Who The Folk?! Podcast

Jewfolk, Inc.

This is the Podcast home of Jewfolk's Who The Folk?! Podcast. Hear from interesting Members of the Tribe from all over the Minneapolis and St. Paul area.

All Episodes

Daniel Volovets is a doctor, psychiatry resident, and accomplished guitarist. Daniel talks about his musical roots and influences, when he knew he wanted to go into psychiatry, and how he balances the demands of residency with his love of playing, writing, and teaching, on this week’s Who The Folk?! Podcast.

Dec 2019

25 min 18 sec

We are joined by Emma Dunn, the Twin Cities Young Adult Engagement Manager for the Minneapolis and St. Paul Jewish Federations. Emma and I talk about her journey to Judaism, what engagement means to her, and some upcoming Young Adult Leadership Action programs that she’s starting, on this week’s Who The Folk?! Podcast.

Dec 2019

21 min 30 sec

We’re joined by St. Paul City Councilor Rebecca Noecker, who represents Ward 2 in the Capital City. Rebecca and I talk about why she got involved in politics, how Judaism and politics mix, and what her political aspirations are going forward.

Dec 2019

31 min 23 sec

We’re joined by Layah Shagalow, the assistant director of Shaarim. Layah tells us what it’s like to work for an organization that her mother founded and that she’s seen grow from the ground up, the opening of the Gateways Boutique Thrift Shop, and what it’s like to be back in Minnesota seven years later than she expected

Dec 2019

18 min 5 sec

This week we sit down with Ruth Hampton Olkon, the executive director of Jewish Family Service of St. Paul. We talk about what it’s like to come back to the agency after several years away, what she picked up while she was gone, and where she’s hoping to take JFS in the years ahead.

Nov 2019

17 min 19 sec

What's it like to watch the trial of a former Nazi guard? St. Louis Park native Ben Cohen is just back from Germany where he represented his family at the trial a guard at the concentration camp his grandmother, Judy Meisel, survived.

Nov 2019

23 min 32 sec

We are interviewing Katie Rosenberg, who is Herzl Camp's new Event Manager, to talk all about the upcoming Herzl In The City fundraiser on Nov. 16. Katie talks about her longstanding connection to Herzl Camp, why she loves event planning and why it's been something she's always wanted to in this week's Who The Folk and Hakshivu! Hakshivu! Podcast.http://herzlcamp.org/herzl-in-the-city/

Nov 2019

17 min 10 sec

We are back from our high Holiday hiatus, and I'm joined by Stephanie Stillman, the volunteer coordinator at Second Harvest Heartland. We talk about food insecurity, her farming experience, and the meaning behind a very cool tattoo, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.

Oct 2019

16 min 24 sec

We sit down with Jess Braverman, the Legal Director at Gender Justice, a St. Paul-based non-profit legal and policy advocacy organization. We talk about what her organization does, what brought her to the advocacy law she has practiced, and how her Judaism impacts her work.

Oct 2019

16 min 36 sec

Today we talk travel and journalism with Lev Gringauz, whose work you've been reading on TC Jewfolk for a couple of years now, especially while he was in Israel and eastern Europe. Now he's back in Minnesota and launching a new project for TC Jewfolk – The Jews Are Tired. Lev explains what it is, and so much more, on this week's Who The Folk Podcast.

Sep 2019

19 min 7 sec

What brings people who have been life-long warm weather West Coast residents to Minnesota? Rabbi Jacob and Julie Rupp may be wondering the same thing in a few months. The Rupps are the new executive directors of Aish Minnesota. We talk about why the Rupps chose Minnesota, what led Jacob to the rabbinate, and the Jewish journey that brought the two of them to this point, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.

Sep 2019

30 min 13 sec

This week we sit down with Rabbi Tobias Moss, the newest rabbi at Temple Israel. Rabbi Moss goes in-depth in the many forms of Judaism in his family, what drew him to Minnesota, and why he chose to tackle Yiddish (?!?!) on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast

Sep 2019

26 min 14 sec

This week we're joined by Ross Fishman, a choir teacher, composer, and the founder of Barside Baby Music. We talk about his musical roots, how Barside Baby Music got started, and his process he goes through when he composes, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.

Aug 2019

15 min 49 sec

Today I get the honor and pleasure of talking to Sara Bogomolny, my new co-worker at Jewfolk where she joined us last week as our new director of engagement. Sara talks about what brings her to the Twin Cities, how her theater background will help her in the job, and what creating a community means to her on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.

Aug 2019

15 min 24 sec

This week we sit down with Alex Fisher, who recently started a new job as the director of community education for the Hopkins School District. We talk about what community education is, how it's beneficial to the community – even empty nesters – and how the principles of community education apply to Judaism, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.

Jul 2019

17 min 27 sec

People have friends and family over brunch all the time. But for many years, Roni Falck and her family host brunches and dinners with a twist. Roni talks with us about the brunches that her and family host several times each year as a way to raise money for organizations and causes around the country. Roni tells us how these got started, how she uses them to teach her kids about tzedakah and tikkun olam, and why what's happening on the southern border has become important for her, on this week's who The Folk? Podcast.

Jul 2019

15 min 26 sec

What brought a lifelong Wisconsinite to Minnesota? Zane Gayle saw nothing but opportunities. Gayle recently graduated with a master's in architecture degree from the University of Minnesota. His master's project focused on a theoretical redesigning of Minnesota Hillel's building, however he has also been involved in the very real process that Hillel is now going through to renovate its space. Zane talks about that process, where Judaism comes into his architecture, and the lessons he learned along the way, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast. 

Jul 2019

25 min 5 sec

As Cecil's Deli celebrates its 70th anniversary today, there is one person who has been involved since the beginning: Sheila Leventhal. As the daughter of the founders, Cecil and Faye Glickman, Sheila started as an 8-year-old helping around the market before the restaurant even opened 15 years later. Sheila reflects on a life shaping the family business and what it's like to have three generations all working together on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast. 

Jul 2019

25 min 8 sec

Why, in the midst of working on your doctorate dissertation, would you go and write a book that has nothing to do with your dissertation topic? That's a question Noam Sienna wrestled with, but nonetheless went ahead and did it anyway. Noam talks about his book A Rainbow Thread: An Anthology of Queer Jewish Texts from the First Century to 1969, why he wrote it, some fascinating stories he learned in the research, and what's next after he finishes his Ph.D. next year, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.

Jun 2019

31 min 23 sec

This week we sit down with newly inducted Jewish professional Hannah Gilfix, who's upgrading her longtime Jewish community involvement at Adath, USY and Herzl Camp with a new job at the Foundation for Jewish Camps. Hannah talks with us about being the leadership development fellow at the FJC, her ongoing work at Herzl Camp, and what it means to be a young Jewish professional, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.

Jun 2019

24 min 47 sec

This week we were lucky enough to catch up with Congressman Dean Phillips. The representative of Minnesota's 3rd District was home on a brief Congregational recess, where we discussed the expectations of the job versus reality, the perpetual campaigning, and has mind changed on impeaching the president, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast. 

Jun 2019

26 min 16 sec

How does a high school junior find time to act, sing, create art, start a business, and still up great grades? Sara Shiff says that she's still working on time management, but it's clear that she isn't daunted by a heavy workload. We talk to the Armstrong High School student about where she got her start, selling her beautiful artwork in an unsuspecting medium, and getting ready for Rimon's annual P'Chotchka event, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.

Jun 2019

24 min 5 sec

It's almost June, so this week we talk all things Pride with Jayce Koester, the J Pride program coordinator at Jewish Family and Children's Service of Minneapolis. Jayce reflects on their first year on the job, what new programs J Pride is running to celebrate Pride this coming month, and how the organization looks to connect with its constituency year-round, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast. 

May 2019

20 min 5 sec

This week we sit down with Shari Aronson, the co-owner and co-creative director of Z Puppets Rosenschnoz, a non-profit arts group on a mission to delight children and adults with feats of imagination. Shari talks about how she and her husband started the organization, previews their next event which starts on June 1, and What's behind the name, in this week's Who The Folk?! podcast.https://zpuppets.org/https://tcjewfolk.com/event/through-the-narrows-a-watch-it-make-it-take-it-event/

May 2019

26 min 30 sec

This week I get to sit down with Amir Kats. Amir is an award-winner conductor who currently is in his seventh season as conductor of the St. Paul JCC’s Symphony, fifth year as the orchestra and band teacher at Blake Middle School in Hopkins, and the first-year conductor of the Roseville String Ensemble. We talk about the importance of arts in schools, what it's like to lead one of the oldest community orchestras in the U.S., and how he juggles it all, on this week's Who The Folk Podcast. https://www.stpauljcc.org/programs/cultural-arts/symphony/

May 2019

23 min 26 sec

After the University of Minnesota Board of Regents' April 26 decision to not un-name buildings on the University of Minnesota, we're going to school this week with professor Riv-Ellen Prell, the creator of the exhibit "A Campus Divided" and one of the foremost academics on the racism and anti-semitism on campus in the 1920s. The professor gives us the background on her exhibit, her thoughts on the regents' decision, and what may come next, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.

May 2019

34 min 6 sec

This week I sit down with Talor Blustin, a junior at the University of Minnesota and the marketing intern at Minnesota Hillel. Talor previews this Friday's Maroon & Gold Shabbat, talks about innovating Hillel with data, and the Little League World Series, on this week's Who The Folk Podcast.

Apr 2019

24 min 36 sec

On this week's show we talk to Ben Feldman, the co-owner, general manager and coach of the Minnesota Wind Chill professional ultimate Frisbee team. We talk about ultimate as a Jewish sport, the growth of the game in Minnesota, and how youth teams have an opportunity to play on the field at a Windchill game, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.https://theaudl.com/windchill/news/wind-chill-2019-half-time-middle-school

Apr 2019

23 min 25 sec

Joining me this week is Kris Cramer, the St. Paul PJ Library coordinator at the St. Paul Jewish Federation. Kris talks about how she got started with PJ Library, being a cookbook author, and winning all kinds of awards for her baking at the State Fair, on this week's Who The Folk Podcast. 

Apr 2019

23 min 49 sec

This week to talk to actor, teacher, and all around wandering spirit Avi Aharoni. Avi is staring in the upcoming Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company world premier of "Shul" opening April 27 to close the company 2018-19 season. We talk about what drew him to theater, travelling the world, and his love of Israel, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast!http://mnjewishtheatre.org/shul/

Mar 2019

21 min 18 sec

This week we sit down with David Lauer, the new director of JFCS NextGen at Jewish Family and Children Services of Minneapolis. We talk about his family ties to Jewish social service work, how he's evolving NextGen, and what he's planning for the organization this year, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.

Mar 2019

22 min 18 sec

What's the difference between an entrepreneur and an opportunist? Angelica Sirotin has it figured out. Sirotin is a student at the University of Minnesota and entrepreneur who has started up a number of businesses in the past two years since graduating high school. We talk about what motivates her to make her own path, where the passion for this comes from, and what her latest ventures are in this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast. 

Mar 2019

23 min 42 sec

Today we talk with Elisia Cohen, who is the Director of the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Minnesota AND – more importantly, perhaps – one of the new members of the board at Jewfolk. We talk to Elisia about educating the next wave of journalists, why she found a niche in health reporting, and how good journalism can make a difference in the 24 hour news cycle we live in, in this week's Who The folk?! Podcast.

Mar 2019

15 min 19 sec

We sit down with Sarah McVicar, who besides being a graduate student at Metro State in St. Paul, has become incredibly active at Mount Zion Temple with their mental Health Task Force. As we wrap Jewish Disabilities Awareness Acceptance and Inclusion month, Sarah talks about what Mount Zion focused on this year, how to carry that work through the rest of the year, and how the struggles she has overcome are helping her focus on her future career, in this week's who the Folk Podcast.

Feb 2019

17 min 56 sec

We're back after two weeks of horrible weather that forced some schedule changes! This week, we extend beyond to the border of the Twin Cities to Duluth, where we catch up with journalist, broadcaster and documentarian, Robin Washington. We talk with Robin about growing up a Jew of Color in a household where civil rights activism was at the forefront of all things, where his journalism career has taken him, and why his charoset is the only charoset you should be having at Passover.

Feb 2019

29 min 23 sec

This week we are joined by Sara Frailich, CEO of Design Research Collective and one of our new Jewfolk Board members. Sarah and I talk about being flaming extroverts, Buddhism, and exploring Judaism, in this week's Who The Folk Podcast.

Jan 2019

20 min 11 sec

This week we sit down with Jonathan Gershberg, who is the new JCC Cultural Arts Coordinator, working out of both the Sabes and St. Paul JCCs. We talk about where his interest in the arts comes from, the variety of interests outside of the JCC, and hints at some of the big things ahead, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.

Jan 2019

19 min 23 sec

Graphic artist Eli Libson has the very cool job of being the art director for Monster Games, but also is accomplished with display art that's been at Uptown and Edina art fairs. Next week, he'll be the artist featured at the Rimon Artist Salon High-Brow/Low-Brow: An Illustrator Looks Askance at Art, on Jan. 20. Libson talks about how he got into video game design, the challenges of being a gallery artist, and some really interesting favorite Jewish food takes, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.https://tcjewfolk.com/event/high-brow-low-brow-an-illustrator-looks-askance-at-art/

Jan 2019

28 min 23 sec

Welcome to 2019 on the Who The Folk?! Podcast. We're back after a couple week hiatus with the very funny Elise Cole. Elise is an Iranian-Jew and a native St. Paulite who is a wife, mother, grad student waitress and very funny comedian. Elise talks with me this week about her brief but successful start to her comedy career, all the places she finds inspiration, and opening up for Ophira Eisenberg on January 19 at the opening night of the 10th Annual Twin Cities Jewish Humor Festival, on this week's who the Folk?! Podcast. https://www.sabesjcc.org/events/events-humorfest/https://www.elisecolecomedy.com/

Jan 2019

23 min 13 sec

What does working for Minneapolis Jewish Federation, Temple Israel and a grave marking company have in common? Laura Taple knows. Laura talks about taking over as vice president of Katzman Monument Company, connecting with people, and the idea of legacy, In this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.

Dec 2018

30 min 38 sec

This week we talk with Adam Schwartz, who recently finished his Ph.D., but also started the fantastic Heritage Judaica – a Facebook group that helps get excess Judaic items to new homes. Heritage Judaica has been so successful that it's getting ready to expand to Chicago. We talk about how that got started, what he's thinking for a follow up, and what led him to move to Minnesota 5 years ago, on this Week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.https://tcjewfolk.com/recipe-contest-schwartz-challah/https://tcjewfolk.com/heritage-judaica-extra-ritual-objects/

Dec 2018

19 min 4 sec

Today we get to sit down in the library at Minnesota Hillel with Eli Singer, the president of the Hillel student board. Eli is immensely dedicated to Jewish life, educating and empowering, and serving others. Although a Deerfield, Illinois, native, he has a deep love for the Twin Cities and TC Jewish community. Learn about his involvement in Jewish fraternity life, a Jewish acapella group, and both Jewish and secular student organizations, in this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.https://tcjewfolk.com/who-the-folk/

Dec 2018

17 min 51 sec

What does it take to open a new restaurant? What about turning a bar into a full-service restaurant? This week we sit down with David Benowitz, the COO of Craft & Crew restaurant group who tells us just that. We talk about the recently announced restaurant slated to open next year in St. Louis Park called The Block. But we also talk about how he got started in the restaurant business, how dogs have become one of the unique parts of their business, and how trusting his managers has led to important innovations in the way they do business, in this week's Who The Folk Podcast.

Nov 2018

27 min 14 sec

Today we sit down with one of the newly-elected legislators to the Minnesota House of Representative, Heather Edelson, who will represent Edina in the District 49A. We sat down with Heather for a Who The Folk interview when she first ran the DFL nomination in 2016, but now we talk about what it's like to win, what's changed for her as a candidate in the past two years, and what her policy priorities are, in this week's Who The Folk Podcast.2016 article: https://tcjewfolk.com/folk-heather-edelson/

Nov 2018

17 min 44 sec

What are you doing at 22 years old? Imani Jackson is running the catering at Minnesota Hillel, has already been the head chef at the Lumber Exchange Events Center, and has big plans for what's next. A student at MCTC, Imani is planning to transfer to the U soon. On today's podcast, Imani talks about what her life in food, embracing the African-American and Jewish sides of her heritage, and ALL kinds of food – including what makes the perfect hummus, on this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast.

Nov 2018

27 min 50 sec

This week we get to sit down with the Minneapolis PJ Library coordinator Carrie Fink. Carrie is in the midst of planning the upcoming 10th Birthday celebration of the PJ Library program in Minneapolis, where they will celebrate the 100,000th book that has gone out in the community here. And we have a slight correction to something we discussed: We learned about after recording this week, but the 100,000 books is about triple the height of the IDS Center in Minneapolis. Carrie also tells us about some of the other fun family programming that PJ Library is putting on this fall and winter, so keep an eye on TC Jewfolk to see how you can get involved. But until then, enjoy this week's show with Carrie Fink. https://tcjewfolk.com/event/pj-library-minneapolis-10th-birthday-party/https://tcjewfolk.com/event/pj-library-hanukkah-donut-celebration/https://tcjewfolk.com/event/pj-library-bet-shalom-havdalah/https://tcjewfolk.com/event/traveling-havdalah-2-beth-el-pj-library-and-camp-ramah/

Nov 2018

16 min 23 sec

Heidi Fellner said she wanted to be an actress from the time she was a young child. While many relatives didn't believe her, she's gone on to prove them wrong. While she's currently starring in the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company's performance of "The Last Schwartz," you've probably heard her voice on radio or seen her on TV. On this week's podcast, we talk with the versatile actress about the current show, but also about how she makes a role her own, keeping it interesting during the run of a show, and some of the very interesting and important work she isn't when she's off-stage, in this week's who The folk!? Podcast.https://tcjewfolk.com/jew-review-the-last-schwartz/

Oct 2018

34 min 25 sec

Kristy Wesson isn't bitter about being rejected when she applied for a job with the National Council of Jewish Women Minnesota (she is), but has gotten over it as she's now the organization's communications coordinator. In this week's podcast, we cover a lot of ground from the important (the Supreme Court and upcoming NCJW programs) to the irreverent (why dogs should have people names and her children being Internet famous). So yeah, we got off the rails pretty quickly here. And we get right into it, as you'll hear. Also, if you have any suggestions for the podcast Kristy wants to start, we're taking them. https://tcjewfolk.com/buddies-unleashed/https://tcjewfolk.com/event/ncjw-podcast-club-talking-about-privilege/https://tcjewfolk.com/event/hennepin-county-attorney-forum/

Oct 2018

28 min 38 sec

What's it like to go from being a professor in Denver to a communal service worker in Golden Valley? Leah Persky is experiencing it first-hand. Persky joined Jewish Family and Children's Services this past summer as the agencies new Family Life Education Program Manager. On this week's Who The Folk?! Podcast, Persky talks about transitioning to life in the Twin Cities and the upcoming 18th annual Mental Health Education Conference on October 21 at Temple Israel.https://tcjewfolk.com/hundreds-expected-for-annual-mental-health-education-conference/

Oct 2018

21 min 49 sec