Jews in the News: May 2019

TOP ROW: (from left) Dr. Steven Strasberg, Jill Belsky, Joanne Iskiwitch and Dr. Abby Hollander. SECOND ROW:  Missy Korenblat-Hanin, Dr. Joel S. Perlmutter, Holly Elfanbaum and Dr. Ryia Ross-Peterson. THIRD ROW:  Andrew Fredman, Yosef (Joey) Granillo, Robert Zafft and Peter Maer.

Compiled by Elise Krug

Dr. Steven Strasberg, the Pruett Professor of Surgery and Carl Moyer Departmental Teaching Coordinator in the Section of Hepatobiliary-Pancreatic and GI (HPB-GI) Surgery, has received the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Medical Staff Lifetime Achievement “Master Physician.” The award is given annually to honor physicians who have provided superlative service and elite-level commitment for 25 years or more at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and its predecessor institutions. 

Jill Belsky is the new board president for the 2019-2021 term of Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS). She has served on its board for nine years and was instrumental in launching a JF&CS brand refresh scheduled for completion this summer. Belsky is vice president of property management firm Rodemyer-Christel Inc. and attends Congregation Temple Israel. 

Joanne Iskiwitch has received the Coldwell Banker International President’s Circle award in recognition of her sales performance last year. This achievement ranks Iskiwitch among the top Coldwell Banker independent sales professionals worldwide.

Dr. Abby Hollander, professor of pediatrics, endocrinology and diabetes at the Washington University School of Medicine, has been honored as a Missouri Athletic Club Woman of Distinction. She was recognized for her long tenure with the American Diabetes Association Camp EDI – the Ed and Gloria Hirsch Camp for Children with Diabetes. Hollander has served as a camp physician since 1990 and medical director since 2001. A member of B’nai Amoona, Hollander has also co-authored a 12-module course in diabetes management. 

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Missy Korenblat-Hanin will receive the Orchid Award from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation at its annual Orchid AAFAIR gala and auction May 4. A pediatric asthma social worker at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, she was chosen because of her work on behalf of children with asthma over the past 29 years. Korenblat-Hanin is a member of B’nai Amoona.  

Dr. Joel S. Perlmutter, the Elliot H. Stein Family Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine, has been named scientific director of the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation. Dystonia is a neurological disorder that causes excessive, involuntary muscle contractions and abnormal postures. Perlmutter attends B’nai Amoona.

The Curious Crafter, an independent local yarn shop, will have its grand opening May 31 through June 2. Owner and B’nai Amoona member Holly Elfanbaum aims to build a welcoming, inclusive and creative community by providing knit nights, classes and workshops while offering high quality craft supplies and tools for fiber and needle arts. The shop is located on Olive Boulevard in Creve Coeur.  

Kids in the Middle (KITM) has announced that Dr. Ryia Ross-Peterson, a pediatrician at Mercy Clinic Pediatrics – Ladue, received the agency’s annual Champion of Kids Award. She has served on the KITM Advisory Council for 25 years and is an integral part in helping KITM develop relationships with other area pediatricians. A member of Central Reform Congregation, she was selected to receive the award because of her continued dedication to children in the community and KITM. Ross-Peterson has raised more than $50,000 to help provide counseling services for children and families “in the middle” of divorce, and has sponsored the creation of a sand tray therapy room. 

Andrew Fredman, wealth management adviser and portfolio manager with Merrill Lynch in Clayton, has been named a Forbes magazine Best-in-State Wealth Advisor. A member of Congregation B’nai Amoona, he was ranked No. 18. 

Yosef (Joey) Granillo, who is 9 and in the fifth grade at the St. Louis Regional Program for Exceptionally Gifted Students (PEGS), is being admitted to the Julian C. Stanley Study of Exceptional Talent (SET) at Johns Hopkins University. Students qualify for SET by taking the SAT before age 13 and scoring at least 700 on either the math or verbal test. SET provides individual educational counseling, access to SET alumni and additional recommendation letters for college. Joey and his parents, Carole and Tony Granillo, attend Kol Rinah.

“20 Questions to Ask about Wills & Estates,” written by Robert Zafft and his late father, Gene Zafft, has been revised and reissued, paying homage to the elder Zafft’s legacy. The book is about issues affecting people at every economic level and at every stage of life or career. Robert Zafft, a member of Young Israel, is an attorney with  the firm Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale and teaches business ethics at Washington University’s Olin Business School. The book is available on

Former St. Louisan Peter Maer will be one of two people to receive the Interfaith Alliance’s Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award. It honors those whose courageous actions embody the values of civility, tolerance and cooperation in the advancement of public dialogue and public policy. Maer is a longtime CBS News White House correspondent who retired in 2014 after 37 years.

Jews in the News is compiled monthly by Editorial & Development Associate Elise Krug. Contact Elise at: 314-743-3671 or [email protected]