Jews in the news: August, 2015

FIRST ROW, FROM LEFT:  Dr. Jay Pepose, Jon Hoffman, Joe Rosenberg, Dr. Charles Goldfarb and Eric Berkowitz. SECOND ROW:  David S. Levine, Joan Silber, Marcy Darby, Dr. Kenneth M. Ludmerer and Mark Gershenson. THIRD ROW: Jeremy Goldmeier, Jay Kirschbaum, Jeffrey Cohen, Sally Altman and Sheldon Weinhaus. 

Dr. Jay Pepose was selected by his peers to be included in Best Doctors in America 2015 as one of the top eye specialists in the nation. Pepose, a member of Traditional Congregation, is the medical director of Pepose Vision Institute and is a professor of clinical ophthalmology at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Jon Hoffman has joined Congregation B’nai Amoona as its mashgiach-in-training (one who supervises and maintains the level of kashrut) and chef. Hoffman will take full responsibility for this position upon the retirement of Betsy Enger in December.

Joe Rosenberg’s Parkway West Middle School sixth grade math team, which took first place in the Missouri Council of Teachers of Mathematics statewide competition, ranked fifth out of 120 teams in the national competition. It was the only team to score 100 percent on the team test and the only Missouri team to rank in the top 20. The national rankings are based on a combination of the team and individual test scores. Joe is the son of Rabbi Brigitte and H. Lee Rosenberg and is a member of United Hebrew Congregation. 

Dr. Charles Goldfarb has been appointed vice chairman and chief of pediatric and adolescent orthopedics for St. Louis Children’s Hospital at the Washington University School of Medicine. A hand and upper extremity specialist, Goldfarb is a member of Central Reform Congregation. 


Eric Berkowitz has joined the Borgmeyer Marketing Group as a copywriter for television and radio ads.

Retired audiologist David S. Levine received the Professional Advisor award from the Hearing Loss Association of America at its recent awards ceremony. He was nominated by the St. Louis chapter in appreciation for all his work and support throughout his career and since retiring. Levine is a member of Congregation Temple Israel. 

Joan Silber is president of the St. Louis board of the American Jewish Committee for the 2015-2017 term. Prior to assuming this position, Silber served as president of the board of the Boys and Girls Club of St. Louis.

Marcy Darby has been named senior living specialist for Sunshine Drapery and Interior Design. She has been charged with growing the senior living business by calling on architectural and design firms that need assistance in providing window treatments and bedding and table linens for their projects. Darby also will be contacting independent senior living facilities.

Dr. Kenneth M. Ludmerer has received the 2015 Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He received the award for his contributions to medical education, with particular reference to his latest book, “Let Me Heal: The Opportunity to Preserve Excellence in American Medicine,” an account of the residency system in the United States and its relationship to quality of care. Ludmerer is the Mabel Dorn Reeder Distinguished Professor of Medicine and the History of Medicine at Washington University and a member of Congregation Temple Israel. Read the Jewish Light’s 2014 interview with Ludmerer about his book online at

Mark Gershenson has joined the National Fragile X Foundation board of directors. Gershenson, a member of United Hebrew Congregation, has more than 20 years of experience in consumer marketing. He is a director of global brand management with Eastman Chemical Co.

Jeremy Goldmeier has been named public relations and digital media manager for the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. He will be responsible for creating and executing strategic communications campaigns to promote the theatre’s productions and events. A member of Central Reform Congregation, Goldmeier most recently served as communications manager at Variety, the Children’s Charity of St. Louis.

Attorney Jay Kirschbaum is stepping into the role of board chairman for the American Benefits Council, an advocate for employer-sponsored benefit plans based in Washington. He is senior vice president and national practice leader for Willis North America’s Benefits Legal & Research Group in St. Louis and a member of United Hebrew Congregation.

At Crown Center for Senior Living’s recent A Taste of Crown event, leadership awards were presented to board members Jeffrey Cohen and Sally Altman for their vision in creating the [email protected] project. The project includes a new culinary studio, fitness center, community garden and greenhouse, and a kosher café and coffee house. Cohen, a lawyer and managing shareholder at Capes, Sokol, Goodman & Sarachan is a member of United Hebrew Congregation. Altman is news partnerships manager at St. Louis Public Radio and a member of Central Reform Congregation.

Sheldon Weinhaus, senior counselor with Weinhaus & Potashnick, has been appointed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to its newly created Think Tank on Bioethics in Cancer Research. The NCI recognizes that collaborations are necessary for bioethics research to be successful and that bioethics often includes cross-disciplinary collaborations to include considerations of the role of law and patient protections. Weinhaus previously served as litigation lawyer on President Bill Clinton’s Health Care Commission and as a public advocate in the NCI program to evaluate cancer therapies research funding. He serves Legal Services of Eastern Missouri on issues involving qualified domestic relations orders.

Abby Lammers is one of 10 national winners of the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program out of 32,000 nominations. As a leader for the Parkway North High School’s environmental action team, Abby was integral in getting solar panels installed and implementing a composting program at each of the 29 schools in her district. Abby also led teams of students to build compost bins for classrooms and a butterfly garden behind her school. She was awarded a $10,000 scholarship plus $1,000 to be donated to a nonprofit organization. Abby chose the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry. 

The daughter of Vicki Platke and Jim Lammers of Creve Coeur, Abby also entered the Big History Project video contest that posed the question: “What does it mean to be human?” She won first place out of more than 300 submissions and received $5,000. Abby and her family were flown to California to attend VidCon, a multigenre online video conference, where she presented her video. She is under contract to create three additional videos. Bill Gates supports the Big History Project and is now a fan of Abby’s. 

Abby will study environmental engineering at Northwestern University in the fall. Her family attends Congregation Shaare Emeth. To watch Abby’s video online, visit