BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Monshin Paul Naamon
Rev. Monshin Paul Naamon is the Jushoku (Abbot) of the Tendai Buddhist Institute, Jiunzan Tendai-ji, Tendai-shu New York Betsuin, Jushoku of the California Tendai Monastery, and Secretary General of the Japanese Tendai Buddhism in North America.
Rev. Naamon is active in Social Justice Issues as well as interfaith dialogue. He is published and a speaker on Buddhism, Asian studies, and bio-medical anthropology.
Rev. Naamon was educated at the University of Buffalo, University at Albany, and Taisho University, Tokyo, Japan. Additionally, he was a Research Scholar at Federal University of Brazil Research Hospital, Bahia, Brazil and University of Tokyo School of Medicine, Japan. His Tendai Buddhist priest training was in Japan at Taisho University, Tokyo, Enryakuji, Mt. Hiei, and Tamon-in Temple, Chiba, where he was ordained in 1992. Monshin retired as an Interdisciplinary Professor at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Asian Studies and Human Biology.
Rob Kovach is President & CEO of Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York. While Rob majored in Accounting on his way to earning his CPA license, these days he relies more on his coursework in world religions while minoring in both Jewish Studies and Religious Studies. His activity in interfaith work earned him an Outstanding Achievement in Interfaith Philanthropy award from City & State Reports in 2016.
Leaving only for college and graduate school, Rob is a life-long resident of the Capital District.
Rob’s inspiration for interfaith work comes from the great rabbinic teacher Hillel, who asked in Ethics of the Fathers, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?”, but then quickly added, “and if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”