We’re honoring Jewish American Heritage Month with our list of 10 from St. Louis


Bill Motchan , Special to the Jewish Light

In 2006, May was proclaimed Jewish American Heritage Month, which pays tribute to Jewish Americans who helped form the fabric of American history, culture, and society. Throughout U.S. history, Jewish St. Louisans have made significant contributions to the arts, medicine, and social justice.

Following are 10 of those individuals:

  1. Abolitionist Meyer Friede, a jeweler, and a B’nai El founder was the first Jewish Missouri legislator, who served in the Lower House of the Missouri General Assembly from 1859 to 1860. Friede was one of many influential Jews who persuaded President Lincoln to repudiate Ulysses S. Grant’s anti-Semitic Order II in 1862.
  2. Simon Pollak. In 1850, Pollak helped establish the Missouri Institute for the Education of the Blind.
  3. Al Hirschfeld, caricaturist best known for his black and white portraits of celebrities and Broadway stars.
  4. Shelley Winters, actress whose career spanned seven decades. She received an Academy Award for “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “A Patch of Blue.” Winters received Oscar nominations for two other films, “A Place in The Sun” and “The Poseiden Adventure.”
  5. Rabbi Jerome Grollman, who supported the civil rights movement and in 1960, invited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to United Hebrew Congregation.
  6. Doris Roberts, actress in stage, film and television. Roberts was best known for her role as Marie Barone on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” during which she won four Emmy awards. She was also an outspoken advocate for animal rights.
  7. A.E. Hotchner, editor, novelist, playwright and biographer. Hotchner co-founded the charitable food company Newman’s Own with Jewish actor Paul Newman.
  8. Harriett Woods, who in 1976 was the second woman ever elected to the Missouri State Senate. In 1984 Woods was elected Missouri lieutenant governor.
  9. Danny Meyer, founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group. Meyer is a pioneer in the restaurant and hospitality industry who has been recognized for his leadership, business achievements and humanitarianism.
  10. Andy Cohen, television executive and personality at the Bravo network and one of the first openly gay talk-show hosts.