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

Hannah Barg is a St. Louis native with a passion for education, radio and storytelling. Barg is based in Chicago, where she works as a development associate at the New Israel Fund. Prior to NIF, she worked as a radio producer at StoryCorps and Israel Story. In her free time, she produces her podcast “Tight Lipped.”

Breaking the Silence turmoil ‘broke my heart’

BY HANNAH BARGPublished December 12, 2019

Last month, on a below freezing day, I rode the Amtrak train from my home in Chicago to my childhood home of St. Louis. I was on my way to a Breaking the Silence event at Congregation B’nai Amoona. Breaking the Silence is an organization of former...

Rabbi Josef Davidson

Appreciate the present with a recitation of the past

BY RABBI JOSEF DAVIDSONPublished September 19, 2019

In the title story of Philip Roth’s “Goodbye Columbus,” a young man from Brooklyn’s lower middle-class has been invited to dinner at his girlfriend’s home in one of Long Island’s more posh neighborhoods. Her family has a huge home, and dinner...

Ellie DesPrez

St. Louis educators attend Holocaust teaching conference; Ramot Amoona cookbook; fashionable fundraiser at UH

Ellen Futterman, EditorPublished August 8, 2019

Studying dark days to enlightenUnder the heading, “highlights of my summer vacation,” teachers Ellie DesPrez and Jill Donovan say their time spent at the Belfer Conference in Washington, D.C. about tops the list.English teachers at John Burroughs...

Hebrew school children greet Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, during his 1930 visit to St. Louis.

The Rebbe’s penny: Blessed coin from St. Louis fetches nearly $7,000 at auction

By Bill Motchan, Special to the Jewish LightPublished July 25, 2019

If you could put a value on a blessing, what might it be worth? For a unique, nearly 90-year-old blessing, the going rate is $6,750. That’s the amount a bidder paid last week in Tel Aviv for a well-traveled Lincoln penny, the subject of frenzied bidding...

Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose

Transcending the squabbles to profound joy

By Rabbi Carnie Shalom RosePublished June 6, 2019

This coming Shabbat, Jews the world over will once again initiate the public reading of the fourth of the Five Books of Moses known as Sefer Bamidbar (or more accurately BeMidbar), the Book of Numbers. For me, this Torah portion holds special significance...

Camp Ramot Amoona creates tikkun olam summer program

Published May 9, 2019

Congregation B’nai Amoona’s Camp Ramot Amoona has created a new, community service-based opportunity for students across the St. Louis Jewish community who are entering the seventh or eighth grade in the fall. Registration is now open for “Taking...

Gavy Friedson is a volunteer EMT and deputy director of international operations with United Hatzalah.

Israeli medic visits; images of Jewish immigrant life

Ellen Futterman, EditorPublished October 18, 2018

To the rescueAfter exiting his plane in the Newark, N.J. airport on Monday, Gavriel “Gavy” Friedson spotted a situation all too familiar to him. An elderly Orthodox Jewish woman in a wheelchair was turning blue in the face as she and her family approached...

Mira Davis is cantorial intern at Congregation B’nai Amoona and is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association, which coordinates the weekly d’var Torah for the Jewish Light. 

The Divine plan for the Jewish people

BY MIRA DAVISPublished August 30, 2018

In this week’s parasha, Ki Tavo, Moses instructs the Israelites on the laws surrounding the bikkurim, the first fruits. He tells the people, “When you come in to the Land … you shall take of the first of all the fruit of the Land … and put it...

Cantor Shira Lissek

Cantor Shira Lissek returns to STL for May concert

By Eric Berger, Special to the Jewish LightPublished April 26, 2018

When Cantor Shira Lissek performs in the main sanctuary at Congregation B’nai Amoona, the acoustics will likely be familiar to her. That’s where she sang in the choir as a teenager and where her father, Leon Lissek, spent 30 years as the hazzan.If...

St. Louis native Damon Rich was one of 24 innovators who received the MacArthur “Genius” Grant. Photo Courtesy: MacArthur Foundation

St. Louis native awarded MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant; A Gallant book

Ellen Futterman, EditorPublished October 18, 2017

A true geniusWhen Sherrie and Nelson Rich of University City received an early morning call last week from their 42-year-old son Damon, who lives in Newark, N.J., their first reaction was concern.“He never calls early in the morning, so of course, being...

Lynnsie Kantor donated a kidney to B’nai Amoona’s Hazzan Emeritus. Photo: Bill Motchan

St. Louis woman donates kidney to help beloved B’nai Amoona cantor emeritus

By Ellen Futterman, EditorPublished September 6, 2017

The idea began percolating three years ago, when a friend in Israel talked about how donating a kidney had changed her life. Lynnsie Balk Kantor was intrigued.“She wound up leaving her job and working for the organization that gets recipients for kidney...

Benjamin Chaidell is the Rabbi Bernard Lipnick Rabbinic Intern at Congregation B’nai Amoona and is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association.

Debate for the sake of heaven and those in need

By Benjamin ChaidellPublished August 30, 2017

Many of the hot-button political issues today relate to how we assist those on the margins of society. Refugees, government subsidized health care and social welfare programs are issues that divide Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives.I...

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