Jewish Family & Children’s Service Selected for National AJFCA Repair the World “Young Adult Ambassador” Program

Board Members Josh Yudkin and Megan Wilson Named Ambassadors Jewish Family & Children’s Service-St. Louis (JF&CS) has been competitively selected to participate in the national “Young Adult Ambassador” program as part of the Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies AJFCA/Repair the World Volunteer Initiative. Participation in this program will support local JF&CS’ efforts to elevate the role and impact of volunteering and increase young adult engagement within the agency. The JF&CS-St. Louis Ambassadors named are: • Josh Yudkin, current president of the JFCS Young Leaders Board and an incoming member of the JF&CS Board of Directors. Additionally, Yudkin serves as a member on the Board of Trustees for the Jewish Federation of St. Louis and has previously served on the national board for Hillel Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. He also staffed Taglit-Birthright trips and taught 7th grade Hebrew school. • Megan Wilson has been a member of JF&CS’s Board of Directors since 2011 and currently serves the Board as its VP of Human Resources and as a member of the organization’s Strategic Planning and Nominating committees. Wilson is an attorney and is currently Senior Associate Counsel of Regulatory Affairs for Vatterott Educational Centers Inc. “Taking part in the Repair the World Volunteer Initiative will have many positive outcomes for us,” said Anna Lehrke, coordinator of volunteers, JF&CS. “Not only will it back our efforts to increase our volunteer base, it will help support and develop tomorrow’s leaders. We couldn’t be more proud of Josh and Megan, and are certain they will be key leaders for us as we work to meet the needs of our community.” Selection was based on the strength of the agency’s application and the talent and commitment of the young leaders who volunteered to serve as Fellows for the Ambassadorship. Participation in the Ambassador community will include on-going support, coaching, leadership development and participation in a special track of the AJFCA Annual Conference on May 4 – 6 in Montreal, Canada. JF&CS also will be eligible for an opportunity for an on-site visit from the Director of Volunteer Strategy & Repair the World Programming. -MORE- JF&CS YOUNG AMBASSADORS / ADD 1 Anyone interested in volunteer opportunities with JF&CS can call Anna Lehrke at (314) 812-9386. There are opportunities available for working with seniors through the Community Chaplaincy outreach and within the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry. Young adults who are interested in learning about the Young Leadership Board may contact YLB President Josh Yudkin at jyudkin@gmail.com. About the Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies AJFCA is the membership association for approximately 125 Jewish family service agencies across the United States and Canada. Ranging in size from small departments of local Jewish federations to some of the largest human services agencies in North America, its members provide vital services to clients of all ages, faiths and economic backgrounds. They counsel families, feed the hungry, assist the elderly and protect the vulnerable, and are united by the values of Jewish tradition and work together toward a common goal of tikkun olam, repairing the world. For information about AJFCA visit www.ajfca.org. About Repair the World Repair the World works to inspire American Jews and their communities to give its time and effort to serve those in need. It aims to make service a defining part...

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Federation’s Young Professionals Division Kicks Off “Thirsty Thursdays”

The Thirsty Thursday series, one of the most anticipated event series hosted by the Young Professionals Division of Jewish Federation of St. Louis, is back by popular demand. The free happy hours, which give Jewish adults in their 20s and 30s the chance to meet, network and engage, will take place monthly at various venues around town. The 2014 edition of the lively series kicks off on May 22 at 6 pm at Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar: 1004 Locust Street. The series will continue monthly with events on: June 19 at Element; July 17 at Bishop’s Post; August 28 at Budweiser Brew House; September 18 at Handle Bar; and November 20 at Plush. More information on the Thirsty Thursday series can be found...

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Young Couples to Taste Chocolate at YPD Date Night Event

YPD Date Night Series

Young Jewish couples are invited to enjoy sweets with their sweeties at the fourth event in the Young Professionals Division (YPD) of Jewish Federation of St. Louis’ Date Night Series. Couples of all types in their 20s and 30s—married, dating, LGBT, etc.—will gather at Kakao Chocolate, 7272 Manchester Road in Maplewood, on Thursday, May 15 at 7 pm for a chocolate sampling. The tasting will cost $24 per couple. Kosher wine will be provided, or couples may bring their own. The number of couples who can attend is limited; to reserve a space, go to YPDSTL.org/DateNight. This is the final event in a monthly series for young couples. A make-your-own sushi night was held in February, and couples painted pottery items for Shabbat in March. YPD is for post-college Jewish men and women in their 20s and 30s. YPD works to make and strengthen Jewish connections and create opportunities for young Jews to become involved in the Jewish community and in Jewish Federation. For more information on YPD or the Date Night Series, contact Lee’at Bachar at lbachar@jfedstl.org or...

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Young St. Louis Jewish Entrepreneur Launches Magazine with a Cause

Hearing Our Way connects young people across the nation under a common cause Sophie’s Tales LLC, an educational publishing company supporting children with hearing loss and cochlear implants, announced today the launch of a new magazine, Hearing Our Way, which will change the way kids and teens with hearing loss view their disability. The premier issue, which hits homes June 2014, will feature inspiring stories from role models with hearing loss, advice, tips and lessons in self-advocacy. Additionally, teachers and parents will find Hearing Our Way to be a useful tool in helping their students or children improve listening, language and self-confidence skills. The magazine was created by Melanie Paticoff, M.S.D.E., CEO of Sophie’s Tales LLC, and has a timely arrival in celebration of Better Hearing and Speech Month this May. “Hearing Our Way provides an opportunity for children and teens to not only read about but connect with others who are experiencing similar challenges with hearing loss,” said Paticoff. “The magazine teaches kids and teens to celebrate their differences and provides vital social and emotional support to young people during their formative years.” Today, the field of deaf education is experiencing an exciting trend. Early identification, amplification, and intervention have all led to earlier mainstreaming for children with hearing loss to enter their public schools. As a result, students may be one of few children with hearing loss in their home districts. Hearing Our Way provides a critical point of connection for these children to unite with others across the nation and be part of a dynamic online community. Additionally, students of all ages and reading levels can benefit from using the magazine as a classroom reader guided by a teacher or parent. Articles and features serve as discussion starters, and content can be easily implemented into current curriculum, IEP (Individualized Education Program) goals, and Common Core standards. Hearing Our Way premieres this summer at the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing’s Biannual Convention in Orlando, Florida. Families and professionals are invited to visit www.HearingOurWay.com for more information and to sign up to receive the first issue. Subscriptions are complimentary for families, schools, audiologists’ and physicians’ offices, and organizations. For information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact info@hearingourway.com. Creator Melanie (Mel) Paticoff was inspired by her cousin Julie who wears bilateral cochlear implants. Years ago, Mel quickly realized there were no products or publications designed for children like Julie with hearing loss. This motivated her to create the award-winning Sophie’s Tales children’s book series featuring a character with a cochlear implant. With the launch of Hearing Our Way, Mel continues to integrate her deaf education background with her personal experience to create innovative kid-friendly resources with parent and teacher-friendly language, literacy, and listening content. About Melanie Paticoff Melanie (Mel) Paticoff is the creator and CEO of Sophie’s Tales, LLC, which publishes books, products, and resources for children with hearing loss and cochlear implants. She has a Master of Science in Deaf Education (M.S.D.E) from Washington University’s Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences (2013), where she was the recipient of the Max A. Goldstein Award for outstanding academic achievement and professional promise. Mel earned her Bachelor of Arts in deaf education from Fontbonne University (2011). In 2014, she launched Hearing Our Way, an educational magazine...

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Young Professionals Division Springs Into Service to Help St. Louis NORC Members

Jewish Federation of St. Louis’ Young Professionals Division (YPD) is holding a community service day to benefit seniors in the St. Louis Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC). YPD members will gather on Sunday, May 4 to help with yard work around the homes of NORC members. The day will begin with the young professionals meeting at Jewish Federation’s Kopolow Building, 12 Millstone Campus Drive, for bagels and coffee. Then groups of YPDers will move to service sites. Volunteers are reminded to wear closed-toed shoes and clothes they don’t mind getting dirty. Register at YPDSTL.org/SpringService. For more information, contact Lee’at Bachar at lbachar@jfedstl.org or...

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Next Dor STL Hires Executive Director to Support Organizational Growth Plans

At Next Dor STL, someone new is walking in the door to help carry out the organization’s mission. The St. Louis nonprofit – focused on building Jewish community by creating a vibrant center of activity – recently held an extensive search for an Executive Director which led them to Ben Shapiro. Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Ben and his family moved to St. Louis in July 2010. He gladly accepted the Next Dor Executive Director role in March 2014, effective immediately. Shapiro and the nine-member Next Dor STL Board of Directors will be working on a variety of key strategic initiatives designed to strengthen the organization further as it approaches its fifth anniversary. “We’re excited to have Ben join the team and help Next Dor continue to offer meaningful opportunities for Jewish young adults in St. Louis,” said Rachel Lippmann, President of the Next Dor STL Board of Directors.  “Our Executive Director role reflects the commitment that Next Dor is making to the sustainability of our organization. We are invested in the future of Next Dor and its role as an incubator for passionate Jewish young adults to develop community in St. Louis.” Shapiro brings several years of experience working with Jewish non-profit organizations to the Executive Director role. Ben graduated from the University of WI-Madison in 1996 with a major in Hebrew Studies and a minor in Jewish Studies. After college, he worked in Minneapolis, MN as a full time congregational youth group director. Later, he spent seven years working in commercial real estate and eight years working in the insurance and financial services industry. Ben has served on boards and committees within the Jewish community including the board of Jewish Family Services in Milwaukee, WI and Wisconsin Region’s B’nai B’rith Youth Organization. Ben is married to Rabbi Roxanne Shapiro, and they have two children, Sienna and Maliya. Next Dor STL offers a space for community-driven projects and provides a platform for Jewish young adults to plan and host events for their peers. For more information about the organization, see www.nextdorstl.org or contact us at: info@nextdorstl.org  or...

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