Jewish Metropolitan Council Members Named

(St. Paul, Minn.) The Minneapolis Jewish Federation and the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul have appointed eight community members to serve on the Jewish Metropolitan Council, a body created by Federations to help achieve greater collaboration and cooperation across the Twin Cities Jewish community.

The following people were selected:

  • Erin Baldinger
  • Mark Divine
  • Dani Fisher
  • Robert Karasov
  • Robin Landy
  • Karen Schanfield
  • Marsha Schoenkin
  • Deb Weiss

They will serve with Jon Parritz and Howie Milstein, co-chairs of the Council. The selection process was conducted by a search committee consisting of Federation presidents Howard Zack and Steve A. Brand; CEOs James Cohen and Rob Jacobs; planning directors Judie Rothschild and Judy Sharken Simon; and the Council co-chairs.

“We thank everyone who was interested in serving on the Council. We had 27 well-qualified nominations for eight positions,” said Jon Parritz. “We reviewed each application carefully and sought to create a group of individuals who brought diverse skill sets and backgrounds. Needless to say, the selection was difficult.”

Each of the appointees brings a passion for the community, proven leadership experience across multiple Jewish communal organizations, and an interest in building bridges between organizations to enhance Jewish life. “As I see our millennial generation (which I am also a part of) start to take more active leadership roles, building a stronger community together is something I am very passionate about,” said Mark Divine.

“Through my participation in Harry Kay, I have learned a lot about the larger Twin Cities community,” said Erin Baldinger. “I am eager to help coordinate more consistent and productive collaboration across St. Paul and Minneapolis.”

The Council is expected to begin meeting in November. “We’re looking forward to getting started and looking at the ways in which we can facilitate working together for the benefit of our entire Jewish community,” said Howie Milstein.

The Jewish Metropolitan Council will provide feedback and high-level strategic vision regarding collaboration and greater integration between the Jewish communities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, be an ambassador for promoting bi-city collaborative initiatives, and serve as a vehicle to enhance communication and ongoing reporting between and among each Federation board and other communal agencies.

For more information, contact Judy Sharken Simon, planning director, Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul, 651-695-3182, or Judie Rothschild, director of Community Impact, Minneapolis Jewish Federation, 952-417-2356,

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