Mitzvot From the Heart: Micah Schwartz

Betty Grossman, Lenora Sachar and Micah Schwartz at the Brentmoor.

Micah Schwartz, Congregation Shaare Emeth   

This past spring, Micah, son of Ellie Weiss and Ken Schwartz of Creve Coeur, performed two musical programs for the Brentmoor Retirement Community. He chose this mitzvah project because he loves to sing and wanted to bring a lot of joy to the residents.   

As Micah put it: “I chose this particular project because I am fortunate to have four grandparents living in St. Louis who are in their late 70s, 80s, and 90s. I have always enjoyed spending time with them and interacting with other seniors. I particularly chose the Brentmoor because that’s where my dad’s parents live.”  

Micah’s first program was a “Name that Tune” contest. He got the word out by hanging flyers around the Brentmoor building, and made several announcements during nightly dinners there. He chose music from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s as well as some famous patriotic songs, assuming most of the seniors would be familiar them. 

Gene Jacobson, a local musician, accompanied Micah on the piano. “The program consisted of Gene playing a few measures of a popular song on the piano, and when one of the seniors recognized the name of the song, I would ask them to give me the name of the song,” said Micah. “If their answer was correct then they got to pick out a prize.” Following the contest, Micah entertained the seniors with a few Hebrew and popular songs from today.  

In the second program, Micah sang a variety of songs from famous musicals as well as some Hebrew songs. He performed alongside his friend, Bryn Sentnor, who has starred in many musical productions around the St. Louis area.  

Micah really enjoyed his mitzvah project. “I felt that all the seniors at the Brentmoor were so sweet, kind, and grateful for what I did for them,” he said. “My main goal was to provide a lot of joy for the residents at the Brentmoor because a lot of the seniors there are pretty lonely, so I wanted them to enjoy an afternoon of music and just have a good time. One lady came up to me after the program and said, “You made my day.” I also heard there was a lady who was turning 98 and was unable to attend the program, so I went up to her apartment and sang happy birthday to her.”    

Micah, a student at Parkway Northeast Middle School, plans to go back to the Brentmoor and perform some additional musical programs in 2016. In the meantime, you can see him on most Friday nights at Viviano’s Festa Italiano restaurant in the Four Seasons Shopping Center. Since the age of 7, Micah has been singing karaoke there. Owner, Becky Parker, said that the audiences are always amazed at the talent of this young man.