Jews in the News: May 2015

Veteran volunteer, Ralph Shower, was recently honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his many years of dedicated service to the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System. Throughout his 62 years of volunteerism, Shower created initiatives that became standard protocol throughout the hospital system. He still plays an active role as the Commander of Memorial Post 346. Shower will celebrate his 100th birthday this summer.  

Sculptor and public art advocate Ilene Berman was recognized by the St. Louis Visionary Awards as one of seven women who are making a difference in the arts. Berman, a member of Central Reform Congregation, created NODhouse, the durational art practice focused on seeking to address St. Louis’ Delmar Divide by developing a more visible arts presence in the blocks of the Grand Center Arts District, north of Delmar Boulevard. NOD is both an acronym for North Of Delmar and the word “nod” itself, the gesture we use to acknowledge one another.

Mark Gubernik announced the formation of the financial planning company, MG Advisory Group, located at 11477 Olde Cabin Road, Suite 105, in Creve Coeur. Gubernik is a certified financial planner with more than 22 years in the investment field, specializing in estate and retirement planning. He is a member of Congregation Shaare Emeth.

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Noa Rose became the president of the EMTZA region of USY (United Synagogue Youth). Her local chapter, BAUSY of Congregation B’nai Amoona, won Chapter of the Year at USY’s most recent convention. Noa will also represent St. Louis as a Szarvas Fellow this summer. The fellowship program brings Jewish high school student leaders from North America to the world’s largest international Jewish summer camp in Szarvas, Hungary. Daughter of Paulie and Rabbi Carnie Rose and a student at Whitfield School, Noa will spend two weeks exploring her family roots and learning about life in different Jewish communities. 

Phyllis Shapiro received an award from the United States District Court for 30 years of service as an attorney in various roles including Supervisory Staff Attorney for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, Special Master on the St. Louis school desegregation case, and law clerk to several judges. 

Janet Goodman recently joined NewGround as program director. In this new position, Goodman leads teams providing real estate asset management services for clients, including support in site acquisition, design, feasibility, as well as design and construction.

Dr. M. Gilbert Grand has been elected president of the Macula Society, a forum for new research in retinal vascular and macular diseases. Grand, an ophthalmologist specializing in diseases and treatment of the retina, macula and vitreous, has been with the Retina Institute of St. Louis for more than 35 years. He is also a clinical professor of ophthalmology at Washington University’s School of Medicine and a member of Shaare Emeth.

Piano teacher Larisa Morozova will be celebrating her 20th anniversary with Milder Musical Arts. Over the years she has created music with hundreds of students, several of whom have entered the field professionally.  

Don Wolff, host of the HEC-TV program, “I Love Jazz,” has been chosen as the first St. Louis recipient of the “Jazz Hero” award. He is one of 24 honorees by the Jazz Journalists Association, an international organization based in New York. Wolff, an attorney of-counsel with Mandel & Mandel, LLP, is a member of United Hebrew Congregation.

Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, director of the Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology at Washington University School of Medicine, has been awarded the King Faisal International Prize in Medicine. This honor was given by the King Faisal Foundation in Saudi Arabia to recognize scientists whose research has major benefits for humanity. Gordon is being honored for his discovery linking nutritional health to the inner workings microbes that live in the gut. More recently, his studies have implicated a dysfunctional, immature gut microbiome as an underlying cause of childhood under-nutrition.

Debbie Schultz, audit manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis,received the inaugural Conference of General Auditors (COGA) Award for Excellence. She is one of just two Federal Reserve auditors nationwide to be chosen for this honor. COGA award recognizes the extraordinary efforts made by members of the system audit community. Schultz is a member of Congregation Temple Israel and was recently accepted into the Millstone Fellow Leadership Training Program.

Former St. Louisan and Center for Sport Leadership graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University, Brock Berenato was voted Student of the Year by his fellow students. Honored for his performance and dedication during the school year, Berenato was a graduate assistant for the VCU women’s basketball team last season. After graduation, he will look to start his career in collegiate women’s basketball. Berenato is the son of Kristin and Gary Manley and grandson of Steffani and Marshall Brockman.

Alex Braitberg has joined the Dysart Law Firm as an associate attorney. His specialty is working for those who have been injured or defrauded by the wrongful acts of others.

David Wright has been appointed to Frontenac Bank’s Board of Directors. He is an attorney and principal at Lawyers Realty Co., a commercial real estate and property management company. Wright is a member of Congregation B’nai Amoona. 

 The University of Missouri System will honor Wendy Saul, the Allen B. and Helen S. Shopmaker Endowed Professor of Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, as the recipient of the UM System President’s Award for Cross-Cultural Engagement. The engagement award, which includes a $5,000 prize, is the second of 10 presidential awards to be presented in 2015 and specifically recognizes faculty who promote cross-cultural engagement through education, research and service. 

Maury Poscover has been honored with the prestigious Homer Kripke Award from the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers.  The Kripke Award recognizes a career of noteworthy leadership and a history of exceptional dedication to the improvement of commercial finance law and practice. Poscover is a partner and senior counsel within Husch Blackwell’s Food & Agribusiness and Financial Services strategic business units as well as a member of United Hebrew Congregation.  

Judaic fabric artist Berta Goldgaber has her work featured in the new book, “1,000 Quilt Inspirations: Colorful and Creative Designs for Traditional, Modern, and Art Quilts” by Sandra Sidler and in the June/July issue of the Quilters Newsletter. A member of Bais Abraham Congregation, Goldgaber will have her quilts on display at the Clayton Fine Art Gallery from July 5 through August 15.