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

Understanding Tu B’Av the Jewish Valentine’s Day

By Binyamin Kagedan/JNS.orgPublished July 23, 2021

Everyone loves a happy ending. Jewish holiday ritual, though it has its share of melancholy moments, usually prefers to go out on a high note. This week, many Jews will celebrate Tu B’Av, a day that has become known, especially in Israel, as...



Yaakov LedermanPublished July 30, 2020

Ultra Orthodox Jewish men pray as they gather for the ritual of Tisha B'Av at the Meah Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem, August 13, 2016. The Tisha B'Av ceremony, literally the ninth day of the month of Av in the Hebraic calendar, is the darkest day...



STEPHANE DE SAKUTINPublished May 6, 2020

French Rabbi Philippe Haddad prepares for a Shabbat service via videoconference at the Copernic Synagogue in Paris, March 28, 2020. (Stephane de Sakutin/AFP via Getty Images)



WOJTEK RADWANSKIPublished January 30, 2020

President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder addresses the offical ceremony at the former German Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau during events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the camp's liberation in Oswiecim, Poland, on January 27,...

Rabbi Avi Shafran

In Judaism, abortion is not a right, and pregnancy is a responsibility

By Rabbi Avi ShafranPublished June 6, 2019

As in all life matters, when it comes to abortion, Judaism doesn’t speak of rights but of responsibilities and obligations. Seeing things through that lens can be a real eye opener.The concept of “rights” is deeply ingrained in our Western minds....

New rabbis who will be joining local Reform congregations are Adam Bellows, Karen and Daniel Bogard and Lori Levine.

Four young rabbis heading to STL congregations

BY ERIC BERGER, STAFF WRITERPublished April 4, 2018

A Reform rabbi starting a new job this summer in St. Louis will not have to look far to find someone having a similar experience.Four rabbis — including a St. Louis native — will join Central Reform Congregation, Congregation Shaare Emeth and United...

Inside her office at Temple Israel, Rachel Andreasson has a painting illustrating her family’s business, which is connected to convenience stores such as On the Run.  Photo: Eric Berger

Long drive from small-town Judaism to Temple Israel director

BY ERIC BERGER, STAFF WRITERPublished December 27, 2017

Rachel Andreasson and her family have logged more miles traveling to Congregation Temple Israel than most of its members. So it’s a good thing that they’ve been able to stop at some of the Missouri gasoline stations they operate during the hour-plus...

Harold Grinspoon, the founder of PJ Library, reads one of the program’s books with a gaggle of children.

PJ Library’s free books for kids spur Jewish connections, study finds

By Ben Sales, JTAPublished July 26, 2017

NEW YORK — Families that receive free Jewish children's books from the Massachusetts-based PJ Library say the program has helped them feel more connected to their Jewish communities, with interfaith families especially saying it has spurred them to...

David Roberts speaks at the 2016 graduation ceremony of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC). For 11 years, Roberts has served as board chair of the RRC. 

On the ‘cutting edge’ of Judaism

By Eric Berger, Staff WriterPublished July 21, 2017

In the mid-80s, David Roberts and his wife, Sue Fischlowitz, walked into a Reconstructionist synagogue in Boston and saw the female rabbi holding a siddur with her left hand and her 2-year-old on her right hip.“We thought, ‘This may be a place worth...

Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael is coordinator of community chaplaincy at Jewish Family & Children’s Service and a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association. 

The work of schlepping

By Rabbi Micah Buck-YaelPublished June 1, 2017

Last week, I took on an intimidating task. I assembled a bookcase. I pulled out the pieces, got out the screwdrivers and hammer, cleared a space and opened the booklet of instructions. I squinted at the incomprehensible diagrams and tried to connect...

Shira Kline leads a session Monday during Songleader Boot Camp at the Jewish Community Center. The event draws hundreds of Jewish community leaders to St. Louis each year.

A tuneup for Jewish leaders at ‘Boot Camp’

By Eric Berger, Staff writerPublished February 22, 2017

Rabbis David Ingber and Sharon Brous have some key things in common. Not only did a founder of the Songleader Boot Camp (SLBC) label them as “rock stars,” but they also each formed their own congregations. Ingber started Romemu, a New York group...

Rabbi Hyim Shafner serves Bais Abraham Congregation in University City. 

Social, legal truths are found in the stones

By Rabbi Hyim ShafnerPublished February 22, 2017

This week’s Torah portion, Mishpatim, literally means “laws,” and contains a large array of interpersonal civil commandments and regulations. Just before this portion, the Torah teaches about the building of an altar to G-d. The altar, which symbolizes...

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