Jewish Community Relations Council | St. Louis Public Radio

Jewish Community Relations Council

A group of more than 20 Jewish organization leaders from around the country, including three from St. Louis pose with in the Mexican Counsel General (at center) in Nogales, Arizona in Sept. 2019.
Rori Picker Neiss

In Nogales, Arizona, there were quiet streets with houses and yards and giant metal beams with razor-sharp wires attached at the top. In Nogales, Mexico, there were kids playing soccer in the schoolyard. These are just a few scenes that Rori Picker Neiss observed on a recent trip to the border.

“We were all just really struck by the scene that we were seeing,” Picker Neiss said. 

Passengers aboard the MS St. Louis in 1939. The ship of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany was blocked from landing in Cuba, Canada and the U.S. and ultimately returned to Europe.
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Updated at 5 p.m., June 5 with information about a new location for the event The lecture and vigil will now be held at the Missouri History Museum to avoid traffic issues during the St. Louis Blues game.

Eighty years ago, the U.S. turned away a ship of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany — forcing them to return to Europe.

Of the 937 passengers on the MS St. Louis, about a quarter were later killed in the Holocaust.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis is spearheading an event to commemorate the voyage of the MS St. Louis, which also coincides with the 75th anniversary of D-Day.