Honoring HateBrakers

Lois Caplan

AMY RUTH SHAPIRO is 22 years old and a student at Lindenwood University. Sounds like any other college student, doesn’t she, but let me tell you that she is remarkable and exceptional. As a child, Amy had surgery for a tumor in her brain, which resulted in her being taunted at school because of her special needs and learning disabilities. Through music and her passion to help others, she now works to help developmentally disabled children see themselves as heroes. I am told that she even makes house calls. At 7 p.m. Monday, May 2, she will be honored along with other individuals and organizations at the fourth annual HateBraker Hero Awards presentation and reception, held at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac, 1335 S. Lindbergh Blvd. 

This year’s heroes include filmmakers, children and a pediatric surgeon.  Individual tickets start at $45 and include the reception, event and musical performance. The awards ceremony honors the heroism of individuals who transcend the acts of hate such as bullying, racism and genocide and find the moral courage to become healers and leaders  in breaking the cycle of hate.To make your reservation, visit hatebrakers.org/2016-event-registration or contact Arlen Chaleff, HateBrakers director of community outreach, at 314-994-7784. 


ON MOTHER’S DAY, MAY 8, 45,000 women and children living in domestic violence shelters will receive bouquets of flowers and financial literacy resources thanks to the Jewish Women’s International. JWI is the leading Jewish organization working to end violence against women and girls domestically and internationally. According to Lori Weinstein, JWI President, “With a donation to JWI’s Flower Project, you are not only honoring the special people in your life by telling  them they inspired you to help women in need, you are also bringing happiness to women and children struggling to move forward and build a better future.” To learn more about JWI and make a donation, go to jwi.org/flowerproject or call 800-343-2823.

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JEWISH WOMEN-ST. LOUIS SECTION (NCJW) invites the community to celebrate together and support the work of the organization at its spring luncheon from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 20 at Westwood Country Club, 11801 Conway Road. Billed as “Eat, Drink and Be Gorgeous,” it features bestselling author Esther Blum as the speaker. Among her books are titles like “Cavewomen Don’t Get Fat” so you know that it will be a light-hearted afternoon. For reservations at $54 per person for this spring fundraiser visit www.ncjwstl.org or call 314-993-5181.


KEN AND NANCY KRANZBERG are true patron saints of the arts in St. Louis. Their most recent foray into making our city a world-class center of the arts is developing the city’s first performing arts incubator in Grand Center’s historic Cadillac Building at 3224 Locust St.  The 40,000-square foot, four-story space called .ZACK – pronounced “dot ZACK” for the organization’s website and named for the couple’s grandson — will include a 200-seat theater to be shared by up to six artist residents, a catering company and restaurant, third floor office space hopefully for the performing arts community and a fourth-floor ballroom. The first phase of .ZACK is expected to be operational by August.


MOZART AFICIONADOS will be delighted by the all-Mozart celebrationfeaturing pianist Seth Carlin and a chamber orchestra performing in honor of his retirement. The concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 1 at the E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall, 560 Music Center.  In case you do not know where this is, let me refresh your memory – it used to be Congregation Shaare Emeth on Trinity Avenue and Delmar Boulevard. Tickets for the concert are $25 ($20 for seniors and $10 for students) and may be purchased through the Edison Box Office by calling  314-935-6543 or online at music.wustl.edu/events/mozart.


HERE IS REAL NEWS – Miriam: The Learning Disability Experts (once known as Miriam Lodge) is starting a new high school, Miriam Academy, for students with average to above-average intelligence who have learning challenges in the areas of language, reading, math, sensory and social skill development. It plans to start with an inaugural ninth-grade class this fall and then add one class each year. This is truly special for the community. My grandmother, who was among the founding Mothers of the Miriam Lodge, would be so proud of her organization.