Newsmakers – September 2022


Top row, from left: Lilly Socha, Angela Sandler, Lisa Litvag, Evan Canis, Sam Loiterstein and Harvey Wallace. Second row: Bruce Yampolsky, Ryan Iken, Pamela Claman, Dr. Morris Hartstein, Jay Steinback and Ben Hillman

St. Louis resident Lilly Socha has joined Hillel International as a campus marketing and development manager supporting the communications and digital fundraising efforts of WashU Hillel, Cincinnati Hillel and Hillel at Miami University.

Ownership of “The Scout Guide Saint Louis” was acquired by brand and marketing firm Xplor, under the direction of CEO Angela Sandler and COO Lisa Litvag. The guide is a celebration of the small businesses, artists, entrepreneurs and artisans who make St. Louis unique. Volume V is currently in production and will debut in the fall.

Evan Canis and Sam Loiterstein were elected to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Student Board of Directors for the 2022-2023 school year. Eighteen students were chosen through a competitive application process that included an essay and letters of recommendation. Evan is a senior at Marquette High School and the son of Randy and Terri Canis. They are members of Congregation B’nai Amoona. A senior at Ladue Horton Watkins High School, Sam is the son of Karen and Andrew Loiterstein. His family attends Congregation Shaare Emeth. 

Harvey Wallace and Bruce Yampolsky are among the 11 who will be honored at the Ageless Remarkable St. Louisans Gala. St. Andrew’s Resources Charitable Foundation hosts the gala, which is celebrating the outstanding achievements of inspirational and dynamic adults age 75 and older. The gala takes place Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch. 

Wallace, 76, is the co-founder of Brown Smith Wallace. His firm merged into Armanino LLP in 2021, and he currently serves as a Partner in Armanino’s Private Client Advisory Practice. A former Jewish Federation Board President, Wallace currently serves on several nonprofit boards.The Jewish Light recognized Wallace as an Unsung Hero in 2015. 

Yampolsky, 80, a member of Central Reform Congregation, has been an advocate for the needs of older adults and marriage equality in the St. Louis community. He has been on the board of the Missouri Silver Haired Legislature and has been the president of the city chapter for more than 20 years, promoting legislative advocacy for Missouri’s older adults. Yampolsky served as the first openly gay elected official in the City of St. Louis, formerly serving as the 28th Ward Democratic Committeeman and a Member of the Democratic State Committee.

Seven-year-old Ryan Iken will be one of nine youth ambassadors for the upcoming JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes on Oct. 16th. A second grader at Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes three years ago and has been a youth ambassador since 2020. Ryan will also be walking with his family team, Iken Get Hammer. He is the son of Michelle and Corey Iken and attends B’nai Amoona.

Former St. Louisans Pamela Claman (Community & Non-Profit) and Dr. Morris Hartstein (Global Impact), are two of the seven olim (immigrants to Israel) from English-speaking countries who have been awarded the 2022 Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize, recognizing Anglos who have made a major contribution to the state of Israel. 

Claman and her husband, Aba, are co-founders of Thank Israeli Soldiers, an NGO (non-government organization) dedicated to educating, embracing and empowering Israel’s soldiers from the beginning of their service through transition into civilian life. 

Hartstein is the founding director of Operation Ethiopia. A clinical associate professor of ophthalmology at Tel Aviv University School of Medicine and director of ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery at Shamir Medical Center, Hartstein has provided eyecare to the Ethiopian Jewish community and beyond for over seven years. Together with Struggle to Save Ethiopian Jewry, he established a feeding program for more than 500 malnourished children in the Gondar Jewish community.

Jay Steinback, former CEO of Rothman Furniture, is the is founder, chairman and CEO of yWhales Enterprises, a new startup seeking to advance technology focused on Web3. This term is used to describe the next version of the internet. Web3 is expected to be blockchain-based and include “cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized autonomous organizations, decentralized finance and more.

Hi-Pointe Drive-In co-owner Ben Hillman announced that a mini version of the restaurant, Little Hi, will open this fall on Manchester Road in Ballwin. It will serve the restaurant’s signature burgers, fries and shakes.