Dimitry Ekshtut is an educator, musician, and Jewish community builder. Dimitry co-leads Based in Harlem and is also a co-founder and lay leader of Kehillat Harlem, a progressive orthodox prayer community. Born in Leningrad, USSR (now St. Petersburg, Russia) 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. Dimitry is currently a rabbinical student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT), an adjunct professor of Jewish Studies at City College of New York (CCNY), and works to build Jewish community in Harlem, where he resides with his wife, Erica, their daughter, Maayan, and their cat, Vaska.