Jews in the news

The JCC’s winning lifeguard team is (back row, left to right) – Stephanie Feit, Rachel Scholten, Emily Naclario, Brandon Foley; (front row) Kyle Fetick (team coach), Bari Hersckovitz and Jordan Pauluhn.

JCC lifeguards take home honors in Red Cross competition

A team of lifeguards from the St. Louis Jewish Community Center (JCC) participated in the American Red Cross’ 14th Annual Lifeguard Competition in July, taking first place in the First Aid Scenario Event and forth overall out of 28 competing teams. In the 2009 competition, the JCC team finished in seventh place out of 19 teams.

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“This speaks to the hard work and dedication of the J’s summer lifeguarding staff.  I am so proud of them not only for these accomplishments, but also their commitment to ensuring all our members and guests are swimming safe,” said Lynn Wittels, President & CEO of the Jewish Community Center.

Representing the J’s life guarding team was Brandon Foley, Emily Naclerio, Stephanie Feit, Jordan Pauluhn, Bari Hersckowitz and Rachel Scholten.

The squad was comprised of college students who take their (mostly) summer jobs very seriously. Naclerio is in her fourth summer with the JCC and a second time competitor.  Scholten is in her third year as lifeguard, and Hersckowitz and Feit are in their second year, followed by Foley and Pauluhn. Hersckowitz, Naclerio and Scholten shared another common bond, as they all learned to swim at the JCC while growing up.

During the competition, lifeguard teams compete in scenario-based events designed to enhance their rescue skills. Judges award points to the lifeguard teams based on their performance in exercises that require substantial skills in CPR, First Aid, the rescue of passive and active victims, and the appropriate management of spinal injuries. Teams are comprised of four to six members, with four members participating in each event. The competition is comprised of teams from all over the state, with the requirement that they work with the St. Louis Chapter of the Red Cross.

NFTY Israel trip

Becca Levine traveled to Israel with other local teens as they took part in NFTY’s Israel Adventure. Emma Compton, Stacy Bernstein, Carrie Seleman, Lauren Hasse, Aaron Dayan and Allie Winchell, along with Levine, were all put in the Goldman Union Camp Institute group during the trip because they had all gone to GUCI at different times. Levine said the group became fast friends in Israel. “Israel is a place of connection, understanding, and is an empowerment to all Jewish people,” she said. “I can speak for all of us when saying this summer in Israel was one of the best experiences we have ever had.”

JCC’s Wittels honored by ‘St. Louis Business Journal’

Lynn Wittels, President & CEO of the JCC, was honored as one of 25 women named as St. Louis’ Most Influential Business Women, an annual program led by The St. Louis Business Journal.  This annual award recognizes remarkable women who excel in careers in the business arena in the St. Louis area. “Lynn is not only a great leader but a savvy business woman,” said Michael Staenberg, Board Chairman of the JCC.  “She has been instrumental in turning around the J operationally and financially, working hard to ensure that generations to come will have a J in the St. Louis community.”

Jewish Federation honors Gross, Siwak

C. Bradley Gross and Stacy Oberman Siwak have been named 2010 David N. and Roselin Grosberg Young Leadership Award recipients by the Jewish Federation of St. Louis. The awards will be presented at Federation’s annual meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15 at the Kopolow Building. The Grosberg Award, which was established in 1961, honors young adults who demonstrate outstanding leadership skills and dedication to the Jewish community.


Community Kudos:

Todd E. Edelman, son of Dr. Sybil Mitchell and the late Dr. Alan Edelman, was named by President Barack Obama to be a Judge on the Superior Court of Washington, D.C. He was a 1986 graduate of Horton Watkins Ladue High School before attending Yale University and New York University Law School. He and his family were members of Congregation B’nai Amoona. Judge Edelman spent most of his career as a trial attorney with the Public Defender Service of Washington, D.C. – becoming chief of the office’s Serious Felony Section. He was also of counsel at Washington’s Bredhoff & Kaiser between 2005 and 2008.  Most recently he served as a visiting associate professor at The Georgetown University Law Center.

He lives in Washington D.C. with his wife, Marisa Nightingale, and their two children, Nora, 5, and Jacob, 3.

• Brentwood High School drama teacher Anita Lippman has gotten some national attention: She’s the recipient of the first-ever Outstanding Theatre Educator Award, created by the Educational Theatre Association to give students a way to publicly recognize their teachers. Lippman was nominated for the honor by student Joey Merlotti, who credits her guidance for his “successful high school experience.” Lippman was recognized at the International Thespian Conference in Lincoln, Neb. this summer. She has been teaching for 31 years – 16 of them at Brentwood.

• Rabbi Michael Moskowitz recently was installed as President of Michigan Board of Rabbis.  Moskowitz is the son of Carl and Marcia Moskowitz of Creve Coeur.  He serves as rabbi of Temple Shir Shalom, West Bloomfield, Mich.

• Hazzan Howard Shalowitz was one of 12 cantors worldwide to receive a Scholar Certificate at the annual meeting of the Cantors Assembly in New York City. The Scholar Certificate was conferred upon Shalowitz for teaching, studying, lecturing and general Jewish music education. This certificate is given to a handful of cantors for a culmination of studying and teaching diverse Jewish musical topics such as nusach (prayer modes), trope (cantillation), ethnomusicology, hazzanut, Yiddish music, Ladino music and the history of Jewish music.

Shalowitz serves a diverse group – this year alone, he has been a guest lecturer on Jewish music at the University of Miami, onboard a kosher for Passover cruise, and at synagogues in Wyoming, Maine, Idaho and Ontario. He continues to serve as a lecturer on planned giving for fundraising efforts in the Cantors Assembly, and as the chairman of the Cantors Assembly’s Ambassador Program, which services smaller congregations throughout North America. As an attorney, Shalowitz also represents both cantors and rabbis in contract negotiations with synagogues throughout the United States.