

We have all been in situations where we have been surprised to learn “the entire story” causing us to think “that’s why he/she acted that way.” Rabbi Ze’ev Smason discusses this scenario at “Other People’s Shoes: Judging People Favorably” at 10:15 a.m. as part of Nusach Hari B’nai Zion’s weekly “Starting Points: Wisdom for Daily Living” series. Free and open to the community.For more information, call 314-991-2100.

SundayApril 30

NHBZ pizza night

Nusach Hari B’nai Zion invites to the community to its all-you-can eat kosher buffet, which includes pizza, pasta, salad, garlic bread, dessert and a beverage,  from 5 to 7 p.m. A movie will be shown for children attending. No RSVPs are required and credit card payments are accepted. Carryout orders should be placed by 10 a.m. on April 30 by calling 314-991-2100, ext. 2. 

Groups partner for talks by Jerusalem U.’s Zeev Ben-Shachar

Jewish Student Union (JSU), Center for Jewish Learning and the Saul Brodsky Jewish Community Library present two free programs with Zeev Ben-Shachar on Sunday, April 30 in partnership with Sh’ma: Listen! Speaker Series: 

‘Jerusalem – United for 50 Years?’ will take place at 10 a.m. at the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center. Five decades later, the Six-Day War is a source of great pride — but also much controversy — in the Jewish world and beyond. Ben Shachar will discuss the complexities, possibilities and pride associated with the conflict.

‘The BDS Movement: What’s Wrong in the Battle for Rights?’ will take place at 1 p.m. at the Jewish Federation Kopolow Building. The last two decades have seen an increase in anti-Israel activity on college campuses and beyond. In this session, Ben-Shachar will use the BDS campaign as an instructive case study for understanding the threats and look at relevant responses for countering them.

Ben-Shachar currently serves as Senior Israel Educator at Jerusalem University. He directs a team of educators, developing and teaching year-long classes on Israel, leadership and activism for 500 students each year, studying at 20 Israel-based gap year programs. In 2007, Zeev helped found the Israel branch of The David Project, a major Israel advocacy organization in North America, which focuses on promoting Israel’s image on American campuses. 

Ben-Shachar is serving as scholar-in-residence of JSU’s Israel Engagement Week, held April 26-30. He will speaking at several public events during those days. For a full list of his appearances, visit 

To RSVP for either of the April 30 events, please contact Nancy Dubman at 314-442-3771 or [email protected]. For more information, contact Cyndee Levy at 314-442-3754 or [email protected].

Mother/Daughter Challah Bake

Aish HaTorah will hold a Mother/Daughter Challah Bake (grandmothers and aunts welcome, too) from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Aish Firehouse. The cost is $18 per person. RSVP to 314-862-2474 or [email protected].

Dinner meet-up in Clayton

Sparks Services will hold a dinner meet-up at 6 p.m. at Crushed Red patio in Clayton for ages 55-79 who would like to meet new people and celebrate the spring Jewish holidays. The event is weather permitting; RSVP by April 25 to Paula Sparks at 314-875-0001.

HMLC to screen three short films

The Sandra and Mendel Rosenberg Sunday Afternoon Film Series will screen three short films at 1 p.m. in the Holocaust Museum’s theater. “Toyland (Spielzeugland)” is a 14-minute Academy Award-winning German film from 2008. “Torte Bluma” is a 22-minute American film from 2005 inspired by a real-life episode in the life of Franz Stangl, the German commandant at the Treblinka Extermination Camp, and the Jewish prisoner who cooks his meals. “After” is a seven-minute British film documenting contemporary life in Auschwitz, using ambient sound only. Introductory remarks and post-screening discussion facilitated by Webster University professor Erin McGlothlin. Free and open to the public, but RSVP required to 314-442-3711 or [email protected]

Nishmah brings Yom Ha’atzmaut to Crown Center

At 2 p.m. Nishmah’s Banot Board of teen girls invites younger girls for an exciting afternoon with residents of Crown Center as we participate in Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Inde-pendence Day) activities. Banot Board teens will plan and implement the program.  RSVP to 314-991-2055.  Funding provided by Nishmah and the Gladys K. Crown Foundation.

Knosh & Knowledge at Traditional Congregation

Traditional Congregation invites the community to a Knosh & Knowledge program: “Letters to Frieda: Reading Between the Lines of the Holocaust.” Documentary filmmaker Michele Willner Levy discovered a series of letters written to her mother from her grandparents, bringing the atrocities of the Nazis and their aftermath into focus.  The morning begins with a kosher brunch at 9:45 a.m., followed by the presentation at 10:45, where Levy will show and discuss her documentary, “Letters to Frieda.”  Suggested donation is $6, RSVPs are appreciated to 314-576-5230 or [email protected].  

Israel Memorial Day ceremony

The Jewish Community Center will hold community events to mark Yom Hazikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day)  with a ceremony at 7 p.m. at the J’s Arts & Education Building, to honor and remember those that have fallen in defense of the State of Israel or from acts of terror. Readings, poems and songs will be in English and Hebrew. Free and open to the community. For more information, call 314-442-3271 or email [email protected]

Talking to children about anti-Semitism

The Anti-Defamation League of Missouri and S. Illinois and the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center of St. Louis will present “How to Talk to Your Child About Anti-Semitism” from 10 a.m. to noon at the Jewish Federation building. The free workshop is geared toward parents and caretakers interested in understanding the best ways to talk to their children about this subject. While the workshop is free, participants are asked to RSVP to 314-442-3711.

MondayMay 1

Knitting and more

Bring a friend and visit with others while working on a project during this St. Louis NORC event from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at The Gathering Place at the J in Creve Coeur. Free and open to the community but RSVPs required to Laura at 314-442-3255.

TuesdayMay 2

Jewish Women’s Society event

Mimi David will lead a Jewish Women’s Society Lunch & Learn on Pirkei Avot  (Ethics of the Fathers) from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The event, which is for for women only, takes place at the Circle @ Crown Café at Crown Center. Lunch may be purchased at the café. To RSVP or for more information, call 314-862-2474 or email [email protected].

Life in Transition

The next Life in Transition group will meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Congregation Temple Israel for individuals who are coping with the loss of a loved one, divorce, job transition or retirement. Attendees will discuss a healthy grieving process, resolution, adjustment and strategies for moving forward and finding fulfillment. The group will be facilitated by Jan Nykin, a psychotherapist in private practice who has para-rabbinic certification. For more info., call 314-432-8050. 

Shaving Israel meeting  

Shaving Israel will meet at 10 a.m. at BMO Harris Bank in Creve Coeur. The group meets the first Tuesday each month.

Starting May 2 

Chabad series: 50 Years Since the Six Day War

Chabad of Greater St. Louis will premiere a new course by the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) called “Survival of a Nation: Exploring Israel through the Lens of the Six-Day War.” The series is open to the community, and will meet for six 90-minute sessions (7 to 8:30 p.m.) beginning Tuesday, May, 2 at the Lazaroff Chabad Center, 8124 Delmar Blvd.Call Chabad at 314-725-0400 or visit for registration or more information.  

St. Louis NORC Chair Yoga

The NORC Chair Yoga class, an ongoing class from 11-11:45 a.m. on four Tuesdays in May (2, 9, 16, 30) focuses on flexibility, balance, stress relief and camaraderie. Call 314-442-3255 for details and cost.

WednesdayMay 3

Author Joan Nathan at the J

The St. Louis Jewish Book Festival will host celebrated cookbook author Joan Nathan for a discussion of her newest book, “King Solomon’s Table,” at 7 p.m. at the J’s Arts and Education building. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit 

Crown Center Yiddish Group

At 1:30 p.m. Crown Center’s Yiddish     Group will meet. The group’s new facilitator is Rabbi Neal Rose. Free and open to the community; all levels welcome. Call 314-991-2055 for more information.

ThursdayMay 4 

America’s voice in Africa 

At 2:30 p.m. Crown Center welcomes Charles Shepard, U.S. Diplomat/Regional Station Manager for Voice of America-Africa, for a discussion of life in Botswana. He will speak about working for Voice of America, which began broadcasting in 1942 during World War II to combat Nazi propaganda with accurate news and information. RSVP to 314-991-2055 

Storyteller at St. Louis NORC 

The 38th Annual Storytelling Festival and St. Louis NORC welcome author/storyteller Diann Joy Bank and Missouri historian Larry Brown for a free event from  11 a.m. to noon at The Gathering Place at the J. Bank will share stories from her recent book “A Pot of Mitzvot-18 Jewish Folk Tales.” Open to the community but advance RSVPs  required to Laura at 314-442-3255.

PJ Library, Brodsky Library partner for ‘The Story Quest’

Saul Brodsky Jewish Community Library and PJ Library kick-off a yearlong series of “story walks” with an event featuring The Bible Players, presenting  an interactive Torah Comedy Show at 5 p.m. Bring a picnic dinner and come enjoy the show at the To Have Fun Pavilion in the J’s Staenberg Campus North Parking Lot. The ice cream truck will arrive at 6:30 p.m. to cap off the event. RSVP online at For more information, contact Jennifer Baer Lotsoff at [email protected] or 314-442-3867.  

Saturday , May 6 

NHBZ Synaplex Shabbat

Nusach Hari’s next Synaplex Shabbat program will offer three discussions: 

• “10 Things We Can Do to Bring Judaism Alive for Our Kids” led by Rabbi Ze’ev Smason

• “50 Years After the Six-Day War: Past, Present and Future” led by Sondra Baras

• “Holy Jew! Uplift(ing) the Jew in You” led by Rabbi Yaakov Berkowitz of St. Louis Kollel

Regular services begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Main Sanctuary. Tefillah/Prayer Learners Service led by Rabbi Yosef David of Aish HaTorah begins at 9:15 a.m. in the chapel. Smason’s Starting Points: series  will start at 10 a.m.  Also at 10: Tot Shabbat (for kids 1-6) and Junior Congregation (for kids 7-11). The discussions listed above begin at 11:15 a.m., and all attendees are invited to a free Kiddush lunch at approximately 12:15 p.m. Babysitting is provided for younger children. Free and open to the public. For more information, call Jeff at 314-991-2100, ext. 2.

SaturdayMay 6 

Temple Israel plans ‘Wandering Jews’ scavenger hunt

Congregation Temple Israel (TI) welcomes the community for a St. Louis-area, adults-only scavenger hunt on Saturday, May 6. Each team (cars of six or less) will use their creativity to hunt for abstract items including themes, people, landmarks and more. Each team will be charged with gathering items, taking pictures and videos, and answering questions to present to judges at the end of the evening. The scavenger hunt is open to the entire St. Louis Jewish community and is for those age 21 and up.

 Participants will meet at TI, 1 Rabbi Alvan D. Rubin Drive in Creve Coeur (near the intersection of Ladue and Spoede roads) at 5 p.m. for team check-in and a team photo. The scavenger hunt will follow at 6 p.m. Participants will meet back at TI at 9 p.m. to submit the results of the scavenger hunt and enjoy drinks and desserts.

The cost to participate is $60 in advance (teams of 6 or less) or $75 at the door on the night of the event. Register teams at  To be placed on a team, contact Event Chair Amy Lampert at [email protected] or 314-496-5735.

The winning team will receive a special dinner with Rabbis Amy Feder and Michael Alper as well as preferred parking during 2017 High Holy Days services at Temple Israel. All proceeds benefit TI.

UH gala to honor Cantor Murray Hochberg’s 50 years of service

United Hebrew Congregation (UH) will honor Cantor Murray Hochberg and his 50 years of service  during a gala event Saturday, May 6. The event, which will be held at UH, starts at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed at 7:30 p.m. with dinner and remarks. The cost to attend is $90 per person. The event will include a silent auction, complimentary bar and a live band. Guests should wear cocktail attire. For more information, call Amy Stone at 314-469-0700.

SundayMay 7 

Medical Equipment Collection Drive for St. Louis HELP

The Social Action Committees of Congregation B’nai Amoona, Congregation Temple Israel, Congregation Shaare Emeth, United Hebrew Congregation, Temple Emanuel, Kol Rinah, Central Reform Congregation and Traditional Congregation are working together to host an area-wide medical equipment drive for the St. Louis Health Equipment Lending Program (HELP).  

The equipment drive will be from 9 to noon Sunday, May 7 on the B’nai Amoona parking lot, 324 South Mason Road in Creve Coeur.

St. Louis HELP, a nonprofit organization, accepts donations of new and used home medical equipment.  The equipment is cleaned and refurbished then loaned to individuals in need at no cost or fee. Items include manual and power wheelchairs, scooters, canes, crutches, walkers, shower chairs/benches/stools, grab bars, portable commodes, seating cushions, back supports, van lifts, hospital beds and ramps.  Equipment donations are tax-deductible.

For more information or to donate equipment, call 314-567-4700 or email [email protected]. Donations are tax deductible.

MondayMay 8 

NORC film series

The St. Louis NORC monthly film series will screen part four of “Modern Marvel: Great Monuments of America,” focusing on “The Hoover Dam.” At 12:30 p.m. at The Gathering Place at the J, guests  can enjoy lunch together (bring own brown  bag lunch) and the film and discussion follow from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Free and open to the community but RSVPs required to Laura at 314-442-3255. 

Cartoonists Against the Holocaust

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Tuesday, May 9 

Cyndee Levy class at Crown

At 3:30 p.m. Cyndee Levy, Director of the Center for Jewish Learning at Jewish Federation, will lead “Searching for Meaning in the Great Stories of the Jewish Tradition” at Crown Center. Free and open to the community. Call 314-991-2055 for more information.

Starting May 9

Crown Center Torah Study 

Rabbi Hyim Shafner will lead Torah study at 10 a.m. at Crown Center on Tuesday, May 9, 16 and 23 (no class May 2 or 30. Free and open to the public. 

Crown Center/OASIS Tai Chi

Crown Center and OASIS offer “Tai Chi for Arthritis & Fall Prevention” at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays  and Fridays, beginning May 9. The special class is led by a certified instructor. Free, but space is limited. RSVP to 314-991-2055. Funding provided by the Lopata Fitness Fund.  

WednesdayMay 10 

Maimonides Society event looks at implications of ACA repeal 

The Jewish Federation of St. Louis’ Maimonides Society will hold “Uncertain Times: What Will Happen to Healthcare in America?” featuring Thomas McAullife, director of health policy for the Missouri Foundation for Health MFH. 

McAullife will address the potential impact and implications of a repealed ACA. His presentation will include a snapshot of the current political and policy landscape, the proposals for reform and implications for the nation and the State of Missouri, as well as the unintended consequences of these proposals on health and the delivery of care.

The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 10 at the St. Louis Community Foundation, 2 Oak Knoll Park in Clayton. Cocktails and appetizers will be served at 6 p.m.; dietary laws observed. RSVP by May 8 at For more information, contact Karen Sher at [email protected] or 314-442-3824.

Jewish Federation’s Professional Societies are open to donors representing all industries, trades and professions who make a minimum commitment of $1,800 to the Unrestricted Annual Campaign. Residents who make a minimum commitment of $360, Young Ben-Gurion Society members ($1,000 minimum gift for donors under 45) and students are welcome at all Professional Society programs.

ThursdayMay 11

NCJW  ‘Advocacy in Action’

NCJW’s monthly Advocacy in Action series will look at “Health Care” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at NCJW. Light snacks will be served. Free and open to the community, but RSVPs requested to [email protected] or 314-993-5181. Attendees are encouraged to come early and bring donations to The Resale Shop. 

JProStl ‘End of Year’ event 

The Annual JProStl “End of Year” event, “Recipes for Professional Success” will take place at the Crown Center  from 3:30 to 5 p.m.  Incoming board members will be welcomed and outgoing board members Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael, Lory Cooper, Leah Frankel, Heather Silverman and Leslie Wolf will be recognized. Participants are encouraged to bring non-perishable food or toiletries for the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry. For information and to RSVP, contact Marci Mayer Eisen at 314-442-3810 or [email protected]

St. Louis NORC trip

St. Louis NORC will lead a spring coach bus trip to historic Hermann, Mo., for a visit to the Living History Farm Museum. The 160 acre farm, which dates to the 1850’s, is owned by the Dierberg family (owners of the grocery chain) offers a guided walking and tram tour of a working farm with buildings that include a trading post, distillery, spirit house, barn and the Hussman Home. A full lunch is included plus an opportunity to tour the Wurst House Meat Processing building or stroll to specialty shops in Hermann. The trip is from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. RSVP to Laura at 314-442-3255. The cost is $55 for NORC members, $60 for non-members. 


Classes at Covenant Place

Classes are free and open to the public. For information call 314-432-1610.  Classes take place in Covenant II’s Milford & Lee Bohm Social Hall unless noted otherwise.

• Tai Chi at 11:15 a.m. Mondays and Thursdays, and Class in Motion aerobics exercises at 11 a.m. Tuesdays in the CHAI building’s Goldstein Community Center.

• Chair yoga with Maxine Mirowitz at 11 a.m. Fridays.

• Covenant Chorale conducted by Robert Denison practices Wednesdays at 1 p.m. 

• Charlie Foxman leads a weekly exercise class for all levels at 11 a.m. Wednesdays.

• Exercise with Jill Abrams at 11 a.m. Sundays in the Goldstein Comm. Center (Chai Bldg.).  

Spiritual parenting discussion class at Kol Rinah 

Kol Rinah is offering a Jewish spiritual parenting discussion class, led by Rabbi Jessica Shafrin. The class will use the book “Nurture the Wow” by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg.  Classes are held on Shabbat mornings at 9:45 a.m., with coffee and schmooze, discussions following at 10. Childcare provided. Future dates are  April 22, and May 13 and 27. Sessions stand alone, so parents can join any time. RSVP to Jessica Wax at 314-727-1747 or [email protected].

Classes for families with young kids

Congregation Temple Israel’s Deutsch Early Childhood Center is hosting two free classes that offer programming geared toward engaging parents/caregivers with young children. For more information email [email protected] or call 314-432-8076.

•  “Baby & Me” is geared toward parents/caregivers with infants and children who are not yet walking. Weekly meetings are held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Wednesdays through May 17. Free and open to families in the Jewish community. Registration is not required.

• “Parent and Child” is an ongoing program for parents/caregivers of children who are walking. The class meets from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursdays, through May 18. Class includes playtime at DECC’s outdoor playground and/or indoor playtime in the Muscle Room. Open to families in the  Jewish community; the cost is $130/month for non-Temple Israel members, $105/month for members.

Aish Shabbat Learner’s Service

On Saturdays at 10 a.m., Aish HaTorah holds a Shabbat Learners Service with Rabbi Shmuel Greenwald. Enjoy a lively, interactive service where questions are encouraged. The service takes place at U City Shul. For more info, call 314-862-2474 or email [email protected].

‘Way into Torah’ class at Temple Israel

Rabbi Michael Alper leads a class on “The Way Into Torah” from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. on Tuesdays at Temple Israel. The class is taught at an introductory level,  for anyone interested in learning the Torah for the first time. Open to the community. Bring a bagged lunch; coffee and water will be available. For more information, email Alper at [email protected] or call 314-432-8050.