Newsmakers – October 2022


Top row, from left: Riley Deutsch, Hannah Freeman, Jordan Lander, Lindsay Rich and Sadie Taxman. SECOND ROW: Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, Cantor Sharon Nathanson, Renee Sigel-Hearst, Elliott Shostak and Rabbi Binyamin Travis. THIRD ROW: Itta Boyko, Rabbi Jonathan Fruchter, Shira Berkowitz and Giti Fredman.

Recent Jewish St. Louis college graduates have started their careers. Riley Deutsch is teaching second grade at Spoede Elementary School. Hannah Freeman is working as an ER nurse at St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington, Del.  Jordan Lander has joined the Gellman Team as a real estate advisor. Lindsay Rich is a 4th grade teacher at Old Bonhomme Elementary School. And Sadie Taxman is an associate at the Boulevard Hair Co. located in Webster Groves.

Dr. Jeffrey Gordon will be the inaugural recipient of the David and Beatrix Hamburg Award for Advances in Biomedical Research and Clinical Medicine, a newly established honor from the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). The academy created the award to recognize creative and accomplished biomedical scientists who are advancing health and the human condition around the world. Gordon is the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor and director of the Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology at Washington University School of Medicine.

Cantor Sharon Nathanson of Congregation B’nai Amoona was accepted into the next Institute for the Jewish Spirituality Clergy Cohort, a clergy leadership program. The IJS develops and teaches Jewish spiritual practices so that individuals and communities may experience greater awareness, purpose and interconnection.

Renee Sigel-Hearst is the new director of community impact at National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis.  She is responsible for all of NCJWSTL’s community impact programs and projects, such as the Back to School! Store, Kids Community Closet, Jean Stein Bloch Wife Widow Woman, Healing Hearts Bank, Project Renewal, and other initiatives. Sigel-Hearst attends B’nai Amoona. 


Elliott Shostak and co-author Matt Chaney, alumni of Southeast Missouri State University, have released their new book, SEMO Football Player Stories and Program History. Shostak is a retired school administrator in St. Louis and works as an educational consultant and personal trainer. The book is available on Amazon.

Rabbi Binyamin Travis will take the helm of Torah Prep School as CEO beginning November 1. He comes to St. Louis from Cincinnati, most recently as the executive vice president at Cincinnati Hebrew Day School.

Itta Boyko is the new principal of HF Epstein Hebrew Academy/ Yeshivat Kadimah High School. The new assistant principal for Judaic studies is Rabbi Jonathan Fruchter.

Shira Berkowitz was appointed by Tishaura Jones, mayor of the city of St. Louis, to St. Louis’ first LGBTQIA+ advisory board, serving a four-year term. The 10-member board is to advise the mayor, board of aldermen, and city agencies about issues of concern affecting the LGBTQIA+ community, bring the LGBTQIA+ communities and the larger St. Louis community together through long-range projects and ensure that city agencies fairly and equitably address issues affecting St. Louis’ LGBTQIA+ community, and ensure LGBTQIA+ individuals access to and inclusion in the services of the city of St. Louis. Berkowitz is the senior director of public policy and advocacy at PROMO, Missouri’s statewide organization advocating for LGBTQ equality. She and her fellow board members at MaTovu are a 2022 Jewish Light Unsung Hero.

Giti Fredman is the new organizer of the St. Louis Great Big Challah Bake. The event will take place in the gym of the Jewish Community Center’s Staenberg Family Complex on Nov. 2 from 7-9 p.m. and open to all women and girls ages 8 and up. Fredman is the owner of Just Bake It! and attends Tpheres Israel Chevra Kadisha (TICK).