President, Board of Directors (he/him)
Neal Rosenstein, son of Puffin founder Perry Rosenstein, has been involved with the Puffin Foundation since its inception. As President of the Board, he oversees the Foundation’s grant program and assists in the implementation of Puffin’s many special projects. A Brooklyn native and the father of two absolutely perfect children, he also consults for the New York Public Interest Research Group on its electoral reform advocacy. Neal has served on the Board of the Teaneck Creek Conservancy (currently as its Treasurer) since its beginning in 2001.
Executive Director, Board of Directors
Gladys earned her Masters in education from New York University and spent twenty-five years teaching in the public schools of New York City and Rockland County. As Executive Director, Gladys oversees the day-to-day activities of the Puffin Foundation, as well as those of the Puffin Cultural Forum. She also plays a key role in Puffin’s grant making. She helped to start the grant program, giving 18 grants the very first year. Gladys serves on the board of the Teaneck Conservancy, which turned a 46-acre dumpsite into a vital wetlands park featuring artwork created from organic and inorganic waste material from the site. She also enriches the cultural life of Teaneck through other venues. She and Perry helped establish the Teaneck Film Festival, an after-school program called, “Puffin Super Strides,” and a summer three-week “Nature in the Park” program for elementary school children in conjunction with the Teaneck Community Education program. Gladys has three adult children and, along with Perry, ten beloved grandchildren.
In Memoriam: Founder & Past President
Perry Rosenstein was the founder of the Puffin Foundation and served as its president until his death on 4/3/20 from the COVID-19 virus. Our hearts go out to people all over the world who are struggling with this terrible pandemic. At this time, the physical doors of the Puffin Foundation, the Puffin Cultural Forum, and the Teaneck Creek Conservancy are closed, but our work will absolutely continue. And while Perry's death is a personal loss to the many people who loved him, his progressive values and the projects he supported will most certainly live on. When we are on the other side of this, we will gather together to celebrate Perry’s life and legacy. In the meantime, we invite you to share your memories, stories, and reflections on this Facebook page, and to enjoy those shared by others. Perry Rosenstein: A Life and Times Memorial (see Facebook link below). Perry was born in the Bronx to Polish émigrés who instilled in him a tremendous work ethic and a passion for social justice. In World War Two, Perry served in the South Pacific, and with the help of the GI Bill he earned a Bachelor's degree from Indiana University and subsequently a Masters degree in education from Long Island University. Perry decided to apply his talents to industry and developed a system of manufacture and distribution that revolutionized the field of fasteners. His success enabled him to create the Puffin Foundation, launched in 1983, and fund the Teaneck Creek Conservancy, founded in 2001. Perry was married to Puffin’s Executive Director Gladys Miller-Rosenstein. Perry had a deep commitment to the town of Teaneck, New Jersey, Puffin’s headquarters and where he resided with Gladys. They created the Puffin Cultural Forum that each week brings to the citizens of Teaneck classical music, jazz concerts, films with social content, and a variety of cultural activities including dance, theater, book reviews, and lectures. Perry had three children, and, along with Gladys, ten beloved grandchildren.
Director, The Puffin Cultural Forum
Andrew became passionate about non-profit work while volunteering at Fordham University's Community Economic Development Program. He landed an internship at the Puffin Foundation, after which he was hired as a Grant Manager. His talent for curation was recognized when he was chosen to direct the activities of the Puffin Cultural Forum, which include art exhibitions, performances, and community events. Andrew has a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Law from Binghamton University. He loves live music and the outdoors, and can usually be found on local tennis courts on the weekends.
Yvonne Jean-Jerome, MS CPA
Yvonne earned her Masters degree in Accounting from Long Island University at the CW Post campus in Brookville, New York. She is responsible for the financial operations and reporting of The Puffin Foundation and Teaneck Conservancy. Her role also manages the disbursement of grant awards and contract management. Yvonne shares her passion for the organization’s commitment to support artists and organizations that create cultural events, works of art, education and community outreach that address vital issues such as the climate crisis, civil rights, social and economic justice, and discrimination in it’s many forms. On her spare time she plays violin in a community orchestra in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently married and lives in New Jersey with her husband, son, and beloved cat Olivia.
Grant Manager (she/her)
Melissa holds a bachelor's degree in Communication Arts from Ramapo College of New Jersey. She has worked at Puffin since 2010, starting as a summer intern at the Puffin Cultural Forum.
If you call Puffin’s Teaneck office, the first person you’ll speak with will probably be Patti. She has been with Puffin since 1994. Patti is responsible for all aspects of administrative work at Puffin. Photo by Ruedi Häberli
Ilene Richman, MSW
Program Officer (she/her)
Ilene has been working with Puffin since 2017. She became a program officer in 2020 and the Director of Grant Operations in 2023. Ilene works on many of Puffin’s grants and supports the Board in a number of other areas. She holds a Masters of Social Work with a specialty in organizational leadership and is an educator in the field of fertility management and sexual health. Ilene lives in Brooklyn where she organizes in her community with a general focus on intersectional approaches to upending white supremacy. She also spends inordinate amounts of time rescuing cats.
Teaneck International Film Festival, Executive Director (he/him)
Jeremy Lentz serves as Executive Director of the Teaneck International Film Festival, a project of The Puffin Foundation, Ltd. Under Jeremy’s leadership, TIFF has been committed to the theme of Activism: Making Change. In recognition of this mission, The Star Ledger, New Jersey’s leading newspaper, dubbed TIFF, the "film festival with a social conscience." TIFF is considered one of the most prominent social justice film festivals in the nation, and Lentz has received numerous accolades for promoting racial equality and other social justice-related causes. In addition to his leadership position at TIFF, Lentz also serves as Director of Lentz & Lentz SAT Prep, with college prep classes throughout the Northeastern United States, and is a proud investor in several Broadway productions.
Peter N. Carroll, PhD
Special Consultant to the Puffin Foundation and the Advisory Committee of the Puffin Gallery of Social Activism at the Museum of the City of New York. Facilitator of the Puffin Advisory Board
Peter is an author, historian, and poet. Since 1994, he has collaborated on various Puffin-funded projects, including the Puffin-Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship and the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism. He is Chair Emeritus of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA), an educational non-profit, and teaches history and film at Stanford University as well as professional development courses related to social studies, human rights, and social justice. He lives in northern California with the writer/photographer Jeannette Ferrary. Photo by Marko Georgiev/ NorthJersey.com
Moshe Banai, Phd
Creator of the Puffin Educational Forum and a member of the Puffin Advisory Board
Moshe is an expert in the field of Global Management. He has taught at universities in a dozen different countries and consulted for major organizations throughout the world. He has also conducted extensive research, the results of which have been published in around 100 academic book chapters and journals.. Moshe is the creator of the Puffin Educational Forum, and a member of the Puffin Advisory Board and Teaneck Creek Conservancy Board.
Staff Educator and Photographer
Rachel is an award-winning artist whose works have been displayed in over 50 group and solo shows in the USA, Israel, Russia, China, and Germany. Rachel has trained generations of students in her classes and teaches the popular Puffin Camera Club. She has also served as a resident artist at the Art Center of Peter’s Valley in New Jersey. Rachel was trained at the prestigious International Center of Photography in New York City where she worked for seven years.
Consruction Coordinator (he/him)
Peter has been working with the Puffin Foundation from the very beginning. He was responsible for the.remodeling of the interior of the Puffin Cultural Forum space as well as art installations in the environs of the Teaneck office. Peter holds a degree in Botany from UC Davis and is a certified Wetlands Delineator; he’s also NJ board certified as a Tree Expert. Peter is a licensed contractor and specializes in historically-sensitive renovations. He encourages everyone to go green by acting locally and thinking globally.