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

UH Zoom Adult Bnai Mitzvot

Adult b’nai mitzvah Zoom to treasured milestone

By Bill Motchan, Special to the Jewish Light December 17, 2020

Judy Berger lost her husband, Leslie, on New Year’s Eve 2019, but he was very much on her mind during the second day of Hanukkah last Saturday. That’s when Berger, 73, achieved a milestone: her bat mitzvah.“He was never bar mitzvahed, and I thought,...

Best of Simchas

Best of Simchas Readers Poll

January 2, 2020

We asked readers to cast their vote for St. Louis’ top businesses that help to make bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings and other celebrations occasions to remember for a lifetime. More than 700 people voted in the poll and on the following pages, find the...

Simcha Lourie

Having a party? Make it a PARTY!

BY MARGI LENGA KAHN, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT March 23, 2018

There are parties, and then there are PARTIES. Most of us have hosted a party. For example, you may have had family or friends over for a backyard barbecue. Or you may have hosted your child’s birthday party in your basement. Or you may have even invited...

Matthew Grad, shown with his daughter Ariela.

Adult bar mitzvahs fill yearning for spirituality

BY ADAM RUSH, JUNIOR, LADUE HORTON WATKINS HIGH SCHOOL January 11, 2018

From the outside, a bar or bat mitzvah can seem routine. Teenagers study for a few years, have a ceremony when they are either 12 or 13 years old and then have a party. However, the path often is more complex for those who are not able to go through the...

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B’nai mitzvah telephone for teens

BY BRADFORD SIWAK, SOPHOMORE, LADUE HORTON WATKINS HIGH SCHOOL January 11, 2018

Jewish teens and their families will remember their b’nai mitzvahs for as long as they live. They can also look fondly back on those of their friends. Here, we ask four Jewish teens their favorite friends’ b’nai mitzvahs.Grace SteinbackSophomore...

In this file photo, Jayme Fingerman (left) co-chaired Temple Israels 2017 Thanksgiving Dinner for Those in Need and joined Creve Coeur police officers and volunteers such as Dee Mogerman in packing food for guests.  Photos: Eric Berger

A Thanksgiving mitzvah

By Eric Berger, Staff Writer November 29, 2017

Guests at Congregation Temple Israel’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner for Those in Need typically just head to the auditorium for a meal with the usual holiday spread. But on Wednesday last week, after they finished eating, they were also invited to go...

Cavan Helmering poses with her family after completing her bat mitzvah  at United Hebrew.  Cavan’s bat mitzvah was on  May 21, 2016 in front of 75 people. Photo courtesy of Cavan Helmering.

The unique pressures of being a b’nai mitzvah

BY ADAM RUSH, JUNIOR, LADUE HORTON WATKINS HIGH SCHOOL September 14, 2017

Studying for a bar or bat mitzvah can be one of the most nerve-racking experiences in a young teenager’s life. There are months upon months of studying, which often place teens in high-stress situations. Often times students carry enormous anxiety with...

Rabbi Hyim Shafner of Bais Abraham works with students  taking part in a yearlong bar/bat mitzvah program for Israeli families in St. Louis. Photos courtesy Bais Abraham

Bar/bat mitzvah initiative aims to engage Israeli families here

By Hannah Snidman, Staff writer June 22, 2016

After forming a Hebrew school specifically for secular Israelis, Bais Abraham recently created a yearlong bar and bat mitzvah program for Israeli families living in the St. Louis area.In Israel, many Jewish teenagers host parties for bar and bat mitzvahs...

The adult Chai Mitzvah group meets for a study session at Temple Emanuel earlier this month. A group of confirmation students are also taking part. Photo: Andrew Kerman

Young and old at Temple Emanuel pursue their Chai Mitzvah

By David Baugher, Special to the Jewish Light January 28, 2016

For Barbara Lewington, the Chai Mitzvah program isn’t so much a new experience as it is an ongoing extension of her faith.“We’re only in the beginning stages,” said Lewington, 65, of Creve Coeur. “But I think it is adding a Jewish slant to the...

Paul Gallant, 82, celebrated his bar mitzvah at B’nai Amoona on Sept. 19. Photo courtesy Neshama Roash/Firefly Universe Fine Portrait Photography

Young at Ark: Bar mitzvah at 82

By Ellen Futterman, Editor September 24, 2015

Young at ArkOn Saturday, I had the joy of attending the bar mitzvah of my friend Paul Gallant at Congregation B’nai Amoona. Paul is 82 years old.I’m convinced Paul coined the phrase, “You’re never too old to rock and roll,” because Paul has...

Josh Fingerman displays some of his mezuzahs made from Legos. For his mitzvah project, Josh sells the mezuzahs to raise funds for three nonprofit organizations.

Mezuzah mitzvah

Ellen Futterman, Editor June 10, 2015

Mezuzah mitzvahJosh Fingerman is creating custom-made mezuzahs from Legos as his mitzvah project. He sells them for $36 and has already raised more than $2,500, which he plans to donate to three nonprofit organizations, including Temple Israel, where...

Chase Pultman (second from left) is pictured with parents Mimi and Andy and older brother Caleb. Photo courtesy Neshama Roash, Firefly Universe Fine Portrait Photography

Bar mitzvah’s moving d’var Torah

April 30, 2015

Chase Pultman, who has High Functioning Autism, became a bar mitzvah in February at B’nai Amoona. In the attached PDF, read his moving d'var Torah about the counting of the Jewish People at Mount Sinai, and how he feels at times that because of his...

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