Lighter Side Q&A with Sarah Levinson of the St. Louis NORC

ELLEN FUTTERMAN, Editor-in-Chief

In August 2017, St. Louis NORC Director Sarah Levinson speaks at a dance event at the Jewish Community Center for NORC residents. Photo: Zach Dalin, courtesy of Jewish Federation of St. Louis

Sarah Z. Levinson, St. Louis NORC (Natural Occurring Retirement Community) Manager, a program of Jewish Federation of St. Louis

In a couple of sentences, please explain your job.

I oversee a neighborhood program that connects older people with opportunities, supports and resources that help them fulfill their own vision for aging. While the pandemic has altered what we do, the how and why have remained the same and are more meaningful than ever: Connecting neighbors. Enriching lives.

You and your young family live in the St. Louis NORC, which offers services for people 60-plus who want to continue to live independently and live in a three-mile radius of the Jewish Community Center in the Creve Coeur area. Why did you and your family choose to live there?

We were looking for a friendly, multigenerational neighborhood in a convenient location. Knowing and seeing my NORC neighbors at the J, grocery store, walking outside or on Zoom gives me a strong sense of belonging and makes me feel at home.

How did you meet your husband?

We first met at a Shabbat dinner at Next Dor STL. I’d been living here for one year and we narrowly missed each other at several events for young Jewish professionals, including a pool party at the home of my future in-laws.

You grew up in New York and South Carolina and came to St. Louis to attend Washington University. What’s something about you that many people in St. Louis aren’t aware of?

I’m an identical twin. My sister Rachel lives in New Orleans, where she is the assistant executive director of the Jewish Community Center.

What’s been most challenging for you during the pandemic?

Juggling professional roles and motherhood has been a constant challenge. I’m thankful for wonderful support from colleagues, family, friends and the Deutsch Early Childhood Center.

Do you and your family have any travel plans coming up?

Before the pandemic, we traveled frequently to visit out-of-town family and friends. We have no plans to go. However, I’m looking to a long overdue visit my parents, who are coming in at the end of the month.