Arts & Faith, Shabbat Project, helicopter of healing

Batya Abramson-Goldstein

Ellen Futterman, Editor

Faith in the museum

Arts & Faith St. Louis and the St. Louis Art Museum have collaborated to provide specially designed Interfaith Tours that focus on artworks reflecting a wide range of faith traditions and inspire questions and conversations among the tour leaders and participants. The goal of these tours is to offer opportunities for the St. Louis community to deepen interfaith dialogue and understanding through the visual arts, according to Batya Abramson-Goldstein, community engagement chair of Arts & Faith St. Louis.

Led by docents, these hour-long tours are scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29 and Sunday, Nov. 5, departing from the museum’s Information Center in the Sculpture Hall in the Main Building. All tours are free, no reservations are required. 

In addition to the drop-in tours, community groups are welcome to request tours at Congregational groups can contact Interfaith Partnership at 314-918-2541 to schedule their tours and explore the possibilities of partnering between congregations.


Celebrating Shabbat together worldwide

It started in 2013 with a simple idea: Jews from all walks of life, from across the spectrum of religious affiliation, young and old, from all corners of the world, join to experience one full Shabbat together. The idea has expanded over the past five years to include hundreds of thousands of Jews all over the world, including in the heart of University City, when the Global Shabbat Project takes place Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28.

“It’s a great big spirited event,” says Zipporah Yaroslawitz, who along with her husband, Rabbi Mordecai Yaroslawitz, known as “Rabbi Yari,” will be hosting a full 25-hour Shabbat at their home.

“It’s a whole other experience filled with a lot of good food, lively singing and some fabulous talks that work together to elevate the Shabbat,” said Zipporah. “My husband is famous for his stories, which give a lot of depth and meaning to the spirit of Shabbat. But this is not just intellectual but also emotional – a whole body experience. It’s a chance to meet new people and celebrate the fact that as Jews, we are one big family.” 

The weekend begins on Friday with a welcome reception, featuring Zipporah’s legendary potato kugel  at the Yaris’ home at 8160 Balson Ave. in University City from 3:30-5 p.m. Candle lighting will take place at 5:49 p.m.

The Yaris will host all meals during the 25-hour Shabbat experience, including Friday night dinner, Saturday morning brunch, Saturday lunch, and light dinner on Saturday afternoon. They also will help arrange for overnight accommodations so that anyone joining the Global Shabbat Project can sleep comfortably. Time between (and during) meals will be spent singing, dancing, schmoozing, relaxing, and engaging in games and group discussions. The Shabbat will conclude with a Havdalah ceremony on Saturday at sundown.

“The 25 hours of Shabbat is often referred to as an ‘island in time,’” said Zipporah, explaining that her family avoids turning on/off electric devices and using phones or computers. Electric lights will remain either on or off over the duration of Shabbat.

In addition to the Yaris’ home hospitality, U. City Shul will host a young professional Shabbat dinner free of charge Friday night, while Young Israel welcomes families for a Shabbat dinner. The cost of the family dinner is $18 for adults, $10 for children under 12 or $72 for a family maximum. The shuls will also have luncheons on Saturday. For details and information, or to make reservations, contact Judy at Young Israel at [email protected] or 314- 727-1880. At U. City Shul, contact [email protected].

To attend the Shabbat at the Yaris, contact Zipporah at 314-435-9282 or email [email protected]. While the Shabbat at the Yaris’ home is free, an optional $18 donation is welcome.


Nine takes on Vietnam

The Nine Network of Public Media (Channel 9) will host an art viewing and screening Sunday Nov. 5 of the film “Take Me Home Huey,” followed by a panel discussion at 3655 Olive St. The film chronicles the transformation of a 47-foot medevac helicopter from a wounded war bird in Vietnam into a colorful work of art. The sculpture was created to pay homage to Vietnam veterans and raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The art viewing will feature the actual transformed helicopter and begins at 1 p.m.; the film follows at 2 with the discussion at 3. Panelists are Dr. Eric Berla, a University City dentist and Vietnam veteran who is featured in the film and was instrumental in getting it made (read the Light’s 2016 story on Berla at; John Hosier, a Vietnam veteran and curator of Through The Eyes traveling Vietnam museum; Repps Hudson, a journalist and Jewish Light contributor, and David Klein, a clinical psychologist at the Veterans Administration Hospital in St. Louis. The event is free, but RSVPs are required at 314-512-9153 or [email protected]

The film will also be shown on PBS nationally, including St. Louis, at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7 on Channel 9.

In addition, Channel 9 is offering plenty of programming throughout November to appeal to Jewish audiences, including a Jewish Film Showcase. Unfortunately, you either have to stay up late to watch, or DVR the films. They include:

• “Raise the Roof,” about a couple’s 10-year effort to reconstruct a magnificent, 18th century, Polish wooden synagogue in Poland, which has become the iconic centerpiece of the new POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.  It airs at 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4.

• “Carvalho’s Journey,” which tells the story of Solomon Nunes Carvalho (1815-1897), an observant Sephardic Jew born in Charleston, S.C., and his life as a groundbreaking photographer, artist and pioneer in American history. At 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11.

• “Ahead of Time: The Incredible Journey of Ruth G,” who became the youngest Ph.D. in the world before going on to become an international foreign correspondent and photojournalist at age 24. At 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18.


Special needs soccer clinic, which offers volunteer experiences to teenagers, will host its 6th annual soccer-for-all clinic for youth with special needs from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29 at Upper Gay Field in Clayton. The free clinic is designed for children ages 4-12 with special needs, including Down syndrome and autism.

The program’s goal is to promote fitness and fun in a non-competitive environment, offering special needs youngsters one-on-one individualized instruction from high school soccer players. All youth with special needs and their siblings are welcome to attend.  Parents must stay during the event and register their child in advance at For more information, email [email protected].