Millstone Fellows is the Millstone Institute’s premier program for emerging and established leaders in the St. Louis Jewish community. This select 8-month leadership program creates the space to effectively tackle challenging conversations and community situations.
Through sharing perspectives and ideas, integrating Jewish values into decision-making, enhancing leadership skills and exploring relevant topics on the local, national and global scene, Fellows deepen and define their personal commitments, build meaningful relationships and develop leadership tools that can be applied to their leadership.
Millstone Fellows is facilitated by local and national trainers and educators.
Millstone Fellows is a collaborative model of leadership development for emerging and established leaders in the St. Louis Jewish community.
Valuing effective leadership as being essential to ensuring a strong and united Jewish community, Fellows integrates Jewish learning with general leadership skill building so that participants will become more informed, thoughtful and effective leaders wherever they are leading.
Millstone Fellows is facilitated by local and national trainers and educators and includes eight monthly gatherings, alternating between half-day Sundays and three one-hour weeknight sessions.
For more information, contact Karen Sher at KSher@JFedSTL.org or 314-442-3824.
“The Millstone Fellows experience taught me much about Jewish values and Jewish leadership. The cohort of 25 wonderful individuals, who come from a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives studied, discussed, brainstormed, and planned together. We were guided by a number of strong speakers and facilitators, who challenged us and who we, in turn, challenged. By the end of the program, my new friends and I all had come far in defining ourselves as Jews and as leaders.”
“I am a stronger leader because of Millstone Fellows. I better understand my tradition, my values, and myself. And I now have a new network of friends and colleagues who I have already called on for help on two different projects.”
“Being a part of the 2015 Millstone Fellows program is an eye-opening and rewarding experience. I love that we are able to have so many thought provoking and frank group discussions. Our meetings are filled with passionate ideas and good conversation about real issues that Jews face, both locally and globally. Being a Millstone Fellows has given me tools to become a better and more effective leader within the Jewish community. “
“Being a part of the 2014 Millstone Fellows class has been an honor and privilege,” said Josh Wallach, 2014 Millstone Fellow. “As active participants, we’ve been given extensive opportunities to engage in meaningful conversation amongst a diverse demographic of Jews, broadening our viewpoints and potentially our ways of thinking. It has been an experience which will benefit my skills as a lay leader going forward.”
“I love the program and all of the leaders. I gained so much insight into myself and why I love being Jewish,” said another alum, Karen Dubinsky, 2016 Millstone Fellow. “I am so proud of my religion and what it stands for. I cannot wait to take what I learned and apply it to my everyday life. Since the first session, I have consistently used the skills that I have learned. It was amazing. Thank you for allowing me to participate.”
For an example of the curriculum, please click here to view the 2016 Program Schedule.
Jewish Federation of St. Louis is excited to announce the 2017-2108 class of Millstone Fellows, the Millstone Institute’s premier program for emerging and established leaders in the St. Louis Jewish community. This select 8-month leadership program creates conditions that spark the emergence of new ideas and new leaders who will envision and realize a strengthened Jewish community. Facilitated by local and national trainers and educators, Fellows integrates Jewish learning with general leadership skill building so that participants will become more informed, thoughtful and effective leaders wherever they are leading. The program kicks off with an opening retreat on Sunday, September 10th.
Welcome to our 6th Cohort of Millstone Fellows:
2016 Millstone Fellows
Jake Asher is passionate about bringing unity amongst Jews. Having grown up in California, Jake went to Israel after graduating from Public High School in Los Angeles to attend Aish HaTorah in the Old City of Jerusalem and subsequently worked as a student leader on Aish’s “Jerusalem Fellowship Birthright Program”. Following that experience, he studied Finance at Yeshiva University in New York and after graduating, spent the next 3 ½ years in Israel living and studying in Har Nof. After meeting his wife Esti in New York, the two decided to move to St. Louis to begin their careers. Jake is a CPA and works in Public Accounting doing both Audit and Tax work. Jake and Esti are the proud parents of a new baby.
Naomi Barasch is passionate about fostering a vibrant and welcoming Jewish community. Having grown up at United Hebrew Congregation, Naomi is actively engaged in the congregation and the Jewish community. A member of the UH Board of Trustees, Naomi serves on the Membership and Communities of Practice committees. Naomi is a clinical pharmacist specialist at Missouri Baptist Medical Center and is a member of the St. Louis Society of Health Systems Pharmacists, the Missouri Society of Health Systems Pharmacists and a participant in the Healthcare Leadership Series through the Missouri Hospital Association.
Debbie Banashek-Twist is interested in continuing her learning and advocacy for Israel and aspires to become more directly involved in leadership roles with Jewish institutions. A past participant of the Rubin Israel Experience, Debbie is drawn to educational programs. Debbie grew up in St. Louis and received her MA in English from UMSL. She has taught at Parkway North for the past ten years and earned her National Board Certification in 2011. She sings with the St. Louis Chamber Chorus, enjoys cycling with her husband, and is training for her first half-marathon. Debbie has two sons at Mirowitz Jewish Community School.
Beth Deutsch is passionate about advocating for substance abuse disorders and continuing her Jewish Education. Over the years, she has often dedicated her time to being a “change agent” in her community. From co-chairing a movement at her children’s elementary school that resulted in a healthier cafeteria menu and a Reduce, Reuse, Recycling program, Beth led a grass-roots movement that involved organizing a group of citizens to petition residents and advocate at City Council meetings. Beth is also the driving force, in conjunction with the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, that will be launching a “Clayton Community Coalition” to support families and prevent substance abuse amongst students. A stay-at-home mom, Beth is excited about her conversion to Judaism planned for this spring. A member of Temple Israel, Beth is married to David and together they have three children.
Karen Dubinsky feels a strong identity to the Jewish religion and culture and her personal passion is her volunteer leadership with Friends of Kids with Cancer. Interior designer, writer, yogi and mother of three, Karen has spent the last 13 years in various leadership positions with Friends of Kids with Cancer. Initially introducing the charity to St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Karen has gone on to serve as a board member, developed a Mom’s Night Out program and worked on various events throughout the years. Karen enjoys her newest career as an interior designer working at Beyond Storage while still maintaining a private clientele.
Daniel Ginsburg is interested in connecting young professionals with each other to help build future leaders of our community. Currently active with Jewish Federation’s Young Professionals Division, Daniel is part of the St. Louis Sports commission group which helps the community through athletics. He is also part of the TEDxGATEWAYARCH, an innovative group that helps young professional build skills to start their own business. Born and raised in Chicago, Daniel and his wife Sally (originally from St. Louis) moved to St. Louis less where he works as a Mortgage Strategist for Central Bank of St. Louis. He and Sally have a baby boy.
Scott Kaar is interested in seeing growth and greater engagement in the broader St. Louis Jewish community as well as increased collaboration between synagogues across denominations. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Scott grew up with a strong connection to Israel. Scott studied biomedical engineering at Case Western University and attended medical school there as well. He did an orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Michigan and a sports medicine fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. Scott is in his 8th year working in St. Louis at SLU. A past board member of Jewish Federation’s Young Professionals Division and volunteer for Jewish Federation’s Naturally Occuring Retirement Community (NORC), Scott agreed to co-chair the Medical committee for the 2016 Maccabi Games. Scott has served in several leadership capacities and is an active Board member of Kol Rinah where he met his wife Courtney, a 3rd year Medical student. They are expecting their first child in February.
Ken Levine is passionate about communicating to the St. Louis Jewish Community the importance of synagogues and the role they play in our lives. Ken is a graduate of San Diego State University with a B. A. in Communication and holds a Culinary Degree. He worked as an Executive Chef for 12 years in Southern California and is currently an Automotive Sales Manager for West County Volvo. Ken has a great deal of passion for Israel and spent a year living on a Kibbutz after school. Currently a Board of Trustees Member at Shaare Emeth, Ken serves as the President of MOSHE and is a recent graduate of Shaare Emeth’s LEAD class. Ken is married to Leiba Levine, a teacher at Mirowitz Community School and they have 2 children.
Weston Manley is interested in applying his financial expertise to assist Jewish organizations as well as exploring Judaism in a deeper way. Born and raised in St. Louis, Weston graduated from Mizzou with a Masters in Accounting. Upon graduation, he began his career at Deloitte & Touche practicing audit and risk assurance and then business valuation. After 2 ½ years in Chicago, Weston moved back to St. Louis to work for Buckingham Asset Management and was recently engaged the Amy Babitz.
Carolyn Morris is passionate about Jewish culture, community building and Jewish life. Carolyn and her family recently moved from Chapel Hill, NC where she held several board positions at the Lerner Jewish Community Day School as well as the Allocations committee for the Durham/Chapel Hill Jewish Federation. A founding member of the Durham/Chapel Hill JCC, Carolyn and her husband volunteered in the Jewish community on a routine basis. Carolyn grew up in both Maryland and California. She received a BA in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and a second MPH in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina. Carolyn worked in public health and medicine for 20 years as an epidemiologist and biostatistician. She and her husband David have two daughters.
Andy Oberman is passionate about Jewish education for all ages, observance, philanthropy, and helping to create and be part of great Jewish leadership in our community. An Executive Director, Financial advisor at Morgan Stanley for the past 29 years. Andy has been an active member in many nonprofit organizations including the American Cancer Society, Men’s Group Against Cancer, Make-a-Wish Foundation, the Scottish Rite Children’s Language Disorder Clinics for the state of Missouri, and board member of the Solomon Schechter Day School. Andy was part of the merger team that helped form the Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School. Andy is currently the Executive Vice President of Congregation B’nai Amoona and he and his wife Rhonda live in Frontenac and have 4 Children.
Bill Remis is interested in deepening his involvement with the Jewish community. A past participant of the Rubin Israel Experience and the Millstone Institute’s Jewish Coaching Academy, Bill is a member of the Board of Trustees of Congregation Shaare Emeth where he serves in various leadership roles. A St. Louis native, Bill is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and received his law degree from St. Louis University. Since graduation, Bill has been a practicing attorney and is currently a partner with the firm Doster, Ullom & Boyle, LLC specializing in real estate law and advising clients on all aspects of commercial development and operations. Bill is married to Sharon and they have two children.
Marissa Berkow Rosen is passionate about Judaism, congregational engagement and ensuring that the resources of our community are used to the greatest benefit by maximizing the time, talent and financial resources of its members. Marissa has been actively involved in several leadership positions both within and outside the Jewish community including a 15 year relationship with the National Council of Jewish Women, serving in various roles including President of the Young Women’s Council, Chair of the Back-to-School Sore and over 5 years as Director of Development. Marissa has served on the Board of Directors of Congregation Shaare Emeth and is past chair of the Parent’s Association at the Shirlee Green Preschool. Marrisa currently serves on the Development Committee of the Ladue Education Foundation and the Capital Campaign Committee and recently joined the Trio Foundation of St. Louis as the Assistant to the Executive Director. Marissa is a graduate of Washington University and received her MSW from the Brown school of Social Work. She is married to Howard and they have two children.
Jonathan Sachs is passionate about Jewish identity and combating hatred. Currently on the Operating Committee of the Board of Directors at Shaare Emeth, Jonathan serves as the Associate Treasurer and member of the finance committee. Having met his wife in Atlanta where they lived until 1998, Jonathan moved back to St. Louis and became active in Shaare Emeth participating in 2 leadership classes. Jonathan has an MBA from Webster University and currently works at CSI Leasing. He and his wife Susie have 3 children.
Andrew Sharon is interested in interfaith outreach as well as the global community including geo-political, immigration and international business issues. A graduate of Northwestern University where he received an honors degree in Mathematical Modeling and Economics, Andrew holds an MBA from the Olin School of Business at Washington University. His passion for numbers led him to a career in wealth management with Morgan Stanley. Prior to his current engagement, Andrew was an entrepreneur – an ecosystem in which he is still engaged through teaching and coaching at Washington University as well as through direct involvement. Currently Andrew is on the board of the American Jewish Committee and a member of Central Reform Congregation. He is the proud father of two children.
Rachel Weiss is interested in programs and services geared towards children and she is passionate about all things St. Louis. As a Camp Sabra alum, Rachel recognizes the importance of providing Jewish education to youth and young adults to help them find their personal connection with Judaism. Rachel received her MSW from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. As a mental health professional, Rachel has seen firsthand the effects that certain traumatic events or stressful circumstances can have on individuals which has sparked her need to serve our community by giving back and supporting agencies. Rachel has taken many trips to Israel, has been exposed to Jewish Federation and philanthropy her whole life and understands the importance of Tzedakkah.
Esther “Esti” Zuravin is passionate about spreading Jewish knowledge and connecting with all Jews. Esti has been teaching Judaic studies for the past 18 years and is the Program Director at Esther Miller Bais Yaakov School, where she coordinates programming and informal curriculum. Her experience partnered with her creative flair has made her proficient in teenage education, having developed extensive curriculum suited to all learning styles. Her goal as an educator is to make a learning experience that is palatable, applicable and meaningful to her students. Esti grew up in London, England and after graduating high school, she studied education at Michala College For Women in Jerusalem. She moved with her family to St Louis ten years ago. She and her husband Rabbi Zvi Zuravin have eight children and three grandchildren.
Past Millstone Fellows
The Millstone Institute, an initiative of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, is a community-wide endeavor to engage and inspire volunteer leaders and professionals. Programs are made possible by support from the Lubin-Green Foundation, a supporting foundation of Jewish Federation of St. Louis, the Millstone Foundation, Mont and Karen Levy, and Bill Solomon and Family.