Women of Achievement, B’nai Amoona concert and more

By Lois Caplan

WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT, the oldest ongoing program in the St. Louis area whose mission is to honor and recognize the volunteer service and leadership of women, is announcing its call for nominations. Celebrating its 60th anniversary next year, Women of Achievement considers nominees with substantial volunteer impact in areas such as education, arts, health and human services, youth and family, philanthropy, social justice and advocacy, which just about covers the waterfront of volunteerism. 

Deadline for nominations is midnight Monday, Jan. 5. Nominations may be submitted online or via email, fax or regular mail to MAC Meetings and Events, 801 N. Second Street, Suite 302, St. Louis, MO 63102.

Online submissions and printable nomination forms with full details are available at woastl.org. Nanci A. Bobrow, president of Women of Achievement, can be reached at 314-361-5567 to field questions about the nomination process. I am sure you will find some good candidates among your friends – and let me tell you, you may nominate yourself.

The 10 honorees selected will be recognized at a luncheon Tuesday, May 5, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Clayton. 

I look forward to seeing all of you there, as a guest, not as an honoree, silly.

CONNECT WITH CRAIG: B’nai Amoona’s fifth Magical Musical Moment event will present Craig Taubman and Friends in concert at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14. 

Sponsored by the synagogue for the entire community, the event is billed as a toe-tapping evening of Jewish music and fun with internationally known singer/songwriter Taubman and his combo consisting of piano, bass, guitar and drums. Joining them will be B’nai Amoona’s cantor, Sharon Nathanson, whom you might have heard at Powell Hall in addition to the synagogue. 

Taubman has enjoyed a successful career in television and film and has produced more than 50 recordings, some of which can be heard during Sabbath services throughout the country,  including at B’nai Amoona. 

Taubman and Friends will perform in the sanctuary of Congregation B’nai Amoona, 324 South Mason Road. General admission is $18; reserved section, $36; reserved seat, $72. Tickets may be purchased by calling Barbara Shechter at 314-576-9990 ext. 126 or emailing [email protected].

I have been hearing about Taubman and Friends for months from the synagogue’s Phyllis Traub.  

“Craig and Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles  created a Friday Night Live musical service with Craig and his band,” she told me. “He has performed it across the nation, including three appearances at the White House. What is his style? It is high energy rock ‘n’ roll music, which bridges traditional Jewish themes with a contemporary sound.” 

Phyllis calls it a spirited, spiritual, simply sensational evening of music and fun. 

FLAME, COCA’S ANNUAL APPRECIATION EVENT for supporters of the Richard Baron Leadership Circle, is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 9. 

I think of Richard often and recall him announcing his plan for the use of the wonderful synagogue at B’nai Amoona, now his arts center, which has given unlimited pleasure to St. Louisans young and old. 

FLAME will honor Richard and raise money for COCA’s ambitious programs. COCA is the fourth-largest multidisciplinary community arts center in the country. It serves more than 50,000 children and adults with high-quality arts classes, camps, performances, exhibits and an arts-based training program for business. COCA provides more than $900,000 annually in scholarships and free arts-education programs in underserved schools.

At FLAME, two very special women will be honored. Mary Strauss will be recognized for her generous support of COCA’s “The Little Dancer” for the past 10 years and for her recent support of COCA’s musical theater program and outstanding production of “Ragtime” this past summer.  

Lisa Caplan will be honored for the contribution of time, talent and professional services in producing COCA’s special events for the past 16 years. When Lisa started working for COCA, the COCAcabana event raised just over $100,000; last spring, it raised $950,000. If you’re wondering whether Lisa Caplan is related to me, she’s my baby daughter, and I am busting my buttons over her success with COCA.

FLAME will include a one-night-only performance by COCA students in COCAdance and Hip Hop Crew as well as a guest appearance and performance by COCA alum Antonio Douthit-Boyd and Kirven Douthit-Boyd, both of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. 

Dinner will be served after the performance and there will be dancing to the Funky Butt Brass Band.  Attire is “hip casual” – what else? 

Tickets are not sold for FLAME but may be obtained by joining the Richard Baron Leadership Circle. For more information or reservations, contact Pam Mandelker at 314-561-4869.

LEND YOUR HANDS AND YOUR HEARTS with Women’s Philanthropy.  Here’s an opportunity to do something warm and loving for our community members living in care facilities. You can make care packages to be delivered to these men and women for Hanukkah.  

Two dates have been selected: 10:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Dec. 2, and 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, both at the Jewish Federation Kopolow Building, 12 Millstone Campus Drive. RSVP to Jewish Federation Women’s Philanthropy, [email protected]