Weaving together the strands of Judaism.

AJR Administration & Staff

Dr. Ora Horn Prouser
, CEO and Academic Dean
PhD, BA, Bible, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America; BA, Columbia University. Undergraduate and graduate  studies at Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Author of Esau’s Blessing: How The Bible Embraces Those With Special Needs and many articles about making the Bible speak to central existential concerns, specifically regarding ethical dilemmas and individual growth. Dr. Horn Prouser served as adjunct faculty at The Jewish Theological Seminary for twenty years and has consulted on the development of Bible curriculum through the Matok Torah Curriculum Development Project and the Day School Hebrew Bible Curriculum Project creating Standards and Benchmarks for the Teaching of TaNaKH in Jewish Day Schools. She has been the recipient of fellowships and awards and has taught and spoken widely in formal and informal educational settings, synagogues, adult education programs and camps. Professor, Full-Time



Cantor Michael Kasper, Dean of Cantorial Studies and Student Life
Hazzan, Academy for Jewish Religion; M.A. in Jewish Studies, Gratz College; B.S. in Dance Education, George Washington University; M.S.W. in Clinical Social Work, NYU; Psychoanalytic Certification from the New York Center for Psychoanalytic Training. Private practice in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Until recently, Hazzan at Congregation Sons of Israel, Nyack, NY. Michael taught in Hunter College’s Post Master’s Program in Clinical Social Work for ten years. Past winner of a National Society of Arts and Letters Choreographer’s Competition. Director and choreographer of the Michael Kasper Dance Company for more than ten years. Author of the paper, “The Language of Love” which is published in the book, Controversies On Countertransference. At AJR, Hazzan Kasper is responsible for the Academy’s recruitment efforts and coordinating the Cantorial Studies Program. Senior Lecturer, Full-Time


Rabbi Matthew Goldstone, Assistant Academic Dean
PhD, New York University; MA, The Jewish Theological Seminary; BA, Brandeis University. Talmudic studies at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and Yeshivat Shvilei Hatorah. Private rabbinic ordination from several well-known rabbis in Israel. Author of The Dangerous Duty of Rebuke: Leviticus 19:17 in Early Jewish and Christian Interpretation, co-author of Binding Fragments of Tractate Temurah and the Problem of Lishana Aḥarina, and author of articles on rabbinic literature as well as articles on the Gospels in light of early Jewish literature. He has served as adjunct faculty at The Jewish Theological Seminary, The University of Pennsylvania, and Hunter College. He has been the recipient of a number of fellowships and has received several awards for his scholarship and teaching. At AJR he serves as a full-time member of the faculty, teaching courses in Talmud and Jewish law, as well as the Assistant Academic Dean. Assistant Professor, Full-Time


HammerRabbi Jill Hammer, Director of Spiritual Education
Rabbi Jill Hammer, PhD, is the Director of Spiritual Education at the Academy for Jewish Religion. She was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2001 and holds a doctorate in social psychology from the University of Connecticut. She received a BA at Brandeis University. At AJR, she teaches midrash, mysticism, and contemporary spirituality, creates community ritual and opportunities for spiritual reflection, and is creating the school’s spiritual direction program. Rabbi Hammer is the author of three books: Sisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical Women (2001), The Jewish Book of Days: A Companion for All Season (2006), the Omer Calendar of Biblical Women (2012) and The Hebrew Priestess: Ancient and New Visions of Jewish Women’s Spiritual Leadership (2015). Rabbi Hammer is the co-founder of the Kohenet Institute, a program in Jewish women’s spiritual leadership. Her academic work, essays, midrashim and poems have been published in many journals and newspapers. Professor, Full-Time


Cantor Lisa Klinger-Kantor, Dean of Admissions
Hazzan, Academy for Jewish Religion; MA, Performance of Voice, New York University, Phi Beta Kappa; Voice, BA, Mannes College of Music. Cantor Lisa Klinger-Kantor served as cantor at Temple Shaarei Shalom in Bellmore, New York, for fourteen years. She teaches nusah at AJR and has an extensive voice practice, teaching the art of singing and davenning to cantors and rabbis. In 2001, Lisa received the P’nei Torah award from AJR in recognition of her devotion in her teaching. Lisa has sung as a soloist at Alice Tully Hall and Merkin Hall and in numerous synagogues in the tri-state area. Prior to becoming a cantor, Lisa performed opera, lieder, and oratorio in prominent concert halls throughout the United States and as a soloist at the Tanglewood Music Festival. She has been a cantor at Temple Emanu-El of Long Beach for eight years. Senior Lecturer, Full-Time


Rabbi Beth Kramer-Mazer, Assistant Dean of Student Life and Director of Placement
Rabbinic ordination, Academy for Jewish Religion; M.A. in Judaic Studies, Jewish Theological Seminary of America; B.A., University of Rochester.  Rabbi Kramer-Mazer has served in the Reform congregational setting for over twenty-five years, bringing dynamic leadership to many areas of Jewish life. Her work has  encompassed stewardship of a wide array of lifelong learning experiences, school  administration, as well as traditional clergy responsibilities, including life cycle, worship, pastoral care and interfaith inclusion. Rabbi Kramer-Mazer has earned a variety of certifications, has participated in several fellowships, and has received awards and recognitions for her excellence in leadership and innovations in Jewish education.  As a proud alumna of AJR, she is thrilled to join the professional team, working with students, alumni and the broader Jewish community.


Rabbi Rob Scheinberg, Interim Rabbi-in-Residence
PhD in Liturgy, MA in Jewish Studies, and Rabbi, Jewish Theological Seminary; Rabbi Scheinberg has served as rabbi at the United Synagogue of Hoboken, New Jersey since 1997. His dissertation research focuses on Seligmann Baer’s Seder Avodat Yisrael; he served on the Editorial Board of Mahzor Lev Shalem and the Editorial Advisory Committee of Siddur Lev Shalem. He has published numerous articles and columns in the New Jersey Jewish State, New Jersey Jewish Standard, and New Jersey Jewish News, and he is the recipient of several prizes from the Jewish Theological Seminary. At AJR he currently serves as Interim Rabbi-in-Residence and frequently teaches courses in Jewish liturgy.


Rabbi Jeffrey Segelman, Director of Fieldwork
Rabbi Segelman received a BA from Boston University, a BHL from the Boston Hebrew College and his MA and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary.  After serving The Wayne Conservation Congregation in Wayne, NJ, he was the Senior Rabbi for 33 years at the Westchester Jewish Center in Mamaroneck, NY.   He is now the Rabbi Emeritus.  In addition to his work with Field placement, he teaches courses in Life Cycle, Parshat Hashavuah, and Psalms for the Clergy.


Suli A. Fassler, Senior Director of Administration
B.A., Purchase College, State University of New York; NATA Institute (National Association of Temple Administrators); New York Restaurant School, Culinary Arts and Hotel/Restaurant Management. Suli’s professional experience is in Jewish communal service with a focus in administration and operations management.  Most recently, Suli worked as the executive director of a synagogue in Westchester, New York. Having previously been part of the AJR administration, Suli returned as our Senior Director of Administration and oversees office administration and operations. Suli is delighted to be part of our team, and has an integral role in the Academy’s administration, continued growth, and service to our students and AJR community.


Rabbi David Cavill, Director of Financial Aid and Operations
M.Div. David has a professional background in non-profit finance, operations, management, and fundraising. Prior to joining the AJR staff he was the Controller of the NYC Audubon Society. Cavill was ordained as a rabbi at AJR in 2017. He is a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s undergraduate joint program with Columbia University, and attended Yale Divinity School where he earned the degree of Master of Divinity. He is the Treasurer at the Forest Hills Jewish Center where he is a member and teaches in the religious school at the Reform Temple of Forest Hills. In 2014 Cavill completed a certificate in mixology from the Columbia School of Bartending.


Rabbi Daniel Price, Controller
B.A., Music/Communications, Plattsburgh State University; MJEd Master of Jewish Education, Hebrew College; Rabbinic Ordination Academy for Jewish Religion. Danny learned his accounting skills serving in a similar capacity for Price Financial Group for over thirty years. After nearly two decades as a Rabbi, Educator, and Song Leader in Southwest Fairfield County, CT, Danny retired from Congregational life in 2018. He spends most of his time at his new found home, Tucson Arizona, where he is involved at Congregation Or Chadash-Kol Ami. For the past six years he has led high Holy Day Services as Rabbi and Cantor on Block Island. He continues to play music while leading worship services, and over the years he has truly found his voice in synagogue work. His Tifilla Group R-DAF plays and leads services in congregations from Pennsylvania to Rhode Island. Before being ordained as a rabbi, Danny enjoyed a 21 year career as a television producer/director in New York.

Linda Ripps, Registrar and Bursar
B.A., Comparative Literature, University of Wisconsin; MLS, Rutgers University; M.A., Hebrew Culture and Education, New York University.  Linda comes to the Academy for Jewish Religion with many years of experience in both non-profit administration and Jewish education. Prior to joining AJR, Linda designed and implemented programmatic initiatives and systems at several communal institutions, including The American Friends of the Ghetto Fighters Museum, United Synagogue Youth (USY), Behrman House Publishing, and PJ Library.


Marisa Smith, Media and Communications Director
Marisa comes to AJR with a BA in Communications from Rutgers College and 20 + years of marketing experience. Her areas of expertise include social media, brand management, strategic planning, agency management, media planning, public relations and promotions.  Marisa volunteers as the  social media manager for her synagogue in New Jersey and for her local Hadassah Chapter, where she serves as President.  She is excited to be a part of our AJR community, joining the staff to expand our social media presence and to provide zoom support for our students, faculty and staff.



Rabbi Ellie Shemtov, Librarian
Rabbi, Academy for Jewish Religion; AMLS in Library Science, BA in music, The University of Michigan.  Currently, rabbi at Rutland Jewish Center in Rutland, Vermont.  Rabbi Shemtov is the founder of Beit Yosef, a faith-based recovery community, blending Jewish values and spirituality to help those who are battling the disease of addiction.  An early Jewish presence on the Internet, Ellie created and designed the website, Ellie’s Torah Trope Tutor.  A tool for teaching others how to chant Torah, Haftorah, and the Megillot, Ellie’s web page has been a presence on the Internet since 1996.  While there are many other web sites that teach the art of cantillation, Ellie’s Torah Trope Tutor was the first of its kind.   Before moving to New York to attend AJR, Rabbi Shemtov worked for many years as a film librarian/archivist at a variety of institutions in the Washington, DC area, including the University of Maryland at College Park and the National Archives and Records Administration.  Her most recent position before moving to New York was as Head of Film Cataloging at the Library of Congress.


Rosemarie Bodur, Executive Assistant
Rosemarie comes to AJR with many years of administrative experience in non-profit, as well as private sector event and trade show management, and real estate and property management.  For the past three and a half years, Rosemarie worked as the executive assistant at a synagogue in Westchester, New York.  Rosemarie helped to support the clergy and executive director and assisted in maintaining the administration of the synagogue office, including the congregation’s membership, programs and activity, and the religious school and early childhood programs.

Rosemarie is a dedicated volunteer with Paws Crossed Animal Rescue in Elmsford, New York.
Rosemarie is delighted to join the AJR staff & looks forward to being part of the school’s continued growth and success.