Editorial Staff:




Ellen Futterman

Ellen Futterman, Editor-in-Chief

A native of Westbury, New York, Ellen Futterman broke into the world of big city journalism as a general assignment reporter for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner in the latter part of the 20th century. Deciding that Tinsel Town was not exciting enough for her, she moved on to that hub of glamour and sophistication, Belleville, Ill., where she became a feature writer, columnist and food editor for the Belleville News-Democrat.

A year later the St. Louis Post-Dispatch scooped her up, neither guessing at the full range of her talents, nor the extent of her shoe collection. She went on to work at the Post-Dispatch for 25 years, during which time she covered hard news, education, features, investigative projects, profiles, sports, entertainment, fashion, interiors, business, travel and movies. She won numerous major local and national awards for her reporting on "Women Who Kill" and on a four-part series about teen-age pregnancy, 'Children Having Children.'"

Among her many jobs at the newspaper, Ellen was a columnist for three years, Arts and Entertainment Editor, Critic-at-large and Daily Features (Everyday) Editor. She invented two sections from scratch, one of which recently morphed from Get Out, begun in 1995, to GO.

In January of 2009, Ellen joined the St. Louis Jewish Light as its editor, where she is responsible for overseeing editorial operations, including managing both staff members and freelancers. Under her tutelage, the Light has won 16 Rockower Awards — considered the Jewish Pulitizer’s — including two personally for Excellence in Commentary for her weekly News & Schmooze column. She also is the communications content editor for the Arts and Education Council of St. Louis.

Ellen and her husband, Jeff Burkett, a middle school principal, live in Olivette and have three children. Ellen can be reached at 314-743-3669 or at efutterman@thejewishlight.com.

Robert A. Cohn

Robert A. Cohn, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Robert A. (Bob) Cohn is a native of St. Louis (b. 1939). He is a graduate of University City High School (Class of 1957) and is a member of the U. City High School Hall of Fame.

Bob is also a graduate of Washington University with degrees in English, Philosophy and Political Science, and a Doctor of Law degree. He is also a licensed attorney and a member of the Missouri Bar.

Interested in law and journalism since his childhood days, Bob was Editor of Student Life, the Washington U. undergraduate student newspaper and later of The Writ, the law school student newspaper.

After graduating law school in 1964, Bob worked for five years for then County Supervisor (Executive) Lawrence K. Roos. Bob was Administrative Assistant, Staff Attorney, Speech Writer and Press Secretary for Roos until 1969, when he became Chief Editor of the St. Louis Jewish Light, starting his long career at the Jewish community newspaper on July 1, 1969.

He semi-retired in 2004, but continues a very active association with the Jewish Light as Editor-in-Chief Emeritus. Bob continues to collaborate on preparing the weekly editorials, covering hard news, doing interviews and features and reviewing books, plays and films.

Bob has been an active member in the Jewish and general communities and has won numerous awards for his journalism and public service. He is a past President of Congregation Shaare Emeth, of Legal Advocates for Abused Women, the Press Club of Metropolitan St. Louis and the St. Louis Regional Chapter of the American Jewish Congress (now the Midwest Jewish Congress).

Bob has won several national Simon Rockower Awards for his writing and received the Fred A. Goldstein Community Service Award from the Jewish Federation of St. Louis. He has received many other awards, including being inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame, and the Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel/Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Award from Jews United for Justice for his many years of civil rights work. Bob has been associated with the St. Louis County Human Relations Commission since 1964, and continues to serve as Chair.

Bob is married to the former Barbara Berg. They are the parents of three children, Scott (married to the former Julie Bohm) of Chesterfield, who have three children; Julie (married to Paul Greene, of Falmouth, Maine, who have two children; and Emily Cohn of Vinalhaven, Maine and St. Louis.

Bob Cohn can be reached at 314-743-3667 or at bcohn@thejewishlight.com.

Michael Sherwin

Mike Sherwin, Managing Editor

Mike Sherwin started freelancing for the Jewish Light in 2006 and began working full time as a reporter and photographer for the Light in January, 2007. A St. Louis native, Mike received a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. As managing editor, Mike oversees story and photo coverage, page design and the Light's website, stljewishlight.com. Mike can be reached at 314-743-3665 or msherwin@thejewishlight.com.

Eric Berger

Eric Berger, Associate Editor

Eric is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and started his journalism career in Boonville, Mo., a town of less than 10,000 people about 40 minutes west of Columbia. He is fairly certain that he was the only Jew in town. He spent one year at the Boonville Daily News as a reporter and then became news and online editor.

He then participated in a six-month internship in Israel at the Jerusalem Post, where he edited opinion pieces and helped manage the website. Next, he moved to Philadelphia to work as a staff writer at the Jewish Exponent, the second-oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper in the United States.

Over three years, he interviewed author Nathan Englander, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and actress Susie Essman, who stars on Eric's favorite comedy, "Curb Your Enthusiasm." He also wrote about the challenges Holocaust survivors face as they age; a deaf Jewish congregation that has been shrinking in numbers; and covered local and state elections, interviewing Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolfe and his predecessor, Tom Corbett.

He won Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Professional Keystone Press and Philadelphia Press Association awards for his story about local Jews who were in Israel during the 2014 Gaza war and a feature about a 13-year-old boy taking classes remotely using a robot while undergoing cancer treatment.

He moved back to St. Louis and joined the St. Louis Jewish Light as a staff writer in October 2015. In addition to writing stories, he manages the newspaper's social media and shoots videos.

In October, he started teaching journalism classes at his alma mater, Ladue Horton Watkins High School.

He has written for the Philadelphia Daily News, Tablet magazine, and the St. Louis Beacon, an online newspaper covering the St. Louis area.

If you Google "Eric Berger journalist" you will find a science writer at the Houston Chronicle. This is not St. Louis Eric Berger, who has made it his life goal to overtake Houston Eric Berger and become the top hit on search engines. Eric can be reached at 314-743-3674 or eberger@thejewishlight.com.

Shane Blatt

Shane Blatt, Advertising Sales Manager

Shane brings more than 30 years of advertising sales and account management expertise to the Jewish Light. She began her advertising career in Chicago working with national advertising agencies including TMP Worldwide and Bernard Hodes Advertising. After 15 years of managing local and national accounts including healthcare, IT, financial, transportation, retail and other industries, Shane moved to the newspaper side of advertising sales. Shane continues to partner and strategize with clients to provide the most cost effective ways for them to increase revenue and maximize visibility. Companies look to Shane as their “advertising consultant” and take advantage of all various platforms of advertising including print, digital, events, sponsorships and more. Contact Shane at 314-743-3676 or sblatt@thejewishlight.com.

Elaine Wernick

Elaine Wernick, Account Executive

Elaine is a lifelong St. Louisan (she graduated from Clayton High School) who has been in the advertising industry for nearly 30 years. A veteran of radio as well as print media, her creativity and marketing savvy have generated legions of loyal clients who rely on her advice and promotional strategies to grow their businesses. Elaine prides herself on her ability to build and sustain relationships. There isn’t anyone she doesn’t know! In short, she is simply Fabulous!

Elaine can be reached at 314-743-3666 or ewernick@thejewishlight.com

Maggie Walkoff

Maggie Walkoff, Production Designer

A recent graduate from Miami University in Ohio, Maggie earned her BFA in Communication Design as well as a minor in Interactive Media Studies. While at Miami, Maggie was awarded the Arthur B. Damon Scholarship in 2019, which recognizes one student for creating outstanding design solutions. In addition to taking on several projects as a freelance designer, Maggie has also held marketing and editorial design internships at InterVision Systems and Modern Luxury.

As the Production Designer for the Light, Maggie works to layout the biweekly newspaper as well as brand a variety of assets for the organization.

Maggie can be reached at 314-743-3678 or mwalkoff@thejewishlight.com.

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