Marilyn L. Ratkin and Risa Zwerling Wrighton Named 2018 Women of Achievement

Marilyn L. Ratkin and Risa Zwerling Wrighton have been named as 2018 Women of Achievement. The St. Louis Women of Achievement Award, which was founded in 1955, is the oldest, ongoing program in the area whose sole mission is to honor and recognize the volunteer service and volunteer leadership of women. Marilyn Ratkin is being honored for her volunteer leadership and service in the area of social justice. She has a long history of seeking out opportunities to improve the community through advocacy and direct service. During her 25-year professional career, she was engaged in social justice efforts, and upon retirement she focused her volunteer work on helping low-income women and families affected by domestic violence. Her passion and dedication has led her to leadership roles in many organizations: National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), serving on its board since 2008; Ready Readers, serving on its Board for the past four years and as a volunteer reader and mentor; United Way’s Allocation Panel member for eight years; and Spirit of St. Louis (SOS) Women’s Fund. Ratkin’s premier accomplishment is spearheading the founding of a micro-lending program, The Healing Hearts Bank, part of an NCJW National Initiative. This bank, designed to empower women impacted by domestic violence to become financially independent, has expanded to reach underserved women and families. Risa Zwerling Wrighton is being honored in the area of impactful leadership. She is currently on the boards of Our Little Haven, Provident, Inc., and has been involved in mentoring disadvantaged youth through “Aging Out” and “Discovering Options” programs. She has also been active in the Jewish Federation, the Center for Creative Arts and Central Reform Congregation. Zwerling Wrighton has worked as a 4-year academic advisor at Washington University in St. Louis, and supports a wide range of initiatives at the university. She is the founder of Home Plate, where she places hundreds of students each year with families for a “touch of home away from home.” She also supports student run fundraisers, such as Relay for Life, Dance Marathon and Mr. and Ms. Wash U. In 2015, she spearheaded Washington University’s year-long gun violence prevention initiative to address gun violence as a public health crisis. This project has led to a community wide collaboration with United Way agencies which continue this effort. The full Women of Achievement 2018 Class of Honorees includes: Karen D. Anderson — Civic Responsibility Teka Childress — Community Betterment Shannon Marie Diekemper — Humanitarian Concerns Victoria Dolan — Caring and Compassion Judy Preddy Draper — Multicultural Awareness Rachel Ebeling — Music Therapy Advocacy Kim Hutton — Family Empowerment Tammy Iskarous — Social Enterprise Marilyn L. Ratkin — Social Justice Risa Zwerling Wrighton — Impactful Leadership The 2018 honorees will be recognized at the 2018 Women of Achievement Luncheon on Tuesday, May 15 at the Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. Doors open at 11:15 a.m. and the luncheon runs until 1:30 p.m. This year’s luncheon chair is Phyllis Langsdorf (Class of 2014) and the vice chair is Eva Frazer, M.D. (Class of 2014). Luncheon reservations are $60 per person and can be made online at www.woastl.org/luncheon-reservations or by contacting Women of Achievement at 314.896.4962 or woastlouis@gmail.com. Women of Achievement honorees are selected from nominations from the St. Louis metropolitan area, including Metro East Illinois, who have demonstrated outstanding commitment...

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Women of Achievement Announces Call for Nominations

Women of Achievement is calling for nominations for the 2018 Class of Honorees. The St. Louis Women of Achievement Award, which celebrates its 63rd anniversary in 2018, is the oldest, ongoing program in the area whose sole mission is to honor and recognize the volunteer service and volunteer leadership of women. The deadline for receipt of nominations is midnight Wednesday, January 10, 2018. Online submissions and printable nomination forms with full details are available at http://woastl.org/nominate. Online submissions are preferred, and early submissions are also encouraged. Nominations may be submitted online or via email, mail or hand delivery to 3418 Charlack Avenue, Suite 615, St. Louis, Missouri, 63114. Eligible individuals are female volunteers from the St. Louis metropolitan area, including Metro East Illinois, who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the betterment of the St. Louis region through voluntary contributions, volunteer leadership and a significant breadth of a volunteer career. Women of Achievement considers nominees with substantial volunteer impact in areas such as, but not limited to, education, arts, health and human services, youth and family, philanthropy, social justice and advocacy. Nominations of women representing diverse cultures, roles and accomplishments are encouraged. Self-nominations are accepted. The 10 honorees will be recognized at the 2018 Women of Achievement Luncheon on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at the Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. This year’s luncheon chair is Phyllis Langsdorf and the vice chair is Eva Frazer, M.D. Presenting sponsors are KMOX Radio, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Ladue News. For additional information about the awards, please visit http://www.woastl.org. For specific questions about the nomination process, please contact Women of Achievement President Gwendolyn Packnett, Ph.D. at 314-280-2344 or gwendolyn.packnett@gmail.com and/or Women of Achievement at 314-896-4962 or woastlouis@gmail.com. About Women of Achievement In 1955, the St. Louis-Globe Democrat newspaper created an awards program that became known as the Women of Achievement Award, to recognize and honor the achievements of women who, through their volunteer efforts, have demonstrated their dedication and commitment to improving the quality of life in the St. Louis community. The St. Louis Women of Achievement organization, a 501c3, not-for-profit organization, was established in 1993 by former Women of Achievement who wanted to ensure the longevity of the award for future generations of St. Louis area women. The organization’s Board of Directors, comprised of past recipients of the award, continue to plan and implement the nomination, selection and award presentation process ensuring that this award will continue to enhance and honor the women volunteers in the St. Louis metropolitan region who positively impact the community, for many years to come. For more information visit the Women of Achievement website at...

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Marlene Hammerman Named 2017 Woman of Achievement

Marlene Hammerman has been named as a 2017 Woman of Achievement. The St. Louis Women of Achievement Award, founded in 1955, is the oldest, ongoing program in the area whose sole mission is to honor and recognize the volunteer service and volunteer leadership of women. Hammerman is being honored for her volunteer service and leadership in the area of social justice. She has been a volunteer with the National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis Section for more than 35 years, working to improve the lives of women, children, and families and to protect individual and civil rights. She created NCJW’s Project Renewal program, where volunteers work one-on-one with women recovering from domestic violence and addiction, and established the national Higher Ground initiative to increase women’s economic security. In her efforts to advance social justice, Hammerman continuously engages with elected officials in Jefferson City and Washington, DC on a variety of issues, speaking out for those who cannot advocate for themselves. The Women of Achievement 2017 Class of Honorees is a selection of 10 extraordinary volunteers from the St. Louis metropolitan region. This year’s award recipients include: Claire Applewhite — Educational Enrichment Christine Buck — Youth Dedication Adrienne D. Davis — Arts Advocacy Marlene Hammerman — Social Justice Rosemary Hanley — Youth Services Margaret Hopkins — Community Betterment Kathy Lambert — Social Enterprise Elizabeth Mannen — Volunteer Leadership Colleen Kelly Starkloff — Human Welfare Asha Zimmerman — Caring and Compassion The honorees will be recognized at the 2017 Women of Achievement Luncheon on Tuesday, May 16 at the Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. Doors open at 11:15 a.m. and the luncheon runs until 1:30 p.m. This year’s luncheon chair is Gin Wachter and the vice chair is Phyllis Langsdorf. Luncheon reservations are $60 per person and can be made online at www.woastl.org/luncheon-reservations or by contacting Women of Achievement at 314.896.4962 or woastlouis@gmail.com. For more information, please visit http://www.woastl.org. “Volunteers are the unsung heroes of our community,” said Women of Achievement President Joni Karandjeff. “The strength and longevity of the region’s nonprofit organizations and programs rely heavily on dedicated volunteers. We take pride in honoring some of these outstanding unsung heroes—women volunteers who have dedicated their time, energy, and leadership to helping the community in tremendous ways and inspire others to do the same.” “The luncheon is a special way to honor and highlight our award winners,” said Gin Wachter, chair of the 2017 Luncheon. “Surrounded by family, friends, past Women of Achievement, and those affiliated with each honoree’s nonprofits and charities along with the general public, the feeling in the room is joyous and delightful. In addition to a delicious lunch and awarding the honorees, we also feature a dynamic 30-minute video about the volunteers and their history of service, which really hits home the message that helping others makes an enormous impact in our community.” Women of Achievement honorees are selected from nominations from the St. Louis metropolitan area, including Metro East Illinois, who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the betterment of the St. Louis region through voluntary contributions, volunteer leadership and a significant breadth of a volunteer career. Women of Achievement considers nominees with significant volunteer impact in areas such as, but not limited to, education, arts, health and human services, youth and family, philanthropy, social justice and...

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Shushan Nights: Nishmah’s Purim Journey

Purim is not just for kids! Grab your festive costume and your friends for a lively, Persian-themed women’s night out!  Enjoy an evening of fun, drinks and dinner at the bazaar.  There will be opportunities to experience the mitzvot of Purim, enjoy belly dancers, receive a Henna tattoo, and drink “Vashti” Shooters, among other celebratory fun! Shushan Nights is for Jewish girls and women from throughout the St. Louis community. The event will be held on Sunday, March 5, 2017 from 6-8:30 pm at the Jewish Community Center’s Staenberg Family Complex, Arts & Education Building in Creve Coeur. The evening will feature a short presentation, beginning at 6:30, which will include a Hamilton-esque Rap-style Megilla and some improvisational comedy. The rest of the evening will be dedicated to music, food and celebration. The event is chaired by three generations of Dobkin women – Renee Dobkin, Shari Cohen, Lisa Deutsch, Barb Prost and Sarah Cohen – who are excited to bring this unique, one-of-a-kind event to the St. Louis community. A diverse planning committee of 45 women invites everyone to bring friends, mothers, sisters, daughters and granddaughters to St. Louis’ most exciting inter-generational holiday event. There is a participant fee of $36. Registration is open until February 28th. After that date, walk ins will be welcome at the door for $50. The program is for women only (Bat Mitzvah age and up).  Dietary laws observed. Student and senior rates are available upon request.  Thank you to the J Associates for their generous support of this program. For more information, contact Sara Winkelman at Nishmah at swinkelman@jccstl.org or 314-442-3268.  Registration form and full event details available at www.nishmah.org    ...

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Taking the “ick” out of Mikvah

Taking the “ick” out of Mikvah Nishmah’s We are Listening Series   You’re invited to an evening of interactive conversations evoked through a variety of mediums in the comfort of a private home. There will be time for drinks and nosh, and then participants will rotate rooms, discussing Mikvah through three lenses: First, a short video about the mikvah as a sacred space, followed by reflection; Second, discuss finding a deeper meaning in traditional uses of the mikvah; Third, explore new and contemporary uses of mikvah for life transitions, healing and personal milestones. This event will take place on Monday November 14, at 7:00pm at a private residence in Ladue. Drinks and nosh will be provided. Address will be provided upon registration.  Contact Sara Winkelman, swinkelman@jccstl.org or 314 442 3268, with questions or to register. Suggested Donation of $18. This new Nishmah series offers an opportunity to break the silence on particular life experiences through thoughtful discussion that allow us to listen, process, speak, discuss and, perchance, to grow. Nishmah is a program of the Jewish Community Center....

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Nishmah Salon on Mindfulness

Join the Nishmah Salon discussion! In the spirit of Sukkot, our fall salon will be on Mindfulness with Rabbi Andrea Goldstein in a Sukkah. Mindfulness is defined as moment-to-moment non-judgmental awareness. The practice of mindfulness, like many Jewish rituals and practices, helps us to be more present and appreciative of life as it is unfolding around us.  Through text study and practical application, this workshop will explore how Jewish mindfulness practices can add meaning and depth to our daily lives.  Rabbi Andrea is a Rabbi at Congregation Shaare Emeth.  She has been a Jewish mindfulness meditation practitioner and teacher for the past seven years and loves sharing her practice with others. The salon offers an opportunity for women of all ages to connect and engage with other women in meaningful discussion on topics of interest to us as Jewish women. Please chose the time and date that works best for you. Wednesday October 19, 12:30-2:00 pm with Rabbi Andrea Goldstein in a private Sukkah in Clayton/ Feel free to bring a bagged lunch, snacks and drinks provided Thursday October 20, 7:30-9 pm with Rabbi Andrea Goldstein in a private sukkah in the village of Westwood Snacks and drinks provided The suggested donation for each salon is $18 ($5 for students).  Home addresses will be given out after registering.  Register online at www.nishmah.org or by contacting Nishmah Director Sara Winkelman at 314.442.3268 or...

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