‘Rock the J’ to provide fun, good cause

Alvin and June Wolff, he an attorney and she a dentist, have wonderful social consciences as well as love for Judaism, the Jewish community and the needy. Ten years ago they combined in one impressive package these ideals when they established the Alvin and June Wolff Camp Scholarship Fund for Special Needs Children. “We created the scholarship fund as a means to give something back to the disabled children I have had the honor of representing in a variety of legal matters. I’ve also been involved with the JCC since being a counselor at Camp Sabra in 1972,” explained Alvin, a JCC life member and a three-term board member.

To help support the Scholarship Fund June and Alvin are chairing a very modest, fun filled fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center Marilyn Fox Building, 16801 Baxter Road, Chesterfield. Close to ninety friends (translation: committee) have joined the Wolffs and have invited the community to come and “Rock the J,” dance to the rock and roll music of popular local band Jake’s Leg and feast on East Coast pizza and drinks. Cost of the evening is $25 per person for those under 30, $37.50 for under forties, $50 for younger than 100 and all those over 100 get in free. To make your reservation send your check to Jewish Community Center, #2 Millstone Campus Drive, St. Louis MO 63146, Attn: Lisa Liebschutz or call The Rock the J hotline at 314-442-3133.

New Mt. Sinai Cemetery advertisement

Since “Rock the J” is being held at the J’s Marilyn Fox Building, you will be able to see some of the changes and improvements to the ten-year- old building. In addition to its excellent facilities, there are new renovations that include an expanded fitness center with new equipment plus flat screen TVs. When the fitness center is completed it will be 6,500 square feet, nearly 50% larger than the current space with new studios for yoga, spin, pilates and other fitness activities.

The outdoor recreation area’s pool when renovated will accommodate lap swimmers and space for older children’s volleyball and basketball games. The improvements go on and on and include a climbing wall and a new snack bar. The J will offer innovative and unique classes like “Soul Synthesis,” “Zumba,” “Bosu” and “Turbo Kick.” No, I don’t know any of these jazzy activities, but at the night of “Rock the J” I expect to learn.

FIRST NIGHT-ST. LOUIS, our city’s New Year’s Eve party in Grand Center, has grown by leaps and bounds since its first introduction to the area fifteen years ago. This annual event is truly a visual and performing arts family festival with this year’s theme, “The Rhythm of the Night” permeating Grand Center’s streetscapes, parks, churches, and theaters. First Night, naturally Dec. 31, will start at 5:30 p.m. with a parade of the many performers and a “Community Kazoo Corps” made up of anyone who loves to play the kazoo. Free kazoos will be distributed. Several dance companies, theater groups, opera companies and many individual entertainers will participate in the non-stop entertainment and there will be two fireworks displays. It’s not possible for me to tell you about all the multitudinous great acts that will entertain in the vast array of venues stretching from St. Louis University to Powell Symphony Hall. You can find a complete schedule at www.firstnightst.org. I can tell you that admission buttons, $8 for adults and $4 for kids 6 to 12, are available in advance at all Starbucks and Borders locations and will give you access to all that First Night-St. Louis has to offer.

THE BLACK REP continues to enhance its image as one of the truly outstanding theater companies in the St. Louis area, maybe in the United States. Now in its 31st season, it will open the 2008 year on Jan. 2 at the Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square with Othello, one of Shakespeare’s great tragedies.

The Black Rep version will be set in New Orleans and Haiti instead of Venice and Cyprus and will feature black military heroes — Buffalo soldiers instead of Moors and Romans. Othello will run through Feb. 3 with a great variety of performances to fit everyone’s schedule. There is a noonday series with lunch, the director and designers, cast connection night post-show discussions and student matinee performances.

For a complete schedule or for tickets, call 314-534-3810 or log on to www.theblackrep.org.