Meet the Staff


Rabbi Abigail Treu
Director, The Center for Jewish Living and The David H. Sonabend Center for Israel

Abigail Treu Rabbi Abigail Treu comes to the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan from the National Ramah Commission, where she built an alumni and community network engaging thousands of Ramah alumni and friends as Director of Strategic Advancement and Reshet Ramah. She previously served as a Rabbinic Fellow at The Jewish Theological Seminary teaching, writing, and leading High Holiday services, as well as in a number of development roles. Abby has served on the board of Big Tent Judaism, working to build Jewish communities welcoming to all kinds of Jewish families, as well as on the Women’s Committee of the Rabbinical Assembly, and is an alumna of the Clergy Training Program of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. In 2005 she co-authored, with Dov Peretz Elkins, The Bible’s Top 50 Ideas, and she has written a number of articles and op-eds. An avid knitter and yoga enthusiast, she lives in Manhattan with her husband and three children.


Susie Kessler, Program Director of Makom
Susie Kessler photo Former coordinator of the National Center for Jewish Healing, Susie brings knowledge of spiritual support and Jewish wisdom to all of her program areas. Her passion is helping people grow and heal from the inside-out by uncovering and exploring their spiritual journey as well as teaching techniques and practices that can help them find their deepest connection to themselves, to each other and to the Divine. It is her belief that this kind of growth is the fertile ground that allows for true social change. Susie has been a member of the Upper West Side Jewish Community for over 40 years and a member of the JCC staff since the building opened.


Sarah-Kay Lacks, Senior Director of Institutional Programs
Sarah-Kay Lacks photo Sarah-Kay is a raised (though not born) New Yorker who has lived in 3/5 boroughs and worked in all 5 of them. After graduating from Vassar College with a degree in Urban Studies & Religion, she went on to work for City Government and received an MPA from the Wagner School at NYU in Non-Profit Management. A voracious reader, hostess and maker of puns, she has worked for the past 15 years at JCC Manhattan, currently as Senior Director of Institutional Programs, building community throughout their 11 story vertical neighborhood. Skay, as she is known to all, splits her shabbats between Shabbanging at the JCC once a month, R&R-ing weekly and hosting dinners in her own dining room with family, friends, nomads and assorted gypsies. Sarah-Kay's favorite kind of Jewish programs are surprising, magical and free. Sarah-Kay lives in Brooklyn with her husband, their 3 kids, dog and cat.


Rabbi Miriam Farber Wajnberg
Director of Adult Jewish Learning and Interfaith Engagement

Miriam Farber Wajnberg Rabbi Wajnberg received rabbinical ordination and her Masters in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. An alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Rabbi Wajnberg worked as a community organizer with the Union for Reform Judaism’s Just Congregations and has served Jewish communities in Los Angeles, Washington state, Montana, and New York.

Rachel Kunstadt
Program Manager, The Center for Jewish Living and The David H. Sonabend Center for Israel

Miriam Farber Wajnberg Rachel comes to the JCC from the theatre world, where she is a musical theatre writer, playwright, and producer. She holds an MFA from NYU - Tisch School of the Arts’ Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and a BA from NYU - Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Rachel was actively involved in The Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU, having served as the president of Keshet and Koach.

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