Congregation Temple Israel Announces New Family Education Department and Leadership Structure

Leslie Wolf, who has served as Congregation Temple Israel’s Deutsch Early Childhood Center (DECC) Preschool Director for eight years, will now be serving as Director of Family Education. Leslie has had tremendous success in helping DECC quintuple in size and become a Jewish preschool admired and emulated around the nation. In her new role as Director of Family Education, she will continue to lead and oversee DECC, as well as help to provide a consistent approach and connection between Temple Israel’s early childhood education program and our Religious and Hebrew Schools. Temple Israel has also hired Sandy Kramer as Assistant Director of Family Education. Sandy has served as the Education Director of Shaarei Tikvah in Wichita, and prior to that, of the Wichita Jewish Community School, where she developed a successful Shabbaton program for the entire Wichita Jewish community. Before moving to Wichita, she served as the Director of Educational Programming at Beth Israel-The West Temple in Cleveland, where she ran the religious school, family education and congregational programs, and developed Camp Kee Tov, the first Jewish day camp on the west side of Cleveland. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Washington University and her Masters degree in Jewish Education (MJEd) from Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts. Sandy will be the primary contact for Temple Israel’s Religious and Hebrew Schools. To help support the Family Education department, Temple Israel has hired Sara Jones as Family Education Office Administrator. Sara has worked with children and families at the St. Louis Jewish Community Center for almost eighteen years, starting in the KidZone with children ages six weeks to eight years. Sara then managed their youth programs and after school program for school-aged children, and most recently, served as the J Day Camps Camp Registrar. “Leslie, Sandy, and Rabbi Michael Alper, with the support of the Family Education Office Administrator, are working together to create a visionary, out-of-the-box learning experience for children of all ages and their families that builds on the vibrant, engaging school that we currently have and tailored to suit the needs of our Temple Israel families,” said Dee Mogerman, President of Temple Israel. “This plan has the full support of our Board of Trustees, our Rabbis, and our Religious and Hebrew school staff, who have been an instrumental part of our vision for moving the Family Education department forward.” Temple Israel’s Religious School program is a continuation and extension of DECC’s Preschool experience where students begin to form their Jewish identity. The program begins in Kindergarten and runs through senior year of high school, enabling students to progress and grow from young children who are passionate about their Judaism to young adults who will become the future leaders of our Jewish community. For more information about DECC and/or Temple Israel’s Religious and Hebrew School program, please contact Leslie Wolf, Director of Family Education, at lwolf@ti-stl.org or...

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Casting Call: Jewish Boy Ages 6-9 years old

DeLisi Creative is looking to cast a boy able to portray a Jewish Italian 6 year old for the next Steven Spielberg film. No acting experience necessary. We’re looking for a very special, real kid.   ROLE “EDGARDO” — BOY age 6-9 to play 6 years old. This is a unique and very challenging part for a truly special boy. The story deals with the complexity of an extremely intelligent and gifted child’s situation – his desire to return to his family and the faith of his ancestors, pitted against his ability to learn the Catechism and engage with the Pope on a level far beyond his years. HE SHOULD APPEAR TO BE A JEWISH ITALIAN child. We are not looking for any kind of Italian accent. LEAD. STORY LINE “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara”— Steven Spielberg is making a film about the true story of EDGARDO MORTARA – a 6 year old Jewish boy from Bologna who was reported to have been secretly baptized by a maid, and was deemed by the Catholic church therefore to be Christian. Pope Pius IX (to be played by Mark Rylance) decreed that the boy could not remain with his Jewish family. He was seized by the Papal State and taken to the Vatican where his indoctrination into Catholicism began. This was a cause célèbre of mid-nineteenth century European politics and the domestic and international outrage against the pontifical state’s actions may have contributed to its downfall amid the unification of Italy. This is an incredible story of real historical relevance. Please note several CD’s are covering this project, per overall CD Ellen Lewis: We (Debbie DeLisi/DeLisi Creative) are covering people that live in all regions in the US/Canada, EXCEPT if LA, CA (CD Tannis Vallely) & NYC based (Rori Bergman). If you’re based in LA or NYC, submit to Tannis or Rori. If you are based in any other area — please submit to us at delisicreative@gmail.com. To submit: Email delisicreative@gmail.com. Subject line: EDGARDO SUBMISSION / Name of boy, city/state. Body of email: Parents/Guardians contact info (names/phone), boys name/age/d.o.b, city/state of residence, along w/current non retouched photos. If you’d like to include a brief introduction, bio or resume, please do! Please note any related, special, or fun facts so we get to know...

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Taking the Wheel in Children’s Fitness: The Junior Cycling Program in St. Louis

Riding a bike has long been known as a low impact, potentially high intensity way of getting into shape. From bike-a-thons to the illustrious Tour de France, it is well understood that cycling requires endurance and strength. What is less widely accepted about biking is the team aspect of the sport.  It is this team aspect in addition to its physical rigor that makes it an ideal sport for kids of any age. Coaching cycling as a team sport for kids is a newer concept to the St. Louis area but it is one that Coach Nosson Spielberg is excited to promote. “What’s great about cycling,” says Spielberg, “is that it provides an alternative to typical team sports that require contact or a particular physique. Plus it is a skill that lasts a lifetime.” Spielberg has been dreaming of putting together a junior cycling club since he was a teenager. “As a kid and adolescent, I was very overweight,” commented Spielberg. “I believe if I had found cycling earlier, I would have saved myself years of low self-confidence and unhealthy behavior.” In addition to the physical benefits of regular exercise, studies have shown that regular exercise improves concentration in school. Spielberg has created the Spielberg Fitness After School Cycling Team, catering to children ages seven and up. No experience is necessary. All one needs to bring is a bike, helmet, and water bottle. Although everyone is welcome on the team regardless of skill, there are many opportunities for growth and acclaim. The kids are trained to qualify for local, state, and national events as part of the team. Those who are interested spend a little more time in practice gearing up for races. Practices are held three times a week and each rider is given a coaching plan, a jersey, and discounts at local bike shops as part of the membership. One may assume that the fun ends as the leaves change color but that just isn’t true. The program is year-round. During the colder months, the team moves its practices indoors incorporating music and racing videos into their training and indoor races. “It’s hard though,” Spielberg comments. “There are so many kids that want to be involved and we realize that the sport of cycling isn’t always as accessible as we wish it were. “For that reason, I created a sister organization called Junior Stars Cycling whose sole purpose is to increase accessibility to bikes, equipment, and cycling teams for those who would otherwise be unable to afford it, as well as, teach bike safety throughout the St. Louis community. However, our biggest use of this organization is the scholarship fund. Spielberg Fitness matches dollar for dollar the scholarship provided by Junior Stars in order to supplement as much as possible.” Recently, he added we have had the honor of receiving a grant from the Jewish Federation. This grant will be used to highly subsidize bike rentals for our junior team. Coming this spring, we will have road bikes available to rent for next to nothing.” “It’s a great start but we are always looking for more donors and volunteers, “ he adds with a grin. “The group is constantly growing and we want to continue to be able to provide for our kids scholarships and adequate staff...

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Fiddler on the Roof

What’s happening: DaySpring Arts and Education is proud to present Fiddler on the Roof, performed by its Crestwood location’s musical theatre students. Set in the little village of Anatevka, the story centers on Tevye, a poor dairyman, and his fascinating family. With the help of a colorful and tight-knit Jewish community, Tevye tries to protect his daughters and instill them with traditional values in the face of changing times. Who we are: DaySpring Arts & Education is a non-profit organization that has been serving the Maryland Heights and greater St. Louis community for over 20 years. Its vision and mission are centered in its commitment to provide excellent training in technique and artistry for its students, as well as developing life skills that will allow them to impact their community with excellent character & skill, enhanced creativity, critical thought, collaboration and passion for their calling. Today the school is home to nearly 800 students, with structured multi-disciplinary programs that have expanded to include 6 departments taught by professionals recognized in the St. Louis area. Classes are offered in dance, musical theatre, drama, technical theatre, music, fine art, circus arts, Creative Arts Preschool, and a university model academic program for Kindergarten through high school. Why this is important: Rich in historical and ethnic detail, Fiddler on the Roof’s universal themes of tradition, change and coming of age are relatable to people of any race, class, nationality, time period and religion, leaving audiences crying tears of laughter, joy and sadness. DaySpring wishes to provide a professional theatre experience for each of its students. These students, ages 8-15, have been learning the ins and outs of theatre since September, and have rehearsed the show since November. This show is fully produced by our technical theatre students, and promises to be an excellent, fun experience for any audience member, young or old! What you can do: Come to the show! Two performances 4/15 @7, 4/16 @1 At Christ Memorial Lutheran Church, 5252 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63126. Tickets are available at www.dayspringarts.eventbrite.com. Press Opportunities: Dress rehearsals Wed. and Thurs. night. Call 314.291.8878 for other...

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Students of DaySpring Arts and Education WOW recreating Charles Schulz’s beloved characters

What’s happening: Snoopy, Schroeder, Lucy, Linus, Woodstock, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts Gang take the stage as students of DaySpring Arts & Education present You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Come witness the spontaneous simplicity that Mr. Schulz immortalized in his characters as vignettes from his comics depict the pure, dramatic events of childhood. Who we are: DaySpring Arts & Education is a non-profit organization that has been serving the Maryland Heights and greater St. Louis community for over 20 years. Its vision and mission are centered in its commitment to provide excellent training in technique and artistry for its students, as well as developing life skills that will allow them to impact their community with excellent character & skill, enhanced creativity, critical thought, collaboration and passion for their calling. Today the school is home to nearly 800 students, with structured multi-disciplinary programs that have expanded to include 6 departments taught by professionals recognized in the St. Louis area. Classes are offered in dance, musical theatre, drama, technical theatre, music, fine art, circus arts, Creative Arts Preschool, and a university model academic program for Kindergarten through high school. Why this is important: While this musical has been around for nearly 50 years, to see it performed by children who have recently been the ages of Schulz’s beloved characters doesn’t happen every day. These students, ages 5-12, have been learning the ins and outs of theatre since September, and have rehearsed the show since November. DaySpring wishes to provide a professional theatre experience for each of its students. This show is fully produced by our technical theatre students, and promises to be an excellent, fun experience for any audience member, young and old! What you can do: Come to the show! Three performances 3/18 @7, 3/19 @3 & 7 At DeSmet High School, 233 N New Ballas Rd., Creve Coeur, Missouri 63141. Tickets are available at www.dayspringarts.eventbrite.com. Meet the Peanuts Gang before they perform You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown! -Hang out with the Peanuts gang -take a backstage tour -learn a song from the show -make a craft -get excited about the performance with your friends! Appropriate for children ages 5-12. Meet at the DeSmet High School Lobby prior to the 3pm performance of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”. **Parents of ages 7 & under expected to supervise. Performance tickets are sold separately, but both can be purchased at www.dayspringarts.eventbrite.com. Party tickets are available until 3:00pm Friday, March 18th. Press Opportunities: Dress rehearsals Wed. and Thurs. night. Call 314.291.8878 for other...

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Shaare Emeth’s Winter/Spring 2016 Early Childhood Engagement Schedule Announced

Looking for a fun, casual way to “be Jewish” with your toddlers and preschoolers? Celebrate the Jewish holidays and Shabbat with other young families during monthly early childhood programs at Congregation Shaare Emeth and Shirlee Green Preschool. All early childhood engagement programs are created specifically for children 1 month to 5 years of age and their siblings. All events are free and open to the community—regardless of membership at Shaare Emeth or of enrollment at Shirlee Green Preschool. Winter/Spring 2016 Early Childhood Schedule: Saturday, Jan. 9, 9-10:30 a.m. – Silly Snow: Discover amazingly fun ways to enjoy snow—from crafts to snacks! Friday, Feb. 19, 5-6 p.m. – Tater Tot Shabbat with Special Guest Musician Peri Smilow: Enjoy a family friendly Shabbat service with a special guest appearance by Peri Smilow. Smilow is a nationally recognized touring artist, composer, educator and activist with the unique ability to deeply move people of all ages. After the service, join us for a free Tater Tot Shabbat dinner (with reservation). RSVP at www.sestl.org/ece or to Kendra at 314-569-0048 by Friday, Feb. 12, to ensure we have plenty of tots for everyone! Sunday, March 13, 9-10:30 a.m. – Soaking Up Spring: Let’s have fun in the Outdoor Kitah, the preschool’s new outdoor classroom. Sunday, April 24, 9-10:30 a.m. – Everyone for Earth: Celebrate the joys of our planet. Congregation Shaare Emeth and Shirlee Green Preschool are located at 11645 Ladue Road, Creve Coeur, 63141. Enter on the south/preschool side of the building. For more information, please call Karen Lucy at 314-692-5320 or visit www.sestl.org/ece. ### Shirlee Green Preschool at Shaare Emeth is a Jewish preschool that nurtures the whole child, from academic preparedness to physical development to spiritual exploration. We come to know the child as an individual and address concerns and celebrate successes and milestones great and small. We are part of Congregation Shaare Emeth, a compassionate and inclusive Reform Jewish community which strives to engage in a personal and meaningful way with our members with young children, beginning with the decision to have children and continuing through the journey of...

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