Newsmakers: April 2020

Nancy Rush recently received her real estate license and joined the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Preferred Properties – Kim Cameron Group. Rush is a teacher at Temple Israel’s Deutsch Early Childhood Center, and she is a member of Nusach Hari B’nai Zion. 

The 2020 Clayton Alumni Hall of Fame includes Elaine Zarembka Belmaker (’63), former director of public health in the Negev; Arlen Chaleff (’59), mental health speaker and advocate; Rabbi Amy Feder (’97), senior rabbi at Temple Israel; Dr. Morton A. Levy (’53), retired oncologist; Patricia Silver (’67), composer, musician and founder of SING! Toronto Vocal Arts Festival; and Jack Tuholske (’72) environmental attorney in Montana. They will be honored at a gala dinner on Oct. 2 at the St. Louis Club and at the induction ceremony at Clayton High School on Oct. 3.

Michael Staenberg was awarded AZA’s Alumnus of the Year at the recent International BBYO Convention 2020 in Dallas. He was a member of Omaha’s Mother Chapter AZA #1 and in his remarks at the convention, he told the audience that being a member of AZA made him a better person.

Karen Lucy is the new executive director of Cornerstone Center for Early Learning. One of her goals is to create outdoor learning spaces and to enhance Cornerstone’s curriculum by bringing more of nature into the classroom. Lucy was most recently the director of Early Childhood Engagement and director of the Shirlee Green Preschool at Congregation Shaare Emeth. 

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The St. Louis County Juvenile Detention Center has created the Donald Roth Award, in honor of Roth’s 30 years of volunteerism. He will be the first to receive the award at an upcoming celebration. Roth, 92, was also recognized with the Daily Point of Life Award, created by President George H. W. Bush, for the positive impact he has made on the lives of the community’s troubled youth. In addition, Roth was featured in an article about volunteering in the March/April issue of AARP’s magazine. Roth was a 2015 Jewish Light Unsung Hero.  

Susan Balk (impactful leadership), Debbie Caplin (pet therapy advocacy), Jennifer Hillman (creative philanthropy), Susan Katzman (women’s empowerment) and Joan Lipkin (arts and social justice) have been named as five of the 2020 Women of Achievement. They will be honored at a luncheon that has been rescheduled to Tuesday, Sept. 15, at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton. Balk and Caplin are past recipients of the Jewish Light’s Unsung Heroes awards.

At FOCUS St. Louis’ 23rd annual What’s Right with the Region Awards Celebration, Circus Harmony will be honored in the category of Fostering Creativity for Social Change. This organization, under the leadership of Jessica Hentoff, artistic/executive director, has harnessed the power of the arts and imagination to bring about change in the region. Circus Harmony is a non-profit circus school and pre-professional circus training location, inspiring metro area children with like skills such as focus, persistence and teamwork. The event date will be announced soon. 

Vickie Shuchart will take on the role of director of operations at Congregation B’nai Amoona. Formerly the director of communications, she will oversee the administrative team.  

SensrTrx has welcomed Tony Spielberg as its chief business development officer. As the former CEO of BCI Packaging, his primary focus will be on building relationships and connecting opportunities with existing and future customers. SensrTrx is a manufacturer of analytics software. 

Five-year old Ryan Iken was recently chosen as one of 10 honorees at the 2020 Hope Gala Youth Ambassadors for the JDRF (formerly Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), Greater Missouri and Southern Illinois Chapter. The date for the gala will be announced soon. Ryan, who was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, is the son of Michelle and Corey Iken and attends B’nai Amoona Linda Rotskoff Early Childhood Center.