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

Professional Staff Overview


Rabbi Joshua S. Finkelstein

Phone: (845) 357-2430 Extension 402
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Rabbi Joshua S. Finkelstein joined Montebello Jewish Center with over twenty years of pulpit experience within the Conservative Movement serving congregations in New York and New Jersey. He received his ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary and his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Columbia College of Columbia University in New York. Rabbi Finkelstein was a Visiting Lecturer at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he taught the first-year seminar required of all rabbinical students guiding them to recognize and communicate the meaning and vitality of Jewish rituals and texts. 

A past president of the New Jersey Rabbinical Assembly, Rabbi Finkelstein also served as the Chair of the Intergroup Relations Committee of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the UJA of Northern New Jersey. He was on the editorial board of the Community Faith and Values section of The Record. He is married to Elana Gershen Finkelstein. They have three children, Sarah, Eli, and Becky.

Rabbi Finkelstein looks foward to speaking with you about Montebello Jewish Center and your Jewish journey.  He can be reached at MJC or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  






Cantor & Religious School Director
Michelle Freedman
Phone: (845)-357-2430 Extension 403

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. 



Harriet Spevack, President

Phone: (845)-548-7071

Harriet Spevack and her husband Harold live in Tuxedo Park in Orange County, just over the border from Rockland County. She has two grown sons, Michael (married to Elana) and Daniel (married to Liz) and four grandchildren, Eytan (16), Noam (14), Ayelet (11), and Noa (8). She considers herself fortunate to have them all within the metropolitan area and enjoys being an integral part of their lives..

Harriet is a long time member of the congregation, coming from Pomona Jewish Center which merged with Congregation Sons of Israel in 2000 to become Montebello Jewish Center. She is a member of the Board of Trustees and has served in the capacities of Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, and Head of the Rabbi Search Committee. She is also an active member of Sisterhood.

Our current president has always been involved in Jewish professional life, having served as head of the swimming program at Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, nursery school teacher at New City Jewish Center, and having taught kindergarten, first grade, fourth grade, and computers at Reuben Gittelman Hebrew Day School. She continues to be active in other countywide Jewish causes and currently serves on the Board of the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Rockland County. For many years Harriet was responsible for bringing a shaliach (Israeli ambassador) to Rockland, and she headed the Global Day of Jewish Learning for the past three years.

The greatest pleasure in Harriet’s life is spending time with her family. She loves being able to share in their lives and watch their accomplishments as they grow. Recently she was able to fulfill a long time dream and went skiing with some of her grandchildren. Harriet also enjoys hiking, biking, playing tennis, and traveling with family and friends.

You may find Harriet reading Torah, chanting a Haftarah, and/or leading services on any given Shabbat, holiday, or weekday. She enjoys singing and participating in our lively services and loves learning new tunes for prayers.

Harriet invites you to come to Montebello Jewish Center, experience our warm, intimate, and friendly services, and meet our congregation. Join us at kiddush, “shmooze” with some of us, and leave with new friends!   



Shari Brunn, Office Administrator
Phone: (845)-357-2430
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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