Why September 18th will be a big day for St. Louis Jews


Ellen Futterman, Editor-in-Chief

Mark your calendars for Sunday, Sept. 18, for not one but two noteworthy events.

The first, returning after a three-year delay because of COVID, is the Jewish arts and culture festival, Sababa, featuring dozens of visual artists, kid-friendly musical performances and a dizzying assortment of food possibilities, including kosher choices. Among several new highlights is a dedicated pavilion area for families and children’s activities and entertainment, including magicians, jugglers and a mad science area.

Presented in collaboration between Jewish Federation of St. Louis and the Jewish Community Center, the free festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the parking lot outside Simon Hall, at the south entrance of Wash U’s campus.

Free underground parking is available in the Danforth University Center Garage, 6475 Forsyth Blvd.

The festival’s musical acts include the internationally acclaimed a cappella group Six13, Jewish rocker and St. Louis native Sheldon Low and Klezundheit!, the only klezmer big band in Missouri.

“The U.S. and the Holocaust”

After the festival, head home to your TV for the first installment of Ken Burns’ documentary “The U.S. and the Holocaust,” a three-part, six-hour series that examines America’s response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the 20th century. It airs on Nine PBS from 7-9 p.m., with the second and third parts airing Monday, Sept. 19 and Tuesday, Sept. 20 at the same time (each part will be repeated on those nights from 9-11 p.m.).

Viewers will listen to firsthand testimony of witnesses and survivors who as children endured persecution, violence and flight as their families tried to escape the terrorism of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. According to advanced press material, this series delves deeply into the tragic human consequences of public indifference, bureaucratic red tape and restrictive quota laws in America.

Burns along with co-filmmakers Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein, are said to have made a documentary that points the camera squarely at America at the time, questioning whether our nation failed to live up to the ideals it was founded on.

It might not always be easy to watch but seems like must-see TV for many of us.