Clergy and Staff

/Clergy and Staff
Clergy and Staff 2016-10-30T09:31:04+00:00
Loren Monosov
Loren MonosovRabbi
Rabbi Loren Monosov joined the Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley synagogue family as our Rabbi in July 2016. Prior to assuming this role, Rabbi Monosov was the Assistant Rabbi of the Westchester Jewish Center in Mamaroneck, NY for the past six years. She earned a B.A. in Judaic Studies and Psychology from The George Washington University and received her Rabbinic Ordination and Masters with a focus in Pastoral Care from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). While studying at JTS, Rabbi Monosov was the rabbinic intern at the Westchester Jewish Center and the Legacy Heritage Rabbinic Fellow at Shaaray Torah in Canton, OH, where she served as the community’s rabbi. Committed to pastoral care, she served as a chaplain intern at Bellevue Hospital and Jewish Home Lifecare. Dedicated to educating learners of all ages, Rabbi Monosov has been part of the teaching staff of the Westchester Jewish Center, Ramah Nyack Day Camp, and the Ivry Prozdor Hebrew High School of the Jewish Theological Seminary. She also taught a variety of Adult Education classes at the Westchester Jewish Center.

Rabbi Monosov is deeply committed to serving the spiritual, pastoral, educational, and programmatic needs of contemporary Conservative synagogues, forming deep connections and traveling life’s journeys with congregants. She is a dedicated teacher creating portals of connection to Judaism for learners of all ages and backgrounds. Rabbi Monosov strives to foster a warm and welcoming synagogue community that nourishes the souls and minds of those who enter. She and her husband Jeremy are the proud parents of daughters Hannah Rebecca and Yael Keren.

Alan Sokoloff
Alan SokoloffCantor
Hazzan Alan Sokoloff grew up in Sharon, Massachusetts. At Temple Israel of Sharon, he was a protégé of Cantor Harold Lew, who inspired him to pursue a career in the cantorate. After college, he continued his cantorial studies with Master Hazzan David Bagley in Toronto. Upon becoming a member of the Cantors Assembly in 1990, Cantor Sokoloff assumed positions in Albany, New York and Des Moines, Iowa.

From 2000 to the summer of 2014, he served with distinction as Hazzan of the Westchester Jewish Center in Mamaroneck, New York. He has prepared over eighteen hundred Bnai Mitzvah students throughout his career and thoroughly enjoys teaching and sharing his knowledge and skills with students, both young and old alike. He taught at Solomon Schechter School of Westchester for twelve years and continues to volunteer in the school community, leading tefilah and providing inspiration and guidance to his many students.

Cantor Sokoloff is an active member of the Cantors Assembly and a founding member of Kol Hazzanim: The Westchester Board of Cantors. To further serve the spiritual needs of his community, Cantor Sokoloff has been studying and preparing to become a Rabbi. He received his rabbinical diploma and was ordained in July 2015. He and his wife Erica are the proud parents of Arielle and Ranan.

Shelley Kniaz
Shelley KniazRabbi, Director of Congregational Education
Rabbi Kniaz is our Director of Congregational Education in charge of our Religious School, Adult Education and family programs, working with members from ages 3 – 93!

Previously she served as a writer and trainer for Project ETGAR, a curriculum for Conservative synagogue schools in use throughout the country. She also served as the Assistant Director of the United Synagogue Department of Education, creating exciting and innovative programs for synagogues and Solomon Schechter Day Schools throughout North America. Rabbi Kniaz was the Education Director of the synagogue school of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism in Manhattan and has taught children and adults in synagogues and Solomon Schechter Day Schools.

Rabbi Kniaz has a BA in Hebrew and Semitic Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received her Masters Degree and ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.

Debbie Wanamaker
Debbie WanamakerDirector of Early Childhood Program
Debbie Wanamaker is the new Director of our Early Childhood Program. She has been an Early Childhood Educator and Director her entire professional career. Debbie has taught Infants, Mommy & Me, Toddlers, Threes, Fours and Universal Pre-Kindergarten in line with Common Core and Creative Curriculum. She has coordinated curriculum planning of all levels of early childhood education. Debbie has worked in both Conservative and Reform synagogues and taught Judaic Studies on a Pre-Kindergarten level. She has been an Early Childhood Director for the past fourteen years.

Debbie has an undergraduate degree from New York University. She has a Master of Science degree in both Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education which she obtained from the State University of New York. Her dissertation was in “Learning through Play”.

Debbie and Don have two children – Adam and Alyssa (married to Michael) and three grandchildren, Ryan, Jake and Emma. Her desire is for an Early Childhood program that offers a complete learning and play experience – a program that instills in each child, pride in his or her Jewish heritage.

Richard Tannenbaum
Richard TannenbaumExecutive Director
Richard Tannenbaum is the Executive Director of Temple Emanuel. He previously served as Executive Director of the Jewish Center of Teaneck for 16 years and as a member of the Board of Trustees and Vice President of the Jewish Center of Teaneck, where he and his wife Risa have been members since moving to Teaneck 28 years ago.

Richard has been involved with Jewish non-profit organizations for more than 35 years. He worked as an advisor for NCSY, USY, Young Judea, and was the Regional Director of Young Israel for Youth Activities on Long Island. He has taught in Reform and Conservative Hebrew Schools. He has led tours to Israel for American Zionist Youth Foundation. Prior to becoming a Synagogue Executive Director, he was Vice President of Operations for Majestic International Knitwear, where he worked for 18 years. Richard graduated from Hofstra University after starting his college journey at Tel Aviv University.

He has three children of whom he is especially proud: Erica, a talent booker in the entertainment industry; Jessica, a third-generation teacher; and Alicia, in her junior year at Rutgers University. Richard, a member of North American Association of Synagogue Executives (NAASE), served as both Treasurer and Vice President for the Metro NAASE and co-chaired their International Conference in March 2000 and again in March 2008. Locally, he has served on the Advisory Committee of Synagogue Leadership Initiative of UJA-NNJ.

Andre Ungar
Andre UngarRabbi Emeritus
A native of Hungary, Andre Ungar survived the Shoah in hiding in Budapest. He earned a doctorate in modern philosophy at the University of London and was ordained as a rabbi by Leo Baeck.

For 50 years he served congregations in England, South Africa, Canada and the United States. The government of South Africa expelled him for his opposition to apartheid; he participated in civil rights activities in Alabama, Mississippi and Washington, D.C. He taught philosophy, comparative religion, and general Judaica at several universities.

For 44 years he was the Rabbi of Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley.

Retired for over a decade, he enjoys his family: wife Judy, their four children, 17 grand-children and three great-grandchildren, as well as his Israeli sister and her growing family.

Mark Biddelman
Mark BiddelmanCantor Emeritus
Mark Biddelman led Temple Emanuel in prayer, song and study for 48 years.

A New Jersey native, he has been conducting services and singing for Jewish organizations since the age of seven. He attended Carnegie Institute of Technology and is a graduate of the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion School of Sacred Music from which he received his Investiture, Cantorial Certification and Bachelor of Sacred Music degree. The college also awarded him the degree of Doctor of Music honorous causum. Cantor Biddelman is certified as a Hebrew school and music teacher by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the New York Federation of Synagogues.

Throughout the years, Cantor Biddelman has been a musical innovator and has composed numerous musical settings for the Shabbat prayers. In 1971 he composed the first folk-rock service for Shabbat Eve ever to be performed in a Conservative synagogue. Music from this service has become part of the contemporary Jewish Synagogue liturgical repertoire and is being sung in synagogues throughout the U.S. and Canada. In 1991 he composed another setting for the Friday eve service scored for electronic instruments. In addition, he has written other original compositions of Jewish content and his settings of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah blessings were published in the official Life Cycle Handbook of the American Conference of Cantors.

Cantor Biddelman has appeared as guest cantor at congregations throughout the metropolitan area, conducted services in Israel and appeared on radio and TV. He has also been the recipient of several awards including B’nai B’rith Man of the Year in 1990 and the Israel Bonds Sh’ma Yisrael Award in 1988. In 1994 he was inducted as an honorary Fellow of the Jewish Theological Seminary. He is a past Executive Vice President, President, Vice President and Secretary of the New Jersey region of the Cantors Assembly, and has served as a conductor of the New Jersey Cantors Choral Ensemble, the world’s very first choir of both men and women cantors.

During his tenure at Temple Emanuel, Cantor Biddelman has prepared over 2,000 youngsters for Bar and Bat Mitzvah and prepared dozens of children and adults to conduct daily and High Holiday services. He continues to present concerts and programs and conducts services for senior citizens at facilities throughout northern New Jersey. Cantor Biddelman and his wife Bette, a craftswoman, are active members of the Jewish community and the community at large. His daughter Terra, also a craftswoman, and his grandson Elijah live in Austin, Texas.