Jews in the news: April, 2015

Ceramic vessels created by local sculptor Sandy Kaplan were recently shown in three exhibitions. Her “Writers Round Table” was featured in the Craft Alliance exhibit Designated Areas. “Save the Last Dance for Me” was one of 54 pieces chosen from more than 500 submitted for the Art St. Louis XXX exhibition, held late last year. Two other works were exhibited in the Ann Nathan Gallery booth at SOFA CHICAGO (Sculpture Objects Functional Art + Design) international art fair in November. Kaplan, a member of Congregation B’nai Amoona, also has her artwork on display at the Coda Gallery in Palm Desert, California.

Social worker Yael Kula recently opened a private practice near the Galleria. She specializes in children and adolescents with mental health disorders such as ADHD, anxiety, bipolar, oppositional defiant disorder and reactive attachment disorder, helping them learn successful coping skills and strategies. Kula also works with parents to assist them in meeting their own needs to improve their parenting styles. Kula is a member of Agudas Israel of St. Louis.

Danny Greenblatt is the Clayton High School recipient for the Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. These awards recognize the most outstanding junior level science students enrolled in St. Louis area high schools. Danny is the son of Elsa and Randy Greenblatt, who are members of Congregation B’nai Amoona.


Belleville lawyer Mel Hutnick has been acknowledged in a new book, “Phantom Rapist: The True Story of Patrolman Milton Brookins,” by Timothy C. Richards. Hutnick was cited for his work as a prosecutor in an investigation that led to the conviction of a serial rapist. Hutnick attends Congregation Shaare Emeth.

Claire Solomon has been selected by the Governor’s Council on Disability to receive the second annual Youth Leadership Award on April 14 at the Power Up conference in Columbia, Missouri. The award recognizes one outstanding Missouri youth with a disability who has demonstrated exemplary leadership by making a difference in his or her community. An art and photography student at Missouri State University, Solomon has participated in the St. Louis Arc’s Neighborhood Experiences project, the Paraquad Youth Group and Variety’s Bike for Kids program. She and her parents, Nancy and Edward Solomon, are members of Congregation Temple Israel.

 Marc Hirshman has been named president of Habitat for Humanity St. Louis’ board of directors. He is president of Twain Financial Partners and a member of Central Reform Congregation. 

Brian Liberman has joined the board of Lift for Life Academy. He is vice president of commercial lending at Central Bank. 

Wendy Fitter started Rockin the Party – Entertainment 4 Kidz!, a new division of her company Unleashed Music & Event Planning. Specializing in custom parties and events for girls and boys ages 1-12, Fitter will assist with venue selection, party supplies, food and entertainment.

The Men’s Clubs of Congregation B’nai Amoona and Kol Rinah recently honored their respective Man of the Year and Youth of the Year. Bruce Frank, past president of B’nai Amoona Men’s Club was honored based on the breadth and depth of his decades of commitment to the synagogue and the club. He was called an inspiration for 

his unwavering contributions. Jerry Raskin, Kol Rinah’s Man of the Year, was selected because of his supporting role in uniting the men’s clubs of Shaare Zedek and BSKI, his support of the social action and youth groups, and his innovativeness.  Raskin is the men’s club treasurer.

Jonathan Samuels, a senior at Parkway Central High School, received B’nai Amoona’s Youth of the Year award for the time and spirit he has brought to a wide range of academic and Jewish interests. He mentors younger students at the religious school and is involved in both BAUSY and BBYO. Son of Ellen and Richard Samuels, Jonathan is appreciated by the education and youth leadership for the way he goes above and beyond in each challenge he accepts with a friendly and cheerful demeanor. 

Kol Rinah’s Youth of the Year is Alex Zvibleman, son of Patty Herzog and Mark Zvibleman. Alex was cited for his passion and leadership. As president of KRSTL, Kol Rinah’s USY chapter, Alex leads his peers down a path of joy and inclusion, fun and learning, and follows the virtues of the Jewish traditions. His exuberance for planning and innovation are untethered by precedent, and he is unwilling to accept the words “you can’t.”  A senior at Parkway Central High School, Alex is also involved in his school’s chapter of JSU. 

Bruce E. Friedman, a principal with the law firm of Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal,  has been elected chairman of the Family & Juvenile Law Section of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. The section strives to improve the practice of family law and juvenile law, including domestic relations and related areas, and provides programs to discourage child abuse.

The community honoree program of Metro Theater Company recently honored Rabbi Amy Feder of Congregation Temple Israel, and Elizabeth Tucker, a member of Central Reform Congregation, co-founder and publisher of Alive magazine and executive producer of St. Louis Fashion Week. These women were selected based on the lives they lead as inspiring role models and how invested they are in the St. Louis community.

Lenny Frankel has been named vice president of the board of the Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis. A member of Congregation B’nai Amoona, Frankel is a partner in the law firm of Frankel, Rubin, Bond, Dubin, Siegel and Klein.

Scott Gershenson has been named secretary of the Young Professional Board of LifeBridge Partnership (formerly St. Louis Society for the Physically Disabled). He is an associate attorney at St. Louis Lawyers Group and a member of United Hebrew Congregation.

Crown Center board member Keith Cohen has been honored with the center’s Jewel in the Crown award. This award is presented to a person who has demonstrated a strong and dedicated commitment to fulfilling the mission of Crown Center. Cohen is director of design and construction at Duke Realty Corp. and is a member of Congregation Shaare Emeth.

Dr. Shana Coplowitz joined St. Anthony’s Cancer Care Center as a radiation oncologist.  She is a member of Agudas Israel of St. Louis.

Stephen Wolff of Wolff Properties has been named Businessperson of the Year for the Creve Coeur-Olivette Chamber of Commerce. This award is given to an individual for success in the business world, contributions to the Chamber of Commerce, business and community leadership and ethical practices. Wolff, a member of Temple Israel, was instrumental in helping Creve Coeur with its drive-thru ordinance revision.