Our 10 most popular stories of 2021


Photo: Carballo/stock.adobe.com

Ellen Futterman and Jordan Palmer, St. Louis Jewish Light

Heading into 2021, many of us felt certain that it would be an easier year than the one we were leaving behind – the one that introduced us to the coronavirus and its various variant cousins. But here it is, another new year, and COVID, unfortunately, is still making headlines – except when it comes to the Jewish Light’s Top 10 most popular stories of the year.

The first list below shows the most read local stories on our website stljewishlight.org – stories that were generated by Light staffers and freelancers. The second list shows the most read trending stories on the Light’s website. These 10 stories included stories from other media partners and topics that were not specific to St. Louis.

The one-story that made both lists was written by Parkway West High School veteran journalism teacher Debra Klevens, who also is on the Light’s Board of Trustees. Her piece centered on students’ compulsion with their cell phones and how much worse it has gotten since school districts returned to in-person learning at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.

As she explained: “We have a generation of students who spent the last 18 months tethered to their phone while they were supposed to be Zooming. While their foreheads or ceilings were on the screen, they had the freedom to do as they pleased. Now, we’ve returned to learning and teaches are fighting a losing battle.”

The story resonated with readers both here in St. Louis around the world, thanks to Google. The story was read some 135,000 times.

In case you missed any of the stories below, we’ve included links to all.

Top 10 most popular local stories 2021

  1. A new addiction hiding in your child’s hand – 136,371
  2. Community mourns loss of artistic powerhouse Andy Neiman –  13,905
  3. How the kindness of strangers found a group from Camp Sabra –  12,256
  4. Barbara Goodkin, fatally shot, planned to serve as Holocaust museum docent –  10,182
  5. Malachi Owens Jr., cantorial soloist at Temple Emanuel for more than 40 years, dies at 71 – 7,856
  6. Why won’t Cori Bush talk to the Jewish Light? –  7,642
  7. Don’t let others be scared into silence – 7,283
  8. How Cardinals’ manager Mike Shildt makes it harder to defend him each week – 5833
  9. 50 years ago today, the Grateful Dead crashed a St. Louis Bar Mitzvah party – 5,637
  10. Testing Gordon Ramsay’s scrambled egg recipe  – 5,582

Top 10 most popular stories overall in 2021

  1. Mila Kunis, Neil Patrick Harris, Helen Mirren and over 200 other celebrities sign letter denouncing cultural boycott of Israel – 400,199
  2. A new addiction hiding in your child’s hand  – 136,172
  3. Chinese state-run site proposes ‘final solution to the Taiwan question,’ and German lawmaker compares it to Nazi rhetoric – 43,263
  4. In Israel for Miss Universe competition, Puerto Rican contestant reveals that her great-grandfather survived the Holocaust – 29,145
  5. 11 things you need to know about ‘Shtisel’ star Michael Aloni – 27,021
  6. Jewish Jokes: Did you hear the one about the two elderly Jews on the bench?  – 19,220
  7. Kamala Harris and Douglas Emhoff wanted an appropriate menorah. They turned to the ‘Mensch of Maiden Hills.’  – 19,131
  8. An Israeli documentary chronicles a real-life relationship between an Auschwitz prisoner and an SS officer – 18,124
  9. Hundreds protest antisemitism after German hotel staff accused of refusing to serve man wearing Star of David pendant – St. Louis Jewish Light – 17,344
  10. 5 things to know about Liev Schreiber’s ‘Ray Donovan’ movie – 15,167