Creve Coeur honors Shaare Emeth for efforts to redress discrimination

Rabbi Andrea Goldstein (center) and Jim Singer (right), of Congregation Shaare Emeth accept the Heart of the Community award from Creve Coeur Mayor Bob Hoffman.

THE JEWISH LIGHT STAFF

When the Creve Coeur Economic Development Committee announced its 2021 Business Awards Winners on May 20, a local Jewish organization and Jewish doctor were recognized.

The city’s Heart of the Community Award 2021 went to Congregation Shaare Emeth for making a positive impact in Creve Coeur by playing a significant role in telling the story of Dr. Howard Phillip Venable. In 1956, when Venable and his family, who were Black, purchased land in Creve Coeur on which to build their home, the city acquired their land by the power of eminent domain and later turned it into a park (called Beirne Park, named after a former mayor who led the racial segregation effort). City and court records show that the people leading this effort were motivated by bigotry and racial hate.

When members of Shaare Emeth discovered the history behind the park, they stepped forward to do what they could to right this historic wrong for the betterment of the community. 

On Dec. 9, 2019, the Creve Coeur City Council approved a resolution renaming the park as Dr. H. Phillip Venable Memorial Park.

ADVERTISEMENT

Read the Light’s previous coverage of these efforts by local attorney Jim Singer and his synagogue, Shaare Emeth.

In addition to Shaare Emeth’s award, Dr. David Katzman was one of two physicians honored with the city’s Most Innovative Business Award for the development of a Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR) of their own design to help minimize the risk to healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The device they created has a loose fitting hood, a fog-free face shield and state-of-the-art air filtering device. During the past year, the doctors have donated PAPR to hospitals in the United States and to medical providers in countries with limited access to vaccines. Katzman attends CRC.