St. Louis NORC, Black Rep Gala, wine tour

Columnist Lois Caplan


AN INTERNATIONAL WINE TOUR of Israel has been planned featuring tours of Israel’s top wineries, dining in fine gourmet restaurants, meetings and talks with winemakers and historical tours of some of the most important historical sites as well. Limited to only 20 people, the 10-day tour will depart on April 28, and will be led by wine expert A.J. Rosenblatt plus tour guides. For the answers to your questions or to book your tour, call A.J. Rosenblatt at 314-458-5736 or Da’at Travel at 888-811-2812.

Starting in Tel Aviv, “the city that never sleeps,” the group will be off and running with dinner at the Yoezner Wine Bar, located near historic Jaffa, followed by a walk through the Old City and artist’s quarters. Subsequently the tour will leave Tel Aviv for a kibbutz in the Upper Galilee and then Jerusalem, with days packed with food and wine and historic sites. What do I tell you about the remarkable sights available in Israel? Should it be Tiberias where the Talmud was codified and where Maimonides is buried or the night spectacular son e lumier at the Tower of David Museum where the walls serve as a stage for a nighttime show depicting the story of Jerusalem? Then there is wine at the elegant wine bar of the Mamilla Hotel followed by dinner at the hotel’s beautiful rooftop restaurant. And on and on.

PROFESSOR CAROLINA A. AZNAR, St. Louis University, Madrid Campus; Co-Director Tel Regev Excavation, The Southern Plain of Akko Project (Israel) will speak about “The Phoenicians and the Israelites: Cooperators or Rivals” at the Missouri History Museum Auditorium, 5700 Lindell Boulevard, on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. Professor Aznar’s curriculum vitae is many pages long, which makes me feel like she will have lots of information for us Jews who have little or no background on this subject.  The program is free and open to the public.

MY NEIGHBOR BETTY PETERS introduced me to a wonderful neighborhood mitzvah that I want to share with all of you who are also my neighbors. It’s called NORC, which is an acronym for Natural Occurring Retirement Community. In St. Louis, this three square mile residential area is around the Jewish Community Center campus in Creve Coeur. To belong to NORC, a non-sectarian program that supports the healthy aging of adults 65 years plus, they must reside in their own homes in the designated area, be 65 or older and join the organization for $30 a year. The benefits are amazing like concierge services, minor home repairs, yard work, computer assistance, reduced JCC membership fees, blood pressure screenings monthly, fitness classes, outings to cultural and entertainment destinations, professional home safety assessments and modifications and individualized money management consultations. That’s all for starters.

NORC is a program coordinated by Jewish Federation of St. Louis and has collaborative partnerships with lots of institutions such as BJC Home Care Services, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, Medical West Healthcare Center, Washington University Center for Aging, Jewish Community Center and Mount Zion United Methodist Church – see, I told you it is non-denominational. My first experience with NORC was to have a very nice and talented gentleman repair the lock on my front door, gratisFor more information and to join NORC (provided you live in our hallowed area) call Karen Berry Elbert at 314-442-3859.

THE BLACK REP will celebrate 20 years of performance at the Grandel Theatre — and I might add, 20 years of superior theater — during a gala event Thursday, Oct. 25. The evening will feature the St. Louis premiere of the play “Anne and Emmett” by Janet Langhart Cohen and a glittering reception co-chaired by Tom and Carol Voss and honorary co-chairs Janet Langhart Cohen and William S. Cohen, the former Secretary of Defense in President Bill Clinton’s cabinet.

“Anne and Emmett” is about the meeting of Anne Frank and Emmett Till in a magic place called Memory.  As they relate their tragic stories, they work together towards a common ground of reconciliation and hope. It is to be directed by the Black Rep’s founder and Producing Director Ron Himes.

Ticket prices for the Gala are $750, $500 and $250 with all proceeds for the benefit of the Black Rep’s educational programs. Ticket purchases will include the performance post show reception, program recognition, valet parking and special gifts. A portion of the ticket will be tax deductible. 

After the gala “Anne and Emmett” will continue its run at The Grandel with performances through Nov. 4. Tickets are available at the Black Rep Box Office, 314-534-3810 or through