A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

Jewish History

Elke Bentley, 18, completed reading the Babylonian Talmud in just two-and-a-half years.(Courtesy Elke Bentley)

Meet the teenaged girl who read the Talmud in two-and-a-half years

Published July 19, 2024

(JTA) — When she was 14 years old, Elke Bentley could hear her father’s online Talmud classes through the wall between her bedroom and his home office in Brookline, Massachusetts. The 5 a.m. start time for the daily Talmud learning her father had...

Stella Levy, shown in 1970, commanded the IDF Women’s Corps for six years. Photo by Fritz Cohen, Israeli National Photo Collection, CC BY-SA 3.0

This week in Israeli history: July 18-24

CENTER FOR ISRAEL EDUCATION, ISRAELED.ORGPublished July 18, 2024

July 18, 1290 — England Expels Its Jews King Edward I orders the expulsion of the Jews from England, where they had settled in significant numbers only in the 11th century. Despite gaining legal protections early in the 12th century, Jews suffer massacres...

Israeli drama ‘June Zero’ spotlights three true stories about Eichmann trial

Israeli drama ‘June Zero’ spotlights three true stories about Eichmann trial

Cate Marquis, Special to the Jewish LightPublished July 11, 2024

"June Zero,” a captivating historical drama set in Israel in 1961-1962, tells the true stories of three Israelis with different connections to the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi architect of the mass murder of Jews. Each of the stories is told...

Yitskhok Rudashevski

Discover the lost diary of a Holocaust teenager from your home in St. Louis

Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content OfficerPublished July 11, 2024

You may not know his name, or his diary, but just like Anne Frank's written words, Yitskhok Rudashevski’s writings stand as a powerful testament to the voices of teenagers lost in the Holocaust. Rudashevski was not just a teenager; he was a gifted...

St. Louis family fights to reclaim art stolen by the Nazis decades ago

St. Louis family fights to reclaim art stolen by the Nazis decades ago

By Dale Singer, Special to the Jewish LightPublished July 8, 2024

ST. LOUIS — When Vera Emmons was growing up in suburban Chicago, the topic of family art treasures stolen by the Nazis was hardly at the forefront of her life. She knew her mother, Gerda Nothmann, had survived concentration camps and made it...

Detail from a montage depicting Mrs. Mandelbaum’s ill-gotten gains and the raid on her shop, from an 1884 issue of the National Police Gazette, a 19th- and early 20th-century scandal sheet.

Mrs. Mandelbaum was a nice Jewish mother — and an organized-crime boss

By Beth Harpaz, The ForwardPublished July 7, 2024

She was an adoring Jewish mother, a generous benefactor to her synagogue, Rodeph Sholom, and a proper 19th century lady who wore floor-length silk gowns.  But Fredericka Mandelbaum was also what her biographer, Margalit Fox, calls “America’s...

Current Events Trivia: The Jews of Oklahoma

Current Events Trivia: The Jews of Oklahoma

Mark Zimmerman, Special To The Jewish LightPublished July 1, 2024

Oklahoma’s ‍state ‍superintendent ‍has ‍ordered ‍that ‍schools ‍include ‍the ‍teaching ‍of ‍the ‍Bible ‍in ‍all ‍classes. ‍Among ‍those ‍immediately ‍protesting ‍Oklahoma’s ‍new ‍requirement ‍is ‍the...

Lt. Philip Goldstein with ground crew in front of his P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft in 1944 in Triolo, Italy.

The remarkable WWII story of the P-38 Lightning fighter plane ‘Jewboy’

By Falk Kantor, Post 100, Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV)Published June 28, 2024

  (JWV) -- During World War II a US Army P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft with the nickname “JEWBOY” boldly written on its side flew in combat against the German Luftwaffe in the skies over Europe. The pilot was Philip M. Goldstein. Born...

June 27: Former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Col. Chaim Herzog, a future president, visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem a week after the Knesset’s formal unification of the city. Photo: Meir Froiudlch, Israeli National Photo Collection, CC BY-SA 3.0

This week in Israeli history: June 27-July 3

Center for Israel Education, israeled.orgPublished June 26, 2024

June 27, 1967 — Israel Annexes East Jerusalem After capturing the roughly 2.3 square miles known as East Jerusalem from Jordan during the war in early June, Israel formally annexes that area and some surrounding West Bank land — a total of 27 square...

Credit: Holocaust Museum Houston

‘600 Butterflies’ project taking flight at Holocaust Museum

Published June 24, 2024

Starting July 1, the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum will begin a new, free art workshop entitled, “600 Butterflies: A Community Tribute to Holocaust Victims.” Butterflies have long been a symbol of the children murdered during the Holocaust....

Jeffrey Shandler, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University, is the author of Homes of the Past: A Lost Jewish Museum. (Etty Lassman; Indiana University Press)

The true story of the ‘The Lost Jewish Museum’

Andrew Silow-Carroll, JTAPublished June 24, 2024

Less than three months after Hamas invaded Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, producers of the doomed Nova Musical Festival created a traveling exhibit in Tel Aviv about the more than 360 partygoers slaughtered on that day. Featuring the belongings of the victims...

Legendary Mossad agent’s spy sketchbook, turned art exhibition coming to St. Louis

Legendary Mossad agent’s spy sketchbook, turned art exhibition coming to St. Louis

Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content OfficerPublished June 17, 2024

In 1960, when Mossad agent Peter Zvi Malkin led a team to capture the notorious Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, his cover was that of an ordinary tourist. To maintain this facade, Malkin carried art supplies, including pastels, colored pencils,...

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