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Clergy & Staff

Rabbi Jay TelRav

“Judaism provides us, not simply a way to connect to God, but just as importantly a way to connect with each other.” Rabbi Jay TelRav has spent years developing a rabbinate based on sacred relationship and brings the same focus and approach to Temple Sinai. He doesn’t believe in a Judaism for the masses but rather a Judaism for a collection of individuals and he says,

“the doors of our congregation are open widely enough to allow all to enter. Our community has a place for you and it would be my pleasure to help you find it.”
 

Rabbi TelRav has focused on connecting the community’s members to what they love. For some it is worship, for others learning, and others prefer to become active in volunteerism. His work has allowed him to focus on both the centrally involved members of the congregation as well as those who are less well connected to the Jewish community. He has spent a great amount of his time and attention on the youth of the congregation. He has created meaningful relationships with other congregations in the area and has been a vocal partner in the Interfaith Clergy Alliance of Stamford and is currently serving as president of the Stamford Board of Rabbis.  He lives in Stamford with his wife, Julie, and two children, Amitai and Nili.
 

Cantor Micah Morgovsky

Cantor Micah Morgovsky has been honored to serve as the Cantor of Temple Sinai since 2008. She received her undergraduate degree in 2001 from Syracuse University with a major in English and Textual Studies and a minor in Psychology. She spent two years studying in Israel, one at Hebrew University in fulfillment of a junior year study abroad program, and one at the Hebrew Union College, for her first year of Cantorial school. Through the Hebrew Union College School of Sacred Music, Cantor Morgovsky received a Master of Sacred Music in 2005 and was ordained as Cantor in May 2006. Before joining the Temple Sinai clergy team, she served as Cantor and Director of Religious Education at North Country Reform Temple in Glen Cove, NY.

At Temple Sinai, Cantor Micah encourages everyone to find their own voice – from our youngest singers in RuJu (youth choir), to our volunteer adult choir (Kolot Sinai) and Ruach (our musical ensemble). She regularly collaborates with many local musicians to bring new and innovative worship experiences to Temple Sinai. She frequently leads Shabbat services at the Stamford Atria and at Edgehill retirement communities and participates in numerous community-wide events throughout the year. She enjoys playing flute and guitar, she paints and she is a Certified Zentangle Teacher. Cantor Morgovsky lives in Riverdale, NY with her husband, Benjamin Spratt, a rabbi at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan, and their children, Ayalah and Jonah.

 

Morah Judith (Judy) Kuper Jaffe - Director of Lifelong Learning

Before coming to Temple Sinai, Morah Judy worked in Jewish education for many years, serving as an Education Director and Director of Congregational Learning for three synagogues. Raised in Manhattan, she attended The Ramaz School and Syracuse University, earning a double degree in Mass Communications from the S.I. Newhouse School and history from the Maxwell School. After many years of teaching religious school, serving as a family educator and youth adviser, Jaffe returned to school and earned her MAT in Jewish Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson in July 2007 and was among the very first to be granted the Conservative Jewish Education (CJE).
 
As a member of the first cohort of HUC-JIR-JTS Leadership Institute Synagogue Congregational Educators, Morah Judy took her formal education up another notch. She also earned a certificate from the Center for Israel Education. Jaffe is married to her college sweetheart and boasts two amazing daughters, one incredible son-in-law, and two grandsons whom she adores.
 

Larry Stoogenke - Director of Congregational Engagement

Larry was born and raised in Stamford.  After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in International Relations and Mediation, he lived in Washington D.C., Colorado and New York City.  In 1998 he moved back to Stamford where he managed a staffing agency for 13 years.  When his son Harrison was born in 2010 with health issues, he left his job to care for him.  In 2015, he began substitute teaching at Harrison’s school.  

Larry has been a member of Temple Sinai since 2015.  He is a member of the board, chaired the LGBTQ inclusion committee, is a member of the religious school committee and membership committee, and served as an usher at High Holiday services.  

Larry’s time while at home caring for Harrison has sharpened his understanding of the importance of relationships. That, combined with his professional experience as a recruiter, connecting employees and employers, makes him a natural fit to create “kehillah kedoshah - sacred community” at Temple Sinai.

Larry lives in Stamford with his wife, Susie, and their son, Harrison.
 

Erica Quamily - Temple Youth Director

Erica joined Temple Sinai in 2014 as the Advisor of “Sinai of Stamford Temple Youth”.  In her role, she works with the SoSTY teen leaders to plan and lead social, educational and holiday-related programming for all high school aged Temple Sinai members. Erica also accompanies SoSTY members on weekend retreats with NFTY-NAR, our local chapter of the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY). 

Originally from Brooklyn, Erica grew up as an active participant in her temple youth group and URJ Camping System since 2002 including participating in and working for both URJ Mitzvah Corps. and URJ Kutz Camp. Erica earned a Master’s degree in Social Work with a focus on community organizing. Erica now lives in Norwalk, CT with her husband, Robert, and daughter, Parker. Erica works full time for the Union for Reform Judaism Youth Division as the Manager for Learning and Innovation. In her role at the URJ, she oversees a portfolio of professional development fellowships among other projects for youth professionals. Prior to the URJ, Erica spent 7 years working in emergency feeding and food banking.  
 

Jayne Vasco - Office Manager

Jayne has been a committed member of the Temple Sinai staff for over 20 years. Prior to joining the Temple, Jayne worked for 14+ years at Playtex Family Products in multiple roles supporting both VPs and SVPs. While at Playtex, Jayne quickly realized her passion for working with others and eventually transitioned into a series of sales roles within the company with her last position as Sales Development Associate.  Jayne has been a long time New Canaan resident along with her husband, Gerard and Bichon, Ozzy. Her two children, Gerard (28) and Jillian (25) both live in Manhattan, New York and work in sales and marketing roles at their respective employers. Outside of the temple, Jayne is an active member of her parish and enjoys baking and gardening.  
 

Shelly Welfeld - Operations Manager

Rochelle (“Shelly”) has been with Temple Sinai since 2004. She brings with her a wealth of experience having previously managed several offices in Westport, CT. Just prior to joining the staff at Sinai, she served as a Sunday/Preschool teacher for 10 years at Temple Shalom in Norwalk. Shelly has been involved in the Stamford Jewish Community for many years and currently holds a position on the Board of Directors for The Stamford Jewish Historical Society of Lower Fairfield County. Over the past 30 years, Shelly has volunteered at both the Norwalk Seaport Association's Oyster Festival and the SoNo Arts Celebration. Shelly has two children: Dylan - who became a bar mitzvah at Temple Shalom, and a graduate of Syracuse University, Dylan is currently a Legislative Director working for Congress in Washington D.C.; Kayla (who became a bat mitzvah at Temple Sinai and was involved with both Kulanu and SoSTY); Kayla made Aliyah to Israel in December 2014 and is currently living and studying in Jerusalem.


 

 

Maximo (Max) Cordero

Max was born on March 5, 1973, in Guatemala. He went to the University of San Carlos of Guatemala and majored in Animal Husbandry. Max emigrated to the United States in 1990 and then studied English as a Second Language for four years at Cloonan Middle School. Max became US citizen in 2011 and has been the caretaker of Temple Sinai since 2009. He is also the supervisor of All American Maintenance since 2003. Max lives on-site at Temple Sinai and has four children: Kimberly, Joshua, Max and Jefferson.



 

Andrew Oware

Andrew was born and raised in Kenya, Africa. Andrew and his family moved to America in 2005 on a Diversity Immigrant Visa also known as the Green Card Lottery. They arrived in New York City but soon moved to Stamford for his job at Temple Sinai.

Andrew has been a caretaker/custodian at Temple Sinai for the past 14 years. When he originally arrived with his family life, was not easy.  Everything was so new, the weather, the food and the language, but the Temple staff and the congregation made them feel at home and helped them to adapt. Andrew says that working at the Temple over the years has created great relationships, and everyone has always made him feel part of the community. The various activities and programs at Temple Sinai have also taught him a different culture than his own.  Andrew also said, “it has been a great experience for me to watch so many young people coming to age and becoming young adults through bar and bat mitzvah. 
I am thankful for the opportunity and glad for this job."

Andrew attended Norwalk Community College and has an Associates Degree in Accounting. Andrew also worked at A&P Food Emporium (now ACME Supermarket) and he was the Produce Manager at Mrs. Greens Supermarket. Currently, he is also working at Walter Stewart Supermarket in New Canaan. 
Andrew is currently living in Bridgeport with his daughter Nicole, who is attending the University of Maine.

Sat, July 20 2019 17 Tammuz 5779