‘Marriage Makeover’; Shoah in France; NCJW Support group

Aish offers ‘Marriage Makeover’

The “Marriage Makeover” program, sponsored by Aish HaTorah St. Louis, Jewish Family and Children’s Service and St. Louis Healthy Marriage Coalition, will strive to help couples enhance intimacy, communicate more effectively and make stronger connections in their marriage. Participants will learn to express both negative and positive emotions in a constructive, sensitive manner and learn skills to confront large, explosive conflict while avoiding negative, damaging interaction.


All programs are to take place at The Gloria and Rubin Feldman Aish HaTorah Center “The Firehouse” at 457 N. Woods Mill Road in Chesterfield. Online sessions will be held as well. The sessions are as follows:

* Session I: Intro to Jewish Marriage, with Rabbi Josh Kohl, from 1 to 4 p.m Sunday, May 17. Suggested donation: $25 per couple. An online session takes place at 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 27.

* Session II: Communication Skills, with Rabbi Kohl, from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 14. Suggested donation: $25 per couple. A second online session takes place at 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 24.

In addition, David Lieberman will give the Mark Raiffie Memorial Lecture on “How to Make a Good Marriage Great!” at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 31. It is free.

For additional information, please contact Rabbi Shmuel Greenwald at [email protected] or call Aish HaTorah St. Louis at 314-862-2474.

Service on Shoah’s impact in France

The community is invited to attend Le Devoir de M émoire (The Duty to Remember), a special Holocaust memorial service at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 17 at Congregation Kol Am, 1023 Chesterfield Parkway East. The event is being offered as part of Congregation Kol Am’s year-long French Connections program and will focus on the impact of the Holocaust in France.

Several St. Louis Holocaust survivors and their families will be participating in the service. Also taking part in the commemoration will be Dan Reich, curator and director of education for the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center in St. Louis, and Felicia Graber, founder and organizer of the Holocaust Child Survivors Support Group in St. Louis and a contributor to And Life is Changed Forever: Holocaust Childhoods Remembered. The service will be led by Kol Am’s Rabbi, S éverine Haziza-Sokol, a native of Lyon, France.

At this event, Kol Am will also officially announce a cultural exchange and educational mission in support of The Rivesaltes Camp Memorial project in France. The service will be conducted primarily in English, with some French and Hebrew.

The French Connections program at Congregation Kol Am is a year-long exploration of French Jewish culture and history. The program culminates in a trip to France and Geneva, Switzerland in June 2010 led by Rabbi Haziza-Sokol and her husband, Neal Sokol. All French Connections programs, including the trip, are open to the community. For more information or to join the French Connections mailing list, contact Ronni at [email protected] or 636-519-0082.

SMDS-RJA will hold annual gala May 17

A gala to benefit Saul Mirowitz Day School–Reform Jewish Academy will begin at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, May 17 at the Ritz Carlton in Clayton.

The event will feature a high-energy dueling piano tribute to pop legends Billy Joel and Elton John as well as pay homage to several honorees who have been instrumental to the school. Sponsors of the gala include the Cherrick, Karsh and Rosenthal Family; Gladys K. Crown Foundation; Nancy and Randy Green; Adrienne Momi; the Staenberg Foundation; the Fox Family Foundation and I.E. Millstone. For more information or for tickets, at $150, call 314-569-2692.

Yokneam/Meggido school supply drive

Chabad on Campus is conducting a school supply drive for a school serving recent immigrants in St. Louis’ sister city of Yokneam/Meggido. Any school supplies in good shape (pens, folders, markers, notebooks) are welcome. Drop off items in the front room of Chabad on Campus – Rohr Center for Jewish Life, 7018 Forsyth Boulevard, just west of Big Bend Boulevard. Supplies will be accepted until Friday, May 15.

CAJE awards school enhancement grants

The Central Agency for Jewish Education has allocated $22,500 for the first six months of 2009 to St. Louis congregational schools through its School Enhancement Grant program. School enhancement programs will assist in further deepening and developing teacher skills and competencies or capabilities of the school. The goal of these initiatives is for congregations to strive for and reach Jewish educational excellence through investing in Jewish educators and education systems. Some programs that are currently being funded include: Hebrew curriculum software, teacher resource center materials and staff, an Israel trip for teachers, a teacher training series on special needs, and using games in the classroom. These grants serve the 225 congregational teachers in its Hebrew and religious schools. Marcia Moskowitz, Vice President of the CAJE Board, serves as the chair of the program. For more information, contact Michelle Brooks at 314-442-3774 or [email protected]

Wife-Widow-Woman support group

The National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis Section will offer a new session of Wife-Widow-Woman beginning in June. This support group is for women who have been recently widowed with the goal of helping them adjust as independent, single women in a world of couples. All recent widows of any age, race or religious background are eligible to participate. The program provides a non-judgmental, comfortable and welcoming place where widows can safely express their feelings. The support group will consist of 12 sessions held every other week. Leslie Weinstein, LCSW, will lead the group, which will be closed to new members once the sessions begin. Weinstein, who is in private practice as a psychotherapist, has led brain tumor support programs and has worked with cancer support groups. For 15 years, she served as clinical chaplain at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Carole Simon coordinates the program for NCJW. For more information, call NCJW at 314-993-5181.