Clergy & Staff

Rabbi Rachel Ain

Rabbi Rachel Ain became the Rabbi of Sutton Place Synagogue in the Summer of 2012.

Before joining SPS, Rabbi Ain was the Senior Director for National Young Leadership of the Jewish Federations of North America, where she worked closely with lay leaders and professionals to engage the next generation of leaders for the Jewish community, Prior to that, she was the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, a Conservative Synagogue in Syracuse, NY, from her ordination in 2004 until 2011.

She sits on the Chancellor’s Rabbinic Cabinet of JTS, is on the Clergy Task Force for Jewish Women International, is on the Rabbinic Cabinet for the Masorti Foundation, and is the chair of the Rabbinic Advisory committee (and board member) at the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan. Rabbi Ain was one of the NY Board of Rabbis Honorees at the annual Sukkah in the Sky event in 2013 and was selected to be a part of the inaugural cohort of the Rabbinic Fellowship for Visionary Leaders at the UJA Federation of NY. Rabbi Ain actively works with people of all ages and backgrounds, including those seeking to convert to Judaism. She has sponsored numerous Jews by Choice both in Syracuse and NYC and is happy to speak with people interested in learning more about this endeavor.

Rabbi Ain’s other experience includes serving as a commissioned Lieutenant (JG) for the US Navy Chaplains Corps, and participating in a fellowship at CLAL, called Rabbis Without Borders, where she was trained in how to bring the wisdom of Jewish tradition into the larger public sphere. While in Syracuse, she immersed herself in a variety of local and national endeavors such as sitting on the roundtable of Faith Leaders for Interfaith Works and serving as the local chair for the Central New York PJ Library Advisory Committee. She was awarded a "40 Under 40" award in Syracuse by the Central New York Business Journal for her work in the community in 2007.

She has written and taught in a variety of venues including The New York Jewish WeekJewish Values OnlineE-JewishPhilanthropyKolot: The magazine of the Conservative movement, and is a guest lecturer in the Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary in the area of practical rabbinics and a presenter at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Centennial gathering. 
 
Rabbi Ain holds a BA in American History from Barnard College and a BA in Midrash from JTS. She received her Rabbinic Ordination from JTS in 2004, where she concurrently received her MA in Jewish Education.
 
Rabbi Ain is married to Rabbi David Levy, the Director of Teen Learning and the international director of USY, for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.  They are the proud parents of two sons.

Keep up with Rabbi Ain on Twitter @RabbiRachelAin and in real life, every Shabbat at the Sutton Place Synagogue.

rabbiain@spsnyc.org
212 593 3300 ext. 109

Some of her thoughts:

Cantor Dov Keren

For 25 years, our religious services and special events have been enriched and enhanced by the golden voice of our talented Cantor, Dov Keren. A veteran of service with the Israeli Defense Forces, Cantor Keren came to us from Haifa, Israel. Following his appearance as guest cantor for the synagogue’s 1984 High Holy Days Services during which he thrilled the congregation with his magnificent liturgical renditions, Cantor Keren was invited to move to the United States and become our synagogue’s full time cantor. He not only leads our services, but also prepares our Bar and Bat Mitzvah students, both adults and children. Cantor Keren’s rich tenor voice and great personal warmth have contributed much to the growth of our synagogue.

Minna Schneider, Executive Director

Minna joined Sutton Place Synagogue in May 2007. She came to the Synagogue after many years in the non-profit world, most recently as the Director of the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden. A longstanding Manhattan resident, Minna earned a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a JD from Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law. She and her husband live on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

Harriet Janover, Director, Programming and Member Services

Our congregation benefited from Harriet’s talented and dedicated service as Executive Director for nearly 30 years, during which she played a major role in the extraordinary growth that helped Sutton Place Synagogue evolve into the major Jewish institution it is today. Harriet’s vitality, creativity and people skills are characteristics that make her ideally suited for her current role as Director of Programming and Member Services.

Lesley Goldenberg, Education Director and Principal, Jackson Religious School

Lesley joined the Sutton Place Synagogue community in July 2005 as Principal of the Jackson Religious School. She is a graduate of List College, a joint program between Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), where she earned bachelor’s degrees in sociology and Bible. Lesley also earned a Master’s degree in Jewish Education from the Davidson School at JTS. Lesley is originally from St. Louis. She attended religious school from kindergarten through high school, making her position as principal especially meaningful. She is also an alumna of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, where she spent 13 wonderful summers as a camper and staff member.

Amy Morgano, Director, Kaplan Nursery School

Amy Morgano became the Director of the Kaplan Nursery School in September 2000, just as building construction began; one year later, KNS welcomed its first group of pre-schoolers. Before joining KNS, Amy was the director of Purple Circle Preschool. Prior to being an administrator, she taught two year olds at Christ Church Day School in Manhattan. Amy earned her graduate degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Bank Street College of Education, with a specialization in Infant/Toddler and Parent Development and Early Intervention. Amy lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with her husband and three children.