Jews in the News: March 2018

Compiled by Elise Krug

Lana Pepper (Major Contributor to the Arts) is one of six women to be honored by the St. Louis Visionary Awards. The awards celebrate the numerous contributions and achievements of women who work in or support the arts in St. Louis. Pepper is one of the founding members of the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival.

Lauren Yoffie received the Person of the Year – Business Development Award for the third year at Cognizant’s annual sales meeting. A senior lead generation specialist at TriZetto Provider Solutions, a Congnizant company, she was honored for her strong sales performance. Yoffie is a member of United Hebrew Congregation. 

Adam Berkowitz, founder and president of Simpara, has been named a 2018 Rising Star in Advising by Employee Benefit Adviser magazine. He was one of 20 chosen by the EBA editorial team for his innovative philosophy on typical brokerage models as well as his commitment to mentorship and leadership in the community. Berkowitz is a member of Central Reform Congregation.

Variety the Children’s Charity has named philanthropist Cheri Fromm its Woman of the Year. She will be recognized at the charity’s Dinner with the Stars gala April 28 for her dedication to serving local organizations in the St. Louis community. 


Bill Greenblatt has been named president of the St. Louis Media History Foundation. He is a staff photographer for United Press International (UPI) and owner of William Greenblatt Photography, as well as president of the Press Club of Metropolitan St. Louis.

Chana’la Rubenfeld has launched a salad delivery service called Salads 2 Your Door. The service offers five individually packed Kosher salads delivered every Monday morning. Rubenfeld is an integrative nutritional health coach and is the rebbetzin of Chabad of Chesterfeld. 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist Ben Hochman is the host of Hosted Ravioli, a new St. Louis-themed podcast. According to, he interviews fun and fascinating staples of St. Louis, from celebrities to local cult heroes and will discuss and debate some of St. Louis’ most “St. Louis” topics. 

Marilyn Ratkin (social justice) and Risa Zwerling Wrighton (impactful leadership) will be honored at the Women of Achievement Luncheon on May 15. Ratkin, a member of Congregation Shaare Emeth, is being recognized for her dedication to improving the community through advocacy and direct service. She is the founder of a National Council of Jewish Women’s microlending program, the Healing Hearts Bank, and is involved with Ready Readers, United Way and Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund. Wrighton, who attends CRC, created Washington University’s Home Plate, which connects  students with families throughout the area who host them for dinners and outings, and is involved with the university’s Gun Violence Initiative. She has been a 25-year board member of Our Little Haven and sits on the board of Provident. 

Myron Holtzman, a longtime sportswriter, was inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame. A member of United Hebrew, he is the public relations director for the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame and chairman of the St. Louis chapter of the Baseball Writer’s Association of America dinner. His latest book, “The Cardinals of Cooperstown,” co-authored with Greg Marecek, is in its second printing and includes Hall of Fame stories about the Cardinals as well as the old St. Louis Browns and several Negro League players. 

Former St. Louisan Max Samis is press secretary at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C. He is responsible for helping manage the organization’s public profile and media outreach. As a representative for the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention organization, Samis works with reporters across the country to help promote Brady’s mission of reducing gun deaths.  

Marc Levinson of Sotheby’s International Realty has been  selected president of the St. Louis Realtors board of directors. He attends Shaare Emeth. 

Sydney Ring and Seth Wallerstein, seniors at Marquette High School, have been selected as National Merit Finalists. Sydney, daughter of Julie and Dan Ring, will be attending St. Louis University in the fall studying forensic science and pre-med. She would like to have a career in forensic pathology. Seth is the son of Amy and Eric Wallerstein. He plans to major in biochemistry but has not decided on which college he will attend.

Owners of the Exercise Coach, Don Eisenberg and daughter Jessica Phillips, have opened a third location in Clayton. Instead of treadmills and weights, the gym is outfitted with computerized machines and robotics for a 20-minute customized workout. Eisenberg attends Nusach Hari B’nai Zion. Phillips is a member of Shaare Emeth.

Jews in the News is published the first edition of each month, and is compiled by Editorial Assistant Elise Krug. Contact Elise at: or 314-743-3671.