Hillel to celebrate 60 years in St. Louis

BY MIKE SHERWIN, STAFF WRITER

To mark its 60th anniversary, St. Louis Hillel will celebrate with a gala dinner on Sunday, May 6 at the Westin St. Louis Hotel in downtown St. Louis.

The event, themed “M’Dor L’Dor” or “From Generation to Generation” will recognize longtime supporters of Hillel.

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Alvin Goldfarb, will receive the inaugural M’Dor L’Dor award. Goldfarb who attended the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University, is the retired president of Worth Stores Corporation. He along with his late wife, Jeanette, who graduated from Washington University’s School of Social Work, have been major philanthropists in the St. Louis area, particularly with Washington University. On the campus, the Goldfarbs have left their mark, as the namesakes for the Jeanette Goldfarb Plant Growth Facility, the Alvin Goldfarb Auditorium, the Alvin Goldfarb Hall and Hillel’s current home, the Alvin and Jeanette Goldfarb Hillel building at 6300 Forsyth Blvd., across the street from Washington University.

In addition, the event will recognize Lynn Lyss, Adam Simon, Rabbi James Diamond, Stephanie Kurtzman, Michael and Leslie Litwack and Michelle Dorin.

The gala dinner will feature two local cantors, Adina Frydman, from Congregation B’nai Amoona and Linda Blumenthal, from Temple Israel, who will perform with STAAM, a Washington University student a capella group.

Jaqueline Ulin Levey, the incoming vice president of development for the Hillel St. Louis Board of Directors, and one of the organizers of the event, said the focus of the night would be on recognizing Hillel’s supporters over the years.

“We have selected a number of honorees from the St. Louis area as well as from around the country who epitomize the three pillars of St. Louis Hillel’s mission: social justice, leadership and Israel,” Levey said. “The honorees really reflect the 60 extraordinary years that we’ve had. They’re a microcosm of the number of people who, through their professional and volunteer work and their philanthropy in the Jewish community, exemplify the core values of Hillel.”

Levey, who completed her undergraduate degree and her law degree at Washington University and is now a lawyer with Armstrong Teasdale LLP, said she was active in Hillel during her college years, and that its mission continues to resonate with her.

“The great thing about Hillel, that really sets it apart from other organizations, is that it focuses on trying to engage students wherever they come from Jewishly,” she said.

“Hillel tries to facilitate a connection between students’ passions and interests and Judaism. For example, integrating the Jewish values of social justice and tikkun olam into the community service programs that students are doing on and off campus.”

“Some students may already be engaged and may have been active in youth group or may have even gone to a Hebrew high school or even a yeshiva and they come to Wash. U. knowing that it has a strong Jewish community. But for some others, they may never have had a real focus on Jewish activities and they may not have been very involved in the Jewish community growing up, and so Hillel is there to be a presence on campus and help cultivate that connection for them,” Levey said.

Tickets for the Hillel St. Louis dinner are still available, for $135 per person. The event takes place at 6 p.m. on Sunday May 6 at the Westin St. Louis Hotel. For more information, call Hillel development associate Smadar Chezrony at 314-935-9044 or email [email protected]

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