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

Jonathan S. Tobin

Why is Reform widening the divide between Israel and American Jewry?

BY JONATHAN S. TOBINPublished November 7, 2019

Friction between American Jews and Israel has never been greater. The divide between these two branches of the Jewish people has been exacerbated by differences about religious pluralism, the peace process, as well as over opinions about President Donald...

Rabbi Michal Ken-Tor

Reform rabbi from sister city in Israel visits STL

BY ROBERT A. COHN, Editor-in-Chief EmeritusPublished July 11, 2019

To describe Rabbi Michal Ken-Tor as a dynamic educator who is bursting with energy and ideas is not an exaggeration. Ken-Tor was born in 1972 in Kibbutz Geva and grew up on Moshav Kfar in the Jezebel Valley. She is the fifth child from a Zionist family...

Students involved in NFTY enjoy their Winter Chavurah at United Hebrew Congregation.

United Hebrew Congregation hosts NFTY convention


United Hebrew Congregation in Chesterfield hosted about 180 Jewish teens from around the Midwest for a National Federal of Temple Youth (NFTY) Chavurah. UH’s  youth group busily prepared for the event, which took place from Jan. 13 to 16.“I [was]...

(From left) Zahava Kiernan, Riva Stern and Daniel Shanker sit in the Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School gymnasium before Simchat Gan, a ceremony marking the first day of school for kindergarten students. Photos: Yana Hotter

SMJCS starts first semester as fully merged school

Repps Hudson, Special to the Jewish LightPublished August 22, 2012

Merging two organizations of any kind may be fraught with troublesome issues that can haunt all concerned for years. So blending a Reform and a Conservative day school into a new Jewish school — with different approaches to Biblical studies and food,...

The space at Bnai El previously occupied by Saul Mirowitz Day School - Reform Jewish Academy (pictured above) may be leased to a new Muslim day school. Leaders of the school and Bnai El said nothing is final yet, but negotiations are ongoing.

New Islamic school may move into former RJA space on B’nai El campus

By Ellen Futterman, EditorPublished July 25, 2012

It looks as if a new, faith-based Islamic school will be moving into the property most recently occupied by the Saul Mirowitz Day School-Reform Jewish Academy (RJA) on the campus of B’nai El Congregation in Frontenac.The new school, Al Manara Academy...

Rabbi Lev Baesh, center, marrying Jared and Laurie Berezin, an interfaith couple from Boston, Aug.19, 2011.

More Reform rabbis agreeing to officiate at intermarriages

By Penny Schwartz, JTAPublished July 5, 2012

BOSTON — Danny Richter and his fiancee, Lauren Perkins, have never been to a Jewish wedding. That's about to change. This fall, the interfaith couple is planning to be married in a Jewish wedding ceremony. The wedding marks other significant firsts:...

Editorial: Push Me, Pull You

Published June 20, 2012

Should religious institutions adapt to changing times or ought they insist on conformance to their traditional practices? It’s a tug of war that has been repeated throughout the ages, with the rope being pulled aggressively to one side or the other....

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, center, is installed as president of the Union for Reform Judaism at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, N.Y., June 9, 2012.

Reform Judaism has obligation to change

By Rick Jacobs, JTAPublished June 12, 2012

NEW YORK -- Today’s Reform movement is built on the shoulders of our 19th-century Reform forbearers who took Jewish tradition in an entirely new direction, re-envisioning our sacred texts and practices in the light of scientific inquiry and the new...

Rabbi Justin Kerber serves
Temple Emanuel and is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical

Temple Emanuel and Senior Rabbi Justin Kerber are parting ways

By David Baugher, Special to the Jewish LightPublished May 16, 2012

Temple Emanuel is ready to open the search for a new spiritual leader after announcing the departure of Senior Rabbi Justin Kerber early this week. “Rabbi Kerber and the Board have asked me to share the news that tonight the Board reached an agreement...

Rabbi Sally Priesand with her Boston Terrier, Shadow. 

America’s first female rabbi reflects on four decades since ordination


Rabbi Sally Priesand, America’s first seminary-ordained female rabbi, decided at age 16 to pursue her calling.  “I always wanted to be a teacher of whatever was my favorite subject,” she tells JointMedia News Service. “In the end, I decided to...

Op-Ed: Ordaining cantors is mostly good for congregations

By Dana Evan Kaplan, JTAPublished May 7, 2012

KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Six graduates of the cantorial program of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion were ordained Sunday at Temple Emanu-El in New York. The key word here is “ordained.” Since the cantorial school was established at...

Josh Breitzer, left, is invested as a cantor by Rabbi David Ellenson, president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Photo courtesy HUC-JIR

What’s in a word? For ‘ordained’ rather than ‘invested’ cantors, a lot

By Debra Rubin, JTAPublished May 1, 2012

What’s the difference between investiture and ordination? Plenty, say officials at the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, which has announced that for the first time since establishing its cantorial school in 1948,...

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