Founder and Director
Rabbi Lori Koffman
Rabbi Koffman had a somewhat non-traditional trajectory into a life of Jewish learning and engagement. For most of her adult life she did not belong to a synagogue or regularly engage in any sort of Jewish practice but rather her time and energies were focused on her family and on building her Wall Street career.
In a stroke of great good fortune (or God’s beneficence depending on how you view the world), Rabbi Koffman had the opportunity to become exposed to Judaism in a way that was relevant, powerful and intellectually and personally enriching, so much so that she eventually decided to quit her career and go back to school full time to learn about and understand it better.
It is because Rabbi Koffman began her serious Jewish journey as an adult, and because she believes that not everyone is fortunate enough to stumble into ‘adult Judaism’ as she was, that she wants to help other adults discover the beauty, richness and meaning that she found so compelling, and to share the “Torah” that she has grown to love.
Rabbi Koffman received her rabbinic ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in 2010 where she also earned an MA in Midrash. Her prior teaching experience includes the 92nd Street Y’s Derekh Torah program and adult education classes at the Pelham Jewish Center, where she also served as a rabbinic intern. While studying at JTS Rabbi Koffman served as a hospital chaplain while completing a 400-hour unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at JTS/New York Presbyterian Hospital. Prior to attending JTS Rabbi Koffman spent 19 years working on Wall Street, primarily in Private Equity investing where she focused on helping early stage companies to grow, and where she was a co-founder of Solera Capital, a Private Equity firm. Rabbi Koffman also holds an MA in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley, an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a BA from Tufts University in Political Science. Rabbi Koffman lives in New York City with her husband Ken Ziebelman and their two daughters, Alexis and Nikki. Rabbi Koffman also serves on the Board of the National Council of Jewish Women.
Alisa Robbins Doctoroff
Chair of the board of UJA-Federation, New York, NY
Ms. Doctoroff is active on the boards of a wide spectrum of organizations that promote engagement with Jewish life and identity through education, culture, and religious life. Prior to becoming chair of the board of UJA-Federation of NY, Ms. Doctoroff served as chair of its Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal. She is the immediate past president of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School and was instrumental in founding its high school division in 2001. She is currently on the boards of Moving Traditions, Mechon Hadar, and the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she chairs the Governance Committee. She is also past president of Congregation Or Zarua.
Ms. Doctoroff graduated from Harvard College and received an M.B.A from the University of Chicago. She also holds an M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Ms. Doctoroff lives in Manhattan with her husband, Dan; they have three college-age children, Jacob, Ariel and Jenna.
Rabbi Leora Kaye
Director of Community Engagement, Congregation Rodeph Sholom, New York, NY,
Education Consultant, Shalom Sesame
Rabbi Kaye’s experience spans across the spectrum of the “Jewish World” including education, programming, and filmmaking. As a rabbi she has focused on seeking new ways to expand people’s understanding of Judaism
While in rabbinical school Leora worked as a production associate on the award-winning documentary Blue Vinyl, which was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001 and subsequently aired on HBO in 2002. Since then she has combined her interest in media and religion by producing videos for NFTY, Matan, and other Jewish organizations. Leora is the rabbinic consultant for the new Shalom Sesame project that launched in November of 2010, and wrote the companions Study Guides for Jewish Food For Thought–a series of thought provoking and entertaining animated shorts focused on Jewish ideas.
As the Program Director for Congregation Rodeph Sholom since 2004, Rabbi Kaye creates and organizes inventive programs and coordinates the synagogue’s conversion program. Rabbi Kaye is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and received her rabbinical ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 2002. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her daughter Galit and husband Doug Gordon, a writer and television producer.
Rabbi Marion Lev-Cohen
Rabbi for Community Engagement, Central Synagogue, New York, NY
Rabbi Lev-Cohen was ordained by HUC/JIR in 2010. As Rabbi for Community Engagement for Central Synagogue, Rabbi Lev-Cohen provides adult programming, teaches adult education courses and facilitates pastoral groups.
Rabbi Lev-Cohen serves or has served on numerous boards, including: American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal of UJA/Federation of New York, the Executive Committee of UJA/Federation of NY, MAKOM (an initiative of the Jewish Agency to deepen Israel engagement), the Joint Distribution Committee, the Jewish Agency, Synagogue 3000, Foundation for Jewish Camping, Jewish Educational Services of North America, Hillel International, the JCC of Manhattan, the Hartman Institute and the Schechter School of Manhattan.
A psychotherapist by profession, Rabbi Lev-Cohen ran the graduate training program for social work students at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and was an instructor at the B.U. School of Social Work. She is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Foundation program. A mother of two, she resides with her husband Steven M. Cohen in New York and Jerusalem.
Rabbi Leon Morris
Rabbi, Temple Adas Israel, Sag Harbor, NY
Rabbi Morris is a leading educator in the field of adult Jewish study. He was the Founding Director of the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan, and prior to his tenure at Skirball Rabbi Morris was the Director of New York Kollel: A Center for Adult Jewish Study at HUC-JIR. Rabbi Morris was one of the founders of Lishmah, a one-day festival of Jewish life and learning, was an educator with the Jewish community of India as a Jewish Service Corps volunteer for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and has taught at Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform synagogues as well as at the Drisha Institute.
Rabbi Morris was ordained from Hebrew Union College in 1997 where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. He has contributed essays to numerous publications, has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and PBS’s Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, and is a contributor the recently published book, Jewish Theology in Our Time: A New Generation Explores the Foundations and Future of Jewish Belief (edited by Elliot Cosgrove, Jewish Lights, 2010). Rabbi Morris now lives in Sag Harbor, with his wife, Dasee Berkowitz, a Jewish educator, their son Tamir and their daughter Yael.
Rabbi David Schuck
Rabbi, the Pelham Jewish Center, Pelham, New York
Rabbi Schuck is the rabbi of the Pelham Jewish Center in Pelham Manor, NY. He is also a teacher in the rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Before becoming the rabbi of the Pelham Jewish Center, Rabbi Schuck worked at the University of Pennsylvania Hillel; as a chaplain at Columbia University’s New York Presbyterian Hospital; as a teacher at the 92nd Street Y Derekh Torah program in New York City; and was a Jewish Service Corps Educator in Bombay, India through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
Rabbi Schuck has a Bachelor of Arts in political science and Middle East history from Rutgers University and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2004. He serves as the President of the Westchester Inter-Religious Clergy Network, is on the board of the Westchester Jewish Conference, and has served on the boards of the Pelham Guidance Council and the Board of Directors of the Mount Vernon Soup Kitchen. Rabbi Schuck lives in Pelham with his wife Tali Aldouby-Schuck and their two sons Noam and Nadav and their daughter Zeev.
Rabbi Benjamin H. Spratt
Associate Rabbi, Congregation Rodeph Sholom, New York, NY
Rabbi in Residence, Rodeph Sholom School, New York, NY
Rabbi Benjamin Spratt is the Assistant Rabbi of Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan, and the Rabbi in Residence of the Rodeph Sholom Day School. He served as the Rabbinic Intern and Youth Advisor of Rodeph Sholom and as a chaplain at Bellevue Hospital and Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. He currently serves on the board of the Fortune Society, a nonprofit social service and advocacy organization focused on creating societal and personal change.
Rabbi Spratt holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and religious studies from the Honors College of the University of Oregon. He was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in May 2008, concentrating in Jewish Philosophy. His Jewish journey took him through the Conservative, Renewal, Orthodox, and Reconstructionist worlds of Judaism before finding a home within the Reform movement. Rabbi Spratt lives in the Bronx with his daughter Ayalah and wife Micah, a cantor in Stamford, CT.
Rabbi Mychal Springer
Director of the Center for Pastoral Education of the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Helen Fried Kirshblum Goldstein Chair in Professional and Pastoral Skills.
A certified supervisor in the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education and a certified Jewish chaplain, previously Rabbi Springer served as Associate Dean and Director of Field Education of the JTS Rabbinical School for seven years. During that time she transformed field education and pioneered strategies on integrative teaching and learning for rabbinical students through her work directing a grant from the Wabash Center.
Before coming to JTS, Rabbi Springer was the associate director of the Jewish Institute for Pastoral Care at the HealthCare Chaplaincy in Manhattan. She earned her BA at Yale College (1987) and ordination and a master’s degree in Judaic Studies at JTS (1992). Rabbi Springer lives in Manhattan with her husband, Jonathan Rosen, and their daughters, Ariella and Avital.
Dr. Burton L. Visotzky
Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, NY
Dr. Visotzky joined the faculty of JTS upon his ordination as Rabbi in 1977. He is also the director of the Louis Finkelstein Institute at JTS, charged with programs on Public Policy and the director of the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue of JTS.
Dr. Visotzky is active as a lecturer and scholar-in-residence throughout North America, Europe, and Israel. His study groups and books have been hailed on radio, television, and in print. With Bill Moyers he developed ten hours of television for PBS, serving as consultant and a featured on-screen participant. “Genesis: A Living Conversation,” premiered in 1996. He also consulted Jeffrey Katzenberg and DreamWorks for their 1998 film, “Prince of Egypt.”
Rabbi Visotzky is engaged in Jewish-Christian-Muslim dialogue internationally, in capitals such as Washington; Warsaw; Rome; Cairo; Doha, Qatar; and Madrid, Spain. His tenth book, SAGE TALES: WISDOM AND WONDER FROM THE RABBIS OF THE TALMUD will be published by Jewish Lights in 2011. Father of Leora and Alex Visotzky and father-in-law to David Daily, Dr. Visotzky lives in Manhattan with his wife, Sandra Edelman.