Staff

Executive Director

Liz Clain
(914) 235-2700, Ext. 225
eclain@bethelnr.org
She/Her/Hers 

Liz Clain joins us as a leader in the field of education. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Child Study from Tufts University, her Masters in Teaching from Columbia Teachers College and her Administrative degree from Hunter College. She began her career teaching in the New York City Public schools before transitioning to Mamaroneck High School, where she spent 26 years, first as a Social Studies teacher, and for the last 11 years as the Principal. A collaborative and progressive educator known for her compassion and dedication, Liz oversaw every aspect of running Mamaroneck High School, including the supervision, support and mentoring of over 175 faculty members, the safety of 1,650 students, the curriculum development for all classes and the focus on equity and inclusion. Over the course of her tenure she developed deep relationships with students, parents and faculty, and was committed to developing a strong culture of joy and caring.

Liz grew up in Zimbabwe and attended Sharon School, the Jewish Day School in Harare.  She was also a member of Habonim in Zimbabwe. When her family moved to the United States, she became a member of the Youth House at Temple Israel in Great Neck and she attended Tel Yehudah Camp for several years. Liz and her family have been members of Bet Am Shalom Synagogue in White Plains for over 20 years.  

Since leaving her position as principal of Mamaroneck High School in June of 2022, Liz has worked as a coach for administrators in Westchester School Districts, and spent time reading, traveling, spending time with her family and taking classes. She is very excited to be joining the Beth El Synagogue Center community, and looks forward to collaborating with the clergy team, the lay leaders and getting to know members of the synagogue.

Executive Assistant
to Elizabeth Clain

Naiza Cintron
(914) 235-2700
ncintron@bethelnr.org
She/Her/Hers

Naiza Cintron has recently joined Beth El as the Executive Assistant to Elizabeth Clain. Naiza will be responsible for overseeing and managing the smooth operation of the front office.

Naiza grew up in Spanish Harlem in New York City which is also known as “El Barrio.” She is currently pursuing her degree in Nonprofit & Public Administration. Naiza previously held the role as Development Associate at the Jewish Theological Seminary, assisting the senior development team with fundraising events. As well as the Rabbinic Executive Assistant at B’Nai Jeshurun. 

Naiza loves enjoying time with her family and friends, organizing what most would feel is impossible, cooking/trying out new recipes and reading. She currently resides in the Bronx with her children Madison and Azyn who attend schools in the Pelham Bay area.

 

Assistant to Rabbi Schuck and Rabbi Sitkin

Zoe Raynes
(914) 235-2700, Ext. 228
zraynes@bethelnr.org
She/Her/Hers

Zoe Raynes joined Beth El in 2019 as Assistant to Rabbi Schuck. She now acts as Assistant to Rabbi Schuck and Rabbi Sitkin and deals with a multitude of clergy related administration. Zoe is also responsible for the administrative side of the Beth El B’nai Mitzvah program, along with any donations made to Beth El. 

Zoe is originally from Manchester, England. She is a graduate of Nottingham Trent University and holds a LLB (Hons) degree in Law and obtained her Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law in Chester. She qualified as a lawyer in 2001 and specialized in Real Estate, becoming the youngest Partner in one of the oldest legal practices (Established 1733) in the UK. She decided to take some time out from her legal career in 2015 when she moved to the US with her husband, Robert and children, Jake & Lucy so that Robert could take an opportunity to further his career as a Director of the global consultancy firm, Turner & Townsend. The Raynes family now holds US permanent residency and lives in Scarsdale, where Jake and Lucy attend Eastchester Schools.

Director of Programming

Stephanie Lederman
(914) 235-2700, Ext. 246
slederman@bethelnr.org

Stephanie joined Beth El in August 2018 as our Youth & Family Coordinator, working with the Beth El Religious School and Youth and Family programming. In December 2020, Stephanie assumed interim leadership of the Religious School. She currently oversees synagogue-wide programming, including coordinating the efforts of clergy, volunteers, and staff to engage our intergenerational community.

Stephanie’s  past experiences include working at SAR Academy in Riverdale, where she developed a Creative Movement program for their Early Childhood Center, taught Nursery through Kindergarten, planned special events and managed a range of various responsibilities. Her other experiences are multi-faceted, including working at the Riverdale Jewish Center,  the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in the financial services industry for a number of years. 

Stephanie resides in our local New Rochelle community with her husband, and has 2 children living in the New York area and a daughter (and son-in-law) in London.  

 

Facility Director

Marilyn Russell
(914) 235-2700, Ext. 226
mrussell@bethelnr.org

Marilyn Russell joined Beth El in 2018 and is serving as Beth El’s Facility Director currently overseeing all aspects of the day to day operations as well as the management of its in-house maintenance team. Prior to joining Beth El, Marilyn spent 20 years working for a residential and retail developer in Southern California with a focus on construction management, property management and project entitlements. She attended Daemen College in New York.

Nursery School Director

Ronnie Becher
(914) 235-2700, Ext. 250
rbecher@bethelnr.org
She/Her/Hers

Ronnie Goldberg Becher has been involved in early childhood education since 1975. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a Master’s degree in Curriculum & Teaching from Teachers College at Columbia University, where she was awarded a fellowship for a reading and writing project. After teaching in the public school system, at SAR Academy, and in Jerusalem, Israel, Ronnie was the director of a nursery school in Manhattan. Making her way to Westchester, Ronnie has served as the Educational Director of Beth El Nursery School for over 20 years and one of her greatest joys is coming to work and having the opportunity to interface with the children in our school.

Ronnie is a founding member of JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, and has served on the executive committee. She is the President of JECA, the Jewish Early Childhood Association and is an active member of the Westchester Early Childhood Director’s Network. A frequent presenter at JECA Early Childhood Conferences, Ronnie was also the recipient of the prestigious Wexner Heritage Foundation Fellowship and has a long list of achievements and professional affiliations.

When not at Beth El, Ronnie is an active member of the Riverdale Repertory theater group. She enjoys going to the beach, visiting Israel, studying Judaica, playing mah jongg and celebrating holidays with her husband Michael and their extended family in Riverdale, New York. They have four children and five grandchildren – so far!

Nursery School Assistant Director

Shery Rosenstein
(914) 235-2700, Ext. 227
srosenstein@bethelnr.org
She/Her/Hers

Shery Rosenstein has been working at Beth El Nursery School since 2003 in a variety of capacities including: Classroom Teacher, PJ Library Coordinator/Storyteller, and most recently, Assistant Director for the past seven years. Additionally, she led the 2s program (The Scoops) at Beth El Day Camp for 11 years, since its inception. Shery has also been working as a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Claire D. Leone Real Estate since 2009, and continues to help many Beth El families find their first home, or make that transition to the next stage of life through selling and purchasing something smaller.

Shery is married to Howard and has three children who are all products of Beth El’s Nursery School, Day Camp, Religious School and Youth Group. While she has lived in New Rochelle since 1998, and New York since 1994, she is originally from Southern California. With a love of sports and a history of playing competitive softball, Shery, along with her co-coach, were the first all-female coached boys team to win the championship in the majors division of YBNR. She enjoys the beach, cooking and baking (especially caramel fudge brownies), Broadway theater, and spending time with family and friends.

Director of Youth and Family Engagement

Alyssa Berman (Schwager)
(914) 235-2700, Ext. 221
aberman@bethelnr.org
She/Her/Hers

Alyssa Berman (Schwager) joined Beth El as the Director of Youth and Family Engagement in summer 2022. Prior to joining Beth El, she was the Director of Education and Engagement at Sutton Place Synagogue for four years. Alyssa has completed an MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary, as well as an MA in Educational Psychology from UConn, and she is excited to bring her knowledge and love of Jewish community, education and programming to our community. 

Before her time at Sutton Place Synagogue, Alyssa served as the Youth and Family Educator and Community Organizer at the Fort Tryon Jewish Center and also taught religious school at many synagogues in the Tri-state area. Alyssa also has extensive experience in the Jewish camping world, including working at Camp Ramah Nyack and Camp Modin.

Originally from Atlanta, Alyssa has called NYC home for the last six years. She’s excited to transition to Westchester and return to her suburban roots. Alyssa is thrilled to join the Beth El community as she works with Tots to Teens, building community, educational opportunities and programs for all.

Administrative Coordinator

Abby Prager
(914) 235-2700, Ext. 247
aprager@bethelnr.org
She/Her/Hers

Abby serves as Administrative Coordinator for Youth & Family Engagement and Special Projects. Abby grew up in Scarsdale, is a childhood member of Beth El and attended Religious School here. Abby attended Johnson & Wales University, where she earned degrees in Event Management and Culinary Arts. Abby has years of experience working in both food service and food management positions, as well as event planning and coordinating. She is also an experienced babysitter and animal lover. Abby is excited to bring her skills in connecting with kids and families, planning events, and managing fast-paced environments to Beth El!

Seniors Programming Coordinator


Julie Rockowitz
(914) 235-2700
jrockowitz@bethelnr.org
She/Her/Hers

Julie Rockowitz is privileged to work with ages 2 to 102 at Beth El. She initially joined the Beth El community and became involved in Jewish Family Education. 

Julie’s background includes a BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University and a BA in Jewish Education from Hebrew College. She went on to receive a Masters in Occupational Therapy and Family Education Certificate from Fordham. She is proud to have received the Ernest L. Rothschild Leadership Award from the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. 

In her role as Seniors Programming Coordinator, she enjoys overseeing and exploring New York with the SMART (Senior Mature Adults Retired Together) group. 

Julie is originally from Newton, MA and raised her family here at Beth El. Despite being from the home of the Fig Newton cookie, Julie absolutely loves baking and sharing scrumptious chocolate chip cookies. You can often find Julie taking long walks and enjoying the sunshine. 

Day Camp Director

Rebecca Guralnik 
(914) 235-2700, Ext. 256
rguralnik@bethelnr.org
She/Her/Hers

Rebecca Guralnik joined Beth El in 2023 as the Associate Director of our Day Camp, and has stepped into the Day Camp Director role in 2024. Jewish camp has a special place in Rebecca’s heart; her parents met at Camp Ramah in the Poconos when they were campers. Rebecca attended Camp Ramah in the Poconos for fifteen summers, including three on staff. She continued her camping journey as Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Day Camp Fellow. In this role, Rebecca worked closely with Jewish day camps across North America. She engaged over 50 camp professionals in leadership development and networking opportunities. During the summers of this fellowship, Rebecca worked in a leadership role at Ramah Day Camp in Philadelphia. She is thrilled to be continuing her camp journey at Beth El. 

Prior to her professional camping experience, Rebecca attended Brandeis University where she studied Sociology, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, and Religious Studies. Rebecca graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 2019. Rebecca later earned her MSW at Columbia School of Social Work and a Masters in Jewish Studies at Theological Seminary. During this dual degree program, she interned at Selfhelp Community Services and UJA-Federation of New York. 

Rebecca grew up in Edison, New Jersey and is a graduate of Golda Och Academy. She now lives in Riverdale with her husband and absolutely loves her new community. While Rebecca enjoys all seasons, she is especially partial to summer. Rebecca loves spending time with her family at the beach, going on hikes, and swimming. The outdoors is Rebecca’s happy place.

 

Music Director and Director of Shoresh Halev Center for Jewish Music

Jack Klebanow
(914) 235-2700, Ext. 252
jklebanow@bethelnr.org
He/Him/His

Jack Klebanow is excited to be part of Beth El’s prayer team, helping to build community and to create deep, aesthetic and spiritually moving experiences. Jack is a multi-instrumentalist with a broad musical background, including composing and arranging as well as performance in classical, pop and Jewish repertoires. Important music teachers have included Laurence Honan, Luise Vosgerchian, and Al Goltzer. 

Jack has had a lifelong passion for Jewish prayer and study. He is grateful for having learned from so many dedicated and gifted teachers including Rabbis Jerome Malino, Tuvia Posen, Shimon Green, Barry Klein, Lawrence Perlman and Rabbi Schuck. Meditation is also at the heart of Jack’s spiritual practice. 

Originally from Danbury, Connecticut, Jack graduated with a Bachelor degree in Government from Harvard University, studied political philosophy at the University of Chicago and has had a successful career as an entrepreneur and business owner.

Controller

Olivier Vogel
(914) 235-2700, Ext. 231
ovogel@bethelnr.org
He/Him/His

Olivier Vogel joined Beth El in 1993 and worked in various capacities, assisting the Executive Director, doing desktop publishing, helping with IT work and with the administration of the High Holidays. In 1995, he took the position of Controller in the Accounting Office and still helps with IT work when needed.

Olivier was born and raised in France and came to the United States in 1986 with his parents and siblings for 2 years originally. He went to college in Vermont and then to Long Island University in New York. He graduated with a Business Degree. There he met his future wife and has been in the States ever since. Together they have four children.

Director of Marketing & Communications

Margarita Korol
(914) 235-2700, ext. 340
mkorol@bethelnr.org
She/Her/Hers

Margarita Korol joined the Beth El Synagogue Center team as Director of Communications and Marketing in the spring of 2024. She is thrilled to leverage her multimedia communications and social impact design toolbox in this role to serve the synagogue community’s goals of deepened connections with each other and with ancient Jewish wisdom. Born the week of Chernobyl in Ukraine, her work is an extension of her family’s legacy of Jewish activism, art, and systems design. She lives by Yankee Stadium but is still also a Chicago Cubs fan.

Support Staff

Bobby Persaud

Joseph Esquivel

Roberto Maldonado

Tomar
Mrizaj