Rabbi Frank A. Tamburello has been spiritual leader of MAKOR since 2013, and is also a certified celebrant of the Humanist Society of the American Humanist Association. Born in New York City, He was a teacher of foreign language on Long Island before becoming ordained a rabbi by Rabbi Joseph Gelberman in 2004. Rabbi Frank holds Masters degrees in Spanish, Eastern Religious and Interfaith Studies and has worked primarily in the New York progressive Jewish and interfaith community. In addition, since 2010, Rabbi Frank has served as ceremonial chairperson and rabbi of the Westchester Community for Humanistic Judaism. Frank is a regular contributor to local newspapers in the Westchester area on Judaism from a progressive Jewish perspective. Rabbi Frank has retired from teaching and now resides in midtown Manhattan.
Rabbi Scott Matous was ordained by the Rabbinical Seminary International in 2009. He has officiated and co-officiated Shabbat and High Holiday services as well as Life Cycle events including weddings, baby namings, upsherins, funerals, and bar mitzvahs. His passion is studying and teaching the beauty, spirit, and relevance of Judaism—and its applicability in our daily lives–in both synagogue and interfaith settings. He comes from a family legacy of teachers and students in the New Thought Movement. Scott is excited and honored to be a part of The Rabbi Joseph H. Gelberman School of Judaic Studies at All Faiths Seminary International, Assistant Rabbi at the New Synagogue of Long Island, and MAKOR’s Spiritual Director. In addition to rabbinical duties, Scott is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Pediatric Psychiatry at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center, doing crisis counseling and assessments with children, adolescents, and their families.
Ruth Levy Schudroff has been active in the world of Jewish Music as a Hebrew School music teacher, synagogue choir member, accompanist, and song leader. Her happiest role yet is as Musical Director of MAKOR, a position she has held since 2013. A classically trained pianist, she is thrilled to have been inspired to set music to the Jewish Science Affirmations. Ruth is a member of the business faculty at Westchester Community College, where she will begin her 50th year of service. Incidentally, she met Rabbi Tamburello in 2011, when he came to WCC to lead a Model Passover. She feels blessed to have made this wonderful connection that led her to Jewish Science. She holds membership in the Guild of Temple Musicians and the National Music Teachers Association. She and her husband Martin live in Ardsley, NY. They enjoy spending time with their son Daniel and his wife Beth and two grandchildren, Jacob and Zoe.
Fascinated by the musicality and storytelling of chanting, in 1998, Nina studied privately with Hadassah Weiner to learn haftara and Torah at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in NYC. For over 15 years, she read on various Shabbatot. Pesach. Shavuot. Sukkot. Tisha B’av. Read Torah for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur at Alice Tully Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center. She joined MAKOR in 2014. Since then, she created a new siddur for Shabbat morning prayers, has led Kabbalat Shabbat and High Holiday services, and is spearheading the Center’s Strategic Planning initiative in preparation for its 100th Anniversary. In her “day job,” Nina is a small business champion. Award-winning Attorney. Trusted Thought Leader. Bookworm. And entrepreneur (www.BusinessExponential.com). Her spiritual journey has been anything but a straight line. Yancheini b’ma’agelei tzedek (Psalm 23:3). [God] leads us on roundabout paths that are right for us [trans. Rabbi Harold Kushner]
Terry Katz has been the Executive Director of MAKOR since 2011. In this position, he has been able to blend his background in business and the corporate world with his passion for collaboration and creating community. Prior to coming to MAKOR, Terry served as a corporate financial director for a large media company. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree as a dual major in Business and Communications and Master of Science degree in Accounting. An active volunteer, Terry has served on several boards and raised funds for important service projects including a Magen David Adom ambulance in Israel and a gymnasium at a home for abused and neglected boys. He is also a strong advocate of interfaith dialogue and formed an Interfaith Awareness Committee that partners with local churches and synagogues for dialogue and joint activities. Terry lives with his wife, Irene, on Long Island. They are the proud parents of twins, Michael (a CPA) and Jenna (an MD).
Bonifacio Torres (affectionately known as “B”), first came to Makor in 2006. Self-sufficient since the age of 14, and after a short career on Wall Street, B recognized that his true calling was working with his hands. He learned all major trades, including plumbing, carpentry, electrical, and steam fitting, which makes him perfectly suited to be the caretaker of Makor’s facilities. B takes pleasure in making Makor a safe and comfortable home for others to receive the peace and tranquility he has enjoyed at Makor—his small contribution toward God’s work. B and his wife Tati have one son in active military service and three grandchildren.
With over 15 years of experience in professional office positions, Claudia skillfully manages MAKOR’s administrative duties. As Office Manager, Claudia provides executive administrative support to the Executive Director, Rabbis, and staff. She also ensures the smooth operation of MAKOR with her efficient handling and compassion for members and staff. Claudia has been with MAKOR since 2012 and has found a great comfort in working with the staff. As she says, “We are all family here and all have God as our foundation.” When Claudia is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family.
Chaine Ramirez has been MAKOR’s bookkeeper since 2014. With her bachelor’s degree in Accounting and experience in medical billing and bookkeeping, Chaine brings an important attention to detail to MAKOR’s operations and finances. She is also passionately committed to other activities at MAKOR, including giving in service and assisting the Executive Director with community programs and interfaith dialogue initiatives and events. As Chaine herself says, “Working at MAKOR is a unique experience you can’t find anywhere else. I wish there were the same sense of team work and unity in other places. We are a real family here.”
Roland Newport’s spiritual journey began when he toured the Holy Land at age 28. That life-changing trip opened his eyes, mind, and heart to a new perspective on Judaism. It cemented his desire to become a Jew by choice, which became a reality in 2015, when Roland joined the Jewish people under the tutelage of Rabbi Frank Tamburello. For Roland, MAKOR is a place where “you can be Jewish and still be yourself.” Roland brings many talents to the Board as Chair. His career in Human Resources has trained him to see both the big picture and the small details, resolve conflicts, and listen for different points of view. He holds a B.A. in Forensic Psychology from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He and his husband Peter Fair are pet parents to Logan, their Yorkie.
Immanuel Lichtenstein was born in 1922, into profound Jewish, Zionist, and secular influences. His maternal grandfather, Chaim Hirschensohn, was one of the four core founders of modern Zionism. His parents, Rabbi Morris and Tehilla Lichtenstein, founded the Society of Jewish Science. Immanuel was educated at both the Reconstructionist Society for the Advancement of Judaism and the secular Society of Ethical Culture in New York City. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Columbia College and served in the U.S. Armed Forces during WWII. After a long corporate career, Immanuel founded Agricola Metals Corporation, a consulting firm that focuses on the mining industry. Immanuel has been happily married to his wife Nancy for 65 years. They have two grown married daughters, Alice and Elizabeth, and two grown granddaughters.
Immanuel shares his reflections on family, duty, and the challenges of spiritual leadership, in “A Conversation with Immanuel Lichtenstein.”