Robert A. Cohn, the Jewish Light’s Editor-in-Chief Emeritus should have a special page in the Guinness World Records book for his lengthy involvement and interest in civil rights. He was in University City Junior High at the time of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in 1954 on Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, which struck down segregated schools.
Through today Bob continues as the Chairman of the St. Louis County Human Relations Commission where he has served for more than 40 years. It comes as no surprise that he has been selected, along with Dr. Donald Suggs, President and Publisher of the St. Louis American, our city’s largest African-American newspaper, to receive the Heschel-King award from Jews United for Justice – St. Louis.
From 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, Bob and Dr. Suggs will receive the prestigious Heschel-King award, which honors the memory of Rabbi Abraham Heschel and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, both religious leaders who believed that working for social justice and peace are essential components of their respective faiths. The event is free and open to the public and takes place at Washington University’s 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Avenue in the Delmar Loop. The building was once the home of Congregation Shaare Emeth, where Bob received his religious education.
Every year, Jews United for Justice, a grassroots organization of progressives and activists, honors a member of the Jewish community and a member of the African-American community who personify the spirit of cooperation and support for civil rights of Rabbi Heschel and Dr. King.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to be named the Jewish recipient of the Jews United for Justice Award and that the African-American honoree is Dr. Donald Suggs, my friend and esteemed colleague,” Cohn said. “I am especially honored to be among the group of former honorees who include Bill Kahn, Rabbi Jerome Grollman, Rabbi Bernard Lipnick and Sam Bernstein.” African-Americans honored with the award have included Sister Antona Ebo, Norman Seay, Dr. Henry Givens and Georgia Rusan.
Both Heschel and King were born in the month of January, two men who referred to each other as modern day prophets. Appropriately, Jews United for Justice was determined to make a holiday during this time of year to honor both men and their partnership.
The award ceremony will celebrate their lives, with reflections by Cohn and Suggs, a musical tribute by Rabbi James Stone Goodman and a wine and cheese/dessert reception. Kindermusik ACADEMY of Chesterfield, Clayton and Des Peres is sponsoring four events for kids under the age of six and a parent, all to benefit the Saint Louis Symphony. Called “Movin’ and Grooving’ with Kindermusik,” the dates are Jan. 12 and 16 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 16801 Baxter Road in Chesterfield; Jan. 14 at BSKI’s Children’s activity center, 1107 E. Linden in Richmond Heights; and Jan. 13 at Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Road.
The purpose of Movin’ and Groovin’ is to inspire young families to bring enrichment and power of music into the lives of their young children and to raise awareness of the cultural treasure we have in St. Louis — the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
The programs are free with an optional $5 donation to the SLSO. For more information and to register call Jan Fishman at 314-434-9496 or email [email protected]
UNIVERSITY OF CAROL– Carol Shapiro’s much beloved art history classes is now in its 22nd season. The 2010 eight-week winter session, called Students’ Choices, begins Jan. 20 and continues through March 10. Except for the first two sessions, when Carol will present the new Renzo Piano wing for 20th century art at the Chicago Art institute and the collection it houses, the remainder of the sessions have been selected by Carol’s students. For example, she will explore the Uffizi Museum in Florence, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and Mus ée D’Orsay in Paris. Add to that surrealist Renee Magritte and women artists of the late 19th and 20th centuries and you have a delicious mix of art. The classes meet on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and on the following Monday evening, but students may divide their time and attend different days when necessary. Call Carol at 314-567-6553 for details on her winter session and to register.