JCRC hires new director of Student to Student program

Lauren Abraham (left) has been hired to direct JCRC’s Student to Student program, succeeding longtime director, Fawn Chapel (right), who will become the program’s national coordinator.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of St Louis (JCRC) has hired Lauren Abraham as the new director of Student to Student effective July 1. The current director, Fawn Chapel, will be continuing to work with the JCRC as the National Coordinator of Student to Student, providing support to St. Louis and other cities hosting the program.

Chapel has been running the Student to Student program for 19 years, first as a volunteer, then as a consultant, and most recently as a full-time staff person. During her tenure with the program, it has grown from 30 students to nearly 120 Jewish student presenters, reaching approximately 4,000 non-Jewish students each year in St. Louis. Additionally, Chapel has overseen the expansion of Student to Student to four new cities—Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, Des Moines and Chicago —and is currently supporting three new cities as they work to launch the program in Seattle, Dallas and Buffalo, N.Y.  Student to Student was started in 1992 under the vision and leadership of Batya Abramson-Goldstein, former executive director of the JCRC. 

“If you walk into any room of Jewish adults in St Louis, there is a good chance that many of them are parents or grandparents of a Student to Student alum—if not an alum themselves—and they all remember Fawn,” said Joe Pereles, board chair of the JCRC. “More impressively, Fawn remembers all of them. She has led this program with passion, dedication, and love and that is why it has been so successful. I could not be more thrilled that we have found Lauren Abraham to take over the role and continue to guide and grow this fantastic program.” 

A lifelong Jewish educator, Abraham has worked in Jewish day schools in New York City and Los Angeles and currently works as the Education and Engagement Coordinator at the Jewish Federation of San Antonio. She cherishes working with PJ Library families, educators, Israeli partnership delegations and supporters, and Jewish community members at large.  Abraham looks forward to moving with her family to St. Louis this summer as her husband, Jeffrey Abraham, becomes the new associate rabbi at Congregation B’nai Amoona.

On a recent visit to St. Louis, Abraham attended a Student to Student presentation and afterwards said: “I was so energized and inspired by how the non-Jewish students were truly engaged during the entire presentation. If there is any way to help combat anti-Semitism, this is how it should be done.”

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