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Faculty

Gal Amir is an Israeli mixed-media artist and lecturer in art and design. She served as the Head of the New Media Design department and as a Lecturer in graphic design and art history at Ruppin Technology Center, and also worked as a stage designer and graphic designer in Israel before moving to St. Louis. She teaches art workshops at her local studio.

Dr. Wendy Love Anderson earned her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on medieval Judaism, medieval Christianity, and medieval Jewish-Christian relations. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis in both the Religious Studies program and the Center for Humanities, where she is Academic Coordinator for the undergraduate minor in medical humanities.

Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael serves as the Coordinator of Community Chaplaincy with the Jewish Family & Children’s Service, where he works to provide personalized support and connection for individuals throughout the St. Louis Jewish community. He educates and advocates throughout the community on issues of justice, access, and welcome for the full spectrum of human diversity. He is particularly passionate about work for racial justice, disability justice, and LGBTQ justice. He holds a master’s degree in Talmud and Rabbinic literature and Rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

Rabbi Shulamit Cenker joined the St. Louis community in 2016, after graduating from the Hebrew Seminary of the Deaf and Hearing in Skokie, Illinois, and completing a post-ordination year of learning at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Robert Cohn, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the St. Louis Jewish Light and leader of the National Jewish Press, is a highly respected writer and commentator on a wide span of Jewish topics.

Dr. Diane Everman is Archivist of the St. Louis Jewish Community Archives.

Rabbi Seth Gordon is the Rabbi of Traditional Congregation. He was a co-founder of Aleph-Bet Jewish Day School in Annapolis, Maryland, and founder of the African-American Jewish Coalition of Anne Arundel County (Annapolis). He received his rabbinic ordination from Rav David Weiss Halivni in 1994 and has served on medical ethics committees.

Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh serves as rabbi at Temple Emanuel. In addition to the Center for Jewish Learning class that she teaches and hosts on Thursdays at Temple Emanuel, Rabbi Hersh is also one of our Melton faculty.

Dr. Arnold Kaplan: After retiring as Head of the Department of Biological Sciences at University of Illinois, Chicago in 2002, Dr. Kaplan began an in-depth study of Yiddish language and culture, and has been teaching courses throughout St. Louis, including at the Lifelong Learning Institute of Washington University of St. Louis.

Ariel Kielmanowicz was born in Israel and grew up on a kibbutz. He has a master’s degree in the social sciences and specialized in organizational behavior. Before his recent family move to St. Louis, he worked for the Office of the Prime Minister in Israel. He speaks Hebrew, English, Arabic and Spanish.

Cyndee Levy is the Director of the Center for Jewish Learning at Jewish Federation of St. Louis and the Saul Brodsky Jewish Community Library. She is a certified facilitator of Mussar. Her students enjoy the breadth of her Jewish knowledge, her personable style and extraordinary culinary skills.

Marcia Moskowitz spent 25 years teaching Advanced Placement English at Parkway West High School. Since retiring, she has led numerous classes on Jewish literature at Congregation Shaare Emeth and the Center for Jewish Learning

Ilene Kanfer Murray is publications director for the St. Louis Genealogical Society. She co-leads the society’s annual research trip to Salt Lake City and is co-leader of the Jewish Special Interest Group.

Rabbi Tracy Nathan is Senior Educator at the Center for Jewish Learning of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis and Director of Melton St. Louis. She has taught in Jewish Day Schools in Boston and St. Louis, as well as Tufts University and the University of Pennsylvania. She has served congregations in San Francisco and Waltham, Mass., and has graduate degrees from the Jewish Theological Seminary and the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied anthropology as well as folklore and folklife.

Russel Neiss is a Jewish educator, technologist, and activist who builds critically acclaimed educational apps and experiences used by thousands of people each day. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, The Atlantic, CNN, Teen Vogue, Jewish Telegraph Agency, and other media outlets. Russel is a Software Engineer at Sefaria.

Carol Rose is a writer, spiritual counselor and educator. She holds a master’s degree in theology, as well as degrees in religion and cross-cultural studies. She received certification as Mashpi’ah (Spiritual Director) and Maggid (Preacher) from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and trained with psychologist Madame Colette Aboulker-Muscat in the use of mental imagery techniques for healing, self-awareness, and personal growth. Carol’s poetry and essays appear in literary journals and anthologies in the United States, Canada and Israel.

Rabbi Neal Rose serves the St. Louis Jewish community as a counselor, spiritual director, family therapist, and adult educator. He held the position of Professor of Religion and Rabbi at the University of Manitoba in Canada. He was the first Spiritual Director of The Simkin Centre – the Jewish community’s long-term care home in Winnipeg. He currently serves as Adjunct Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Amoona and as a Community Chaplain with Jewish Family & Children’s Service.

Dr. Howard Schwartz is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and an internationally celebrated and award-winning writer and poet. He won the National Jewish Book Award three times and was also a winner of the Koret Jewish Book Award. He has written and edited dozens of works in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

Rabbi Roxanne J.S. Shapiro was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, in 1999.  She has served as National Director of Admissions for HUC-JIR, as Educator at the Milwaukee Jewish Day School, and as Rabbi and Director of Life-Long Learning at Congregation Shalom in Milwaukee and at United Hebrew Congregation in St. Louis.

Dr. Will Soll has a Ph.D. in religious studies from Vanderbilt University and has taught Hebrew Bible and New Testament at the college and seminary levels. He is the author of Psalm 119: Matrix, Form and Setting, numerous articles and papers, and is a musician.

Rabbi Lane Steinger is Emeritus Rabbi of Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Community. A native of St. Louis, he formerly served as Regional Director of the Midwest Council, Union for Reform Judaism, and as a congregational rabbi in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Dr. Robert Taxman is a retired physician whose zeal for Jewish history is equaled by his zest for teaching it. He served as the principal history teacher for the Melton Core program, and he has taught many well-received classes on Jewish history and archeology.