Jews in the News: June 2019

Top row, from left: Lori Wishne, Dr. Helen Friedman, Joan Lipkin, Simcha Paul Brick and Becca Near. Second row: Dr. David H. Perlmutter, Julia Smotkin, Aaron Zoll, Dr. Seth Williams and Joe Pereles. Third row: Jeff Singer, Ron Rubin. 

Jewish Federation director of planned giving Lori Wishne was recently appointed to the board of the St. Louis Council of Charitable Planned Givers. The council promotes charitable gift planning by facilitating, coordinating and encouraging the education of the planned giving community through practical, useful presentations that directly benefit all types of fundraisers, consultants and wealth advisers. Wishne is a member of Congregation B’nai Amoona.  

Dr. Helen Friedman is among the first to receive a certified provider certificate from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, an international professional organization that promotes evidence-based care, education, research and advocacy in transgender health. Friedman is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Richmond Heights. 

Joan Lipkin, producing artistic director of That Uppity Theatre Co., is one of four women honored with an inaugural Bravely Award. Bravely (formerly Magdalene St. Louis) is a nonprofit dedicated to helping women recover from sex trafficking, addiction and violence. The awards were established to honor individuals or organizations that have strengthened the community by bringing attention to social justice issues. Lipkin attends Central Reform Congregation. 

The David Shapell z”l Memorial Married Couples Fellowship has been awarded to former St. Louisan Simcha Paul Brick and his wife, Sabrina. They will spend the next academic year studying in Jerusalem and participating in special classes and programs designed for young married couples. 

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Becca Near, Jewish Federation young adult engagement coordinator, has been accepted for Jewish Federations of North America’s NextGen 20-month fellowship. Partnering with the Center for Creative Leadership and M昌: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education, she will work with a coach, mentor and 19 other fellows to develop leadership skills and a deeper connection to Judaism. Near attends Young Israel.  

Dr. David H. Perlmutter has received the Christopher Hobler Spirit of Hope Award in recognition of his advocacy for neurological research. He is the executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and the George and Carol Bauer Dean of the Washington University School of Medicine.

Of the 6,318 students that entered StudentCam, C-SPAN’s annual student video documentary competition, only 150 were prize winners. Julia Smotkin (“(Dis)enfranchised”) and Aaron Zoll (“Political Polarization in America”) received Honorable Mention certificates and a $250 cash prize for their documentaries. The topic this year was: “What does it mean to be American?” Julia is the daughter of Barbi and Howard Smotkin and will be a senior at Kirkwood High School. Aaron, son of Erika Zoll-Phelan and Dan Zoll, graduated from Clayton High School and will be attending Johns Hopkins University in the fall. In addition, Aaron was one of two recipients of the first Artist Presentation Society Scholarship Competition for Community Music School of Webster University. A percussionist, he received a cash award of $800. 

Dr. Seth Williams is on staff at Kirkwood Animal Hospital. A recent graduate of the University of Missouri’s doctor of veterinary medicine program, he received the Merck Animal Health Innovation Award. It was designed to recognize one graduating senior at each veterinary school who has demonstrated innovation, entrepreneurship and creative forward-thinking in the development of a project or product that inspires others within the veterinary profession. Williams is the creator and host of Vet School Unleashed: Dissecting the DVM Podcast. He was also chosen by his fellow students to be class speaker at graduation. 

Joe Pereles has been named president of the Jewish Community Relations Council. A member of Congregation Shaare Emeth, he is senior vice president of Drury Hotels Co. 

Land|Litwack & Associates of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) real estate in Clayton has received the 2018 Chairman’s Circle Diamond Award. The team ranked in the top half of the top 1 percent of the entire BHHS network for 2018. Matt Litwack, who attends Temple Israel, and Karen Polishuk of B’nai Amoona, are members of the team.

The Mac Brown Sportsmanship Leadership Award was recently given to Clara Dahl and Adam Felsher. The award has been presented since 1968 to a boy and girl who exemplify what the late Mac Brown, a volunteer mentor for Jewish youth in St. Louis, stood for. According to the requirements, recipients should be someone whom Mac would have loved to “just shoot hoops” with in the gym. 

  • Clara is the great-granddaughter of St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame member Erich Dahl, who still exercises every day at age 99. Clara received this award because of her positive attitude, competitive spirit, kindness and respectfulness on the court. She will be in second grade at Old Bonhomme Elementary School and, with her parents, Stephanie and Brandon Dahl, is a member of Shaare Emeth. 
  • Adam’s fierce competitive instinct and sportsmanship on and off the field, as well as his reverence and respect for officials, coaches and rules of the game, contributed to him receiving the award. The son of Juli-Ann and Jonty Felsher, Adam will be in eighth grade at Epstein Hebrew Academy. His family attends Young Israel.

Jeff Singer is the new president of B’nai Amoona’s board of directors. He is the CEO/founder of Healthcare Infection Control Solutions.

Ron Rubin has received the Innovator Award from the Sonoma County Vintners Association in recognition of his namesake winery’s commitment to the community. He has covered the cost of one ZOLL AED Plus (automated external defibrillator) to 104 wineries throughout Sonoma County, Calif., making their environment the safest and most sustainable for staff, families and consumers. Rubin is a member of Shaare Emeth.