Jews in the News: January, 2018

Top row, from left: Marcia Mellitz, John Dubinsky, Lewis Levey, Dr. Jeffrey Gordon and Karen Aroesty.  Second Row: Noémi Neidorff, Ed Protzel, Steve Legomsky, Dr. David Holtzman and Beth Feldman. 

Compiled by Editorial Assistant Elise Krug

Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, has been named the 2017 Pillar in the Community by the Clayton Chamber of Commerce. Presented by Centene Corp., the award is given to an individual in the regional community who has made an important impact. In addition, Clark and her husband, Bob Fox, will receive the Spirit of Provident award at the third annual Spirit of Provident Gala on Feb. 10. They are being recognized for their dedication to the St. Louis community. Clark will tell her story of how a visit to Provident’s after- school program a few years ago changed the direction of her life. Her latest project, coming in the spring of 2019, is the Delmar DivINe, a real estate project creating the first collaborative and innovative hub for nonprofits in the Midwest.

On Nov. 13, Marcia Mellitz, John Dubinsky and Lewis Levey were among four people who received a Cortex Beacon Award for their efforts in launching the Cortex Innovation Community. Mellitz, former president of the Center for Emerging Technologies, was given the Cortex Startup Innovation Beacon Award. The Cortex Leadership and Governance Beacon Award went to Dubinsky, president and CEO of Westmoreland Associates LLC. Levey, chairman of Enhanced Value Strategies Inc. and a member of Temple Emanuel, received the Cortex Cornerstone Building Beacon Award.

Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Washington University professor of medicine, has been awarded the Sanofi-Institut Pasteur International Award for his role in founding and leading the field of gut microbiome research. Together with students and colleagues, Gordon’s work has led to a fundamental shift in the way scientists understand the relationship between microbes, human health and disease. He is the director of the Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology.

Karen Aroesty, regional director of the Anti- Defamation League, and Noémi Neidorff, philanthropist and community volunteer, were among eight women honored Dec. 15 at the YWCA’s 37th annual Leader of Distinction Lunch. They were recognized for their accomplishments in the community. Two days later, the ADL honored Neidorff with the Touch of Liberty award. It celebrates those whose efforts preserve our heritage of liberty, freedom, equality and democracy. Neidorff’s musical life and history as an immigrant from Hungary in the 1950s define her impact on the arts, youth and education for so many. Aroesty attends Kol Rinah; Neidorff is a member of Traditional Congregation.

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The second book in Ed Protzel’s DarkHorse Trilogy, “Honor Among Outcasts,” will be published Feb. 2. It is a historical adventure thriller that takes place in Civil War Missouri and is available for presale on Amazon Kindle. Coming out later this year is Protzel’s  “The Antiquities Dealer,” a Jewish noir, futuristic mystery/thriller that takes the reader from St. Louis to Jerusalem and back again. TouchPoint Press publishes both books.

At the 11th annual Memory Care Home Solutions gala, Memories & Melodies, Nancy and Al Siwak were honored with the 2017 Alzheimer’s Community Service Award. They were recognized for their work in bringing MCHS’s mission to the forefront in our community; education and help is available for caregivers of patients with dementia. The Siwaks are members of Central Reform Congregation.

Rabbi Mark Shook was recognized in December  as one of two people to receive the City of Creve Coeur Citizen of the Year 2017 award at the annual Holiday Appreciation Event. He was honored for his dedication and service to the community. He has been a chaplain for the Creve Coeur Police Department since 1990 and served as chaplain for a number of organizations in the area. He is the rabbi emeritus of Congregation Temple Israel and serves as an adjunct professor of Jewish philosophy and international studies at St. Louis University.

Steve Legomsky, the John S. Lehmann University Professor Emeritus in the School of Law at Washington University, had his first novel, “The Picobe Dilemma,” published recently by Booklocker.com. The science-fiction novel explores what it means to be living and whether there are hazards in pursuing eternal life in a laboratory. Readers can order directly from the publisher, Amazon or Left Bank Books.

Dr. David Holtzman is one of three Washington University School of Medicine professors elected to the National Academy of Inventors. As the Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones Professor and head of the Department of Neurology, Holtzman is being honored for distinguished contributions to understanding the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease and for developing diagnostics and treatments for the disease. He attends Congregation Shaare Emeth.

Beth Feldman, United Hebrew Congregation member, has joined the staff of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis as a development associate. She will be working with donors and handle various donor recognition events.

Carolyn Amacher is the new president of St. Louis Hadassah. She is a member of CRC.

J Associates has announced the lineup of performers for its Lip Sync Live community fundraising event March 10 at the Pageant in the Delmar Loop. The St. Louis Stars are: Shari Cohen (Congregation B’nai Amoona, internal medical physician, performing with Eric Cohen and Lisa Deutsch); Merle Fox (Shaare Emeth, community volunteer); Wayne Kaufman (Temple Israel, president of the Kaufman Fund, performing with Gloria Kaufman, Karla Rosenblum, Cindy Kaufman Oberkirsch and Fran Balk); Matt Litwack (Temple Israel and trustee of the Jewish Light, real estate agent and partner of Land Litwack & Associates, performing with Todd Lazarus); Simcha and Michael Lourie (United Hebrew, owner of Simcha’s Events and director of marketing and communications at Missouri Baptist Medical Center); Steve Starr (Shaare Emeth, owner of Starrco Co. performing with Alvin Wolff, Jon Wagner and Joel Schwartz); Mickey Waldman (Shaare Emeth, president Essex Industries, performing with Corey, Evan and Todd Waldman);and Judy Zaft (B’nai Amoona, community volunteer, performing with Robert Becker).