Jews in the News: September, 2013

TOP ROW, fROM LEFT: Yosef (Joey) E. Granillo,  Alan Scher Zagier, Dr. Gary Ratkin, Gail Appleson, Jamie Skog, Heather Zajarias and Tom Stern. BOTTOM ROW,  FROM LEFT:  Adam Berkowitz, Kristi Meyers Gallup, Dave Simon, Steven and Kathy Becker, Joel Zeid and Elaine Alexander.

Yosef (Joey) E. Granillo, was admitted at age 3 into Mensa, the high IQ society, after testing in the highly gifted range. He is currently the youngest Mensa member in the St. Louis area. Son of Carole and Tony Granillo, Joey attends the Deutsch Early Childhood Center and studies accelerated math and other topics in the John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. His family belongs to Kol Rinah.

Alan Scher Zagier, an Associated Press reporter from mid-Missouri, has transferred to the cooperative’s St. Louis bureau this month. Since joining AP in Columbia, Mo. in 2005, Zagier has covered national higher education issues, crime stories and reported from the scenes of natural disasters including the 2011 Joplin tornado. 

The St. Louis Kollel honored Dr. Gary Ratkin, former medical director of the Missouri Baptist Cancer Center and currently a consultant for palliative care at MBMC, with the Jewish Ethics Award. Rabbi Shlomo Soroka, associate dean and executive director of St. Louis Kollel, said Ratkin was chosen for his contributions to the Kollel’s Two Tablets program on Jewish medical ethics and “as a physician who strives to practice medicine in a way that is much more than a clinical endeavor, but rather a means to help others in the most ethical manner.” Ratkin is a trustee of the Jewish Light.

Gail Appleson, Communications Editor at Armstrong Teasdale, has been appointed to the editorial board of Law Practice magazine for a one-year term effective September 1. In this position she will review articles before they appear in the magazine, which is published by American Bar Association Law Practice Division. Appleson was also re-appointed to the Division’s Diversity Committee for a one-year term. A recipient of the Missouri Bar’s Excellence in Legal Journalism award, Appleson also writes the weekly wine column for the Post-Dispatch and is a frequent contributor to the Jewish Light.


Rosh Hodesh – It’s a Girl Thing! welcomes new leaders, Jamie Skog and Heather Zajarias. Skog, responsible for the 8th grade girls, is also United Synagogue Youth’s EMTZA regional director. Zajarias, the 5th grade girls group leader, has a masters of social work. Adam Berkowitz is the new facilitator for the 8th grade It’s a Guy Thing! Berkowitz is a registered health underwriter (RHU), benefit consultant with Caravus. Both programs are offered by Nishmah at the Jewish Community Center and are part of a national program created by Moving Traditions.

Kristi Meyers Gallup is the new Director of Development for Covenant House. A member of Congregation Shaare Emeth, Gallup will focus her priorities on the seniors living on  the Millstone Campus.  

Dave Simon’s Rock School has recently licensed its rock band programs Kidzrock and Jr. Rockerz to Mozingo Music in Ellisville and O’Fallon. Both of these programs allow children as young as 4 to play an instrument in a rock band. Kidzrock is designed for children ages 4-7 and Jr. Rockerz is suitable for ages 8-adult. Simon, a member of Nusach Hari B’nai Zion, is now offering his band programs at Epstein Hebrew Academy, Missouri Torah Institute and Lift for Life Academy. 

Steven and Kathy Becker will be opening their third location of Nadoz Bakery Café at Taubman Prestige Outlets Mall in Chesterfield Valley with an anticipated opening of late November. It will have a prime location at Taubman Prestige Outlets, directly across from the Ralph Lauren Polo store, the center’s anchor store.

Entrepreneur Joel Zeid, a 17-year-old Clayton High School student, created the “Lemonade Stand in a Box.” The white stand is blank so children can decorate it themselves and add their own unique touch to it. Imagination Toys in Ladue and Happy Up Toys in Edwardsville currently sell this item. Joel is the son of Stacy and Leonard Zeid and is a member of Central Reform Congregation.

Solon Gershman, Inc. is changing its name to Gershman Commercial Real Estate with a rebranding that will better communicate what the firm does —namely, sell commercial real estate. Tom Stern, the former president and CEO of the firm, will become Executive Chairman under the new structure.

Elaine K. Alexander has joined the St. Louis Learning Center of Berlitz: A Global Education Company for foreign language instruction. She is an instructor of English for newly emigrated foreign business people. Alexander is also a freelance writer for the Jewish Light and is affiliated with Congregation Shaare Emeth and Nusach Hari B’nai Zion.