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Faculty

Harold Braswell is Assistant Professor of Health Care Ethics at St. Louis University. His work focuses on the intersection of bioethics and disability studies, with a specialization on disability at the end of life. His first book, The Dying Family: US Hospice Care and the Crisis of Freedom at the End of Life, has recently been published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael serves as the Coordinator of Community Chaplaincy with the Jewish Family & Children’s Service, where he provides personalized support and connection for individuals throughout the St. Louis Jewish community. He educates and advocates on issues of justice, access, and welcome for the full spectrum of human diversity. He holds a Master’s degree in Talmud and Rabbinic Literature and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and is a SVARA fellow.

Rabbi Shulamit Cenker joined the St. Louis community in 2016 after graduating from the Hebrew Seminary of the Deaf and Hearing in Skokie, IL, 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 topics of Jewish interests.

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 at Temple Emanuel, Rabbi Hersh is also one of our Melton faculty.

Ariel Kielmanowicz was born in Israel and grew up on a Kibbutz. He has an MA in the Social Sciences with a specialization in Organizational Behavior. Before his recent family moved 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 the 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. Marcia once again brings her expertise to the classroom this year with her extremely popular Contemporary Jewish Writers course.

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, CA, and Waltham, MA, and has graduate degrees from the Jewish Theological Seminary and the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied Anthropology and Folklore and Folklife.

Dr. Elai Rettig is the Israel Institute Teaching Fellow in Israeli and Environmental Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. His research focuses on the interplay between energy security and foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East and West Africa. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Haifa.

Rabbi Michael Rovinsky, is the Director of the Jewish Student Union (JSU). He is a certified mohel and consultant to mohels and doctors around the country. He has a BA in Education from Adelphi University, MBA from Johns Hopkins University, and Rabbinic Ordinations from Ner Israel Rabbinical College and Kol Yaakov Torah Center.

Rabbi Mark Shook is Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Temple Israel. For 24 years, he taught philosophy at St. Louis University. His first historical novel, The Ezra Scroll, was published in 2014. He serves as the Chaplain Coordinator of the St. Louis County Police, Chaplain of the St. Louis Division, FBI, and Chaplain of the Creve Coeur Police Department.

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.

Kathleen Sitzer, the Founding Artistic Director of the New Jewish Theatre, is a member of two professional actors unions, Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA, and has performed for many theater companies, including Theatre Project Company, the Black Rep, West End Players, St. Louis Shakespeare, and of course New Jewish Theatre. You may have seen her most recently in Driving Miss Daisy and Raging Skillet. Sitzer has an MA in Theater from St. Louis University.

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 archaeology.

Maureen Taylor is an internationally recognized expert on historic photograph identification, photo preservation, and family history research. The author of several books, scholarly articles and online columns, she appeared on The View and The Today Show for completing Meredith Viera’s family tree. She has been featured in numerous publications including The Boston Globe, The New York Times, Better Homes and Gardens, and was dubbed “the nation’s foremost historical photo detective” by The Wall Street Journal.