JLink™ Feature Friday: February Edition

Get to know Jewish professionals and JLink members in this month’s Feature Friday roundup!

Gabrielle Engler

Gabrielle Engler is the owner of The Art Room MN and a licensed K-12 art teacher. She is originally from New York and moved to Minnesota in 2013 after finishing her Master’s in Art Education from Brooklyn College. She has been teaching art in the classroom for 8 years.

The Art Room MN is a local home art studio for the whole family run by Gabrielle. The Art Room is a newly renovated barn-garage in Wayzata, Minnesota, a sweet little space with a big heart. Our classes are hands-on, messy, processed based art experiences. We specialize in mommy-and-me sensory art classes and elementary school age art camps.

We also do private mommy and me art groups, ladies-night craft parties and art birthday parties that are fully customizable. We thrive on word of mouth and a great community of art-loving families.

Come by one of our social media pages and check out all of our amazing art students and families. Ask us any questions or set up your own art party!

–> Come check them out:
Instagram @theartroommn
Facebook The Art Room MN

Sheree R. Curry

Sheree Curry spent 20 years as an award-winning journalist. She worked in Manhattan as a staff reporter for Fortune magazine and in Chicago as an editor at Crain’s Communications, before moving to Minnesota in 2003 where she worked from home as a weekly correspondent with the Wall Street Journal, a blogger for theStreet.com and AOL, among other national and local news outlets.

While simultaneously working on her master’s degree in journalism in the 1990s and editing the University of Illinois Hillel magazine “D’varim” that she founded, she also took an internship at the Chicago Defender, the Windy City’s oldest black-targeted newspaper. Her academic adviser told her for the sake of her professional career, to get our of her “comfort zone” and not write about Jewish issues or African American issues.

Although Sheree pursued a career as a business journalist, she continued to find ways to write about the issues that were most meaningful to her, at one point she even moved to Israel and wrote about Ethiopian Jews for Negev magazine, published by Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva, and covered stories about the Black Hebrew Israelites living in the nearby town of Dimona. She subsequently took a full-time tenure-track position in Des Moines at Drake University’s School of Journalism where she created the course “Race, Ethnicity and the Media.” There she was also the founding editor of Iowa’s Jewish Spark magazine and faculty advisor to the Jewish Student Union.

“Race, religion and ethnicity is the fabric of who were are as people,” she says. “It is not something that should be abandoned from our careers because it is something we are comfortable with. It is woven throughout all that we do and we have an obligation, especially as people of color or as religious minorities to use our knowledge to educate others.”

Sheree is one of the longest-sitting board members of Jewfolk Media. She also sits on the boards of the Twin Cities Black Journalists, the Jewish Committee on Scouting of Minnesota (which wants to see a resurgence of interest from parents wanting their children involved in Jewish Scouting), and on the board of Minnesota Communities Caring for Children (formerly Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota).

Currently Sheree, a member of Adath Jeshurun Congregation, lives in Maple Grove and works in public relations for Travel Leaders Group, the largest travel agency company in North America (let her hook you up with a Travel Leaders advisor for your next trip!).She also moderates a discussion group at www.BlackandJewish.com.

Imani Jackson

My name is Imani and I’m a black Jew who grew up in St. Louis Park, MN with fluent Spanish speaking experience. Im a full time student and a full time chef. My passion for cooking started in just the Fourth grade frying chicken for some friends. Growing up I was immersed in multiple cultural groups: Latino, Jewish and Black. Ever since, my experience and love for cooking has grown tremendously and has led me to a bigger vision of helping, serving, and feeding the best food that I can provide to those seeking a service. These communities shaped my desire to contribute to diversity in college. Because of this, I established my own catering company where I mentor seniors in high school through their transitional year. Therefore, I’ve created the support I wish I had when I was in high school for these students. Traveling internationally has also allowed me to understand the importance of a good education. Gaining the knowledge that our youth is the future. I will continue to provide diversity and skills through cooking fresh and sustainable meals to through my catering company at Hillel the Jewish student center on campus, along with working as a sorority chef at AOPi on campus until I graduate. Being a chef on campus at various major non curricular groups gives me the opportunity to lead by example, advocate for change, articulate my knowledge.