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Record rainfalls in the St. Louis region over the past week have caused disastrous flooding for St. Louis residents and local organizations. On Friday, the Jewish Fund for Human Needs (JFHN), a program of the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis (JCRC), and the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association (STLRCA), responded to calls for help with flooding damage from two local organizations: The Little Bit Foundation and ArchCity Defenders.

“At JCRC, we recognize that all of us in the St. Louis region are interconnected,” said JCRC Executive Director Maharat Rori Picker Neiss. “In times of crisis like these, we’re grateful to have the financial resources of the JFHN to respond quickly to pressing needs. We deeply admire the work of the Little Bit Foundation and ArchCity Defenders and want to ensure they can return to their essential operations as quickly as possible.”

June 1 marks the beginning of Pride Month. It’s about commemorating the pursuit of equality within the LGBTQ community. This summer, a new, inclusive overnight camp could change things for kids and teens across the country. Camp Indigo Point was created after legislation began targeting these communities across the country.

“It’s hard to put into words what it is to know that there’s a space for your kid not to feel like an outsider, but to be one of a group,” Rori Picker-Neiss said.

Picker-Neiss has been advocating for trans rights and rallying against Missouri’s anti-trans bills for years. She said this past year, she spent time going to Jefferson City with her children to testify against anti-transgender legislation. Picker-Neiss said she’s been fighting for her transgender son and others in Missouri and across the country.

Rabbi Howard Kaplansky, Dan Friedman and Missouri Sen. Jill Schupp will be honored at the Jewish Community Relations Council’s 2022 Tzedek Awards on May 24 at United Hebrew. Kaplansky, of United Hebrew, will receive the Batya Abramson-Goldstein Legacy Award for his longtime service to the organization, which includes being a past president of JCRC and past chair of the Newmark Institute. Friedman will receive the Michael and Barbara Newmark Emerging Leader Award for his leadership. He is vice president of North American sales and business development at Entegral. A special tribute will be given to Schupp for her years of public service as she completes her time in the Missouri General Assembly. Schupp attends Shaare Emeth.

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