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Jews in the News: March 2019

United Hebrew Congregation’s Chai Society will honor Julie Gibbs, Jenifer Newmark, David and Stacy Rolfe and Tony Spielberg at its May 4 Cuatro de Mayo celebration. They are being recognized for their contributions to the life (chai) of the congregation. Gibbs is the director of the Jewish Federation’s Major Gifts and Affinity Groups. Newmark is a freelance writer and self-employed. David Rolfe is chief investment officer of Wedgewood Partners, a suburban St. Louis asset manager. Stacy Rolfe is the owner of R&R Ranch. Spielberg is the chief executive office at BCI (Boone Center Inc.), which provides employment opportunities for adults with disabilities.


Carson McGill joined Heartland Heritage as a sales agent representing Family Heritage Life Insurance Co. He works with businesses and individuals offering supplemental medical insurance coverage. A member of Congregation Shaare Emeth, McGill was previously the regional director of the St. Louis Council of the Mid-America Region of B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO).


Rabbi Jeffrey Stiffman was recently elected president of the National Association of Retired Reform Rabbis (NAORRR) at its 36th annual convention in San Diego. Stiffman is rabbi emeritus of Shaare Emeth, having served the congregation for more than 53 years. Stiffman has been active in the St. Louis community, presently serving as chair of the Sh’ma: Listen! Lecture Series sponsored by the Jewish Federation of St. Louis. He is a member of the Council of Life Members of the Federation.


Eric Berger has been promoted to Associate Editor of the St. Louis Jewish Light. He joined the paper as a staff writer in October 2015. In addition to writing stories, he shoots photos and videos and oversees social media for the Light. Prior to joining the Light, Berger worked as a staff writer at the Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia and as writer and editor at the Booneville Daily News in Missouri. He interned in Israel at the Jerusalem Post


Marlita Weiss has been awarded a Top Piano Teacher Award by the Steinway corporation for celebrating her 44th year of teaching. She is the director of Marlita Weiss Piano Studio. A member of Congregation Temple Israel, she is a five-year member of their music worship committee.  


The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital added Felicia Malter and Pam Rubin to its board of directors for a three-year term. Malter is partner-in-charge of RubinBrown’s Assurance Services Group. She also chairs the board of directors of the Jewish Community Center and attends United Hebrew. Rubin is very active in the St. Louis and Jewish communities serving on a variety of boards. She is currently a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Foundation for Jewish Aged. She and her husband, Ron Rubin, founded the Rubin Israel Experience 10 years ago, which funds first-time trips to Israel made by Jewish St. Louisans ages 35-50. The Rubins are members of Shaare Emeth.  


Daniel S. Levy has joined the Law Office of Richard S. Cornfeld as an associate attorney. He will represent consumers, whose rights have been violated due to fraud, deception, misrepresentations or other unfair practices. He will also represent employees who have been subjected to discrimination in their employment. Levy is a member of Temple Israel.


The Men’s Clubs of Congregation B’nai Amoona and Kol Rinah will honor their respective Man of the Year and Youth of the Year at a luncheon Sunday, March 31 at B’nai Amoona. All honorees have demonstrated a commitment to a primary objective of the Men’s Club: the involvement of Jews in Jewish ritual practice. Harvey Hieken’s family has been part of B’nai Amoona for five generations. He has a long history of service to the shul including board member, Philanthropic and Chesed Funds and he is a regular Minyannaire. The conference room used by many of the groups is named after Hieken and his wife, Terry.

Nadiv Lev “Levi” Rose, a junior at Whitfield School, is the son of Rabbi Carnie and Paulie Rose. He is executive vice-president of the B’nai Amoona United Synagogue Youth (USY) chapter and is on the board of USY’s Midwest Region (EMTZA). Levi participates in many ways at B’nai Amoona including as a member of the Yaad Squad, volunteers for Shabbat and holiday childcare, and works as a teacher’s assistant at the religious school. He is also an active participant in the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis and its interfaith dialogue program “JAM: Jews and Muslims” as well as Jewish Student Union’s Movitz-Danforth Israel Scholars study program. 

Kol Rinah is honoring Bill Solomon for his many contributions and his strong, longstanding support. He was instrumental in the BSKI-Shaare Zedek merger, has served on Kol Rinah’s board of directors and now serves as honorary co-chair of the capital campaign to build Kol Rinah’s new synagogue. Outside of Kol Rinah, Solomon is active with JProStl.

University City High School junior Yael Portman is her USY chapter’s president. She has been a part of the EMTZA regional general board for two years. Yael is very active at her school, participating in theater, arts and swimming. She also volunteers at the ALS Association and is a teacher’s assistant at Central Reform Congregation’s religious school. Yael is the daughter of Alan and Molly Portman. 


The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) recently paid tribute to all past and present chairs including Lynn Lyss (1994-1996) and Michael Newmark (1996-1998) during the 75th Anniversary Gala at JCPA2019 National Conference in Washington D.C. Both were honored for their contribution towards the organization’s continued success. Newmark attends United Hebrew and Lyss is a member of Shaare Emeth.


Dr. Steven Teitelbaum, professor of pathology and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine, has been awarded the King Faisal International Prize in Medicine for his work on bone biology, osteoporosis. The award recognizes scientists whose work has major benefits for humanity.  


Dr. Jeffrey Gordon has been recognized with the Frontiers of Knowledge Award from the BBVA Foundation. He is being honored for his contributions to biology and biomedicine for his lab’s pioneering role in founding the field of microbiome research. 


Philanthropist Carol Staenberg is Variety’s 2019 Woman of the Year. Each year Variety honors one man and one woman who play an active role in shaping the St. Louis community for the better. Staenberg, a member of Central Reform Congregation, has been instrumental in supporting numerous organizations throughout St. Louis.  


Former St. Louisan Art Shamsky, an outfielder with the 1969 New York “Amazin’ Mets,” has a new book, “After the Miracle” (Simon & Schuster), scheduled for release March 19. The book is an inside account of an iconic team in baseball history. The Mets finished next to last or last in the National League in each of the franchise’s first seven seasons before winning the World Series in ’69. Shamsky, who played for four teams from 1965 through 1972, later became an ambassador for the Israel Association of Baseball. In 1994, he was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. He will be in town April 19-21, when the Mets visit the Cardinals for the first time this season. 


Rabbi Amy Feder of Temple Israel was accepted into the Clergy Leadership Incubator as one of 20 national spiritual leaders. This program support and encourages innovative thinking, change management and institutional transformation. Feder has served as senior rabbi at Temple Israel since 2010.


Sisters Lisa Weingart and Sheri Chorlins have launched PixShows, a business offering personalized photo and video montages for life’s celebrations. Weingart and Chorlins are members of Shaare Emeth. 


Brothers Larry and Rob Weintraub have announced that Weintraub Advertising, a national retail flooring and home goods marketing agency, has been acquired by Integrity Web Consulting. The Weintraub team will relocate from Clayton to the Integrity offices in the Tivoli Theater building in the Delmar Loop. 


Jay Katz has joined Spectra, providers of venue management to the St. Charles Convention Center, as the center’s director of food and beverage operations.  


Sunshine Drapery and Interior Design, owned by Bruce Bernstein, will celebrate its 50th anniversary this month. Started in 1969, it provides custom window coverings and interior design for home owners and commercial businesses. Bernstein has worked for the company for over 20 years and purchased it in 2008.