The Heroic Saga of “Daddy” Ochberg – David Kaplan

The Megiddo Regional Council within the St. Louis Jewish community’s Partnership Region in Israel includes a park in Ramot Menasha next to Kibbutz Ein Hashofet, which memorializes a South African Jewish philanthropist Isaac Ochberg, who, after his death in 1937, bequeathed what was then the largest sum by an individual to Palestine. The bulk of the money went to the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and a lesser sum to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The money donated to the JNF was spent to acquire the land, which today encompasses Kibbutzim Dalia, Gal’ed and Ramot Menasha. As was revealed at the launch of the JNF Ochberg Memorial Park in 2011, actuaries have calculated the current value of Ochberg’s bequest in excess of $60 million. ”No single individual from the US, UK, Europe, South America or South Africa has to this day donated more.” In South Africa, Ochberg’s philanthropy in Israel is overshadowed by his heroic rescue of nearly 200 Jewish orphans in 1921 from the former Pale of Settlement. Horrified by the atrocities being experienced by Jews in post-World War I Eastern Europe, Isaac Ochberg, with the help of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), traveled to the Ukraine and selected 200 children whom he took back to South Africa. There they were placed in the Jewish orphanages operating in Cape Town and Johannesburg until, in some instances, they were adopted by local Jewish families, Today there are thousands of descendants of the Ochberg Orphans who were rescued and supported by this remarkable man. Come learn more about the amazing life and legacy of Isaac Ochberg with David E. Kaplan, a founding member and Chairperson of the Isaac Ochberg Heritage Committee (Israel). This program is co-sponsored with the Israel Center of the Jewish Federation of St....

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Mark Raiffie Annual Memorial Lecture

Virtual; more details to come

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Write Your Own Family Food Fable – 3 Sessions with Harriette Kraus

In most cultures eating meals and preparing those meals is at the crux of the family traditions that shape us and what we most remember. Everyone has a story to tell and what better starting point than a story about food and your family? Have you ever thought about writing your own story, but may not be sure where and how to begin? Join Harriette Kraus, a former writing teacher, food and fitness blogger, and happy storyteller for a three-part series to explore how to tell your family’s story and write your own Family Food Fable to share with your loved ones – and maybe with your friends and even the...

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Right in Our Own Backyard: A Nazi Bund Camp on the Meramec River – Diane Everman

German cultural activity gatherings were frequent and natural in depression-era St. Louis, an area with a significant German immigrant presence from the 1830s forward. Beginning in 1937, a different type of “clubhouse” arose on the banks of the Meramec River. It was associated with the German American Bund, a German-American Nazi organization. The burning of the “Deutsch Horst” camp in September 1939 sparked investigation into the camp and the St. Louis area Bund and its members. On April 29, join Diane Everman, Ph.D., Archivist of the St. Louis Jewish Community Archives/Holocaust Museum Archives, to learn more about this fascinating chapter in local St. Louis...

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How Does Your Garden Grow? Flowers and Gardens in Opera

Join Opera Theatre of St. Louis docents, Gailya Barker and Phyllis Hyken, as they explore how gardens and flowers enhance an opera’s plot and add emotional dimension to a character or scene. Their talk will include stunning video excerpts from operas by Bernstein, Bizet, Delibes, Puccini, Verdi and Von Flotow.

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