The Very Rev. James Parks Morton
Founder and Chair Emeritus
The Very Reverend James Parks Morton founded the ICNY after retiring as Dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 1997. He became Dean of the Cathedral in 1972, and in those 25 years achieved recognition throughout the world as one of the most energetic and accomplished religious leaders of our time. In 1973, he conceived the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB), helping people rebuild, occupy, and own their own apartments – the first of many outreach projects to become national models. Others included Homes for the Homeless, serving the poorest families by helping them to find housing and attain life-skills needed to maintain their homes, and the Stoneyard Apprentice Program to train local unemployed youth to become skilled stone carvers and masons. Dean Morton opened the Cathedral to the arts through artist-in-residence programs; participants have included saxophonist Paul Winter, high wire artist Philippe Petit, Early Music conductor Fred Renz, the African-American “Forces of Nature Dance Company”, Renaissance Italian Street Theatre I Giullari di Piazza, and the American Poets Corner. Among his interfaith activities, Dean Morton served as president of the Temple of Understanding (1995-1997), and as co-chair of the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders (1985-1993). The Dean is presently writing his autobiography.
Rev. Chloe Breyer
Joining the Interfaith Center in 2007, Chloe is an Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of New York. Since 9/11, Rev. Breyer has traveled to Afghanistan six times, and for over a decade been a board member for Afghans4Tomorrow, an Afghan-based NGO dedicated to rebuilding Afghanistan in the areas of education, health and agriculture. A4T supports 222 1st through 8th grade girls in home schools in Wardak Province, an area of the country where girl’s education continues to be threatened. In addition A4T founded the Farda-e-Afghanan school in Kabul and currently supports scholarships for 66 poor girls taking part in a “catch-up” program for girls.
Breyer is the author of The Close: A Young Woman’s First Year at Seminary (Basic Books 2000) and has chapter contributions to What Can One Person Do? Faith to Heal a Broken World (Church Publishing 2005), Challenging the Christian Right From the Heart of the Gospel (Beacon Press 2006) and The Gender Imperative: Human Security vs. State Security (Routledge 2010).
Dr. Henry Goldschmidt
Director of Education Programs
Henry is a cultural anthropologist, community educator, and scholar of New York’s religious diversity. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and has taught religious studies and cultural anthropology at Wesleyan University and elsewhere. He is the author of Race and Religion among the Chosen Peoples of Crown Heights (Rutgers University Press, 2006) and the coeditor of Race, Nation, and Religion in the Americas (Oxford University Press, 2004). He is a native New Yorker, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and children.
Ellen was attracted to ICNY because of its versatility and agility to work on the ground with committed partners on social justice issues impacting communities of faith. Ellen has served as a philanthropist advisor for private and family foundations and as a policy chief for New York City government and a mortgage banker. She earned a MS from Stony Brook in public policy analysis. She currently serves as a steering board member for both the Hudson Valley Community Coalition and New York State Interfaith Network for Immigration Reform. She is also a board member of Oxford Academy Preparatory School and co-chair of Temple Israel of Northern Westchester’s Social Justice Committee.
Director of Operations
Elly Mason-Murray manages ICNY’s Human Resources, runs the office and is involved in the Center’s social media. She has an Associate of Arts degree in Health Care Administration/Medical Records and a B.S. degree in Health Administration/Long Term Care from the University of Phoenix. Elly has over 18 years of experience supporting office environments with a specialty working for the healthcare insurance industry. She is an active member of Trinity Baptist Church in the Bronx, and also volunteers her time participating in public health campaigns related to Sarcoidosis awareness, hypertension, teen pregnancy, elder care, and pet abuse.