Jews in the News: July 2019

Top row, from left: Noah Kleinlehrer, Jane Goldman, Bonnie Sneider, Murray Marks and Larry Levin. SECOND ROW: Jonathan Bloom, Alan Spector, Debbie Polinsky, Debbie Lefton and Mike Lefton. THIRD row: Sally Altman, Scott Bernstein, Leah Frankel, Alvah Levine and Amy E. Bender Levy.

Compiled by Elise Krug, Editorial and Development Associate

Three Temple Emanuel high school students have received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School. The award recognizes individuals who have completed substantial community-service hours during a 12-month period or cumulative hours earned over the course of a lifetime. The students are: 

  • Noah Kleinlehrer (Class of 2022), son of Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh and Robert Kleinlehrer (Gold Award)
  • Jane Goldman (Class of 2022), daughter of Elaine and  Michael Goldman (Silver Award)
  • Bonnie Sneider (Class of 2021), daughter of Martha and Mark Sneider (Bronze Award). 

Murray Marks of the Marks Law Firm has been elected a fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. This board is a national legal honorary society for outstanding criminal trial lawyers. Marks, a member of Congregation Shaare Emeth, is the only fellow to represent the eastern district of Missouri. 

Larry Levin is the new executive director of Ozark Land Trust, a nonprofit organization that partners with landowners to preserve and protect the nature, history and heritage of the Ozarks in Missouri and Arkansas. A former publisher/CEO of the Jewish Light, Levin attends Central Reform Congregation. 

Jonathan Bloom has been promoted to vice president, group leader at Brädo Creative Insight. He manages a group of creative strategists who help clients unlock solutions to their key marketing, communications and business questions. Bloom is a member of Congregation Temple Israel.

Local author Alan Spector has a new book titled “Cancer: Balancing Reality and Hope (For the Newly Diagnosed & Those Who Love Them).” The book is intended to help patients and loved ones navigate during difficult times. Spector, a member of Shaare Emeth, is a nine-year leukemia survivor. A portion of book sales will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  

Debbie Polinsky has been named president of Nishmah, a program of the Jewish Community Center that aims to inspire, engage and support Jewish women. She attends CRC.

Debbie Lefton has been installed as president of J Associates, an organization that raises funds to support a variety of programs at the Jewish Community Center of St. Louis. Her husband, Mike Lefton, chairman and CEO of Metal Exchange Corp., was honored by Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis with the organization’s Variety International Presidential Citation Award. Variety St. Louis submitted the nomination to its  international governing body recognizing Mike Lefton’s volunteer work and dedication to the Variety kids since 2003. The Leftons are members of Shaare Emeth.

Sally Altman, senior editor of Before Ferguson Beyond Ferguson and a CRC member, has been elected president of the Crown Center board. New board members are Scott Bernstein, Lewis & Clark Ventures; Leah Frankel, a licensed clinical social worker, Leah Frankel Consulting, Kol Rinah; Alvah Levine, Levine Associates; and Amy E. Bender-Levy, the Marks Law Firm, United Hebrew Congregation. 

Covenant Place has announced several new staff members:

• Marianne Chervitz has been named director of the new Mirowitz Center at Covenant Place, which is located on the first floor of the new Covenant II Cahn Family Builidng. The center offers the community a 19,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art venue with a variety of programs and amenities such as classes, programs, health services, special events, community resources and HJ’s Café. Chervitz serves as a community ambassador for the center, setting strategy and direction, strategic collaborations and ownership for the overall customer experience. She attends Shaare Emeth. 

• Jennifer Schmitz is the new chief operating officer of Covenant Place. A member of B’nai Amoona, Schmitz is responsible for day-to-day operations of Covenant Place and its Mirowitz Center, ensuring that they provide high quality programing, dining and other services to meet the needs of older adults. 

• Stephen Cohenis special events coordinator at the Mirowitz Center. He will plan high-level programming for the center, which will be open to seniors throughout the community. Cohen attends Young Israel. 

• Susan Kemppainen, a member of Temple Israel, is the volunteer/activity program coordinator at the Mirowitz Center. Her responsibilities include providing support for operations and helping to create a welcoming environment for center visitors and volunteers.  

At the recent Friends of Miriam luncheon, Barbara Silver and Judy Zafft were presented with the Miriam Lifetime Achievement Award for their long-term involvement, including serving as volunteers and board members. Amye Carrigan received the organization’s Fannie Landau Award for Volunteerism, recognizing her longtime work with the Miriam Switching Post as well as her service as a board member. Zafft attends B’nai Amoona; Silver is a member of Temple Israel.

Debbie Chase is the new district liaison and administrative consultant to the University City Education Foundation. She will help grow the foundation’s board capacity and its fundraising efforts. 

Becca Williams has joined the staff at Children’s Hospital as a medical social worker in the neurology department. She works with patients and their families, helping them understand their diagnoses and find appropriate resources for ongoing treatment, financial assistance and housing. Williams belongs to Temple Israel. 

Julie Zuick is following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Philip Isserman, in serving on the board of directors of MERS/Goodwill. Isserman was MERS chairman of the board from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. Zuick, senior consultant for executive search firm Grant Cooper, is a member of Temple Israel. 

Alan Zagier has joined Jefferson City-based Tightline Public Affairs as a strategic communications consultant. He will be helping campaigns, businesses and coalitions to develop and deliver their messages. A member of Shir Hadash Reconstuctionist Community, Zagier is also a contributing writer for Missouri Lawyers Media.

Parkway Central High School senior Emma Cantor, has been elected senior class president of the class of 2020. She was also elected vice president of the PCH chapter of the National Honor Society. Emma is the daughter of Andrea and Brent Cantor and attends Congregation B’nai Amoona. 

Rich Wolkowitz is the new director of Growth and Protection for TDC Companies, a group of firms focused on wealth and risk management firms. A member of Nusach Hari B’nai Zion, he will help manage, grow and protect TDC’s diverse portfolio of holdings. 

Barri Wishne has joined the St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center as a licensed master social worker. She will be responsible for case management and therapeutic group work in order to help patients acclimate in the hospital and once discharged. 

Berta Goldgaber, has  been accepted to the Immigrants’ Journey Through the Eyes of Quilters exhibition held at the Mandell JCC in West Hartford, Conn., through Aug. 30. She is one of 20 quilters from the United States, Europe and Israel. Goldgaber attends Bais Abraham. 

Former St. Louisan Hayley Levy has been elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee. She is the director of development for Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee, an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community created in honor of “Saturday Night Live” comedian Gilda Radner.