Jews in the news: December, 2017

Top row, from left: Michelle Schwein, Joe Marchbein, Adam Herman, Mitchell Balk, Berta Goldgaber and Martha Sneider.Second Row: Sandy Kaplan, Rich Wolkowitz, Michael Castro, Susan E. Block, Roger Goldman and Jesse Goldner.Third Row: Dr. Lawrence Feigenbaum, Nancy Lieberman, Joe Goldberg, Dr. Mauricio Lisker-Melman, David Dresner and Michelle Gralnick. 

Compiled by Elise Krug, Editorial Assistant

The Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MOCPA) has announced its Impact Award winners. Michelle Schwein, a lawyer and licensed CPA at Capes Sokol and a member of Congregation Shaare Emeth, was named Outstanding Young Professional. This award honors and supports CPAs age 35 and under who serve as emerging and dynamic leaders in the profession. Joe Marchbein, CPA at Rice, Sullivan & Co., received the Max Myers Distinguished Service Award for his strong commitment and foresight and for having built a legacy of dedicated service to MOCPA and the profession. It is reserved for unique and extraordinary situations and has been presented only 13 times. CPA Adam Herman of Mueller Prost was named Outstanding Visionary for his significant contributions toward advancing the CPA profession. Marchbein and Herman attend United Hebrew Congregation.  

Former St. Louisan Mitchell Balk and Cleveland’s Mount Sinai Health Care Foundation were honored by the Senior Transportation Connection for leadership in establishing the nonprofit organization that helps seniors access safe and affordable transportation. Balk is president of Mount Sinai Health Care Foundation. 

The Chabad-Lubavitch of Manaus in the state of  Amazonas in Brazil has invited Jewish Brazilian artists from around the world to submit artwork for its 2018 calendar. “Tree of Life” by St. Louis quilt artist Berta Goldgaber was selected for September.She is a member of Bais Abraham Congregation.

Martha Sneider has opened Dough Co. in the West County Mall food court near the southern entrance. It offers cookie dough by the scoop served in cups or cones, as well as cookie dough sandwiches. Nine toppings are available, as well as baked cookies, drinks and pint containers to go. Sneider attends Temple Emanuel.

Beth Shalom Cemetery ad

Ceramic sculptures by artist Sandy Kaplan were included in Gallery Victor Amrendariz’s booth  at SOFA (Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art and Design) Chicago 2017. The juried art show featured Kaplan’s “I Sea Magritte,” “Magritte’s Lovers” and “Tea With Frida.” Kaplan attends Congregation B’nai Amoona.

Rich Wolkowitz is the new director of global operations for Atomation, an Israeli startup that recently moved its headquarters to St. Louis. Wolkowitz’s responsibilities include establishing and managing all global non-R&D operations and strategic growth initiatives. Part of Atomation’s ownership group, he attends B’nai Amoona.

Former St. Louis poet laureate Michael Castro is the 2017 Tradition of Literary Excellence Award winner. The award was created in 2014 by the Municipal Commission of Arts & Letters of University City and is given by the St. Louis Literary Consortium. It honors the work of a living local author whose literary achievement has won national and international acclaim and, in doing so, has contributed to the distinction of the St. Louis area, upholding its tradition as a center of literary excellence. Castro’s latest volume, “We Need to Talk: Selected and New Poems, 1970-2016,” was released last month by  Singing Bone Press.

Susan E. Block, Roger Goldman and Jesse Goldner have been inducted into the St. Louis University School of Law Order of the Fleur de Lis Hall of Fame. The lawyers were chosen for their professional success and significant contributions to the community, bringing distinction to SLU and the School of Law by embodying the Jesuit mission. Block is with Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal P.C.; Goldner is the John D. Valentine Professor of Law Emeritus at SLU; and Goldman is the Callis Family Professor of Law Emeritus at SLU. All are members of Central Reform Congregation. 

Dr. Lawrence Feigenbaum has joined Specialists in Dermatology & Cosmetic Medicine. His office is located in St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield.

Nancy Lieberman was among four women honored with the St. Luke’s Healthy Woman Award at its Spirit of Women All Decked Out event. The award recognizes and celebrates women who not only take steps to improve their own health but also inspire better health and improve the quality of life within their communities. 

Joe Goldberg is the St. Louis franchise owner of TruFusion, a new fitness and yoga concept coming to Clayton early next year. A member of Temple Israel, Goldberg will oversee all aspects of the 17,000-square-foot facility. TruFusion will have an in-house organic restaurant, massage, child care and unlimited access to more than 65 styles of group exercise classes including pilates, boot camp, barre and spinning. He was previously a director at Buckingham Asset Management.

Dr. Mauricio Lisker-Melman has received the Neville Grant Award for Clinical Excellence from the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Medical Staff Association. A member of Traditional Congregation, he is a professor in the gastroenterology  division and is director of hepatology at the Washington University School of Medicine.  

David Dresner and Sleeve a Message, his company that makes environmentally sustainable coffee cup sleeves, in partnership with Washington University, his alma mater, participated in the fourth annual tree planting ceremony at the university. Thirteen large trees were planted, increasing the campus tree canopy.

Michelle Gralnick has joined the St. Louis’s Gateway Men’s Chorus as development director. She will help guide its mission as the chorus embarks upon its 31st season, providing leadership for the organization’s marketing, fundraising events and other business operations. Gralnick is a member of Shaare Emeth.

Kathleen Sitzer, artistic director of the New Jewish Theater, is one of two people honored with this year’s Troublemaker of the Best Kind Award given by Cultural Leadership. The event also honored Ron Himes, founder and director of the St. Louis Black Repertory Company. Sitzer and Himes were recognized for their leadership in the theater industry, and work in diversity and social justice. Sitzer attends Central Reform Congregation. 

Roger Scherck hasreceived the Ladue Board of Education’s Excellence in Education Award for September. He is the seventh grade guidance counselor at Ladue Middle School and attends Central Reform Congregation.

Robyn Klein will start Jan. 1 as vice provost and associate dean for graduate education for the Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences at Washington University. Klein, a physician-scientist recognized internationally for her work on the brain’s immune system, will be the first associate dean of graduate education to hold the title of vice provost. She attends Central Reform Congregation.

Amelia Swier, a pupil at the Shaare Emeth religious school, was recently named this year’s Ida Stack Award winner. The award, which includes a scholarship, was  established in 1997 and is given annually to an incoming sixth-grader who has demonstrated dedication and enthusiasm for Jewish learning. Amelia is the daughter of Rachel Goltzman and Paul Swier.

Jean Harris-Sokora is the new director of clinical programs for Kids in the Middle. KITM helps children and families transition to a new way of life before, during and after separation and divorce. Sokora is a member of Shaare Emeth. 

Vintage Vinyl-St. Louis and its owners, Laura Roodman Ray and husband Tom “Papa” Ray, were honored at Almost Home’s 2017 Celebration of GRIT. The award recognizes those who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence as exemplified by remarkable achievements accomplished through determination, character and perseverance over adversity. Almost Home provides housing and a variety of support services to help teen moms become self-sufficient and create a better future for themselves and their children. The Rays are members of United Hebrew. 

Crown Center community engagement manager Laura Greenberg has been recognized by the Metropolitan Volunteer Management Association as the Volunteer Director of the Year. MVMA is the premier professional organization for volunteer managers in the St. Louis region.A member of Temple Israel, Greenberg has engaged Crown Center volunteers and provided them with meaningful, fulfilling volunteer experiences.

Area lawyers who have been chosen for inclusion in the 2017 Missouri publication of “Super Lawyers” are Robert Kaiser and Michael Kass of Armstrong Teasdale. Those included in the 2018 edition of “The Best Lawyers in America” publication are: Richard Tishler and Mark Temkin of Riezman Berger; David Rubin of the Law Offices of David A. Rubin; and Richard Sher, Alan Kohn and Brad Winters of Sher Corwin Winters.