Shining Light on your support, UH gala, ADL workshop

Cantor Murray Hochberg

By Ellen Futterman, Editor

Shining Light on your support

One of the best parts of my job — and I mean this sincerely — is hearing from readers and advertisers about the Jewish Light. As an independent, nonprofit Jewish news organization, the Light staff and I welcome feedback, including ways we can do better, reach more people and be more relevant as we work to uphold our mission to inform, inspire and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

Right now though, as we launch this redesign (see related story on Page 1), I’d like to address some ways that the St. Louis Jewish community can support the Light and the paper’s mission. The first, of course, is through a subscription to the paper. Currently, we are running a discount for first-time subscribers, at $36 a year (typically, the cost is $45). If you already have a subscription, why not consider another as a gift to a child or grandchild living out of town, or other family member or friend or perhaps someone on a fixed income?

Another way is to make a donation on top of the subscription price, because it not only takes readers, a dedicated Board of Trustees and advertisers to ensure the sustainability and growth of the Light, it also takes a community of generous donors. 

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Lastly, to that point, please consider becoming part of our Publisher’s Society, which offers four levels of membership based on annual contributions: $500 Publisher level; $1,000 Publisher-Gold level; $1,800 Publisher-Platinum level; and $3,600 Publisher-Diamond level. Each level features unique benefits such as recognition in the paper and at the Light’s annual meeting and invitations to various special events throughout the year. Those ages 45 and under can become a Young Publisher with an annual contribution of $180. Honestly, all of the Publisher’s Society gatherings have been great fun, including recent ones with Israeli-born chef Ben Poremba at his restaurants Olio/Elaia in the Grove neighborhood and Parigi in Clayton.

For more information about any of these giving options, please call 314-743-3660. And again, if you have questions about the redesign, or want to offer feedback of any kind (try to contain any disparaging comments about my new picture!), call me at 314-743-3669 or email [email protected] 

Having a tough conversation

Two years ago, the Jewish Light ran a series of articles entitled “Our Kids and Anti-Semitism” ( The stories told of young Jewish St. Louisans who had been the target of anti-Semitism, and also provided youngsters, parents, educators, counselors and others with resources and information to help them deal with such bigotry and champion tolerance.

A lot has happened in two years, including more Jewish communities throughout the world facing an increased number of anti-Semitic threats and incidents. To this end, the Anti-Defamation League of Missouri and Southern Illinois and the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center are teaming up to present “How to Talk to Your Children About Anti-Semitism,” from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, April 30 at the Jewish Federation building, 12 Millstone Campus Drive. 

The workshop is not a family event, but rather a session for parents and caretakers interested in learning how to discuss this topic with their children. People of all faiths are welcome.

“People will neither be lectured nor will they receive a presentation,” said Karen Aroesty, ADL regional director. “They should come equipped to talk and share their experiences and engage in activities that will facilitate a better understanding of how to engage with their kids on this issue. 

“People need to be willing to interact and learn from one another. That’s the best kind of experience we can provide. (This workshop) also is not meant to be the last time they have a conversation on this topic but rather the beginning of a process where they learn more and engage more and understand that this kind of bigotry is an ongoing thing.”

While this workshop is free of charge, participants are asked to RSVP to 314-442-3711 because seating is limited.

Celebration to sing about

Congratulations to Cantor Murray Hochberg, who is being honored at a gala for his 50 years of service at United Hebrew on Saturday, May 6, beginning with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 p.m.

“It’s a way of the congregation expressing their respect, admiration, love and gratitude, and I couldn’t be more honored or inspired,” said Hochberg. “The congregation seems to have appreciated every effort I put into services as well as relationships with groups and individuals. It’s been wonderful to be part of the brotherhood and sisterhood of UH for so many years, and to be a part of so many UH family celebrations.”

Hochberg, 82, estimates that he helped prepare more than 2,000 children for their b’nai mitzvah since he came to the temple in August 1967 as the first cantor to serve in this role in a Reform congregation in St. Louis. In addition to leading and participating in worship services, he served as music director for the congregation, religious school, Hebrew school and b’nai mitzvah program.

Hochberg became emeritus in 1999 and remains an active participant at UH, with his wife Joyce. He has four children and six grandchildren and lives in Olivette.

The gala, which will take place at UH, will feature dinner, dancing, a live band, a complimentary bar and silent auction, along with remarks from Hochberg, who promises to tell “some very good stories.” Tickets, at $90 a person, are available by calling Amy Stone at 314-469-0700.