Jews in the News: October 2019

TOP ROW, FROM LEFT: Sue Matlof, Ted Houser Debbie Raskas, Dan Raskas and Dr. Martin Boyer. SECOND ROW: Ethan Fine, Kaitlyn Goldstein, Jill Goldwasser, Max Samis and Marc Bluestone. THIRD ROW: Reva Davis, Fran Cantor, Harvey Cantor, Dr. Michael J. Holtzman and Dr. Robert Kramer.

Compiled by Elise Krug

Editor’s note: All announcements regarding local lawyers’ selection by “Best Lawyers” publications must be received by noon Friday, Oct. 18. “Best Lawyers” submissions after that will not be considered for publication. Email announcements to Elise Krug at ekr[email protected] or call 314-743-3671 for more information. 

Sue Matlof and Ted Houser will be honored Oct. 19 atCongregation Shaare Emeth’s Heart & Soul Gala: Gathering in Gratitude and Honoring Greatness. Matlof will receive the Harris Frank Community Service Award for her dedication and commitment to inclusiveness and overall service to the congregation and the St. Louis Jewish community. She established the Michael Matlof Fund for Homebound Services, which allows anyone to livestream services from their home. Houser, who has had ongoing involvement with the Peter & Paul Men’s Shelter, will receive the Tzedek Award for his passion toward helping others within the congregation and in the community at large. For the past five years, Houser and his wife have organized Shaare Emeth members in cooking and serving meals for the shelter. 

Baked T’s, a custom T-shirt and gift shop in the Delmar Loop, was voted Best Specialty Shop in Northwest County by Community News. Owners Debbie and Dan Raskas belong to United Hebrew Congregation.

Dr. Martin Boyer was recently installed as the president of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. At Washington University School of Medicine, Boyer is co-chief of the hand and microsurgery service, director of the hand and microsurgery fellowship program, and director of medical student education in musculoskeletal surgery and medicine. He attends Congregation B’nai Amoona. 

New Mt. Sinai Cemetery advertisement

Ethan Fine and Kaitlyn Goldstein were elected Gadol and N’siah (president) of the St. Louis Council of B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO). The council has six AZA and BBG chapters representing nearly 400 teens in high school and middle school. Ethan, son of Jennifer and Kevin Fine, is a senior Eureka High School. The Fines attend B’nai Amoona. Kaitlyn is a senior at Parkway Central High School and is the daughter of Valarie Goldstein and Jeff Goldstein. She and her family attend United Hebrew.  

Jill Goldwasser, daughter of Cary and Jim Goldwasser, was installed as one of 12 BBYO International teen board members. The board is responsible for the direction and management of the organization serving 500,000 BBYO members in 55 countries. Jill, a senior at Ladue Horton Watkins High School, is in Shira BBG and attends Congregation Temple Israel. 

Former St. Louisan Max Samis has joined Zero to Three in Washington, D.C., as its communications manager. He is responsible for driving brand awareness and positioning the organization as the leading voice for the health and well-being of infants and toddlers. 

SmartHouse Heating & Cooling, owned by Marc Bluestone, has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies. It ranked No. 2,320 with a revenue growth of 174 percent. SmartHouse offers an array of heating, cooling, diagnostic and improvement services for both existing homes and new construction. 

Reva Davis will be honored Oct.12 at the Ladue Education Foundation (LEF) Community Breakfast. A 2019 St. Louis Jewish Light Unsung Hero, she will be recognized for her distinguished service to the Ladue School District. Davis is a retired social studies teacher (1975-2004) and a Ladue Middle School Science Olympiad volunteer. She attends United Hebrew. 

Fran and Harvey Cantor received Gold Certification from the St. Louis Audubon Society’s Bring Conservation Home program for their yard restoration. The goal of the program is to create healthy habitats for birds and native wildlife. The Gold Certification is based on the percentage of native plants present, the removal of invasive plant species such as bush honeysuckle, water conservation and other stewardship practices. The Cantors belong to B’nai Amoona. 

Dr. Michael J. Holtzman, director of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, has received awards totaling $7.5 million to support development of therapies for severe respiratory diseases and related conditions. The award recognizes that chronic respiratory disease has become the third most common cause of death in the United States and the fifth worldwide. Despite the devastating impact of respiratory diseases, most commonly in the form of asthma and COPD, there are still no drugs to precisely address the root causes of these disorders and provide long-lasting relief for such patients.

Dr. Robert Kramer of Orthopedic Associates has been named one of the 2019 Best Doctors in St. Louis Magazine.  

Gabrielle Solomon is the new coordinator of Eishes Chayil. She is responsible for all programming efforts for the women’s division of the St. Louis Kollel, including guest speakers and the Rosh Chodesh monthly brunches. 

Former St. Louisan Leah Abramowitz is one of seven recipients of the Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize. This prize recognizes the achievements of immigrants from English-speaking countries and their contributions to Israel. Abramowitz is co-founder of Melabev, an Israeli organization that specializes in improving the quality of life of older adults and in providing services for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s.  

Jodie Gordon Bertish, known as the Strudel Lady, has opened Delectable Dough Baking. Located at the Bakers Hub in the Forum Center, she specializes in desserts, sweet trays and gifts for all occasions. Bertish is a member of Shaare Emeth. 

Dr. Eric Jacobsohn, a former St. Louisan, is the recipient of the Prix D’Excellence – Specialist of the Year award for Region 2 (Saskatchewan and Manitoba) given by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. A resident of Winnipeg, Jacobsohn is credited for bringing about culture change and administrative changes in health care over his 10 years as chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Manitoba and head of Anesthesiology for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

Wayne Salomon has been appointed to the board of the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation, whose mission is to encourage young people to discover and participate in live performance. He is a director, actor and adviser for the St. Louis Actors’ Studio.  

Jeremy Cropf, formerly of St. Louis, received the Cultural Leadership Distinguished Alumni Award at its signature event, Journey to Justice. A graduate of Cultural Leadership’s second class, he was recognized for his efforts in advancing initiatives around representation, equity, inclusion and diversity in the arts, education and entertainment in Seattle, where he resides.

After 20 years with a leading financial services company, Laura Silverberg has opened an independent investments firm, River Cities Financial. With offices in Ballwin and Davenport, Iowa, she will assist clients with retirement planning and wealth management. Silverberg attends B’nai Amoona.  

Herbert Abelson, Gale Epstein, Sheldon Kaplan, Carol Kaplan-Lyss, David Prelutsky, Stephen E. Schwartz, Michael “Spike” Wilner, Gregg Berger, Lester Pines and the late Zale Kessler will be among 15 people inducted into the University City High School Alumni Hall of Fame on Oct. 4. 

• Abelson, ’58, is a celebrated medical researcher, pediatrician and leader in academic medicine.

• Epstein, ’64, is co-founder and fashion designer of Hanky Panky lingerie as well as a business leader and community volunteer.

• Kaplan, ’65, is pediatrician and educational leader in the study of infectious diseases.

• Kaplan-Lyss, ’59, is an educator, child development expert, author and community volunteer. She is also a member of local Jewish music group Shir Ami.

• Prelutsky, ’72, is a medical doctor and leader in HIV research and treatment.

• Schwartz, ’59, chemist and researcher in atmospheric science and climate change at Brookhaven National Laboratory Long Island, NY.

• Wilner, ’84, is a musician and legendary New York City club owner.

• Berger, ’68, is an internationally known actor, voiceover artist and author.

• Pines, ’68, is a legal pioneer, educator and community service leader.

• Kessler, ’56, was a Broadway, screen and TV actor and appeared in operettas.

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