Rabbi-to-be Dimitry Ekshtut


Dimitry Ekshtut is an educator, musician, and Jewish community builder. Dimitry directs Based in Harlem, a home-based, pluralistic community for Jewish young professionals, and is also a co-founder of Kehillat Harlem, a progressive orthodox prayer community. Born in Leningrad, USSR and raised in Philadelphia, Dimitry moved to New York City in 2005 to pursue a career as a jazz musician. He holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Guitar Performance and a Master’s of Music Education, both from New York University, and has had an active career as a full-time music educator in public, private, and charter schools throughout New York City.

Currently, Dimitry is studying toward rabbinical ordination at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and serves as an adjunct professor of Jewish Studies at City College of New York while continuing to build Jewish community in Harlem, where he resides with his wife, Erica, and their daughters, Maayan and Dalia.

As an Atra fellow, Dimitry will continue to scale Based in Harlem to a full-time Base and will be developing an RSJ (Russian-speaking Jewish) cohort of rabbinical students and early career rabbis to incentivize and professionalize work with the RSJ population by clergy who are in and of that community.

City: New York, NY