Young Israel gala to honor three community leaders

Vicki Redler Chervitz

Young Israel of St. Louis will honor three community leaders for their work in “building a vibrant Jewish community in St. Louis” at a May 6 gala at the Missouri History Museum.

Max and Sabrina Gornish will be honored and Vicki Redler Chervitz will receive the Distinguished Service Award.

The Gornishes are considered “cornerstones” of Young Israel. “As younger members of the Young Israel community, Max and Sabrina have set an example for other millennial families,” according to a news release. “Their commitment to their community, both for the benefit of their own two beautiful children and the community at large, inspires other young families to find ways to get involved.”

Max Gornish frequently reads Torah on Shabbat for shuls across town. He also reads Megillat Esther at Young Israel and is an important contributor to the Purim Gramen. He served as the shul’s most recent past president for two and a half years. He was formerly a board member of Epstein Hebrew Academy. He currently serves on the board of Yeshivat Kadimah, is a JSU Advisory Board member, and is the Vice President of Vaad Hoeir of St. Louis. Professionally, he works as a Team Leader at AeroNav Data, fulfilling a dream of his to work in the aviation field. 

Sabrina Gornish currently serves as a member of the board at Epstein Hebrew Academy and was previously a board member of the Women’s Division of Young Israel. She works as an occupational therapist for Community Therapy Services, aiding children around the country. A self-taught cake decorator and baker, Sabrina Gornish specializes in creating custom kosher cakes.

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“Max and Sabrina are part of a small group of second generation members who returned to St. Louis to begin their lives together,” said Rabbi Moshe Shulman of Young Israel. “Together, they have become ambassadors for our shul, and for the Jewish community of Saint Louis, and they continue to inspire other young families to be part of our growing Young Israel family.”

Chervitz, along with her husband and three children, have been members of the Young Israel St. Louis community for 10 years, during which she has filled many different leadership positions. She has chaired Young Israel’s annual New Members dinner, scheduled and trained youth leaders, and kept both order and fun at the forefront of youth groups and events. Chervitz has also volunteered as room parent for years at Epstein Hebrew Academy, ran the first EHA fundraiser for the initial Eighth Grade Trip to Israel, and was involved in the formation of Yeshivat Kadimah High School, where her son Sammy was one of the founding students. This past year she chaired Yeshivat Kadimah’s Annual Gala.

Shulman praised Chervitz’s work as youth chair, helping to revitalize Shabbat youth programs. “But Vicki does much more,” he said. “If there is a call-out to volunteers, she is one of the first to step up, and always with her trademark huge smile on her face, and a constant aura of positivity and joie de vivre. People love to be around her.” 

Chairs of the gala are Jerilyn and Max Oppenheimer. Tribute Journal Chairs are Roberta Gornish and Debby Schuman.

For more information on the gala, including cost, contact the shul office at 314-727-1880.