A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

2019 Unsung Heroes

2019 Unsung Heroes event

June 6, 2019

The Jewish Light honored the 2019 Unsung Heroes and celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Unsung Heroes awards during an event May 22 at the 560 Music Building in University City. The 2019 Heroes were: Reva Davis, Barbara Finch, Karen Flotte, Jeff &...

Karen Flotte at Central Reform Congregation’s mitzvah garden. Photo: Bill Motchan

Karen Flotte: Urban farmer ‘digs deep’ to nourish body and soul

By David Baugher, Special to the Jewish Light May 30, 2019

Standing in a field of sprouting collard and mustard greens, Karen Flotte surveys the 32-foot square of tilled land and the raised beds containing everything from turnips and beets to lettuce and potatoes — all of it standing in the shadow of Central...

Students at Monroe Elementary School in St. Louis city help Dr. Terry Weiss unload his weekly delivery of food from Operation Food Search. Photo: Bill Motchan

Dr. Terry Weiss: Devoting retirement to helping those who need it

BY ERIC BERGER, ASSOCIATE EDITOR May 30, 2019

About a month after the 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Dr. Terry Weiss attended Rosh Hashanah services at Congregation Temple Israel and heard a rabbi there speak about the urgency of taking action amid chaos to spur positive...

Volunteer Alice Ludmer dances with participants at the J’s Adult Day Center during a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Photo: Bill Motchan

Alice Ludmer: Longtime volunteer is go-to asset at J’s Adult Day Center

By Ellen Futterman, Editor May 30, 2019

When in doubt, go ask Alice.“That’s our motto around here,” says Ashley Stockman, director of the Adult Day Center at the Jewish Community Center. “Alice always has the correct response and, if not, she will do the research and not stop until...

Jennifer Rothman Mancuso holds a photograph of her son, Vincent Joseph “VJ” Mancuso, who passed away in 2010 shortly before his fourth birthday. Mancuso started a foundation in VJ’s memory, which supports four local nonprofit organizations. Photo: Bill Motchan

Jennifer Rothman Mancuso: Mom’s grief drives work to help others’ children

By Ellen Futterman, Editor May 30, 2019

To lose a child is an agony no parent should have to endure. How do you get out of bed the next morning, and the morning after that, and the morning after that?For grieving mother Jennifer Rothman Mancuso, the motivation to keep going after her young...

Dr. Gary Ratkin, a retired oncologist, meets with a patient at Casa de Salud, a low-cost health clinic in St. Louis city. PHOTO: ODELL MITCHELL JR./COURTESY CASA DE SALUD

Dr. Gary Ratkin: Retired oncologist brings quality care to low-cost health clinic

By Eric Berger, Associate Editor May 30, 2019

Dr. Gary Ratkin is aware that for patients with little money, trips to the emergency room can be debilitating even if doctors are able to diagnose and treat the ailment. So when Ratkin, a retired oncologist, recently saw a patient at Casa de Salud, a...

Sheila Shucart, Brayden Miederhoff, Heather Miederhoff, Bonnie Rosen and Madison Miederhoff recite the blessing after lighting Shabbat candles during a service at Delmar Gardens West in April. Photo: Bill Motchan

Volunteers bring ‘mitzvah’ of Shabbat to nursing home

By Bill Motchan, Special to the Jewish Light May 30, 2019

Friday afternoon is Bonnie Barber’s favorite time of the week. Barber, 74, has been a resident at Delmar Gardens West skilled nursing and rehab center in Town and Country for three years. Her mobility is limited, but she doesn’t let that stop her...

Julie Williams leads students on a tour of the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center of St. Louis earlier this month. Photo: BILL MOTCHAN

Julie Williams: Holocaust museum docent wants to be agent of change against discrimination

By David Baugher, Special to the Jewish Light May 30, 2019

As Julie Williams speaks about her volunteer work, the message emblazoned on the wall behind her at the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center says as much as she can about why she does what she does. “Change begins with me,” it reads. “This is...

Barbara Finch with one of the gun locks her organization hands out at as part of the “Lock it for Love” campaign. Photo: Bill Motchan

Barbara Finch: Passion for social justice issues drives co-founder of ‘Women’s Voices’ group

By Margaret Gillerman, Special to the Jewish Light May 29, 2019

Barbara Finch grew up a Presbyterian in West Virginia, the daughter of a lawyer and community volunteer.Her path led eventually to St. Louis, and at 56, she made a life-changing decision: she converted to Judaism after learning about the Jewish concept...

Reva Davis, a retired teacher, has become an integral volunteer with National Council of Jewish Women, the Jewish Community Center and other organizations. Here, she carries donated items for NCJW’s 2019 Back to School! Store. Photo: Bill Motchan

Reva Davis: Fun, caring and unstoppable, former teacher drives on

By Ellie S. Grossman, Special to the Jewish Light May 29, 2019

While most people who reach their mid-80s start to slow down, Reva Mae Davis is a proud woman who lives each day to the fullest. At age 85, this retired schoolteacher, world traveler and professional volunteer has more hours in her day than most of her...

David and Jeff Lazaroff. Photo: Bill Motchan

Brothers Lazaroff use music to help heal the world

Story & Photos by Bill Motchan, Special to the Jewish Light May 29, 2019

Music doesn’t just entertain and uplift audiences, it also has the power to bring people together. That is the mission of David and Jeff Lazaroff.Their band, Brothers Lazaroff, is well-known in the St. Louis area for its eclectic style. Their music...

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A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.