MakomNY has a vibrant team of experienced professionals, educators, clergy, musicians, volunteers and participants that bring a fresh and dynamic energy to our community.
RACHEL BARNEHAMA, Director of Education, Youth and Family Engagement
Rachel is excited to begin her tenure as Makom's second Director of Education, Youth and Family Engagement. Rachel comes to us with a wide breadth of experience, including serving most recently as the Associate Director of Family Life and Learning at B'nai Jeshurun in New York City. Prior to this position, she worked in education and youth work in Port Washington and Great Neck.
Rachel received her Master of Art in Religious Education from HUC-JIR in 2018, and before that she studied Jewish Studies at Queens College. She grew up in Great Neck, attending North Shore Hebrew Academy, and her dynamic personality and experience will be a wonderful addition to our Makom team. She is excited to meet our parents and students, to engage with our youth and our families alike, and we are equally excited to welcome Rachel to Makom!
SHERRY GUTES, Director of Programs
As Makom begins our 9th year, Sherry is transitioning from our founding Director of Education and Programs to becoming our first Director of Programs. Sherry will continue to teach in the classroom, but she will focus on all of our many programs offered to our Makom community for all stages and ages. Sherry will be the coordinator of our growing B'nai Mitzvah program, and she is thrilled and honored to continue to partner with Rabbi Bravo to create outstanding, meaningful and impactful programming opportunities for the MakomNY Community. She comes with many years of experience as a Jewish communal professional and takes great joy in her work as a Jewish educator, reaching and teaching children, adults and families. She believes that her work with MakomNY brings together the sum total of all of her experiences in different and unique ways, and she is excited to transition to this new role.
JESSICA STEINMAN, High Holy Day Cantorial Soloist
We are thrilled to welcome Jessica Steinman BACK to our MakomNY family. Jess will be with us as our Cantorial Soloist for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and the Shabbat following Yom Kippur.
Jessica Steinman has been a Cantorial Soloist since the age of 17 when she started singing at her home congregation in St. Paul, MN. She has a Bachelor of Music for Vocal Performance from NYU and a Masters Degree as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Jessica has led services for multiple congregations across the country, including Makom LA with Danny Maseng. When not singing in synagogues, she works full time as a psychotherapist and a Clinical Director for a treatment center in Los Angeles. Her free time is filled with laughing and loving her biggest music loving fan, Ruby, her 9 month old daughter.
Please enjoy these videos of Jess singing her heart out!
Hamilton Adon Olam
Makom T'filat Haderech
DAVID BRAVO, Musical Director
David makes high level music an accessible part of our worship and learning, serving as music director, accompanist, producer and arranger. He oversees choir opportunities, recordings for MakomNY and arranging concerts and musical programs of all kinds for MakomNY. He works in partnership with Rabbi Bravo, and a variety of cantors, cantorial soloists and musical guests, to bring an exceptional level of music and song to prayer and activities within the community.
JACKIE KLIGERMAN, Special Educator
Dr. Jacqueline Kligerman is a teacher at Moadon who has a great deal of experience, education and passion for both Judaism and children with special needs. She works with small groups of students who need additional support in learning Hebrew. Jackie is a retired special educator who served as a teacher, clinician, administrator and school principal in a variety of public and private educational settings throughout her career. She holds a doctoral degree from Teachers College, Columbia University where she taught courses in psychology and education.
SCOTT ECKERS, B'nai Mitzvah Cantorial Soloist, Teacher
Dr. Scott Eckers is an educator, historian, cantor, and entertainer. For most of his 22-year teaching and administrative career, Scott taught social studies in Syosset; he is now with Great Neck Public Schools. From 2005 to 2022, Scott taught Hebrew, Yiddish, Jewish culture and music at the Workmen's Circle's I.L. Peretz Jewish School of Nassau. He is thrilled to be on the faculty at Makom, where he has helped lead services for several years. Scott served as the high holidays cantor at Marathon Jewish Community Center and then the consolidated Etz Chaim/Hollis Hills Jewish Center for many years. He is an active member of East Meadow Jewish Center, where he regularly leads services, teaches Bar Mitzvah lessons, and formerly directed Junior Congregation. Scott is a past trustee and past president of the East Meadow Board of Education, a member of the New York State Theatre Education Association board of directors, and a member of Actors' Equity Association. He is proud to be Jenny's husband and dad to Jacob and Simon.
RACHEL BIELER, Teacher
Rachel serves as a teacher for grades 3rd-7th grade at MakomNY’s Moadon. She has been teaching in both public school, Jewish day school and congregational school settings for many years. She has been with MakomNY since its inception and she cannot think of a more welcoming and meaningful place to embrace Judaism. She is also thrilled to be once again teaching at Moadon, in a totally new, student-centered way.
SIMA MATTHES, Teacher
Sima is joining us for her fourth year at Moadon, where she teaches our Gimmel (5th grade) students as well as our 6th and 7th graders. She deeply believes in personally connecting students with prayer and ritual, and enjoys working with students with different learning styles.
Sima previously worked in congregations in Old Westbury and Lynbrook, and as the Jewish Culture Specialist at the Friedberg JCC's summer camp.
BARRIE DRATCH, Administrative Assistant
Barrie works as the Administrative Assistant at Moadon; greeting students as they arrive each session, maintaining attendance records, doing whatever is needed to ensure that everything flows smoothly each day. She is a retired elementary school teacher who continues working part time as a substitute teacher. Barrie spends summers as the Head Counselor for the girls’ at Camp Starlight. Barrie is a former member and former vice president of the school board at the Glen Cove school district. She enjoys playing tennis and canasta (but not at the same time) and is a devoted sun worshipper. She is the proud mom of two adult daughters.
SARAH BOGATY, Chairperson, Advisory Council
Sarah is currently in her third year as chairperson of Makom's Advisory Council. She has traveled to Israel with Makom and participates in adult learning, Shabbat and holiday experiences, and was a student in our most recent Adult B'not Mitzvah class. When not volunteering with Makom, Sarah is the owner and CEO of Bogaty Communications. She graduated from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Sarah and her family are happy to be part of the Makom community. To reach Sarah, click HERE.