Montebello Jewish Center   34 Montebello Road, Montebello, N.Y. 10901   (845) 357-2430 facebooktwitter

Professional Staff Overview


Rabbi Richard Hammerman

Phone: (732)-814-6499
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MJC is happy to welcome Rabbi Richard Hammerman as interim rabbi for July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017.

Rabbi Hammerman is a graduate of the Joint Program of Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary where he also received a Master’s degree, rabbinic ordination and an honorary doctoral degree. 

For over 40-years, he has been intimately involved in almost every aspect of synagogue life on either a professional or voluntary basis including: Camp Ramah; United Synagogue as Director of Collegiate Activities; Solomon Schechter Academy of Ocean and Monmouth Counties; International Vice President, World Council of Conservative/Masorti Synagogues; Executive Board, Schechter Institute, Jerusalem; Foundation for Masorti Israel; member of JTS Chancellor’s Rabbinic Cabinet; member, Leadership Council for Conservative Judaism; officer, Mercaz; member of the Rabbinic Cabinet Conservative Yeshiva; Chairman of the Joint Campaign for RA-JTS-Masorti, Israel, Rabbinical Assembly, Executive Council.

In 2006 Rabbi Hammerman retired as Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation B'nai Israel, Toms River, New Jersey, after serving as its rabbi and community leader and activist for over 31-years. He, along with his wife, Sharon moved to Caldwell, NJ in order to affiliate as a member of Congregation Agudath Israel. He served as Executive Director of that congregation from 2008 - 2012. He has most recently been promoting synagogue trips to Israel and Masorti communities world-wide and serving as a volunteer teacher and active lay person of Agudath Israel. 

MJC is certain that Rabbi Hammerman will bring excitement and wisdom to our congregation and will help us in our search for a permanent rabbi next year. We welcome him and his lovely wife, Sharon, to our MJC family.



Cantor & Religious School Director
Michelle Freedman
Phone: (845)-357-2430

Cantor Michelle Freedman is Montebello Jewish Center’s new Cantor and Religious School Director. She was invested by the Jewish Theological Seminary’s H.L. Miller Cantorial School, from which she received a Master of Sacred Music and a Diploma of Hazzan in 1999. She was the first recipient of the Richard W. Briskin Cantor-in-Residence Award.

Cantor Freedman, who is originally from suburban Philadelphia, did not grow up in a religiously observant home. Rather, she learned much about Judaism as a young adult. She believes that learning later in life has made her appreciate the learning process and has enabled her to connect to people with limited exposure to Judaism as well as to those who are more learned.

Before joining the staff at MJC, Cantor Freedman served as cantor for nine years at Temple Israel in Ridgewood, NJ. She is the past president of the JTS Cantorial School Alumni Association. She has recently served on the Cantors Assembly (CA) Executive Council, is a member of the CA's Education Committee and has served as chair of the Dor L'dorprogram, a mentoring program for cantorial students. Cantor Freedman is a member of the New Jersey Cantors Concert Ensemble, for which she has served as Secretary, Education Chair, and Vice-chair.

Prior to her cantorial studies, Cantor Freedman worked in a variety of Jewish settings as a teacher. She received a Bachelor of Music in Opera from the Hartt School of Music. She earned a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy from New England Conservatory.

Cantor Freedman is the proud mother of twin daughters, Erica and Kara. 



Dr. Alan Plumer, President

Phone: (845)-357-1257

Dr. Alan Plumer lives in Montebello with his wife, Debbie and three sons, Trevor, Adam and Ross. He is a Gastroenterologist in Orange and Rockland counties, and is a Past President of Montebello Jewish Center (2003-2005). Alan has been on the Board of Trustees continuously for over 15 years, and has also been a Vice President as well as a treasurer of the Men’s Club. Alan has also taught an Adult Education class about the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Alan serves as the Medical Director of Endoscopy in his practice and chairs the Pharmacy Committee at Orange Regional Medical Center.

He enjoys spending time with his family as well as with members of the congregation both in and out of the synagogue.  He also enjoys leading services, reading Torah and Haftarah on Shabbat and the High Holidays. Alan looks forward to watching sporting events, as well as playing tennis and golf.   



Shari Brunn, Office Administrator
Phone: (845)-357-2430
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Shari Brunn joined the Montebello Jewish Center staff in June, 2015.  Prior to that, she had worked in the administration of businesses in several industries, including positions as Director of Operations for a public relations firm and Office Manager of a law firm.  Shari is happy to become part of the MJC community and is looking forward to getting to know the members of the synagogue. 





Linda Tanenbaum, Bookkeeper 
Phone: (845)-357-2430 
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Linda Tanenbaum began working as the bookkeeper of Montebello Jewish Center in July 2002.  She was Assistant Director of Finance of Good Samaritan Hospital for 12 years before leaving in 1995 for the “easy life” of part time work.  From 1997 through 2007 Linda worked as an accountant with a CPA firm in Spring Valley.

“Working at MJC is like working with family.  My family moved to Rockland County in 1968 and joined Congregation Sons of Israel, where I became a Bat Mitzvah.  Now we’re members of MJC and my own children have become B’nai Mitzvah. It’s comfortable to work with and for so many people who are such an integral part of my life.”


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