Jewish Federation honors Rabbi Michael Rovinsky

Bob Millstone (left), Jewish Federation Chair, presents the 2012 Fred A. Goldstein Memorial Service Award for professional excellence to Rabbi Michael Rovinsky.

Rabbi Michael Rovinsky, Director of the Jewish Student Union (JSU), founder and director of Camp Nageela Midwest in Indiana, and a St. Louis mohel, is recipient of the 2012 Fred A. Goldstein Memorial Service Award for professional excellence. Bob Millstone, Jewish Federation Chair, presented the award at a Federation Board of Trustees meeting recently.

When notified of the Goldstein honor, Rovinsky said that he felt “blessed to have the greatest ‘job’ I could imagine. Working with youth and their families to strengthen their Jewish identity and connection to Israel is beyond gratifying.  At this stage, it defines everything I do.  In many ways, I am paying forward what was done for me by my teachers and youth leaders when I was exploring and determining which direction I was going to go Jewishly.”  

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Rovinsky grew up in Dallas in a home deeply committed to Jewish community and identity.  His parents were past presidents of several organizations including Jewish Federation of Dallas.  Rovinsky was charter president of his AZA (BBYO) chapter and active in USY.  He was on the national board of NCSY, and through that organization, was actively involved in efforts to get Jews out of the Soviet Union. He spent two years in Ohr Sameach Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

He holds an undergraduate degree in education from Adelphi University in education and a master’s of business administration from Johns Hopkins. He received rabbinic ordination from Kol Yaakov Torah Center and a second rabbinic ordination along with a Masters in Talmudic Law from Ner Israel Rabbinical College.  Most recently, he received a master’s degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in counseling and is finalizing a license in professional counseling.

In his current role as Director of JSU, a trans-denominational organization, Rovinsky works with more than 700 teens in nine public and secular private high schools throughout St. Louis to address contemporary issues from a Jewish perspective.

He is married to Selina Rovinsky and they are the parents of Saara (Moshe) Moskowitz, Dr. Avi (Lizzy) Rovinsky, Ariella and Yossi.