The St. Louis Jewish Community Flagpole, an online series of weekly community rallies of solidarity and song, is extending its run for an additional two weeks. 

The initiative, started by the Staenberg Family Foundation and Jewish Rock Radio, takes place on Thursdays at 7 p.m. St. Louisan and touring artist Rick Recht hosts the interactive online events, which stream via Facebook Live on the Jewish Federation of St. Louis Facebook Page. Originally a four-part series that began April 30, additional Flagpole events are scheduled for May 28 and June 4.

The events feature community leaders, clergy and families sharing inspiring news from the St. Louis Jewish community. The name, Flagpole, comes from the daily tradition at Jewish summer camps of gathering around the flagpole for ritual singing, announcements, and flag-raising or lowering.  

“Right now, communities are craving connection, consistency and a sense of hope and gratitude,” said Greg Yawitz, board chair of Federation, told the Light in April. “The Flagpole gathering gives our community the opportunity to share meaningful interaction via Facebook Live while enjoying uplifting music from Rick Recht, celebrating our community heroes and learning about the critical resources our community is providing in this uncertain time.”

In addition to St. Louis, the Staenberg Family Foundation is launching the Flagpole initiative in multiple cities and national camp movements including Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, JCC Camps of North America and the Ramah Camping Movement. 

“I’ve never experienced such an extreme level of interaction and engagement as I am with Facebook Live community gatherings,” said Recht, founder and music director of the Flagpole initiative. “Not only are people attending in unprecedented numbers, but the sentiments they share during the shows about community, gratitude and hope are absolutely profound and heart-warming.”