A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

Get daily updates delivered right to your inbox

Creators of popular St. Louis based podcast ‘Held’ to be featured guests on ‘Coffee Talk with SnL’

(L) Karri Rosenthal and (R) Angie Offstein.

The Nov. 21 edition of the popular live Zoom show “Coffee Talk with SnL” promises to be a must-see episode.

Hosted by the National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis’ past president Susan Katzman and vice president of membership Lisa Gubernik, this episode features St. Louis natives Angie (Mestman) Offstein and Karri (Offstein) Rosenthal.

Offstein and Rosenthal will discuss their captivating podcast series, “Held.”

You might have already heard about “Held,” but this is a chance to hear directly from both women. The two friends and sisters-in-law tell a story you won’t forget about a secret “held” for 35 years. Through a twist of fate and modern science, the secret revealed changed everyone’s life.

Please click here to register for the Nov. 21 Coffee Talk.

Hidden for 35 years, a St. Louis family secret revealed in podcast

Imagine keeping a secret for 35 years. Now imagine, through a twist of fate and modern science, that secret is revealed to the persons you most feared knowing it. Imagine what happens to your life – and to the lives of those around you – in the wake of that truth being uncovered. A truth buried so deeply it was like it never really happened—that is until the day phone rang, and nothing was ever the same.

That is the premise of a new podcast mini-series that debuted recently, focusing on a powerful and personal story of a young Jewish woman that began in St. Louis.

The back story

Held: A Podcast Mini-Series” features the story of Angie Mestman Offstein. In early 1986, as a student at Ladue Horton Watkins High School, she found herself pregnant. For her own reasons, Angie made the decision to not share this information with anyone — not her parents, not her friends and not her boyfriend, the father of the baby.

As her pregnancy progressed, Angie eventually told her parents the secret. They helped guide her through the end of the pregnancy, allowing her to deliver a healthy baby boy, which she placed for adoption. Soon, Angie returned to her senior year of high school and her life, her secret seemingly secure.

The podcast picks up the story 35 years later. The baby, named Zac by his adoptive family, has grown up and begins searching for information about his birth parents. Through a direct-to-consumer genetic testing service he finds a half-sibling and his birthfather, Michael.

Zac’s journey eventually leads him to Angie. About a year later, the story has now become “Held.”

Sharing the secret

The podcast series is hosted by Angie’s long-time friend and sister-in-law Karri Offstein Rosenthal. Over the course of the six episodes, Karri leads listeners through every event that unfolded, through the voices of all involved.

But why share the secret?

“About a year ago, it finally occurred to me how incredibly proud I am of this man – Zac,” said Angie. “I wanted to share him with those I know and love, but it didn’t feel right to just announce, ‘It was a boy,’ after 35 years of keeping it all in. It was time to let it all out.”

Angie reached out to Karri, who had experience producing podcasts, to see if she could help put the story together more as documentation for all of the family members involved. But Angie and her family soon discovered there were lessons from their experience that might be helpful to others and decided to put the podcast out publicly.

“I do things very differently in life now. I am choosing to face my fears and secrets head-on,” said Angie. “Getting this out there publicly was one of the scariest decisions I have made to date. But in the last two years, I have learned that opening yourself up and being vulnerable with others can bring great gifts right back to you.”

Building ‘Held’

More than 30 hours of raw interviews were recorded by Karri. Within the episodes, the listener not only learns the narrative of the story from the actual people involved but also the powerful effects of how the story affected them both then and now. Much of this information is provided in the form of bonus episodes.

“One of the bonus episodes is a really remarkable discussion with Angie and her therapist Deb Silver from Boulder, Colorado,” said Karri. “In it, they talk about how one deals with this type of trauma. I think the listeners will learn so much from these discussions.

As for the title of the podcast. Angie and Karri said they went through hundreds of titles over several months before Karri called to suggest “Held.”

“This word has many applicable meanings with all of its variations,” said Angie. “I ‘held’ a secret, I was ‘holding a baby inside of me’, Abbe and Jonathan (the adoptive parents) were ‘holding’ onto hope for a baby, and then eventually ‘held’ a baby in their arms. It just worked.”

Listen: “Held: A Podcast Mini-Series” on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

November Coffee Talk: A Secret Revealed 

When: Tuesday, November 28, 2023 | 8:30-9:30 AM CT
Where: Zoom
More Info: Please click here to register for the November Coffee Talk.




More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer
Jordan worked at KSDK from 1995 to 2020. Jordan is a three-time Emmy award winner who produced every kind of show from news to specials during his tenure, creating Show Me St. Louis, The Cardinal Nation Show. He started ksdk.com in 2001 and won three Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalistic and website excellence in 2010, 2014 and 2020. Jordan has been married for 25 years and is the father of two college students. He is an avid biker, snowboarder, and beer lover. He created the blog drink314.com, focusing on the St. Louis beer community in 2015. Jordan has an incredible and vast knowledge of useless information and is the grandson of a Cleveland bootlegger.