Local teen is FEMA phenom

Emily Rosenblum and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. 

Ellen Futterman

As I come up for air during my binge watch of “Orange is the New Black,” some N&S to mention: 

Local vocal

“The Art of the Cantor,” a Chicago-based radio show written and hosted by Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi, is now airing on St. Louis’ classical Radio Arts Foundation, 107.3 FM, Sundays from 9 to 10 a.m. Eight hourly installments focus on the “Golden Age of the Cantor (1920-1960),” and feature the music of some of the greatest cantors of the 20th century including Richard Tucker, Gershon Sirota, Yossele Rosenblatt, Moyse Oysher, the Koussevitzky brothers, Jan Peerce and many more. Mizrahi, cantor of Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago, provides historical background and personal insight into the lives and voices of these Jewish spiritual leaders. For more information, go to rafstl.org.

FEMA phenom

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Emily Rosenblum, 17, of Wentzville, was appointed as National Chairman of the Youth Preparedness Council in Washington, D.C, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The daughter of Mark and Karen Rosenblum, Emily is an honor student at Wentzville Holt High School, where she will be a senior. 

Last June, Emily was one of five youngsters chosen from around the nation to serve as the FEMA Region VII (Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa) YPC representative.  On May 26, FEMA’s Individual and Community Prepared Division executive board chose Emily to chair the 15-member council, which supports involving youth in preparedness-related FEMA activities and engaging their perspectives, feedback and opinions. Emily and other young leaders will travel to Washington, D.C., in July to participate in a community preparedness summit with leaders of national agencies and organizations. 

Her father said he couldn’t venture to guess the number of volunteer hours Emily spends on FEMA business. “She has all the (FEMA) directors and administrators on speed dial,” he said.

Emily’s main responsibilities center on ensuring that young people are prepared for any emergencies or disasters they may confront. “I intend to continue to stress the importance of readiness and preparedness, because you never know when an emergency will happen and you will need to know how to handle it on your own, possibly without any assistance for days or weeks,” said Emily, who hopes to one day be a trauma surgeon. 

Who doesn’t love a bargain?

If you’re Groupon crazy like me, you might consider jdeals, which is the Jewish equivalent. Subscribers get periodic emails alerting them to Jewish-related discounts, such as half-off on Judaica websites, as well as chances to enter various contests. A portion of the money charged through jdeals benefits Jewish charities and non-profits. The site, which is based in New York, is still new, but the hope is that eventually Jewish vendors in other cities, such as St. Louis, will offer discounts to folks in their area. It’s free to subscribe, so if interested, go to jdeal.com. 

Bridge to charity

My 82-year-old mother swears by the game of bridge. Not only does it keep her mind sharp, she says, it’s also great fun. Both seem to be the inspiration behind the St. Louis Bridge Center’s “Longest Day” event Saturday, June 21, when it raises funding and awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. Bridge games will be held at 9 a.m., and 1 and 6 p.m., with each game costing $8 and proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Association. Games are open to all duplicate bridge players (Mom says that’s the best kind of bridge); at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. the center will also host games for social bridge players.  The St. Louis Bridge Center formed its team this year as part of the American Contract Bridge League. Team co-chairs are Linda Powers and Bruce Greenspan. The team has a goal of $7,500.  The St. Louis Bridge Center is located at 8616 Olive Boulevard in Olivette.  For more information, call 314- 569-1430 or go to stlouisbridge.org. Too bad mom lives in New Jersey!

Being catty

On Monday, I received an advance copy of a book geared toward middle schoolers called “Cat in the City” (Dial Books for Young Readers, $16.99) by Julie Salamon and illustrated by Jill Weber. Salamon, you may remember, appeared at the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival in 2011 with her biography about playwright Wendy Wasserstein. This latest foray tells of a slick New York City cat named Pretty Boy who prides himself on being independent. But when he learns the pleasures of companionship, he realizes home is where the heart is, or at least where his friends are. And in New York City, Pretty Boy will always have a place to call home. Hopefully, when the book is released in early September, Salamon will come to St. Louis for a reading. After all, her husband, Bill Abrams, is a graduate of Ladue Horton Watkins High School, so like Pretty Boy, Salamon will always have a home here.