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

Photo by Anastasia Zhenina from Pexels

Is it a mitzvah to drink on Purim?

Bill MotchanPublished February 16, 2021

Scholars have long debated whether the Talmud does in fact declare it a mitzvah to drink alcohol on Purim. Or more accurately, to drink enough on Purim that one cannot distinguish between “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordecai.”Most students...

Rabbi Dale Schreiber is a chaplain providing Jewish care coordination for Pathways Hospice and Palliative Care and has a private practice, Renewal-in-Action, specializing in resiliency, spiritual development and compassion fatigue recovery.  

The grand command

By Rabbi Dale SchreiberPublished August 24, 2016

The Book of Deuteronomy really could be called the Book of Departure, as the Israelites are about to cross into a new land. It is called D’varim in Hebrew. It means the Book of Words, or Things. It also is referred to as the Book of Admonishment because...

Children at Shaare Emeth’s Shirlee Green Preschool check out the mitzvah garden outside. The preschool  was recently recognized nationally as a ‘Certified Nature Explore Classroom.’

Shaare Emeth preschool certified as ‘Nature Explore’ classroom

By David Baugher, Special to the Jewish LightPublished July 27, 2016

Despite the oppressive heat and humidity, the eight toddlers who file outdoors at the Shirlee Green Preschool sit at attention as teacher Abby Bennett prepares to read to them from a book on mitzvot.“We’re going to go over to the garden,” she explains,...

Dr. Ethan Schuman leads the matzah baking on April 17 at his home in University City.  Below, Michael Oberlander mixes the kosher-for-Passover flour with water in preparing matzah for the holiday, which starts April 22. Photos: Eric Berger

For St. Louis family, homemade matzah is a labor of love

By Eric Berger, Staff writerPublished April 20, 2016

The flames were burning brightly as more than a dozen Jewish males surrounded an oven. They were baking matzah and had only 18 minutes before the grain would ferment and no longer be kosher for Passover.The makeshift oven was comprised of firebricks,...

Amy Feder is Senior Rabbi at Congregation Temple Israel.

Visiting the sick: A rewarding mitzvah

By Rabbi Amy FederPublished April 6, 2016

In my teens, when I first started thinking of becoming a rabbi, I spent a summer shadowing several rabbis in St. Louis to get a sense of what they did every day and to try and imagine whether I could ever stand in their shoes. By the end of the summer,...

Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh received a B.A. from Skidmore College and was ordained as a Rabbi from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She is fortunate to be involved in so many facets of the community including serving as the chaplain for JF&CS and an instructor for CAJE. This will be her fifth year serving as the visiting Rabbi in Decatur, Ill. She has also served congregations in both Sydney and Perth, Australia. When not writing her weekly BLOGS, she can be found running marathons.

Something new under the sun

By Rabbi Elizabeth HershPublished July 25, 2012

I was on a mission to leave West County and drive a half-hour north to take one of the residents I see monthly outside. Mr. S loves sitting in the sun. In this unbearable heat, I try and arrive before it gets too hot. Last month I found him sitting in...

Matthew Kaplan and Brian Carter

Matthew Kaplan, Congregation Temple Israel

Published April 25, 2012

Matthew, son of Jodi and Michael Kaplan of Creve Coeur, knows how fortunate he is just by eating a nourishing breakfast before school. Or by having a healthy snack prior to his sport practice and special food to celebrate a birthday or other happy occasion....


New teen trend: ‘Faux Mitzvahs’

By Sarah Cohen, John Burroughs High SchoolPublished March 19, 2012

The social lives of both Jewish and non-Jewish seventh graders expand tremendously as they are invited to classmates’ bar and bat mitzvahs. However, recently these students’ social calendars have begun to overflow as their non-Jewish classmates throw...

The Artist claimed 10 Oscar nominations, including ones for
Best Picture and Best Director Michel Hazanavicius, a French

Oscar is a Jewish name

By Ellen Futterman, EditorPublished January 25, 2012

B'nai mitzvah mitzvah When Central Reform Congregation members Michael Getty and Brian Vetruba decided to become b'nai mitzvah together, the couple wanted a mitzvah project that was not only meaningful to them but also beneficial to the entire St. Louis...

Mitzvot from the Heart: Edan Goldfarb

COMPILED BY ELISE KRUGPublished June 29, 2011

Edan Goldfarb, Shaare Zedek Synagogue Attending the CAP (Community Against Poverty) Fair gave Edan many volunteer opportunities to choose from. After meeting a representative from Ready Readers and learning about their volunteer reading program, Edan...


Knitting for a cause: Bat Mitzvah project creates ‘Hats with Heart’ for local children with cancer


For their bar and bat mitzvahs, many teens begin charity projects. These mitzvah projects are a great way for teens to help people in new and creative ways, be it raising money by selling autism awareness bracelets or donating movies to local hospitals.I,...

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