Press Releases


CONTACT: Di Jayawickrema, Marketing & Communications Manager, Manny Cantor Center,

Manny Cantor Center welcomes Howard Greenstein as its new Associate Director of Operations and Business Strategy


New York, NY- Howard Greenstein has been named the new Associate Director of Operations and Business Strategy of Manny Cantor Center. Greenstein will lead strategic operations and oversee infrastructure to support the programmatic mission of the rapidly growing community center.

Greenstein’s background uniquely positions him to assume this post as Manny Cantor Center’s second Associate Director. He previously served as CEO and President of Harbrooke Group, which specializes in helping companies and nonprofits communicate with their customers and operate their organizations using the latest technologies and operations methods. At Harbrooke Group, Greenstein worked with a variety of groups from small nonprofits to Fortune 500 companies, cable networks, and Wall Street firms, as well as major advocacy groups, helping them create online presences and execute strategy.

“I’m thrilled every day I walk into Manny Cantor Center and see multiple generations meeting, learning, making friends, getting fit, and expressing their creativity,” Greenstein said. “I’m looking forward to bringing my years of experience in managing education programs, working with technology, and creating the operations of startup companies to add to the work already being done by the amazing team we have at MCC and Educational Alliance.”

Prior to starting his own firm, Greenstein’s career spanned organizations such as Microsoft, J.P.Morgan, and New York University, as well as several start-ups. At the Twin Towers Fund, he managed the distribution of $168MM in funds to families of rescue workers who perished on 9/11. Greenstein is an Adjunct Lecturer in the M.S. in Nonprofit Management at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies, has co-founded and sat on the boards of the World Wide Web Artist’s Consortium and Social Media Club, and was a board member of the New York Software Industry Association, New York New Media Association, and Temple Beth El of Spring Valley. He holds a B.S. from Cornell University, and a M.P.S. from NYU’s world-renowned Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).

Opened in 2014 in the newly renovated Educational Alliance building as its flagship community center, Manny Cantor Center is the Lower East Side’s new hub committed to bringing together our vibrant and diverse neighborhood. Our newly renovated space offers award-winning programs, critical services, and exciting events for toddlers, teens, young adults, families, and older adults of all backgrounds.


Threads that Bind: Boro-Linc Community Artist Exhibit

Art Exhibition at Manny Cantor Center, New York City
July 13, 2017 – August 25, 2017
Jewish Communal Fund and Ernest Rubenstein Galleries:
Manny Cantor Center
197 East Broadway
New York, NY 10002

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, July 13, 2017 | 6-8PM








CONTACT: Di Jayawickrema, Marketing & Communications Manager, Manny Cantor Center,

New York, NY – As the final event of Lincoln Center’s Boro-Linc Manhattan series, Manny Cantor Center is proud to present a display of work by our Lincoln Center Resident Artist, Cozbi Cabrera. Our Community Quilt, on view in the Jewish Communal Fund Gallery (MCC Lobby), is the culminating artwork of a series of intergenerational community quilting workshops with Cozbi that explored personal history, family and community, answering questions like: where do we come from? Who came before us? The Ernest Rubenstein Gallery (M FL) display includes paintings from a children’s book written by Patricia McKissack, Stitchin’ And Pullin’: A Gees Bend Quilt, that was illustrated by Cozbi as well as a collection of heirloom dolls similar to those made by guests during our spring Lincoln Center events, created as heirlooms for safekeeping for another generation.

About Manny Cantor Center

Opened in 2014 in the newly renovated Educational Alliance building as its flagship community center, Manny Cantor Center is the Lower East Side’s new hub committed to bringing together our vibrant and diverse neighborhood. Our newly-renovated space offers award-winning programs, critical services and exciting events for toddlers, teens, young adults, and older adults of all backgrounds.

About Cozbi Cabrera
Cozbi A. Cabrera is a New York City based artist who loves to “discover, create and share pockets of grace and beauty.” Trained as an art director, this Parsons School of Design grad left her dream job to make handmade collectible cloth dolls called Muñecas in honor of her Honduran heritage. Her creativity has taken on many forms including painting, owning a boutique, clothing design, as well as illustrating several books for children. Her dolls have been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Martha Stewart Living TV and many US networks. Her newest book, My Hair Is A Garden, is due out in Spring 2018.

About Boro-Linc Community Artist Residency
Lincoln Center seeks to build collaborative partnerships with local artists to support the incredible work being done in NYC’s borough communities, as well as to increase access to audiences, opportunities, and professional resources. The Boro-Linc Community Artist Residency Program offers local artists the opportunity to create, promote, and lead a semester-long workshop series that connects their practice to the issues relevant to the area and culminates in an art event in one of Boro-Linc’s Community Partner neighborhoods. Additionally, this program will task artists with connecting their practice to Lincoln Center programming to conduct pre-performance art-making workshops as part of the 2016–17 Boro-Linc season.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


Manny Cantor Center Convenes City-Wide Service Summit to Mobilize Volunteers to Support Our Communities In Challenging Times

The volunteerism summit was hosted as part of Educational Alliance and Manny Cantor Center’s 

“We the People” Initiative 

launched to combat hate and bigotry in New York City

Lower East Side, NYC (February 17, 2017) – Educational Alliance’s Manny Cantor Center (MCC), a Lower East Side community center serving more than 1500 New Yorkers each day, convened over 100 non-profit leaders and veteran volunteers from across the five boroughs yesterday for an innovative idea exchange on how to leverage volunteerism to promote civic engagement, support the vulnerable, and build cohesive strategies in service of our communities.

Hosted by Manny Cantor Center’s nationally-recognized More Hands More Hearts volunteer program, and co-sponsored by New York Cares, NYC Service, and UJA-Federation of New York, MCC gathered a broad coalition of nonprofits, including Harlem Children’s Zone, Hetrick-Martin Institute, iMentor, New York Public Library, and Staten Island Museum to connect, engage, and mobilize around volunteerism.

“We, like many of you, saw an immediate increase in the number of people interested in volunteerism after our recent election. We wanted to harness the energy and idealism we saw,” Joanna Samuels, Executive Director of MCC said in her welcoming remarks to summit attendees. “Our question today is how do we keep volunteers with us, and how do we help them to see themselves as issue advocates for the important needs in our city, the important needs in our country, and the ways that all of us will work together to see that those needs are met.

“When people come to us, they come to us at their finest moment,” Gary Bagley, Executive Director of New York Cares said in his Opening Remarks. “It is a moment when they want to help. We take the great responsibility of having found that moment and direct energy in the right place.”

The program opened with “This Volunteer Life,” a panel of veteran volunteers who shared true stories of their volunteer experiences with the gathered group of non-profit professionals. Following this, attendees split into Open Space discussion groups to brainstorm on key volunteerism topics such as “Motivating Volunteers,” “Finding the Right Partners,” and “Turning Volunteers Into Agency Ambassadors.”

The summit closed with “Service As Advocacy,” a speaker series on the importance of building a bridge between volunteerism and issue-based advocacy, with Merrill Zack, Senior Program Director For Community Engagement at HIAS, David Hind, Managing Director of Nutrition, Work & Wellness Center at GMHC, and Christina Tasca, Executive Director of the Muslim Community Network.

“Today, the challenges in the community are greater than ever. Nonprofits are doing more and more with less. Expanding the reach of our volunteers by matching their abilities and interests with service needs is a transformative way of meeting communal challenges, while at the same time providing substantial opportunities for people to get involved,” said Eric S. Goldstein, CEO, UJA-Federation of New York, reflecting on the motivation behind the summit.

“New York City’s greatest strength is its 8.5 million residents,” said NYC Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin. “With this renewed interest in volunteerism and service, it is critical that we leverage the power of our people to serve each other and ensure we continue to strengthen the City we are all so proud to call home.”

Following the summit, MCC More Hands More Hearts Volunteer & Community Engagement Manager Deb Scher will release key reflections from the Open Space to act as a blueprint for strategic service for the challenges and conversations ahead.

See photos from the event here, and contact Di Jayawickrema for more photos or information.

* * *

Manny Cantor Center and Educational Alliance’s More Hands More Hearts volunteer program is made possible by a generous grant from the UJA-Federation of New York.

Through More Hands More Hearts, Manny Cantor Center and Educational Alliance are Points of Light Certified Service Enterprise. Learn more here. 

* * *

Additional Contact:
Ilana Novick
Communications, Manny Cantor Center

[Download the press release HERE.]


Educational Alliance Launches “We the People” Initiative to Promote Inclusiveness and Denounce Hateful Rhetoric Towards Vulnerable Populations with Unveiling of Community Mural
Mural to feature opening lines of Declaration of Independence in five languages and local residents will be invited to sign the mural
Lower East Side, NY – Educational Alliance (EA), a community based organization serving more than 50,000 New Yorkers annually, will unveil a mural featuring the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence in five languages at its flagship community center, Manny Cantor Center on the Lower East Side on Monday, January 23rd at 8:30 AM. Since the 2016 presidential election, there has been an increase in hate speech and hate crimes across the country targeting religious, racial, and ethnic minorities and the mural represents just one of the ways that EA is doubling down on its work ensuring that every person, regardless of their color, language, or creed will be treated with respect.
EA is inviting local residents and families to its Manny Cantor Center to sign the mural. Created by world-renowned artists Michael McDevitt and Otis Kriegel of Illegal Art, the mural marks the launch of EA’s “We the People” Initiative aimed at promoting inclusiveness and protection from the hateful and divisive rhetoric targeted at vulnerable populations following the 2016 election, including immigrants, Muslims, and LGBTQ+ youth served by EA. As part of the initiative, EA’s Manny Cantor Center will host a “Know Your Rights” Forum on immigrant rights and services, anti-violence workshops, and a community service summit. EA will also continue distributing “All Are Welcome” window clings to local businesses. 
What: “We the People” public mural unveiling and launch of the “We the People” Initiative promoting inclusiveness and protection of vulnerable populations against hateful and divisive rhetoric
  • Educational Alliance President and CEO Alan van Capelle
  • Manny Cantor Center Executive Director Joanna Samuels
  • Local residents, children, families, and business owners
  • Educational Alliance staff and program managers
Where: Manny Cantor Center (Educational Alliance), 197 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002
When: Monday, January 23, 2017, 8:30 AM


[Download the press release HERE.]




January-April 2017
Lincoln Center Initiative Continues To Bring Exciting Free Performances, Workshops, and Programs From Its Resident Organizations To Children and Families in New York City Communities


NEW YORK, NY (December 22, 2016) – Lincoln Center’s Boro-Linc program will return in the New Year to Educational Alliance’s Manny Cantor Center after a successful inaugural season in 2016. The 2017 program will feature an all new lineup of engaging, family-friendly events for an expanded age range. Through Boro-Linc, Lincoln Center partners with community-based organizations in all five of New York City’s boroughs, presenting a series of free world-class performances and family workshops for local neighborhoods. The series works to break down geographic barriers and create greater access to diverse arts and cultural offerings for all audiences and ages.
For the second year in Manhattan, Boro-Linc is partnering with Educational Alliance’s Manny Cantor Center to present family programs from Jazz at Lincoln Center, Lincoln Center Education, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, with performances from artists Elena Moon Park, Sonia De Los Santos, and more. 
New to this year is an expanded program lineup to appeal to a wider age range, with events scheduled for children from eight months old to mid-teens. The premiere event WeBop “ABC’s of Jazz” is specifically designed for early childhood students and families. In addition, a new set of Friday afternoon performances have been added for families with young children to attend immediately after school hours. 
“We are thrilled, once again, to host Lincoln Center’s Boro-Linc here on the Lower East Side. Families from throughout our community loved these performances last year, and asked us to please continue this program. We are so grateful to Lincoln Center for their generous partnership that allows us to open our doors for the highest-quality fun, and enriching family programming,” said Joanna Samuels, Executive Director of Manny Cantor Center. 
“Arts and culture are an integral part of all that we do,” said Alan van Capelle, President and CEO of Educational Alliance. “We are so proud to continue this dynamic partnership with Lincoln Center, which ensures that the families whom we serve have access to the best of what New York City has to offer. We are thankful to Lincoln Center for this generous program.”
Lincoln Center’s Boro-Linc program was launched in 2015 at the Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education in The Bronx, and later extended to partners in Queens and Staten Island. With the Manny Cantor Center in Manhattan, and an additional partner in Brooklyn, The Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, the initiative will reach communities across the city.
All events in the Boro-Linc series are free with general admission. For more information and to RSVP, visit
* * *

Major support for Boro-Linc is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Betty and John Levin.

Lead Corporate Support is provided by Time Warner Inc.

* * *
Additional information, as well as photos and videos of the artists can be found at Lincoln Center’s Press Room: 
Additional Contact:
Emily Connor
Communications, Manny Cantor Center
[Download the press release HERE.]


November 10, 2016 – January 2, 2017; Opening reception November 15, 2016 at 7PM

Ernest Rubenstein and Jewish Communal Gallery at the Manny Cantor Center

New York City, September 1, 2016—The Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation is pleased to announce the exhibit “Home Away from Home: Chaim Gross and 70 Years at the Educational Alliance,” opening on November 10, 2016 at the Educational Alliance’s Manny Cantor Center on the Lower East Side.

The exhibit, curated by Sasha Davis, Curator of Collections at the Renee & Chaim Gross 
Foundation, explores how the Alliance functioned as a second home for Gross, an immigrant who came from Eastern Europe to America in 1921 to pursue his dream to be a modern artist. It traces the rich 70-year history that Gross shared with the Alliance, first as a student in the early 1920s, and then from the late 1920s onward as a faculty member for over 50 years. In his later years, Gross and his wife Renee were generous supporters of the Alliance’s community and educational activities through the Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation.

The exhibit will feature wood and bronze sculptures, as well as prints and drawings by Gross. 
A focused section on self-portraits by Gross, exhibited with archival photographs and materials from the Foundation’s archive, will help tell the rich story of Gross’s artistic evolution as an immigrant artist within the Lower East Side community in the early 20th century. The exhibit will also include paintings and drawings by other artists whom Gross met early on at the Alliance, including Raphael and Moses Soyer. A special feature of the exhibit will be a selection of historic African sculptures from Gross’s personal art collection that he began to collect in the 1930s, a passion he shared with fellow Educational Alliance student Adolph Gottlieb.

: Susan Fisher, Executive Director, The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation at 

[Download the press release HERE.]


– Interactive Storytelling and Movement Project with Local Seniors Recognizes Older Americans Month –

May 13, 2015 – June 24, 2015; Opening reception May 13, 2015 at 2PM

Ernest Rubenstein and Jewish Communal Gallery at the Manny Cantor Center

LOWER EAST SIDE, NY, APRIL 27, 2015 – A laundered synagogue on Madison Street, A first kiss at Seward Park Library, Biking hands free on the East River Path. Manny Cantor Center, the flagship building of the Educational Alliance, is pleased to present Moving Stories by artist and Lower East Sider, Laura Nova. Moving Stories is an interactive walking tour on the Lower East Side that encourages senior citizens to combine physical movement and memory developed through a series of storytelling workshops and group walks

CONTACT: Dara Lehon,, 646.395.4075

[Download the press release HERE.]


A Survey of Working Artists on the Lower East Side

February 12 – April 1, 2015

Ernest Rubenstein and Jewish Communal Galleries at the Manny Cantor Center

NEW YORK, NY — ALL | TOGETHER | DIFFERENT, a survey of current Lower East Side artists steadfastly engaged with the forever-changing and forever-the-same neighborhood, will be on view at the Ernest Rubenstein and Jewish Communal Galleries at the Manny Cantor Center at 197 East Broadway from February 12-April 1, 2015. Curated by Linda Griggs and Yona Verwer, with work dating from 1982-2015, the exhibition brings together nearly 100 Lower East Side artists and arts organizations actively working in the community. ALL | TOGETHER | DIFFERENT, a project of the Educational Alliance Art School at Manny Cantor Center, will open with a reception on Thursday, February 12 from 7-9 p.m, where Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, will speak.

[Download the press release HERE.]


– Renowned Lower East Side Community Arts School to Serve People of all Backgrounds at Manny Cantor Center –

– OPEN HOUSE DECEMBER 10, 2014, 6-8PM –

NOVEMBER 25, 2014, New York, NY – Following a two-year gut renovation of its landmark building, Educational Alliance, a leading provider of social services and programs throughout downtown New York City, today announced the reopening of its community art school at the Manny Cantor Center. The new facility on the Lower East Side of Manhattan builds on the school’s near-century-old legacy of offering high-quality art classes. 

[Download the press release HERE.]

Educational Alliance Opens Innovative Manny Cantor Center On Lower East Side

– New Community and Cultural Hub to Serve People of All Ages and Backgrounds –

NEW YORK, March 4, 2014 — The Educational Alliance, a leading provider of social services and programs throughout downtown New York City, celebrated the opening of the Manny Cantor Center today. An innovative new facility on the Lower East Side, the Manny Cantor Center reimagines the idea of the community center and offers high-quality services for people of all ages, backgrounds and income levels in one shared space. The Manny Cantor Center reflects the Educational Alliance’s 125-year-old commitment to serving the diverse Lower East Side community.

The Manny Cantor Center, the Lower East Side’s new community and cultural hub, is the product of a $55 million transformation of the Educational Alliance’s flagship building at 197 East Broadway. The gut-renovated, LEED-certified, 103,000 square-foot, six-story building was designed by Platt Byard Dovell White Architects to create meaningful encounters among neighbors and bring Lower East Siders together over shared goals. The Manny Cantor Center recreates the role of the community center as a site for interaction and collaboration among diverse populations.

From light-filled early childhood classrooms, to a state-of-the art fitness center, spacious art studios and a beautiful top-floor community space for community events and rental, the Manny Cantor Center’s unique programming includes:

  • A 7,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art fitness center featuring the latest equipment, training and group exercise classes for people of all backgrounds, income levels and ages with a deliberate commitment to an inclusive membership model. All members will have access to the same facilities, classes and amenities, whether they’re paying market rate or a reduced price.
  • Nationally recognized Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms alongside Educational Alliance’s private early childhood preschool, inviting deep collaborations among teachers, parents and our children.
  • After school programs for teens that welcome all backgrounds and abilities, regardless of ability to pay for services.
  • Innovative programs including College Access and Success, a partnership with the Borough of Manhattan Community College, the City University of New York, and New York University, which helps prepare parents of children in our Head Start Programs to earn college degrees.
  • The Educational Alliance’s renowned art school — one of New York City’s oldest community arts schools — nurtures the community with a full range of ceramics, drawing, painting and sculpture classes for all ages.
  • Holistic senior and older adult programming provides empowering classes, workshops and social events focused on maintaining personal health and motivation through fitness, general wellness, arts and culture.
  • Creative educational public and community programs that will reflect the neighborhood’s distinct character, history and diversity.

“I am delighted to unveil the Manny Cantor Center and open its doors to Lower East Siders of all ages and backgrounds. The Center truly will be a living laboratory for the re-imagined community center – one that brings our diverse community together over shared goals for our neighborhood, our city and beyond,” said Robin Bernstein, President & CEO of the Educational Alliance.

“I am honored be a part of the new leadership overseeing the Manny Cantor Center,” said Alan van Capelle, who will succeed Robin Bernstein as President & CEO of the Educational Alliance this month. “As a Lower East parent with a child who’ll be attending preschool classes at the Manny Cantor Center, I look forward to using the new facilities to connect with other parents and to interact with my neighbors. This is an exciting and transformative moment in the history of the Educational Alliance and for the Lower East Side community at large.”

“The Manny Cantor Center is poised to remain a vital resource for the Lower East Side for the long-term, engaging this vibrant neighborhood’s diverse communities under one roof,” said Russell Makowsky, Chair of the Educational Alliance’s Board of Trustees. “This first-of-its-kind community center is a testament to the Educational Alliance’s tireless work and longstanding dedication to serving New Yorkers.”

“The Manny Cantor Center’s state-of-the-art facilities have the incredible opportunity to serve the Lower East Side community in a way that speaks to its enormously diverse, creative and vibrant population,” added Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Executive Director of the Manny Cantor Center. “We want to create a hub wherein people can feel welcomed and enriched and where they can also give back. We look forward to seeing what our community can accomplish in this shared space together.”

The Center is named for Manny Cantor, the late father of Richard Cantor, former Chair of the Educational Alliance Board of Trustees. Manny Cantor immigrated to the United States from Poland as a teenager in 1921. After working as a stock boy while studying English and completing his education, Manny eventually started his own wholesale dry goods business and became a successful businessman. Later dedicating himself to giving back to his community, Manny Cantor truly embodies the pursuit of the American Dream, the pioneering spirit of the Lower East Side and the dedication to service that informs the Educational Alliance’s mission.

“In a way, it’s how unremarkable my father’s story is that makes it so worthy to be the namesake of this building. It is not a story of great academic or professional accomplishment, but rather a lesson of how much can be achieved in a short period of time by setting a clear example of how life is to be lived, and passing it on from generation to generation,” said Richard Cantor.

2014 marks the Educational Alliance’s 125th year of serving the Lower East Side Community, which will be celebrated at a gala on March 6, 2014. The official dedication ceremony for the Manny Cantor Center will take place on April 10, 2014. More information about the Manny Cantor Center is available at

The Manny Cantor Center is the flagship building of the Educational Alliance on the Lower East Side. Founded in 1889, the Educational Alliance is a community-based nonprofit organization, offering a wide range of programs in downtown Manhattan, including early childhood education, after school activities, senior centers, college prep programs, meals for the homeless, an art school, subsidized housing, health and fitness classes and addiction services. The Alliance is a Jewish organization and proudly serves people from all ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. For more information,

The Manny Cantor Center, a project of the Educational Alliance, is a state-of-the-art, 103,000 square-foot, six-story community and cultural center located at 197 East Broadway on the Lower East Side. The Center offers high-quality services for people of all ages, backgrounds and income levels including: a new health and fitness center, a Jewish preschool, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, parenting programs, a senior center, an Art School, a Teen Center and cultural programs. For more information on the Lower East Side’s new hub, visit

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @MannyCantorNYC

Print This Page Print This Page

197 E. Broadway, New York NY 10002 | Our Hours: M-F: 6AM-10PM | Sat-Sun: 7AM-9PM | Contact Us | Careers | Deals