Weaving together the strands of Judaism.

The following lists members of the Faculty for the Academic Years 2014 – 15, 2015 – 16 & 2016 – 17 or those who have an ongoing teaching commitment to the Academy for Jewish Religion.

Rabbi David Almog, Liturgy, Codes
PhD Candidate, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America; Rabbi, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah; B.A., Columbia University/The Jewish Theological Seminary of America; Melton Lead Educators’ Program, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Campus Rabbi, Columbia/Barnard Hillel; Teaching Assistant, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Adjunct

Rabbi Jaymee Alpert, Professional Skills
Rabbi, M.A., The Jewish Theological Seminary of America; B.A., Brandeis University. Rabbinic Fellowship for Visionary Leaders, UJA-Federation of New York; STAR – Synagogue: Transformation and Renewal; Clinical Pastoral Education, Beth Israel Medical Center, NY. Rabbi, Congregation Kneses Tifereth Israel (KTI), Port Chester, NY. Adjunct

Rabbi Noah Bickart, Rabbinics
PhD, Talmud and Rabbinics, Jewish Theological Seminary; Rabbinical Ordination, Jewish Theological Seminary; M.T.S. in Hebrew Bible, Harvard Divinity School; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, Jewish Theological Seminary. Adjunct

Rabbi Jerome Chanes, History
Rabbi, Yeshivas Chasam Sofer; M.S., Social Work, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University; B.A., Yeshiva University. Fellow, City University of New York Graduate Center, Center for Jewish Studies, New York, NY. Adjunct

Rabbi Naftali Citron, Mysticism
Rabbi, Chabad-Lubavitch; B.A., Yeshiva Ohr Elchanan, Chabad. Rabbi of the Carelbach Shul, NY., Founder of ongoing Day of Kabbalah, NY. Previously: Rabbi of the Highland Lakes Shul, Florida, and Co-Founder of Jewish Learning Center, Santa Cruz, CA.; Lecturer in the Aleph Rabbinic Program; Lecturer at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Adjunct.

Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan, Rabbinics
PhD, University of Texas at Austin; Rabbi, ALEPH Rabbinic Program; AAPC Pastoral Care Specialist, Ecumenical Center for Religion and Health; M.A., University of Texas at Austin; B.A., Tel-Aviv University. Rabbi of Pleasantville Community Synagogue, Pleasantville, NY, 2015-. Instructor in Rabbinic Texts, ALEPH Rabbinic Program, 2016. Dr. Danan has formerly served as a rabbi of congregations, and as an instructor at universities, in California and Texas. She is the author of The Jewish Parents’ Almanac (1994) and of numerous articles. Adjunct.

Rabbi Allen Darnov, Bible
Rabbinic Ordination, MAHL, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; PhD in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages, Jewish Theological Seminary of America; BA, Jewish Studies, UCLA.  Adjunct

Ilana Davidov, Hebrew Language
Director of Hebrew Studies, Academy for Jewish Religion; Honorary Doctorate in Pedagogy, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America; MA, Applied Linguistics, Columbia University; BA, Hebrew Language and Literature, Tel Aviv University; Teaching Certificate and Teaching License, Tel Aviv University. Full-time

Shira Dicker, Professional Skills
MA, Arts and Culture Writing, Columbia University; BA, English Writing, Queens College, City University of New York. Director of Shira Dicker Media International, Creative Communication Consultants. Adjunct

Stanley Dorn, Musical Skills
BA, New York University, MM (Master’s of Music), Mannes College of Music. Guitar studies with Alexander Bellow, Roselyn Dlugin, Eliot Fisk. Theory studies with Robert Cuckson, L. Poundie Burstein, David Loeb, Carl Schachter. Member, The Americas Vocal Ensemble. Chair, Guitar Department, Mannes Preparatory Division. Faculty, Mannes Extension Division. Adjunct

Cantor Ellen Dreskin, Cantorial
Cantor, Bachelor of Sacred Music, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR); M.A. in Jewish Communal Service, Brandeis University; B.A., University of Texas. Coordinator, Cantorial Certification Program, HUC-JIR. Previously: Associate Dean, HUC-JIR; Director of Programs, Synagogue 2000, among many other educational positions; cantor at numerous congregations. Adjunct

Arline Duker, LCSW, Professional Skills
M.S.W., New York University; M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University; B.A., Barnard College; Licensed Clinical Social Worker, NJ; Certification by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis; Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Work, NYU. Adjunct

Rabbi H. Rafael Goldstein, Professional Skills
Min., Hebrew Union College; Rabbi, The Academy for Jewish Religion; B.S.W., Columbia University. Executive Director of Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains. Formerly: Director of Clinical Services, Center for Spirituality and Health, Mount Sinai Health System; Director of Spiritual Care and Education, Mount Sinai Medical Center; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Part-time rabbi, Jewish Center of Norwich, NY, and several positions in Jewish Federation work. Author of Being a Blessing: 54 Ways You Can Help People Living with Illness, among other books and articles. Adjunct

Rabbi Jill Hackell, MD Philosophy (Bio-Ethics)
Rabbi, The Academy for Jewish Religion; M.A. in Judaic Studies, Gratz College; M.D., Johns Hopkins University; B.S., Tufts University; Certification, American Board of Pediatrics. Adjunct

Rabbi Jill Hammer, Midrash
See Administration & Staff biographies.

Cantor Natasha Hirschhorn, Cantorial
Cantor, The Academy for Jewish Religion; Musical Studies, Kiev State Conservatory; BS, Musicology, Piano, and Composition, Gnesin Music College, Moscow. Cantor at Ansche Chesed Congregation in Manhattan. Previously, Cantor at Metropolitan Synagogue of New York, Temple Judea in Massapequa, and Park Slope Jewish Center. Cantor Hirschhorn has received critical acclaim as an extraordinary composer, arranger, vocalist and pianist with several recordings and many concert appearances to her credit. Adjunct

Rabbi Eric Hoffman, Talmud
Doctoral study in Talmud, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati; Rabbi, MA, Hebrew Union College, NY; BA, The Johns Hopkins University, Post-graduate study in rabbinics, The Hebrew University and Neve Schechter, Jerusalem. Adjunct

Rabbi Jeffrey Hoffman, Liturgy, Rabbinics
See Administration & Staff biographies.

Dr. Renee Holtz, Education
PhD, Education, Fordham University; M.S. in Education, Johns Hopkins University; M.A. and B.A. in Judaic Studies, Baltimore Hebrew University; Professional Diploma, Educational Leadership, Manhattanville College; NYS Education Permanent Certification, School Administration and Supervisor, Special Education, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and 1-6. Coordinator of Academic Support, Middle School and High School, Solomon Schechter High School of Westchester. Adjunct.

Varda Hubara, Hebrew Language
MA, ESL, BA, Hunter College, NY; past Educational Director, The Mazer School of Religious Studies, Park Avenue Synagogue, New York, NY; Certified Hebrew Teacher. Adjunct

Dr. Job Jindo, Bible
PhD, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America; M.A., Harvard University; B.A., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Berkowitz Fellow at NYU Law School. Adjunct

Cantor Robin Joseph, Cantorial
Cantor, The Academy for Jewish Religion; BA, Dramatic Literature, Purchase College of the State University of New York. Cantor Joseph has been associated with Temple Beth Shalom in Hastings, New York, for more than thirty years. She is also a professional songwriter and writes, directs, and acts in original plays with her husband, Albi Gorn. Adjunct

Rabbi Steven Kane, Professional Skills
Rabbi, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America; MA in Judaic Studies, University of Judaism; BHL, University of Judaism; B.A., Washington University. Rabbi of Congregation Sons of Israel, Briarcliff Manor, NY since 1993. Adjunct

Cantor Michael Kasper, Cantorial
See Administration & Staff biographies.

Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum, Hebrew
Rabbi, The Academy for Jewish Religion; Doctoral study in Classics, NYU and City University of New York; M.A. in Classics, Columbia University; B.A. in Greek and Classics, Brooklyn College. Outreach Fellow, Union for Reform Judaism. Formerly: Adjunct Lecturer, Brooklyn College Department of Classics; Continuing Education Instructor, City University of New York, Foreign Language Institute. Adjunct

Sandra KilsteinProfessional Skills
MSW, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University, NY; BA, Stern College for Women, NY. Recipient of Melton Senior Educator Fellowship for study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem; recipient of Yeshiva University’s Belkin Award for Jewish Education; received NIMH Fellowship in Social Work. Ms. Kilstein served as Dean of Students and Director of Placement at AJR. Prior to coming to AJR, Ms. Kilstein had an extended career at the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York as the Director of the Department of Informal Education, specializing in the areas of informal education and outreach, leadership development, family education, and March of the Living delegations from New York. In her early career, she was the program director of a senior adult day center, led numerous teen trips to Israel for the American Zionist Youth Foundation, and worked as a social worker for the Office of Family and Community Services of the Jerusalem Municipality. Adjunct

Cantor Lisa Klinger-Kantor, Nusah
See Administration & Staff biographies.

Dr. Shira Kohn, History
Ph.D, History and Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University; M. Phil, History and M. Phil., Hebrew and Judaic Studies, B.A., The Ohio State University. Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies, Barnard College; Taube/Koret Early Career Scholar Postdoctoral Fellowship, Center for Jewish History. Adjunct

Rabbi Leonard Levin, Philosophy, Personal Theology
Rabbi, PhD, Jewish Theological Seminary; PhD, Brandeis University; BA, University of Pennsylvania. Author of Seeing With Both Eyes: Ephraim Luntshitz and the Polish-Jewish Renaissanceand Why God Is Subject To Murphy’s Law; translator of Eliezer Schweid: The Classic Jewish Philosophers and Philosophy of the Bible and Isaac Heinemann: The Reasons for the Commandments; collaborated with Gordon Tucker on A.J. Heschel’s Heavenly TorahAdjunct

Rabbi Isaac Mann, Rabbinics
Rabbi, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary; MS, Doctoral candidate, Talmud, Yeshiva University; MA., Medieval Jewish History, Harvard University; BA, City College; Rabbi, Old Broadway Synagogue, NY; Chaplain, Metropolitan Hospital, NY and Bronx Lebanon Hospital, NY. Adjunct

Rabbi Aryeh Meir, Mechina, Hebrew
Rabbi, MHL, Jewish Theological Seminary; MSS., Fordham University; BA, University of Buffalo; member, Rabbinical Assembly; former national staff member of the American Jewish Committee; authored a number of publications on Jewish communal issues. Adjunct

Eric Miller, History
PhD candidate, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America (degree expected 8/2016); MPhil., The Jewish Theological Seminary; B.A., Queens College; Adjunct Professor, SUNY-Stony Brook. Adjunct.

Rabbi Geoff Mitelman, Philosophy, Professional Skills
Rabbi, Hebrew Union College; M.A.H.L., Hebrew Union College; B.A., Princeton University. Founding Director, Sinai and Synapses; former rabbi of Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, NY. Adjunct.

Rabbi Cantor Howard M. Nacht, Professional Skills
Rabbinic Ordination, Academy for Jewish Religion; Cantorial Ordination, Academy for Jewish Religion; LLB, Rutgers University School of Law; BA, Rutgers University. Adjunct

Eden Pearlstein, Mysticism
M.A. in Jewish Thought, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America; M.A. in Jewish Education, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America; B.A., The Evergreen State College. Creative Consultant, Yeorvelah, Boulder, CO; Educator, Lab/Shul, NY; Creative Manager, Iyyun Kollel, Brooklyn, NY; Publishing Associate, Ohr Chadash, Mevo Modiim, Israel; Publishing Associate, Iyyun Center for Jewish Spirituality, Brooklyn, NY; Co-Founder and Executive Director, Darshan Project, Brooklyn, NY. Adjunct.

Rabbi Michael Pitkowsky, Rabbinics
See Administration & Staff biographies.

Rabbi Joseph Prouser, Philosophy
Rabbi, M.A., B.A., Liturgy, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, B.A., Religion, Columbia Unversity; Rabbi, Temple Emanuel of North Jersey; author of Noble Soul (on the Vilna Ger Tzedek), Koach Ha-Berakhah (a Siddur for Birkat Ha-Hammah) and numerous articles; member of the Joint Bet Din of the Conservative Movement; Program Chairman, Jewish Committee on Scouting, Boy Scouts of America. Adjunct

Dr. Ora Horn Prouser, Bible
See Administration & Staff biographies.

Rabbi Robert Scheinberg, Bible, Liturgy
Rabbinic Ordination, M.Phil., M.A., Jewish Theological Seminary; B.A., Columbia University. Rabbi, United Synagogue of Hoboken, NJ Adjunct

Rabbi David Schuck, Professional Skills
Rabbi, Jewish Theological Seminary, Awards: Lillian M. Lowenfeld Prize in Practical Theology, Israel H. Levinthal Prize in Homiletics; B.A., Political Science, BA Middle Eastern Studies, Rutgers University, Awards: High Honors. Rabbi, Beth El Synagogue Center, New Rochelle, NY. Adjunct

Rabbi Jeffrey T. Segelman,  Professional Skills
Rabbi, M.A., The Jewish Theological Seminary of America; B.H.L, Boston Hebrew College; B.A., Boston University, Rabbi of the Westchester Jewish Center, Mamaroneck, NY. Adjunct

Cantor Jeffrey Shiovitz, Cantorial
Cantor, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Bachelor Degree of Sacred Music, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. B.A., History, University of Michigan. Cantor of Congregation Sons of Israel, Briarcliff Manor, NY since 1988. As Chairman of Publications for the Cantors Assembly, he has edited some of the most widely used song books in the Conservative Movement, including B’Kol Echad: In One Voice; Roni V’SimchiRejoice and Sing; Holidays in Song; and the three volume series Zamru Lo:The Next Generation. His latest publication is B’chol Dor Vador:  In Every GenerationAdjunct

Dr. Fran Snyder, Midrash
Ph.D, M.A., The Jewish Theological Seminary of America; B.A., Temple University. Assistant Professor, Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts. Previously: Adjunct Faculty, SUNY, Stony Brook; The New School for General Studies; The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Adjunct

Arthur Strimling, Theater Arts
Director, maggid, writer and performer in theater arts. B.A., Columbia University. Studied theater and worked with Joseph Chaikin, Peter Brooke, Kristin Linklater, Peter Kass, Wynn Handeman. Artistic Director of Roots & Branches Intergenerational Theater affiliated with the Jewish Association for Services for the Ages (JASA) and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Maggid HaMakom (Storyteller-in-Residence) of Congregation Kolot Hayeinu, Park Slope, Brooklyn. Adjunct

Rabbi Dr. Bonita E. Taylor, Chaplaincy
Rabbi, The Academy for Jewish Religion; M.A., Education, Columbia University, Hunter College (CUNY); Associate Director of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), The HealthCare Chaplaincy, NYC; CPE Supervisor, ACPE; Spiritual Advisor, Congregation Gan Eden, Maui, Hawaii; Board Member, Certified Chaplain, National Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC); Member, New York Board of Rabbis. Adjunct

Rabbi Tom Weiner, Professional Skills
Rabbi, Hebrew Union College; M.A.H.L., Hebrew Union College; M.S. Social Work, Columbia University; B.A., Brandeis University. Rabbi, Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains, NY. Adjunct

Susan Werk,  Professional Studies
MA in Jewish Education, Jewish Theological Seminary; Held leadership roles in the Jewish Education Association’s Principals Forum, the Conservative movement’s Jewish Educational Assembly, and the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education; Educational Director, Congregation Agudath Israel. Adjunct

Rabbi David Wise, Rabbinics
Rabbi, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America; M.A. in Rabbinic Literature, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America; B.A. in Journalism, Ryerson Polytechnic University, Toronto. Rabbi, Hollis Hills Jewish Center, Hollis Hills, NY since 2005. Adjunct

Elyssa Wortzman, Sacred Arts
Lev Shomea, Certificate in Jewish Spiritual Directions, Isabella Freedman/Hazon; Jewish Meditation and Yoga Certificate, Institute for Jewish Spirituality; L.L.B, Osgoode Law School; Honours B.A., Art History, McGill University. Many showings of her art at galleries and Jewish events. Adjunct

Rabbi Sara Zacharia, Mechina
Rabbi, M.A., Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies; M.S., B.A., CUNY. Independent Clergy. Previously: Admissions Director/Bet Midrash Instructor, The Rabbinical School of Hebrew College; Scholar in Residence and teacher in many congregations and Jewish institutions. Adjunct

Sarah Zemel, Cantorial
Cantorial Investiture and Masters of Sacred Music, Hebrew Union College (1998); BA and Certificate in Religion, Duke University, 1994; Westminster Choir College, Choral Conducting Course, 1999; YIVO Institute, Program in Yiddish Language and Culture, 1997. Adjunct

Cantor Sol Zim, Nusah
Cantorial study at The Jewish Theological Seminary; M.A., New York University; B.A., Brooklyn College; Cantor, Hollis Hills Jewish Center (since 1964, life tenure); master-cantor, master coach, educator, concert performer, international recording artist of twenty cassettes and cd’s featuring all original music; Zimray Ent., Publisher, eleven books of original music used by rabbis, cantors and educators, The Cantors Assembly has endorsed Cantor Zim’s Musical Siddur: Shabbat as the standard synagogue music of Conservative congregations throughout America. Full-time