Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez is a social worker, writer, educator, advocate and student at Yeshivat Maharat. Melissa's passion lies in combining her personal, professional and educational experiences in order to create and sustain meaningful Jewish experiences and communities that transcend denominations.
Melissa graduated with undergraduate degrees in Psychology & Social Behavior and Sociology from the University of California, Irvine and received a Masters in Social Work with a health care concentration from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Melissa worked in oncology, hospice and prenatal health education before transitioning into development and donor relations for Jewish non-profits, all the while exploring her passion for writing and social media. Immediately before beginning her studies at Yeshivat Maharat, she spent two years living and learning in Jerusalem, one year each at Midreshet Nishmat and Machon Pardes.
While at Yeshivat Maharat, Melissa has had the opportunity to serve as a rabbinic intern at JCC Manhattan for two years furthering her passion for serving the Jewish community. She is also trained as a Mikvah Guide with ImmerseNYC and as a facilitator for What Matters: Caring Conversations About End of Life.