Maharat Rori Picker Neiss is Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis. Prior to that she served as Director of Programming, Education and Engagement at Bais Abraham Congregation in St. Louis, MO. She served as Acting Executive Director for Religions for Peace-USA, Program Coordinator for the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, Assistant Director of Interreligious Affairs for the American Jewish Committee, and Secretariat for the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations. Rori is on the board of the Young Leadership Council of the International Council of Christians and Jews, a member of the Religions for Peace Global Youth Network, a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders student fellow, and co-editor of “InterActive Faith: The Essential Interreligious Community-Building Handbook.” She recieved her Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and Political Science from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College and has studied at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education and Seton Hall University. Rori completed internships at Hunter Hillel and Bet Chaverim Synagogue of Westport/Norwalk, CT. Rori lives in St. Louis with her husband Russel, and three children.
Maharat Victoria Sutton is the Director of Education and Community Engagement at Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley, CA. Prior to studying for ordination at Yeshivat Maharat, Victoria spent one year studying Talmud at Mechon Hadar. A graduate of Barnard College, with a BA in Biological Sciences, she also holds a Grand Diploma in Pastry Arts from the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. She is currently the rabbinic fellow for synagogue initiatives at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, and is continuing in her second year as the intern for synagogue education at Ohav Sholom, a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Merrick, NY. She was an educational intern at SAR High School, and has taught in the Drisha High School and Women’s Collegiate Programs. Involved in various community organizations, Victoria is the Social Action/Social Justice co-chair for BJ’s 20’s and 30’s group, and a co-chair of the BJ/SPSA homeless shelter. Victoria also served as a Victim Intervention Advocate at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she is trained to provide emotional support in the Emergency Room to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. She completed the Rabbis Without Borders rabbinical student fellowship, and participated in the RRC’s Retreat for Jewish and Muslim Emerging Religious Leaders and the YCT Interfaith Fellowship. Victoria has been awarded the UJA- Federation PENS Scholarship from the Wiener Educational Center.