JEWISH ST. LOUIS ROUNDUP OF COMMUNITY EVENTS

COMPILED BY JILL KASSANDER

B’nai El Congregation: Members of the congregation along with friends and family helped Habitat of Humanity in North St. Louis. They assisted with many projects and enjoyed meeting the future home owner and her sister. Volunteers included: Richard Alexander, Rick Baseley, Amye and Dan Carrigan, Barbara and Allan Geller, Michelle Huffman, Louise and Greg Levine, Frank Lorberbaum, Linda MacRunnel, Helen McLaughlin, Lynn Stuart, Nancy Winograd and Denise Wool.

BSKI: The congregation is very excited about their new youth advisor, Alana Sabin. She grew up in St. Louis and attended Ohio State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Jewish Studies. Since graduating she was the program director of the Jewish Federation of Southern Illinois and for the last three years served as the Jewish student life coordinator at St. Louis Hillel.

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Central Reform Congregation: Director of advocacy and communications Jennifer Bersdale reported more than 100 members of congregational and allied faith organizations gathered at the Chase Park Plaza to watch Michael Moore’s movie about healthcare in the U.S., SiCKO. After the movie, more than 70 people joined in a discussion about the movie, shared their concerns about the current healthcare system in the U.S. and their thoughts about what it would take to reform our healthcare system. The event was a joint program of the congregation and the Interfaith Partnership/Faith Beyond Walls.


Intercongregational Softball League: On a very hot Aug. 5, the semi-final and championship games were played at B’nai Amoona’s softball field. In the semi-final game United Hebrew Ball-a-Busta’s outlasted a very good Temple Israel team 17-9. Fueled by home runs by Randy Stern and Jim Broddon, UH scored at least two runs in every inning except for the first. For the championship game it was UH Ball-a-Bustas vs. Shaare Emeth. With winning their fourth championship in a row in their sights, the UH Ball-a-Busta’s turned on the scoring engine in the third, fourth, and fifth innings and shut the door on Shaare Emeth’s chance to win. With stellar offense and incredible defense, the Ball-a-Busta’s won 19-4 for their fourth league championship in a row. Adam Herman, Randy Stern and Michael Poscover all hit deep home runs to help push through many runs. Golda Cohen and Mic Spielberg had great games hitting and fielding. Scott Lieberman, Andy Speilberg, Ron Gibbs, Mike Alter, Jim Broddon and Bryan Rader all had multi-hit games to help propel the team to victory. Official team scorekeepers were Rebekah Poscover and Laurie Lieberman. Missing from the game but part of the integral team to get to the championship were: Wendy Gellman, Julie Gibbs, Maury Poscover (DL), Jeff Shifrin and Barry Wallis.

Kol Am: It was a joyous celebration of 32 years of dreams and hard work for congregants at the special first anniversary Shabbat service and oneg for their new building. Much more than bricks and mortar, the building is a place where everyone can worship, sing and celebrate with love of Torah and each other, said President Beth Knight.

Neve Shalom: Will Soll recently presented the first of four classes on “Six Authors in Search of Character: An Introduction to Mussar.” The introductory course to mussar is based on the writings of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv of Kelm, Emmanuel Levinas, Rabbi Adin Steinsalz, Rabbi Ira Stone, and Alan Morinis.

Shaare Emeth: August marked the beginning of a new year for the senior group said steering committee member Margie Kulstein. The group welcomed their new advisor Cantor Seth Warner and gave a million thanks to past advisor Rabbi Andrea Goldstein. Everyone enjoyed their recent behind the scenes tour of the Fabulous Fox Theatre with Stan Kann at the organ and a great lunch in the Fox Club.

Shaare Zedek: Tessa Katan and Marty Schaeffer said travel best described the summer fun camp experiences his year. Campers “flew” from Africa to Mexico and ended up in Israel. There were many different age appropriate sensory activities including music, movement in dance, hearing the different languages and tasting different foods.

Temple Israel: The Union of Reform Judaism recently announced the synagogue is one of ten recipients of the Belin Award for their TI’s THAT BIND MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM. The program empowers members to give one year gift memberships to any person or family of their choice. The Belin Awards are given to recognize superior programs from around North America that demonstrate a very high level of creativity, originality and replicability. The program was the brainchild of the Temple membership committee several years ago under the chairmanship of Jonathan Bloom. It was so successful that the board of trustees voted to repeat the program periodically. The detailed award application was completed by Diana Rothbarth and Judy Lewis, director of membership and public relations.

United Hebrew Congregation: The Israel Committee reported congregants and members from other congregations enjoyed a Havdalah service in the congregation’s newly redone Temple garden. The program continued with the showing of the documentary Forgotten Refugees, which deals with Jews from Arab countries who emigrated to Israel. Eli Harir, formerly from Yemen, spoke about his life in that country followed by a question-and-answer period. The evening ended with the serving of a variety of Israeli dishes.

Young Israel of St. Louis: Rabbi Moshe Shulman and Rabbi Jeffrey Bienenfeld both shared the bima on a recent Shabbat as Rabbi Bienenfeld officially handed over the reins of leadership to Rabbi Shulman who is the congregation’s new spiritual leader. Rabbi Shulman and synagogue president Bobby Medow both congratulated Rabbi Bienenfeld for having performed so excellently during his lengthy term as the congregation’s inspirational and learned leadership.