Jewish Federation of St. Louis | St. Louis Public Radio

Jewish Federation of St. Louis

Karen Aroesty, Lynne Wittels and Andrew Rehfeld joined St. Louis on the Air on Thursday to discuss the recent spate of threats against the Jewish community in St. Louis.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

While the more than 150 headstones that were toppled and damaged at one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis have all now been righted, waiting only to be resealed, the damage still felt in St. Louis’ Jewish community is palpable. This weekend’s actions have compounded the emotional damage from a recurring spate of national and local threats made against the Jewish community, including a January bomb threat to St. Louis’ own Jewish Community Center.

Adrian Levin, of St. Louis County, visits Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery to check on the headstones of his wife's relatives. (Feb. 21, 2017)
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Vice President Mike Pence is speaking out against an act of vandalism this past weekend that left 154 gravestones toppled at one of Missouri's oldest Jewish cemeteries.

Pence made a surprise stop at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City on Wednesday afternoon, where more than 700 people gathered to help clean up and attend an interfaith vigil.

Pence said the outpouring of support showed "the heart of the state."

Trees surrounding the outside of the Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Six Jewish institutions in the St. Louis area are receiving a total of $370,000 from the Department of Homeland Security to help protect them against possible threats.

The money is the latest allocation of federal preparedness grants intended to help prevent and protect the country from terrorist attacks and other emergencies.

"Pretty Girl," "Pilgrim" and "Storyteller" are all photographs in the “Legends of the 36 Unknown” exhibition by Todd Weinstein.
Todd Weinstein

A photographer’s search for meaning is the seed of an exhibition opening Sunday on the campus of the St. Louis Jewish Community Center.

“Legends of the 36 Unknown” is a display of 36 photographs suggesting faces and figures in rocks, railroad ties and crumbling bricks.

Surrounded by her father's military mementos on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, Elsie Shemin-Roth speaks about how much it means for her father to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

A World War I veteran with ties to St. Louis will posthumously receive the Medal of Honor, almost a hundred years after he risked his life to save three fellow soldiers on a French battlefield.

Elsie Shemin-Roth of Webster Groves has been fighting for her father, William Shemin, to receive the medal since 2002, when Congress called for a review of past awards to correct possible discrimination.

In 1919 Shemin was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery during a three-day battle in France. He ran out into heavy gunfire to rescue three wounded soldiers, took command of his platoon after the officers fell, and eventually succumbed to wounds himself.

star of david
Alex Proimos | Flickr | Detail of image

The area’s Jewish population is up 14 percent since 1995 to an estimated 61,000 people. Households with at least one adult Jew have increased 34 percent for a count of 32,900, according to an in depth survey commissioned by the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.

On Wednesday night, federation leaders announced findings from a survey of more than 1,000 St. Louis Jewish households that they called “a snapshot” of the Jewish community and how it “engages Jewishly.” The margin for error in this size study is plus or minus 4.5 percent.

Members of a Jewish and Muslim Teen Dialogue Group packed bags at the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry last year.
Provided by Gail Wechsler

Jews and Muslims in St. Louis are hoping to bring a little extra Christmas cheer to their Christian counterparts this year.

For the fourth year, the groups will be hosting a Jewish and Muslim Day of Community Service. The event has grown since it was implemented in 2010; more than 700 people are expected to show up to help.

Gail Wechsler, one of the Jewish co-chairs for the event, said that the day is all about helping St. Louisan who are in need of assistance.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Israeli diplomat who handles the country's business in the Midwest brought a message of gratitude to St. Louis Tuesday night for the support the local Jewish community has shown to Israel during its three-week military campaign in Gaza.  

"I am a conduit between you and Jerusalem," Roey Gilad, the Consul General of Israel to the Midwest, told a standing-room-only crowd at the Jewish Community Center. "The message that I am going to take from here and deliver to Jerusalem is sound and clear. St. Louis stands with Israel, and the right of Israel to self-defense."