Jewish Light celebrates 50 years as St. Louis’ independent Jewish news source

Part of the front page of the April 3, 1963 St. Louis Jewish Light, the paper’s first issue as an independent nonprofit. 

The St. Louis Jewish Light is celebrating its golden anniversary in 2013!

This year marks the Light’s 50th year as an independent news organization, with major plans for honoring the anniversary throughout the year, capped by its Golden Light Gala on Oct. 6.

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“All year long we will be telling the story of the Light’s history from the time it first began to publish as an independent nonprofit in 1963,” says Publisher/CEO Larry Levin. “Our plans include a wide variety of features both in the newspaper and online, and opportunities for our readers in the community to tell us what the Light has meant to them.”

That coverage will culminate in a community-wide event, the Golden Light Gala, slated for the evening of Oct. 6 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Clayton. Light Trustee and event chair Myrna Meyer says the evening will be filled with fun and exciting samples of the last half-century’s news.

“The Light’s history is the local Jewish community’s history,” says Meyer. “If it has been important to Jewish St. Louisans, then it’s been in the Light. We want to honor that unique nexus between the Light, the professional staff and lay leadership who have published it, and the community members who have been the subject of so many of our stories.”

The Jewish Light came into existence as a newspaper in 1947 as a creation of the Jewish Federation. After 16 years the newspaper was spun off and in 


April, 1963 published its first edition as an independent nonprofit.

Among the highlights that will run during the year are:

• A weekly feature starting next week, with interesting tidbits, trivia and lore about both the Light and the community.

• Editor in Chief Emeritus Bob Cohn’s biweekly Cohnipedia column, which will focus on each decade of the last five as the year progresses.

• A bimonthly special “collector’s” feature section on each of the five decades that have transpired since the Light began publishing independently.

• Special website features such as interviews with past presidents and others.

The year is also an opportunity for the Light to focus on important fundraising goals for the organization, including:

• A digital archive of all the Light’s content since it began in 1947

• Technology solutions for an ever-changing media market

• Endowment and reserve resources to provide a steady and necessary financial future

“We are truly excited to recognize the Light’s great accomplishments all year,” says Board President Jenny Wolkowitz. “Our mission and focus are typically devoted to others in the community, since that’s what journalism is all about. This year we get to ask community members to recognize what the Light has meant to them, so that we can continue to cover the works and deeds of our exceptional community for decades to come.”

Meyer’s 50th event committee includes a number of community members who have been involved in the Light and other Jewish organizations. The committee chairs are: 

• Kristi Meyers Gallup

• Harvey Hieken

• Myrna Meyer

• Ed Musen

• Galia Movitz

• Lynne Palan

• Marci Rosenberg

• Sheri Sherman