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

Above, Jerri Livingston (right) works with a participant of Covenant Places knitting group. Livingston also leads Shabbat services at Covenant and at the Brentmoor. Photo: Kristi Foster

‘Professional’ volunteer gives to all ages

BY DAVID BAUGHER, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT May 21, 2017

Jerri Livingston likes to joke about how much time she gives to others.“I frequently kid that with all the volunteer work that I do, they couldn’t pay me enough,” she said with a laugh.Fortunately, they don’t have to. Livingston has served on...

Sharon Dunski Vermont. Photo: Lisa Mandel

Dr. Mom of transgender teen shares her experience

BY ERIC BERGER, STAFF WRITER May 21, 2017

Pediatrician Sharon Dunski Vermont always thought she had two daughters.She pictured them wearing white dresses at their weddings and then giving her grandchildren. “That was my dream for my children,” said Vermont, 48, who belongs to Congregation...

Suzanne Epstein-Lang. Photo: Kristi Foster

In career and volunteer life, helping to make a difference for families, community

BY ERIC BERGER, STAFF WRITER May 21, 2017

Suzanne Epstein-Lang only recently started putting her name on her work. Epstein-Lang & Ohler is a law firm that helps families deal with legal, emotional and financial challenges related to a loved one struggling with addiction. But before opening...

Above, Jeffrey Cohen (center) was a driving force behind the Circle@Crown Café at Crown Center for Senior Living, where Cohen is a past board president. Photo: Kristi Foster

From a napkin big ideas grow

By David Baugher, Special to the Jewish Light May 21, 2017

Returning from a fact-finding mission to Chicago, Jeffrey Cohen found himself so full of ideas he couldn’t even wait until he got home. He and his travel companions from the board of directors at the Gladys & Henry Crown Center for Senior Living...

ABOVE: Cindy Lander Wallach started Birthday Joy in 2012. The nonprofit organization helps provide birthday gifts for children in homeless shelters or receiving help from social service agencies. Behind Wallach are her children, Abby, 13, and Dylan, 15. Photo: Lisa Mandel

Birthday challenge is to spread joy to kids

BY PATRICIA CORRIGAN, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT May 21, 2017

Growing up in St. Louis, Cindy Lander Wallach remembers that whenever a family member had a birthday, her father would stop at Missouri Baking Co. for a special cake, and a great celebration would follow.  As a young adult, Wallach, her husband...

Lois and Dave Zuckerman founded Mentors4College. Photo: Lisa Mandel

Couple help students find their way after high school

BY PATRICIA CORRIGAN, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT May 21, 2017

No longer technically “unsung,” Lois and Dave Zuckerman were honored April 24 with the Parkway School District’s Pillar of Parkway award “for providing extraordinary service to the Parkway community and beyond.” Still, the couple will be hailed...

Stan Shanker visits with the family of recent immigrants Ali and Israa: Ahmed,  Jana and Hasan at their home. Photo: Lisa Mandel

‘Uncle Stan’ offers helping hand to new refugees

BY ELLENT FUTTERMAN, EDITOR May 21, 2017

Stan Shanker can barely knock on the front door before he’s greeted with excited yelps of “Uncle Stan! Uncle Stan!” They come from the four children of recent immigrants Ali and Israa, who range in age from 11 to 3. The older ones like to high-five...

Attorney Jay Umansky meets with a client. 

For this lawyer, giving back is a privilege

BY DAVID BAUGHER, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT May 21, 2017

Jay Umansky can still recall an elderly Russian army veteran he helped many years ago. The man was in his late 80s and spoke little English but needed a divorce from a younger woman he’d married who apparently just used him to obtain American residency. “Just...

Susan Balk (right) comforts Olive Mukabalisa, a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide, during the 2013 Yom HaShoah ceremony held by the St. Louis Holocaust Museum. File photo: Lisa Mandel 

Susan Balk: Bright light of awareness used to break cycle of hate

BY ERIC BERGER, STAFF WRITER May 21, 2017

About four years ago, Lenore Pepper and Susan Balk were at a board meeting for Camp Sabra, a Jewish overnight camp, when Pepper recalls getting “on the subject of things that were hateful.”“I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness, I have got a story, too,’...

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