Vaad Hoeir renames Passover fund in memory of Merle Hartstein

Merle Hartstein in 2011

The Vaad Hoeir of St. Louis has renamed its Maos Chitim Fund in honor of the late Merle Hartstein, longtime coordinator of the Vaad’s charitable endeavors. The fund, which helps provide needy families and individuals with food and provisions for Passover, will now be called the Merle Hartstein Maos Chitim Fund.

In addition to helping with Passover needs, the fund’s activities have been broadened to include other year-round charitable undertakings. This includes support for the Rabbi Sholom Rivkin Tzedakah Fund, which helps provide emergency assistance to needy families.

“This is a most fitting tribute to the memory of Merle Hartstein,” said Perry Mendelson, president of the Vaad Hoeir. “Merle was a dedicated and tireless community servant who cared deeply and passionately about the needy in our community. She went about her yeoman work in the most sensitive and discreet fashion, always being mindful to preserve the anonymity and dignity of the fund’s recipients.”

Hartstein also administered several other community funds, including the Barbara Mendelson Tomche Shabbos fund, which provides food for Shabbat to dozens of needy families on a weekly basis. In the months prior to her passing, Hartstein was instrumental in the founding of a Hachnassat Kallah fund designed specifically to assist needy brides and grooms in preparation for marriage.

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In addition, Mendelson and Vaad Hoeir’s executive director, Rabbi Zvi Zuravin, announced that the Vaad’s executive committee has appointed Pnina Glassman general coordinator of the Vaad’s numerous chesed (kindness) projects. Glassman currently serves as president of the Ahavas Chessed, the Vaad’s traditional burial society, which prepares the deceased for burial in accordance with Jewish law and tradition. 

“Pnina is a thoughtful and committed community-minded person. We are honored and pleased that she has accepted this role and wish her much success,” Zuravin said. 

Contributions to any of the Vaad’s charitable funds, can be made by calling the Vaad at 314-569-2770.