Howard A. Stecker, Senior Rabbi
Rabbi Stecker joined the Temple Israel of Great Neck family in December 2003 after serving for seven years as Rabbi of the Jewish Community Center of West Hempstead and four years as Assistant Rabbi of the Shelter Rock Jewish Center in Roslyn. Raised in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, he received his Bachelors Degree in English Literature from Columbia College, Columbia University in 1987. In 1988, he was awarded the prestigious Wexner Graduate Fellowship for his rabbinic studies. He received a Masters Degree in Bible and was ordained in 1992 at The Jewish Theological Seminary. While studying there, he served as a student chaplain at Lenox Hill Hospital, where he counseled patients of all faiths.
Rabbi Stecker enjoys being active in the larger community and currently serves on the membership committee of the Rabbinical Assembly, as secretary of the New York Board of Rabbis and is active in the Great Neck Clergy Association. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Nassau County, participated in the formation of its High School, and served for five years as the co-chair of its education committee. He also served as the President of the Rabbinical Assembly of Nassau and Suffolk, an organization that provides educational and social opportunities for local rabbis. He has spent numerous summers teaching at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, where he spends time each summer with his family. He and his wife, Deanna, a learning specialist, have three sons, Joshua, Daniel and Zachary. Rabbi Stecker is an accomplished pianist and enjoys reading, swimming and hiking.
To read Rabbi Stecker's recent Voice columns, please visit our Voice page.
Raphael Frieder, Cantor
Raphael Frieder was born in Israel and studied singing and choral conducting at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. He has performed with the New Israeli Opera as well as with all of Israel's major orchestras. Cantor Frieder has toured extensively in Israel, Europe, and the United States, and has appeared in such diverse venues as New York's Carnegie Hall and the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. He has worked with some of the world's leading conductors, including Zubin Mehta and Roger Norrington, and was selected by Leonard Bernstein to perform the world premiere of Bernstein's "Arias and Barcarolles."
Cantor Frieder has made numerous recordings for Israel National Radio, has appeared on many television programs both in Israel and the U.S., and appeared in the role of the Cantor in the hit film, "Keeping the Faith." He has served as Cantor at Temple Israel of Great Neck since 1991. He also teaches Chazzanut at the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Daniel Schweber, Associate Rabbi
Rabbi Daniel Schweber is a native of Manhattan’s Upper West Side. He attended Congregation Ansche Chesed and spent 14 summers as a camper and staff member at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. Rabbi Schweber received his Bachelor’s degree with distinction from the University of Michigan with a double major in Studies in Religion and Hebrew/Jewish Culture Studies. He was ordained in 2004 at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Prior to coming to Temple Israel in 2015, Rabbi Schweber served four years at Congregation Beth Israel, Andover MA and six years at Shaarei Tikvah, Scarsdale NY. At both congregations, Rabbi Schweber brought in families with young children, strengthened teen youth groups and fostered rigorous adult education programs. Rabbi Schweber is excited to bring his rabbinic experience to our diverse, vibrant congregation and looks forward to helping congregants of all ages find meaning and inspiration in Jewish tradition.
Rabbi Schweber and his wife, Dr. Sarah Schweber, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Commack site, have twin daughters Natalie and Alexandra. He enjoys cooking, cycling, hiking and passionately rooting for the New York Mets.