Mitzvah for vets, downtown minyan, and SLU welcomes Elie Wiesel

Seems fitting that Jaime Gottlieb’s “Hit-a-Thon” flyer should hit my desk right before Veteran’s Day. Jaime, it turns out, is raising money as part of her bat mitzvah project, for the new St. Louis Fischer House building. For those unfamiliar with Fischer House, it provides comfortable and convenient housing for families of recovering war veterans. Jaime, who attends United Hebrew Congregation, explains “softball is her passion.” She and a few friends plan to spend two hours hitting softballs at the JCC West in Chesterfield on Monday, Nov. 30 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Each ball hit will raise 10 to 25 cents to help the veterans. Jaime says you pick the amount per hit or, even better, make a flat, tax-deductible donation to the Fischer House Foundation by emailing her at [email protected] Be sure to include your name, phone number and donation per hit, with a maximum donation amount (Jaime and her friends are really good hitters.) For additional questions, call 314-956-9477.

* This week’s shout out goes to former Post-Dispatch colleague Judy Evans, whose son, Jason Evans, has a featured role in Just Shy of Being, one of the 18th annual Whitaker St. Louis Inter-national Film Festival’s offerings. The film, which will be shown at 9:15 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, tells the story of struggling young lovers from disparate backgrounds and juxtaposes its fictional story with documentary interviews of real-life Jewish-Muslim couples living in Israel. Evans stars as Rafi, a homeless Palestinian and one of the lovers. (“Hey, it’s a job,” says Judy.) The movie was written and directed by Derek Elz, who lives in St. Louis and also features Chad Bockholdt and Annie Zahn, who also have strong ties to the city.

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While both Elz and Bockholdt will be in attendance at the screening, it turns out Jason will not. That’s because he’s being featured in a play in the Los Angeles area, where he now lives.

And what, pray tell, is the play? Meet Me in St. Louis, of course.

* On the subject of local actors, Michael Kearns is returning to his hometown, which happens to be St. Louis, to introduce his new book and revive intimacies, his solo performance piece in which he plays six divergent characters who are affected by HIV/AIDS. The play, which he also wrote, first made its debut here 20 years ago.

The play will be performed at 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 20 at the Metropolitan Community Church of Greater Saint Louis, 1919 S. Broadway. Tickets are available at the door. Audience members can pay between $10-25 to see the show and no one will be turned away for lack of funds. For more info, see www.uppityco.com or call 314 995-4600.

* Aaron Lefton is looking for 10 good men. Now before you go thinking weird or even worse, let me explain: He is looking for men to take part in a lunchtime daily minyan in downtown St. Louis Mondays through Thursdays, from 12:45 to 1 p.m.

Lefton is an attorney who writes “it should be noted that the minyan is run in accordance to Orthodox Jewish tenets and therefore any women who wish to attend would need to sit separately. As a minyan is held in an office conference room that accommodation is virtually impossible to meet.”

The minyan, which takes place on the 26th floor of One Metropolitan Square, at the corner of Broadway and Pine Street, is hosted by Bob Kaiser and Michael Kass, lawyers at Armstrong Teasdale. If you’re interested, email Lefton at [email protected]

* This just in: St. Louis University Jews, along with the Greater Issues Committee, are hosting Elie Wiesel to speak at St. Louis University at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1. at St. Francis Xavier College Church, 3628 Lindell Boulevard. The event is free. Wiesel is the author of more than 50 books as well as a professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.