Who We Are

Clergy

  • Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky

    Bio | Writing

    Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky

    RJK@anschechesed.org | 212.865.0600 x 210

    Jeremy Kalmanofsky arrived at Ansche Chesed in 2001 and has never looked back. He loves working here because, he says, despite all the prophecies of gloom about American Judaism, the Ansche Chesed community proves that traditional but heterodox Judaism can thrive.

    For Rabbi Kalmanofsky, being a congregational rabbi is the perfect job. "I spend my days performing mitzvot (commandments)—praying, studying, doing acts of tzedakah (charity) and chesed (kindness), performing rituals, and helping people," he says. "What could be better?" He is especially gratified by the time he spends one-on-one with congregants, hearing what inspires them, what they believe in and hope for, what troubles them, and what keeps them going during difficult times. He is grateful to Ansche Chesed's members for inviting him to share their joys and sorrows, from births to deaths.

    Rabbi Kalmanofsky was ordained in 1997 by The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. He regularly publishes essays on Jewish thought and practice, and he serves on the Conservative movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards.

  • Hazzan Natasha Hirschhorn

    Bio | Writing

    Hazzan Natasha Hirschhorn

    Music Director

    NHirschhorn@anschechesed.org | 212.865.0600 x 242

    Natasha Hirschhorn is happy to have found her spiritual and professional home at Ansche Chesed, whose staff she joined in 2004. Her multifaceted role includes helping to lead services, coaching members who wish to learn how to be prayer leaders or Torah readers, and directing Ansche Chesed's Shirei Chesed Community Chorus.

    An accomplished singer, pianist and composer, Hazzan Hirschhorn has performed at the Toronto Jewish Music Festival, the North American Jewish Choral Festival, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Strathmore, New York University, Indiana University and Drexel University, and at venues in the U.S. and Canada.

    Ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion in 1999, Hazzan Hirschhorn is a faculty member of The Jewish Theological Seminary of America’s H.L. Miller Cantorial School and Hebrew Union College’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. The founding conductor of two Jewish community choruses, Shir Chadash in Brooklyn and Ansche Chesed's Shirei Chesed, Hazzan Hirschhorn is also Vice President of Shalshelet: The Foundation for New Jewish Liturgical Music.

    Dedicated to sharing her enthusiasm and musical knowledge with her former compatriots, whom she taught as music director of the Kiev Jewish Youth Music Theater “Yehudim” until 1992, when she came to the U.S., Hazzan Hirschhorn has taught classes on Russian-Jewish culture at the North American Jewish Choral Festival, the Havurah Institute, both the British and New York Limmud conferences, and at programs presented by COJECO (Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations), the central coordinating body of New York's Russian-speaking Jewish community. Through a UJA-Federation Synagogue Outreach Network grant, she developed a program for unaffiliated Russian-speaking Jewish families, which she offered at Ansche Chesed.

    A native of Ukraine, Hazzan Hirschhorn studied musicology, piano and composition in the honors program at Moscow Gnesins’ Musical College and at the Kiev State Conservatory. She feels extremely fortunate to live in a country where she can freely indulge her passion for Judaism, Jewish music and educational outreach.

    Hazzan Hirschhorn lives on the Upper West Side with her husband, Rabbi Shimon Hirschhorn, and their daughters, Miriam and Racheli.

  • Rabbi Yael Hammerman

    Bio

    Rabbi Yael Hammerman

    Associate Rabbi

    RabbiYael@anschechesed.org | 212.865.0600 x 208

    Rabbi Hammerman loves creating dynamic Jewish learning experiences for students of all ages, from toddlers to older adults. She is committed to helping to build a warm, strong and engaged Jewish community at Ansche Chesed.

    Rabbi Hammerman was born and raised in Toms River, NJ, and from a young age she felt at home in synagogue and could often be found “teaching” and “leading” her real and imaginary friends. Her childhood play has become her professional passion as she now works to help others feel as comfortable and welcome in synagogue as she has always felt.

    Ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Rabbi Hammerman also received a degree from its Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. Before joining Ansche Chesed, she was a student rabbi at Congregation Eitz Chaim in Monroe, NY, and Director of Student Placement at The Jewish Theological Seminary's rabbinical and cantorial schools. She has held positions at B’nai Jeshurun; the Forest Hills Jewish Center; St. Luke’s Hospital, where she served as a chaplain; and the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan.

    Rabbi Hammerman lives on the Upper West Side with her husband, Rabbi Josh Rabin, and their children, Hannah and Shai.

Staff

  • Josh Hanft's Portrait

    Josh Hanft

    Bio

    Josh Hanft

    Executive Director

    JHanft@anschechesed.org | 212.865.0600 x 209

    Josh Hanft became Ansche Chesed's executive director in 2006, but his involvement with the community spans decades. He has held many lay-leadership roles, including President and Treasurer, and served on the Board of Trustees, the Executive Committee, and as Chair of the Adult Education Committee.

    Before becoming Ansche Chesed's administrator-in-chief, Josh worked in children’s publishing for many years, holding executive positions at Golden Books, Dalmatian Press and Scholastic. He is the author of several children’s books.

    A graduate of Middlebury College, Josh holds advanced degrees in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. He and his wife, Claudia Chernov, live on Upper West Side and have three sons, Paul, Gideon and Eliezer, all of whom had their bar mitzvahs at Ansche Chesed.

  • Aliza Sebert

    Bio

    Aliza Sebert

    Education and Family Program Director

    ASebert@anschechesed.org | 212.865.0600 x 217

    Aliza is a native New Yorker who grew up loving everything Jewish: going to shul, spending summers at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, attending the Heschel School, and singing in the HaZamir Jewish youth choir. After studying psychology and education at Brandeis University, Aliza spent a year in Israel working for USY’s gap-year program (Nativ) and then returned to New York to pursue an MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). Aliza served as the Jewish and Student Life Educator at the Heschel School for six years and, most recently, on the Judaic Studies staff at the Shefa School. Aliza loves creating meaningful Jewish experiences and building relationships with students and parents. Aliza is thrilled to join the Ansche Chesed team!

  • Josh Ashley

    Bio

    Josh Ashley

    Administrative and Programming Associate

    JAshley@anschechesed.org | 212.865.0600 x 202
  • Mariya Liberova

    Bio

    Mariya Liberova

    Full Charge Bookkeeper

    MLiberova@anschechesed.org | 212.865.0600 x 206

    Mariya Liberova, who joined Ansche Chesed’s staff in 2000, is grateful to be a part of the Ansche Chesed community, surrounded by people who truly care about her.

    Reporting to both the Executive Director and the Treasurer, she manages all aspects of Ansche Chesed's day-to-day financial life. This includes preparing the annual budget, creating financial statements, monitoring cash-flow, processing the payroll, and serving as the liaison with the synagogue's outside accountants during the annual audit.

    Mariya came to the US in 1995 after working for 26 years as an economist and full charge bookkeeper in her native Russia, where she earned a BA in accounting from the Moscow Institute of Finance and Economics. Before joining Ansche Chesed, she worked as a controller at HI-NY, New York City’s large Upper West Side youth hostel.

    Mariya lives in New York with her husband, Yakov, for whom she enjoys cooking and baking. When not at Ansche Chesed or busily engaged in the culinary arts, she enjoys sewing and spending time with her granddaughter, a major fan of Ansche Chesed's holiday events.

  • Martin Sivorinovsky

    Bio

    Martin Sivorinovsky

    Director of Administration

    MSivorinovsky@anschechesed.org | 212.865.0600 x 216

    Director of Administration Martin Sivorinovsky loves working at Ansche Chesed because, despite a childhood light on Jewish culture and religious observance, he is intensely curious about Judaism. He also enjoys being part of Jewish communal life and is delighted to have some colleagues who, like him, are of Russian-Jewish descent.

    Born and raised in San Francisco, Martin earned a BA in exercise science from the University of California, Davis, and an MA in sports management from San Jose State University. He then worked as Associate Membership Services Director at the 92nd Street Y's May Center for Health, Fitness & Sport and as Operations Manager at LA Fitness.

    Martin is a former figure-skating champion who, after dabbling in singles and pairs skating starting at the age of 10, competed in ice dancing competitions until he was 19. In 1996, he and his partner became the Open Novice Ice Dance Champions at the U.S. National Championships.

    Martin enjoys weight lifting, fantasy sports and playing the bass, and he is proud to have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. He holds licenses in personal training, real estate and various forms of first aid.

  • Henry "Tony" Vicioso

    Bio

    Henry "Tony" Vicioso

    Maintenance Supervisor

    Maintenance Supervisor Tony Vicioso was born in Santo Domingo and raised both there and in New York City. He is the right-hand man of Physical Plant Manager John Dobbin, assisting him with all aspects of the building’s operation. Tony is also responsible for creating and maintaining the schedule for the five-person maintenance team and assisting caterers during bar/bat mitzvahs and other events. Tony lives on the Upper West Side with his wife and five children.

  • Steven Pooran

    Bio

    Steven Pooran

    Super

    SPooran@anschechesed.org

    Maintenance Staff

    • Roberto Castillo
    • Lisette Martinez
    • Jose Diaz Pacheco
    • Juan Salvador
    • Hector Sanchez

    Security Staff

    • Erick DeJesus
    • Artie Diemar
    • Sylvia Ortiz

    Board of Trustees

    Executive Committee

    • Dawn Kellman, President
    • Stephanie Wank Kofman, Vice President
    • Laurie Izes, Secretary
    • Vivian Mamelak, Treasurer
    • Suzan Rosen, At-Large
    • Brad Rothschild, At-Large

    Trustees

    • Adena Abramson
    • Naomi Cohen
    • Stan Etra
    • Joel Feuer
    • Josiah Gluck
    • Jeremy Goldman
    • Marge Goldwater
    • Martha Graybow
    • Nancy Greenbaum
    • Scott Harris
    • Kathy Kendall
    • Leor Landa
    • Seth Marnin
    • Bena Medjuck-Bruckner
    • Jennifer Rosenberg
    • David Shapiro
    • Roberta Shapiro
    • Juliet Weissman
    • Rona Wexler
    • Terry Zisowitz