Press release: Jewish Federation of St. Louis hires CEO

After a nationwide search, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis has selected Brian Herstig as its next President and CEO. Herstig succeeds Andrew Rehfeld, who left Federation in April to become President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Herstig, currently residing in Minneapolis, has an impressive and varied background working in the nonprofit sector, including a total of 15 years at the Jewish Federations of Minneapolis and Pittsburgh. Most recently, Herstig has been the Director of Operations and Administration at Twin Cities R!SE, which assists individuals in generational poverty on the path to long-term and stable employment. He holds two master’s degrees – one in Non-Profit Management, and the other in Jewish Communal Service – both from Brandeis University, and graduated from The Ohio State University, magna cum laude, with a degree in Social Work.

Herstig is expected to begin his new role in the second week of January.


“Brian immediately rose to the top of our candidates for his keen attributes, especially with implementation and vision around strategic planning and our new community investment model,” said Greg Yawitz, Board Chair of Federation and Co-Chair of the Search Committee.

 Gerry Greiman, immediate past Federation Board Chair and Co-Chair of the Search Committee, added, “Brian impressed us as having the ability to connect with and inspire all segments of our Jewish community, and to lead Federation in implementing our strategic plan and vision.”

The search process for a new President and CEO began in earnest in April of this year and involved an intensive, nationwide search and a review of many qualified candidates.

To learn more about the entire process and other members of the Search Committee, please go to our website at

Don Hannon, Federation’s Chief Operating Officer and acting CEO, said of Herstig, “Brian’s record as an innovative leader with a proven record in many areas of the work we do at Federation will be a wonderful asset to the organization. Speaking for the senior management team and staff, we all look forward to a successful working relationship for years to come.”

Herstig is married to Barbara (Barb) Herstig and has three children. He and his family look forward to moving to St. Louis and beginning his journey at the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.

“I stepped away after 15 years of working within Federation purposely to experience different ways to address community needs in a changing environment. I’ve spent the last 10 years learning and implementing different approaches, and now it’s time to come back to the Jewish world with a new strength of purpose and conviction to work with the Federation community in St. Louis.”

Herstig said he was impressed with Federation’s implementation of its Strategic Plan, Core Commitments, and Priorities.

He also shared his belief that an organization is fundamentally about people – the people who work there, the people who support it, and the people who lead it from a volunteer perspective.

“My background in social work taught me to ‘meet people where they are,’ which means to listen more than you speak, look for commonalities among a diverse group, and design solutions that work for as many people as possible,” he said. “I have tried to do that in my career and it will be my honor to work with the St. Louis Jewish community to do so.”