Much to do in September; Crown Center’s big plans

By Ellen Futterman

Pick and choose

September is shaping up to be a busy month, with numerous events of special interest to the St. Louis Jewish community. In some cases, these events are going on simultaneously, which makes it difficult — but not impossible — for those of us who want to be at both.

For example, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis is holding its annual meeting Thursday, Sept. 7 at the Magic House in Kirkwood. A hors d’oeuvre and drinks reception will kick off the evening at 5:30 p.m., with the meeting to follow at 6:30. Supervised children’s activities will be offered. The cost is $18 a person; $36 per family. For more information, contact Barbara Levin at 314-442-3752 or [email protected].

On the same evening, Burns Recovered and Neiman Marcus will present “More Than A Fashion Show” benefiting the Midwest Children’s Burn Camp from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The fifth annual event raises funds for children surviving serious burn injuries, helping them find hope and build confidence. The burn camp takes place at Camp Sabra every summer for one week, which is followed by camper gatherings throughout the year. Not one child pays for camp.  

Neiman Marcus will host the Sept. 7 evening of cocktails, light bites and fashion with a special presentation from young survivors who share their stories. The event is co-chaired by Faith Berger, Kate Duryea and Sheri Sherman. Tickets, which start at $75, can be ordered online at

Sept. 10 offers two other noteworthy events, though being able to attend both is more doable. Shaving Israel, which supplies Israeli soldiers with personal care items, is presenting speaker Meira Ganel, who will share her experiences from meeting with Israel Defense Forces soldiers. The free talk will take place from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at a private home. Those interested should RSVP to Rachel Miller at 314-579-9653 or Mimi Fiszel at 314-469-3189 by Sept. 1.

Later that day, the seventh annual Arts & Faith St. Louis Interfaith Concert begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Sheldon Concert Hall in Grand Center. The concert first started on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 as a way to bring the local community together by creating a commemoration in music.

In addition to performances from a wide range of religious and youth choirs, this year’s Sept. 10 concert will feature an interfaith, interactive teen video project. The video includes local teen perspectives through conversations, visits to houses of worship and creative expressions of making music and art, which represent shared faith values. For more information, visit

Sophisticated cinema

Another fun September event, and free to boot, is the Silver Screen Series that takes place at the AMC Creve Coeur 12 theaters. This year’s fifth annual film series, presented by the Creve Coeur Arts Committee and Maturity and its Muse, features three Monday movies, all starting at 1 p.m. (doors open at 12:30), followed by a post-viewing discussion. The films are:

• Sept. 11, “Lady in the Van,” based on a true story about the unlikely friendship between a London playwright (Alex Jennings) and a homeless elderly woman (Maggie Smith) who lived in a van in his driveway for 15 years.  Sun Smith- Forét, anartist and practicing psychotherapist, will lead the discussion. 

• Sept. 18, “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” about a long-time widow (Blythe Danner) who begins relationships with two very different men (Martin Starr, Sam Elliott) and discovers that life can begin anew at any age. Susan Rava,retired senior lecturer in French language and literature at Washington University and author of “Swimming Solo: A Daughter’s Memoir of her Parents, His Parents and Alzheimer’s Disease,” will lead the discussion.

• Sept. 25, “The Notebook,” based on a Nicholas Sparks novel about a millworker (Ryan Gosling) and rich girl (Rachel McAdams) torn apart by social differences and war. Susan Fadem, a journalistand host of her own movie salon group for 14 years, will lead the discussion.

For more information, contact Lynn Hamilton at [email protected] or 314-420-1444 or Bess McCoy at [email protected] or 314-442-2081.

Crown Center to replace Tallin Building

Nikki Goldstein, executive director of Crown Center, reports that after consultation and analysis, the senior living facility in University City plans to replace its 50-year -old Tallin Building with new facilities that are energy efficient, accessible, and have the storage, layouts, and amenities that today’s retirees expect.

“We are in the very beginning phase of design and planning, but want the community to be aware of the project as it becomes a more public discussion,” said Goldstein, adding that residents already were made aware of this decision. 

For those unfamiliar, Crown Center is a not for profit organization that provides affordable apartment housing and services to senior adults. It began in 1967 when National Council of Jewish Women constructed a nonprofit building (Tallin Building, originally The Delcrest) and followed by significant expansion in 1995 with a second high-rise apartment building (Weinberg Building), resulting in today’s 244 units.

Apply for PJ Library National Design Team

PJ Library has opened up the application process for its 5th Annual National Design Team. Tweens between the ages of 9 and 11 have until Oct. 22 to apply for the design team, which has early access to PJ Our Way books and creates videos, reviews, polls, quizzes, and blogs for the website. The team meets monthly between November and June via videoconference with Team Director, Saskia Swenson Moss.

National Design Team members gain writing, design, communication, collaboration and analytical skills. They participate in team-building workshops, form friendships with peers from all over the country, and develop quality content.

For an application and more information, contact Moss at [email protected].