Letters to the Editor: February 22, 2017

Clarifications from Jewish Federation

Thank you for your story on the renovation of Federation’s 35-year-old Kopolow Building and its 20-year-old Holocaust Museum and Learning Center. I would like to clarify two details about our plans.

First, while we have received significant lead funding to begin work on the first phase of construction, the fundraising is not completed. The ongoing renovation will include separate phases to renovate our Holocaust Museum and Learning Center and the Center for Jewish Learning (including the Brodsky Library). For this purpose we have a capital campaign that will be raising funds to support the complete renovation of the Kopolow building and the attached museum addition to form an integrated Federation Complex.

Second, your article did not mention the legacy of the Kopolow family, whose enormous generosity and vision allowed the Federation to relocate to the Millstone Campus in the early 1980s. Their contribution will continue to be recognized prominently when the new Federation Complex is completed. 

These renovations will allow our facility to continue to accommodate the over 35,000 people a year that come to learn, inspire, celebrate, serve and lead through our space.

New Mt. Sinai Cemetery advertisement

The Kopolow Building and the separate Holocaust Museum and Learning Center have served our community well for decades.  We are grateful to the Staenberg Family Foundation and an anonymous donor whose investments will help inspire others to join in ensuring that our facilities continue to serve the community well into the 21st century.

Thank you for your attention to our work and allowing me to clarify the scope and purpose of the plan. 

Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D.

President and CEO




Cemetery vandalism

Islamic Foundation Of Greater St. Louis condemns the recent acts of vandalism at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City. 

We are alarmed at the desecration of the Jewish cemetery. Cemeteries are sacred places for all faiths; we condemn this vandalism in no uncertain terms. The Muslim community is saddened to see the images of head stones toppled and other damage at the cemetery.

We hope that law enforcement agencies can apprehend the perpetrators quickly and bring them to justice.  

Recently, we have seen a steep rise in hate crimes against the minorities; we pledge to stand together with all, and defend our rights. Hate has no place in our societies.

Ghazala Hayat, Chair Public Relations Committee

Islamic Foundation Of Greater St. Louis




We need a justice for all 

The Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, has already shown that he cannot serve without inserting both implicit and explicit bias into his judicial decisions.  There is too much at stake to allow for his confirmation. 

The Supreme Court is the safeguard against targeting immigrants, Muslims, refugees and people of color. It must protect the rights and dignity of all the people including the LGBTQ community for marriage equality and the protection of basic human rights in housing and employment.  It must continue to uphold Roe v. Wade protecting the right of every woman to decide for herself whether or when to bear children.  This is a fundamental right that this nominee is unlikely to support and is likely to continue to put his own religious agenda before the lives of poor women who continue to suffer as more and more restrictions are imposed. 

This is a time to support the nomination of a justice who will speak for all Americans and not just the far-right and the privileged and powerful.  This is a time we need someone all Americans can trust to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all the people not just the elite who want to impose their religious and biased views upon us all. 

In this time of division when our very democracy is being tested, we need a nominee who will unite and not further divide.  I urge our legislators to reject this nomination and work together to find a nominee who we can trust to be a justice, not just for some, but for all.

Rabbi Susan Talve

Central Reform Congregation