Kibbitzing with Caplan

By Lois Caplan

SEVERAL ROOMS AT THE JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER in Creve Coeur will be alive with the sound of music, poetry and storytelling when the second annual Jewish Mystic Jam takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17. Some of the featured artists appearing will be Rabbi Noah Arnow, Rabbi James Stone Goodman, Robert Fishbone, Howard Schwartz, Rabbi Andrea Goldstein, Andrew Bollinger and (my daughter) Leslie Caplan. 

This is a fun evening, as the audience will move from room to room and so will the artists. A sampling of the evening’s activities reveals different types of music, participation in a drum circle and listening to fabulous storytellers.

“This year, we will have an amazing coffee cart, yummy sweets, wine and nosh,” said Diane Maier, program associate ay B’nai B’rith. 

Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door and can be purchased by calling Maier at 314-442-3190.

MY GRANDDAUGHTER IS A VEGETARIAN, and I am a dedicated meat eater, which makes for problems. First of all, I would not know what to cook for her or for that matter how to cook it. Here is a small solution: Hadassah’s Parlor Party, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, featuring a five-course cooking demonstration of vegetarian food.  After the demonstration, participants will enjoy the meal with a glass of wine and conversation – with no cleanup. 

The party will be at Dierberg’s West Oak, 11481 Olive Boulevard. The cost is $36 per person. Reservations may be made by phone at 314-991-0434 or by email at [email protected]

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JEWISH WOMEN’S (NCJW) Kids Community Closet supplements the tremendously successful Back to School Store held every July to help underserved youngsters be outfitted for school. There are 13 closets in the St. Louis area where administrators have access to built-in closets, stocked with items needed for the students. What NCJW needs from us are volunteers to be school liaisons. So if you’re interested and available twice a month, contact Michelle Brooks, Kids Community Closet co-chair, at [email protected].  School liaisons work in partnership with the schools to stock closets. I am told that NCJW likes to have two liaisons at each school, so grab a friend to volunteer with you.

BIG NEWS AT COCA! Antonio Douthit-Boyd and Kirven Douthit-Boyd, superstars of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, are leaving at the height of their careers to move to St. Louis and become co-artistic directors of COCA’s dance division. Antonio and Kirven will be responsible for COCA’s pre-professional dance division, including the student companies COCAdance and Ballet Eclectica. 

Thanks to my daughter Lisa, I first met Antonio Douthit several years ago, and it was love at first sight. I watched him dance in a large studio at COCA and marveled at his grace, strength, technique and beauty. With great pride, much like a grandmother, I followed his career as he became a world-class dancer. Antonio warmed to me, and I became his Jewish grandmother. Now he and Kirven are happily married and looking forward to their home in St. Louis. Meanwhile, I have two handsome, brilliant “grandsons” to kvell over. We in St. Louis are unbelievably lucky to claim such outstanding artists as our very own.