April Levison thinks the St. Louis Jewish community is a wonderful place to raise her children. “It’s like an extended family,” says the mom of 5-year-old twins Cole and David and 2-year-old Spencer. With three active boys, it helps that there are a lot of activities in which the family can take part. “We swim at the JCC, participate in day camps in the summer, read books from the PJ Library program, send our kids to Shirlee Green Preschool at Shaare Emeth Congregation, and the twins will attend Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School in the fall. We try to get exposed to as much as possible.”
Navigating the numerous possibilities when raising your kids with Jewish values can be daunting, however. That’s why April is happy the Concierge for Families with Young Children is there to help. “It’s nice to have someone you can contact, a point person to find out about what’s going on in the community,” she says. The Concierge, a program administered through the Central Agency for Jewish Education with support from Federation, provides personalized services to link families with Jewish resources that meet their needs in St. Louis. “I’m here to support families wherever they are along their journey,” says Jayne Langsam, the Concierge for Families with Young Children. “I help build community by building relationships between families and between families and resource providers.”
Jayne found out that April enjoys organizing events and has a talent for it, so she helped her connect with Nishmah, for which April co-chaired the Passover Journey Event.
April and her family are happy they have built many connections in the community. “No matter what age you are or what your economic status is, you can get involved in something that helps you reinforce your Jewish values,” she says.