A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

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5 questions for Daniel Hearst about being young and Jewish in STL

Daniel Hearst

Daniel Hearst joined Jewish Federation of St. Louis earlier this year as Development Officer of its Young Professionals Division. The 26-year-old is a member of Congregation B’nai Amoona.

Can you explain your job in a few sentences?

My job is to engage young adults and help create spaces where young Jewish professionals can develop their leadership skills while also making positive impacts in the Jewish community through philanthropy. Additionally, it’s my job to assist in the creation of programming that enriches our Jewish identity.


What does YPD offer young Jewish professionals?

YPD offers young Jewish professionals the opportunity to network, volunteer and develop leadership skills while creating new relationships with peers. It also serves as a resource for young Jewish professionals who are new to St. Louis and seeking a Jewish connection to the community.


What kinds of activities are planned that young Jewish professionals might want to get involved with this fall?

We have a lot of fun events planned for the fall. We are currently ironing out the details, but we’d like people to look forward to a collaborative Camp Sabra retreat with the J, Shabbat dinners, volunteer events, a speaker event with two guest speakers and our end-of-the-year event. Be on the lookout for more details via email and our website (fedstl.org/community-engagement/ypd).


We hear twentysomething complaining that St. Louis isn’t as good a city for them in terms of job opportunities and their social lives compared to Chicago, Denver and Boston, to name a few other cities. How would you rank/evaluate St. Louis as a city for young Jewish professionals?

When comparing St. Louis to Denver, Boston or Chicago, most people are quick to put us at the bottom of the list. I completely disagree with this. I think there is still a lot of opportunity in St. Louis for professional development in law, engineering, various medical fields, business and more. Socially, I think St. Louis is unique because it has features of both a large city and small town. We get the opportunity to meet new people at sports events, bars or various community events while also easily maintaining the relationships we’ve already created. I give it 4/5 stars (5/5 is we had an NFL team).


What do you personally like to do to chill/relax in your free time?

In my free time you can find me lounging on patios throughout St. Louis either reading the news or enjoying a cold beer. I love supporting St. Louis City SC on gamedays, hiking/camping and spending time with my family.

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About the Contributor
Ellen Futterman, Editor-in-Chief
A native of Westbury, New York, Ellen Futterman broke into the world of big city journalism as a general assignment reporter for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner in the latter part of the 20th century. Deciding that Tinsel Town was not exciting enough for her, she moved on to that hub of glamour and sophistication, Belleville, Ill., where she became a feature writer, columnist and food editor for the Belleville News-Democrat. A year later the St. Louis Post-Dispatch scooped her up, neither guessing at the full range of her talents, nor the extent of her shoe collection. She went on to work at the Post-Dispatch for 25 years, during which time she covered hard news, education, features, investigative projects, profiles, sports, entertainment, fashion, interiors, business, travel and movies. She won numerous major local and national awards for her reporting on "Women Who Kill" and on a four-part series about teen-age pregnancy, 'Children Having Children.'" Among her many jobs at the newspaper, Ellen was a columnist for three years, Arts and Entertainment Editor, Critic-at-large and Daily Features (Everyday) Editor. She invented two sections from scratch, one of which recently morphed from Get Out, begun in 1995, to GO. In January of 2009, Ellen joined the St. Louis Jewish Light as its editor, where she is responsible for overseeing editorial operations, including managing both staff members and freelancers. Under her tutelage, the Light has won 16 Rockower Awards — considered the Jewish Pulitzer’s — including two personally for Excellence in Commentary for her weekly News & Schmooze column. She also is the communications content editor for the Arts and Education Council of St. Louis. Ellen and her husband, Jeff Burkett, a middle school principal, live in Olivette and have three children. Ellen can be reached at 314-743-3669 or at [email protected].