Rabbi Andrew Terkel
Rabbi Andrew H. Terkel joined Be The Narrative as its first CEO in 2022. With a background in Jewish youth…
Rabbi Andrew H. Terkel joined Be The Narrative as its first CEO in 2022. With a background in Jewish youth, camping, and experiential education, Rabbi Terkel worked for the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) teen youth group on a national level and was the Director of Year Round Programs at the URJ Greene Family Camp in Texas. Prior to that, he served as an Assistant Rabbi at a congregation in Charleston, SC. He is driven by a desire to make Judaism accessible, engaging, and inspiring, and to help Jewish teens use their voices and grow into leaders. Rabbi Terkel was ordained by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, CA where he also earned a Certificate in Jewish Non-Profit Management.
His wife Hannah is the Assistant Director of Hillel at Washington University in St. Louis. They met in Jerusalem and have two young boys and a goldendoodle. Andrew and his family enjoy baseball (Go Cardinals!), biking, hiking, and exploring their hometown of St. Louis. He is always on the lookout for a great local coffee shop and an excellent taco place.
Program Director - Student to Student
As Be The Narrative’s national Program Director for Student to Student, Fawn oversees the delivery…
As Be The Narrative’s national Program Director for Student to Student, Fawn oversees the delivery of the program in all cities. She is responsible for training and support of program staff, developing course materials, sharing best practices, and serving as liaison for all licensees.
For 18 years, Fawn coordinated the Student to Student program for the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of St. Louis. She always believed that Student to Student was too impactful to only be in St. Louis, and in 2017, Fawn began helping other cities launch their own licensed Student to Student programs.
Previously, Fawn served as a co-facilitator of JAM, a Jewish-Muslim teen dialogue group, a collaboration of the JCRC and the Islamic Foundation of St. Louis. Fawn is passionate about interfaith relations and especially the potential for teens to transform the world. She and her husband are the parents of three adult children, all of whom are proud former Student to Student Presenters.
Joe Pereles is Co-Founder of Be The Narrative. He retired as Senior Vice President Development …
Joe Pereles is Co-Founder of Be The Narrative. He retired as Senior Vice President Development and General Counsel with Drury Hotels Company in 2019 after spending 29 years with the company. Previously, he was a Partner with the St. Louis law firm of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale PC.
He is immediate past Chair of the St. Louis Jewish Community Relations Council and is currently a Board Member of the St. Louis Jewish Federation. He also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion-Cincinnati campus and is a past President of Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis.
Joe has been a Red Cross volunteer for 36 years. He was a member of the National Board of Governors of the American Red Cross from 2005-2014 and served as Vice Chair of the Board for four years. He is Chair of the American Red Cross National Philanthropic Board and a Member of the Compliance and Mediation Committee of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Joe is married with two adult children and two grand-daughters.
Director & Treasurer
A co-Founder of Be The Narrative, John has been directly involved with the Student to Student…
A co-Founder of Be The Narrative, John has been directly involved with the Student to Student program for many years through his service on the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of St. Louis. As Board Chair of the JCRC, he oversaw the initial expansion of the Student to Student program to cities outside of St. Louis. Each of his three kids served as Jewish Student Presenters, so he witnessed firsthand the impact of Student to Student on Jewish teens. Previously, he served on the Jewish Federation of St. Louis Board and Executive Committee where he held various leadership positions including Treasurer and Investment Committee Chair. He also is a past Trustee of the John Burroughs School in St. Louis.
John is an investment professional and President of Harcourt Group in St. Louis, MO. He earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, an MS in Accounting from University of Hartford, and a BA from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. He and his wife Diane reside in St. Louis.
Rabbi James M. Bennett
Director & Secretary
Rabbi James M. Bennett has served as Senior Rabbi of Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis, MO …
Rabbi James M. Bennett has served as Senior Rabbi of Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis, MO since 2004. Born in Boston, MA, Rabbi Bennett graduated from Indiana University in 1979, with an undergraduate degree in Economics, Phi Beta Kappa and with distinction, and was ordained in 1984 at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH. Upon ordination, Rabbi Bennett served as Assistant and Associate Rabbi of Congregation Shaare Emeth from 1984 to 1993. He served as Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth El in Charlotte, NC from 1993 to 2003, before returning to St. Louis to become Senior Rabbi of Congregation Shaare Emeth in 2004.
Rabbi Bennett is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and currently serves as adjunct Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Theology at St. Louis University. He continues to serve in numerous leadership roles for many national and local organizations focusing on education, social justice, youth, mental health, spirituality, interfaith relations, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rabbi Bennett is married and has three grown children.
Lauren brings a breadth of experience to Be The Narrative, including senior executive roles driving …
Lauren brings a breadth of experience to Be The Narrative, including senior executive roles driving revenue and customer growth across a range of industries (travel, experiential education, financial services) as well as involvement with other youth programs and Jewish organizations. Currently, Lauren is the Chief Marketing Officer at Pathstone, a multi-family office which provides financial advisory services. Previously, she was the Chief Marketing Officer at WorldStrides for five years, responsible for building brand awareness and revenue growth for programs focused on helping students from elementary school through college learn about themselves and the world through experiential learning programs.
She has also served on both the Board of Education and Board of Directors for Temple Shalom in Aberdeen, NJ and on the Board of Directors for the Brown University Club of Central New Jersey where she was the Area Chair for the Prospective Student Interviewing program, coordinating and conducting alumni interviews for student applicants.
Lauren has her BA from Brown University and MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She resides in central New Jersey with her husband and has three children who all live and work in New York City.
Michelle joins the board of Be The Narrative as a career finance professional in the energy field with a history of nonprofit service. Currently, Michelle is a Principal with Ares Management, a global alternative asset manager, with a focus on private equity investing in climate infrastructure.
She serves on the board of Artsbridge, a nonprofit providing leadership experiences for young adults from communities in conflict, including Israeli and Palestinian teens, through dialogue and art making. Michelle also has participated in the past on the investment council of Inkomoko, a nonprofit bringing business advisory and finance support to small scale entrepreneurs in east Africa. She is an active member of the JCC of the North Shore where she serves on the International Jewish Film Festival Committee.
Michelle has her BS from Brown University and Masters in Public and Private Management from the School of Management at Yale University. She resides on the north shore of Boston with her husband and high school aged son.