Kibbitzing with Caplan

Jewish steering committee members for Sing for Siteman.

By Lois Caplan

MOST OF US HAVE SUNG “Sing For Your Supper” for our children, no matter how poorly we carry a tune. But the 6th Annual Sing for Siteman concert sounds different than our usual vocalizing — it’s all about singing for wellness and good health and supporting research at Siteman Cancer Center. 

The concert features nine celebrated St. Louis Opera Theatre vocalists, accompanied by internationally renowned pianist Carol Wong, performing an intimate evening of selected music from opera and the Broadway stage. 

Sing for Siteman will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 15 in Haertter Hall, the beautiful 730-seat performing arts center at John Burroughs School, 755 S. Price Road. A wine and dessert reception with the performers will follow.

All the artists have donated their time and talent to the benefit concert. These are artists who have appeared regularly around the globe, including the Metropolitan Opera, the English National Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.  

The Siteman Cancer Center is ranked among the top cancer facilities in the nation: More than 350 Washington University physicians and scientists treat more than 9,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year, making it one of the largest cancer centers in the nation. 

“We are using the power of music to cure cancer,” said volunteer Alice Handelman. “Thanks for helping to make that possible.”

Tickets are $100 for preferred seating and $50 for general seating. For tickets visit 

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JEWISH WOMEN’S Back to School Store helps outfit underserved children not only on the first day of school, but also the rest of the year. If you sponsor a child for $180, he or she get brand new shirts, pants, winter coat, socks, underwear, shoes, gloves, hat, and a backpack full of new school supplies, along with an eye exam/eyeglasses and dental screening. Every donation, regardless of its size, helps to get the children back to school with some confidence in the future. To help kids right here in our community send your contribution to NCJW’s Back to School Store, to NCJW, 295 N. Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo. 63141.

EVERY JUNE, NA’AMAT USA, formerly Pioneer Women, tugs at my heartstrings. Their Spiritual Adoption Campaign is designed to help Israel’s children of poverty from families in distressed economic situations. Many of them have experienced abuse, neglect, malnourishment or abandonment. The Spiritual Adoption program takes children and provides a loving and caring environment for them, which develops their emotional security and good social skills, giving them affection and understanding and guidance during their formative years. To contribute to Spiritual Adoption contact the St. Louis Council, 1138 N. Warson Road, Room 218, St. Louis, Mo., 63132.

THIS SEEMS TO BE MY DAY FOR KIDS. In each case I am asking for some form of help for both local children and those as far away as Israel, but all in need. One of my favorite projects to write about is Ready Readers, whose motto is “Kids Who Read Succeed.” Their raison d’etre is to inspire preschool children from low-income families to become readers. Ready Readers has 570 trained volunteers reading high quality children’s literature weekly to more than 9,600 preschool-age children from low-income families in the St Louis area. Ready Readers’ Executive Director Lisa Greening told me that they will give more than 64,000 new books to the children this year.“Together we are providing a whole community exposure to the magic of books while preparing our children to become readers. Children who read succeed in school, work and life,” Greening said. My daughter Leslie has become a volunteer at Ready Readers and loves the program and the kids so much that she has volunteered to read double- or triple-time. If you are interested in becoming a Ready Reader, or in wanting to help the organization financially, call 314-564-8070.