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Meet the Staff

Rabbi Benjamin Greenfield

Bais Abe is thrilled to have Rabbi Ben Greenfield serve as its Interim Rabbi for 2017-2019. 


Director of Operations Ruth Schachter

Ruth Schachter joined Bais Abraham Congregation in 2015 as Director of Operations. She has extensive experience as a Jewish educator and non-profit professional. Previous positions include Executive Director at Next Dor St. Louis, Jewish Student Life Coordinator at the University of Illinois-Chicago Hillel, and Jewish Studies and History teacher in various settings. Ruth has an academic background in Jewish Studies, History, and Jewish education. In her free time, Ruth enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, cooking, and is an avid Indiana Hoosiers and St. Louis Cardinals fan.

Israeli Sheliach Yael Treger

Yael, 24 years old, was born and raised in Carmiel, a city in the north of Israel.  As a teen she was very involved in, and greatly impacted by, Tzofim – the Israeli Scouts.   This experience set her on her course as an educator.  During her army service, Yael  prepared high school students for their future army training.  In becoming a Shelicha she hopes to facilitate for her self and others, a deeper connection to Jewish peoplehood through education.

Maharat Rori Picker Neiss

Religious Consultant 

Maharat Rori Picker Neiss is the Executive Director of the St. Louis Jewish Community Relations Council and a member of the Bais Abraham community.   She is available, in addition to Rabbi Shafner, to Bais Abe women and men for questions of halachic advice and Jewish guidance.   She completed her studies at Yeshivat Maharat, a pioneering institution training Orthodox Jewish women to be spiritual leaders and halakhic (Jewish legal) authorities, and has studied at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education.  Rori previously served as Director of Programming, Education and Community Engagement at Bais Abraham.
See the 2013 article about Maharat Picker Neiss in the Jewish Light
Watch Maharat Rori Picker Neiss’ presentation at the Jewish Federation’s Celebrate Women Clergy event

Rabbi Hyim Shafner, Immediate Past Rabbi

Rabbi Shafner served as Bais Abraham's rabbi from 2004-2017. He has Smicha (rabbinical ordination), a Masters degree in Social Work (MSW), and an MA in Jewish philosophy, from Yeshiva University in New York City and a Certificate in Advanced Psychotherapy from the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute. Before becoming Bais Abe's rabbi, Rabbi Shafner was the Campus Rabbi of the Hillel at Washington University in St. Louis for 8 years. Prior to this, he was the community Rabbi of Bombay, India, where he and his wife, Sara Winkelman, spent a year working with the Jews of India. They have three children, Benjamin, Yonah, and Hava.

View Rabbi Shafner’s profile by the Rabbinical Council of America

The Everything Jewish Wedding Book” – written by Rabbi Shafner 

Morethodoxy Articles

The Dream of Exile: A Rereading of Honi the Circle-Drawer, Kerem: Creative Explorations in Jewdasim


Don't Give Up the Shul: Reorienting Our Synagogues

Learning from the Bene Israel of India, Conversations: The Journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals


The Endangered Next Generation of Israeli-American Jews

Rabbi Abraham Magence zt”l

Rabbi Abraham Magence zt”l (1920-2003) was the Rabbi of Bais Abraham Congregation from 1975 until his death. He was legendary for his warmth, devotion to Yiddishkeit, and genuine love for all Jews regardless of affiliation.

Rabbi Magence was born in Poland, where his father and grandfather were rabbis. He studied with many of the luminaries of the pre-war yeshiva world of Eastern Europe. Rabbi Magence spent the war years as a fugitive from Nazi and Soviet persecution and most of his family was killed in the Holocaust. He came to St. Louis in 1950 and began a career as a mohel, teacher, and rabbi that touched literally thousands of lives.

Mon, July 16 2018 4 Av 5778