Jews in the News: November 2015

TOP ROW, FROM LEFT: Brandon Stec, Rick Isserman, Ted Gottlieb, Susan E. Block, Whitney Klearman SecondROW, FROM LEFTNoémi Neidorff, Mitchell Baden, Alison Gold, Robyn Frankel, Jere Hochman BOTTOM ROW, FROM LEFT: Joe Pereles, Wendi Alper-Pressman, Bob Kaiser.

Brandon Stec’s first novel, “Hostile Takeover,” has been published. It tells the story of a group of community leaders who must work together after technology fails to figure out how to restore power to the country. Led by Callan Wyss, the group suddenly becomes involved in a conspiracy deeper than they could have imagined. Stec, the grandson of St. Louis residents Harvey and Marlene Becker, lives in Chicago. 

Rick Isserman hasreceived the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Created by former President George W. Bush, the award is given to federal employees who have achieved the required number of hours of volunteer service over a 12-month period. Isserman volunteered for 130 hours with Central Reform Congregation in 2014, entitling him to receive the bronze medallion. He is the first employee at the St. Louis Centralized Servicing Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service to receive an award.

Ted Gottlieb has been designated a certified aging-in-place specialist by the National Association of Home Builders, and a certified senior housing professional by the Seniors Real Estate Institute. His free consulting service helps seniors stay in their homes longer and eases their transition from their homes when it’s time to downsize or enter an adult community. As a seniors real estate specialist (National Association of Realtors), Gottlieb connects his clients to trusted referral partners for services including elder law, financial advice, home modification, elder care, insurance, decluttering, organizing and moving. He is a member of United Hebrew Congregation.

Susan E. Block, a family law lawyer with Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, has been appointed to serve on the Missouri Supreme Court Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness. She will be a member of the juvenile subcommittee. Block attends Central Reform Congregation.

Whitney Klearman has earned the Ida Stack Award at Congregation Shaare Emeth’s religious school. The award and a scholarship is given to an incoming sixth-grader who has demonstrated dedication and enthusiasm for Jewish learning. Whitney is the daughter of Jennifer and Michael Klearman of Chesterfield and attends Crestview Middle School.

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Noemi Neidorff has been elected chairwoman of the Opera Theatre of St. Louis board of directors. The eighth chair in the company’s 40-year history, she is a member of Traditional Congregation.

Mitchell Baden has been elected to the board of directors of Royal Banks of Missouri. He is executive vice president and chief operating officer of Royal Banks. 

 Alison Gold is one of four international winners in the American Psychological Association’s Committee of Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools annual essay competition. Alison’s essay, “Alcohol and Adolescence: An Examination from the Biopsychosocial Approach,” earned her a $250 scholarship and a certificate. She is the daughter of Lauren Schuver and Andrew Gold of St. Louis and is a senior at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. She is one of the editors in chief of the Jewish Light’s Ohr Chadash Teen Page and is editor in chief of her school paper, The Panorama.

Robyn Frankel has joined the Carmody MacDonald law firm as director of marketing and business development. She is responsible for developing and implementing a firmwide strategic marketing plan that supports the its overall strategic plan. 

Former St. Louisan Jere Hochman has been named to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s cabinet as deputy secretary for education. The position makes Hochman the governor’s top education adviser. Hochman had been superintendent of the Bedford, N.Y., school  district in Westchester County, and formerly was superintendent of the Parkway School District. 

Joe Pereles was given the American Red Cross’  Harriman Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service last week in Washington, D.C. It is the highest honor given by the American Red Cross. It recognizes extraordinary volunteer accomplishments, which extend beyond a local community. Pereles is vice president and general counsel of   Drury Hotels and is a member of Congregation Shaare Emeth.

Wendi Alper-Pressman has been recognized as one of 2015’s Top 50 Women in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers. She is a partner with Lathrop & Gage. Bob Kaiser has been chosen for the 2016 edition of “The Best Lawyers in America” publication. He is a partner with Armstrong Teasdale.