Temple Israel to pilot education program, names new director for Religious School

Congregation Temple Israel is partnering with the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) to introduce a new education program to St. Louis and the Midwest.  The ISJL is a trans-denominational Jewish nonprofit that provides educational, cultural and rabbinic services throughout the Southern United States. The partnership with Temple Israel marks the first out-of-region pilot extension of the ISJL’s 10-year-old education program.

Features of the program include a comprehensive, spiraled curriculum for pre-kindergarten through high school that integrates Hebrew and Judaic studies at all grade levels; three weekend visits per year by an ISJL Education Fellow and an annual summer conference where congregations using the education program come together for three days of teacher training, professional development and networking.  


Temple Israel also announced that it has hired Marisa Reby to implement the program and direct its Religious School. Reby, who officially assumed her position on July 1, attended the ISJL’s annual education conference at the end of June, along with Rabbi Michael Alper, teacher Ron Scharff, and Deutsch Early Childhood Center Director Leslie Wolf.

“Marisa brings youth, vitality and a wealth of experience in the St. Louis Jewish community to our education program,” said Rabbi Amy Feder in making the announcement to the congregation. “She is a young parent herself, so she knows first-hand the needs and interests of today’s families.”  

Reby has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and Jewish studies from Indiana University, where she minored in human development/family studies and Hebrew. She received her Master of Social Work degree from Washington University with an emphasis on children, youth and young families.  She served as Gesher City/Jewish Campus Life Coordinator for the Jewish Community Center and St. Louis Hillel at Washington University. She also has worked as the youth director, teacher and graduate social work intern at Congregation Shaare Emeth.  Most recently, she was program director at United Hebrew Congregation.

For more information about Tl’s new education program, contact Reby at 314-432-8050 or [email protected].