Educators
Matt Emmer

Pronouns: He/Him/His

memmer@tbsneedham.org

After working with Mayim as a t’filah and song leader, I am excited to join the team as a 5th Grade Educator. I grew up in the Hudson Valley of New York, and am a proud alumni of URJ Eisner Camp, spending 14 summers as a camper, counselor, and eventually head song leader. In the spring of 2016, I graduated from Clark University in Worcester, where I studied English and Jewish Studies. I’m passionate about making the classroom a space for exploration and helping students find their connection to Judaism and the world around them. 

Carly Husick

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

chusick@tbsneedham.org

My educational philosophy is that communication and accessibility are the key to successful learning. My background is largely in writing education. This December I will receive my Masters of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. I have spent the last academic year teaching first-year writing and introduction to fiction writing courses at the college level. This past summer I served as the Creative Writing Arts Mentor at URJ’s 6 Points Creative Arts Academy, teaching creative writing to campers between the ages of eight and seventeen. I have been teaching in one capacity or another since the age of twelve, when I started assisting in dance classes. Throughout my teaching career I have served as a dance teacher, a madricha, a middle school debate coach, and a Jewish Educator teaching a combined K-2nd class while in college, and 5th grade Judaic Studies, before I decided to go back to school for my masters. I have always found myself returning to Jewish Education and I could not be happier to find myself working as part of the TBS community. 

Emily Kestenbaum

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

ekestenbaum@tbsneedham.org

 

I always felt that the best educators I had were the ones who were continuously learning and growing. I strive to follow their path and learn from my colleagues and students every day. I believe that building a rapport with each child allows an educator to help that child access the curriculum in a way that is meaningful to them. Each year, I take the time to get to know each child personally - their backgrounds, theirs interests, and their families.  This helps me to bring highlight pieces of the curriculum for each child, where he/she may connect most to Judaism. Working at Temple Beth Shalom provides me the opportunity to be a part of a team that values the fostering of connections between children through our shared history and values, and to build on those relationships each year so they can continue to develop.

I joined the Mayim family in September 2016, and am thrilled to continue learning from this amazing group of educators and professionals on a daily basis. I am originally from Stonybrook, NY and come with experiences as a full time public school teacher, Hebrew school teacher, and youth group director. I also spent five summers working as the Waterfront Director at Eisner Camp. I live with my husband, Ben, in Northborough and enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading, and swimming!

Lila Klaus

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

lklaus@tbsneedham.org

I am a recent graduate of Bard College, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a minor in Theology. Prior to joining TBS, I have spent my time as a madricha for Kindergarten through third graders, as well as working at a URJ summer camp as both a counselor and a unit head. I have also been a dance teacher, where I brought into the classroom ways in which Jewish values can be applied to the creative movement process. With both my educational and artistic backgrounds, I strive to bring to TBS a classroom environment where creativity and curiosity are encouraged, and to instill a love of learning about Jewish ideas.

Adam Klein

Pronouns: He/Him/His

aklein@tbsneedham.org

Hello, my name is Adam Klein and I am an Etzim Educator.  This is my second year at TBS and I am looking forward to another terrific year!  My educational philosophy mirrors what philosophers John Dewey and Nel Noddings stood for in education, which is that every student should have equal success in the classroom, with the teacher responding accordingly to making conscious decisions best for their students skillsets.  Along with that mindset, the teacher should balance the importance of learning in the classroom with building strong connections with every student.  I am incredibly excited for this year with all the discovery, connections, and fun we will have here!

Abi Oshins

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

aoshins@tbsneedham.org

At the Boston University School of Education I learned that positive relationships are cornerstones of successful educational environments. My work at TBS, camp, and in other classroom settings have proved this theory to be true. Each class, BESTY event, and shabbaton I am a part of starts with the relationship first. It is only after a teen or pre-teen feels valued and connected that meaningful learning can occur. 

My undergraduate degree is in English Education and Theater from Boston University. I have had the honor of working for two fabulous URJ summer camps--Eisner Camp and 6 Points Creative Arts Academy. I spend much of my time at TBS exploring my passion for blending Jewish Education and the Arts. When I am not at TBS, you can find me painting, practicing yoga, and perfecting my hair care routine. I am looking forward to another great year at TBS!
 

Didi Poliak

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

dpoliak@tbsneedham.org

I am so excited to continue my journey as a Jewish Learning Guide at TBS this year! I have a Bachelors Degree in Human Services from the University of Delaware and have always been passionate about Jewish learning. I grew up at URJ Eisner Camp and have worked there for many years, strengthening my connection to the Reform Jewish community. I love being a part of the JLG team and cannot wait to continue inspiring our fourth and fifth grade students to deepen their connections to Judaism and Jewish learning. I am also grateful to have the opportunity to work with our amazing teens in Etzim! I am looking forward to another great year at TBS! 

Sheira Rosenfield

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

srosenfield@tbsneedham.org

As a young girl, I loved my summer experiences at Camps Yavneh and Ramah.  Being Jewish has always been an integral part of my life. My parents and their extended families were all in Jewish education.  Our house was filled with Yiddiskeit; music, books and art and my passion for continuing to learn more about Judaism thrived. I went to the Prozdor, which was the high school program at the Hebrew College in Brookline and loved both the social and academic atmosphere there. It was there that I became more interested in learning about the Holocaust.

I then attended UMASS Amherst where I received my B.A., and was privileged to learn more about the Holocaust with the world renowned Holocaust professor, David Wyman.  I then went to Wheelock College where I received my Master’s Degree in Education.

Combining my background in education with my passion for Judaism and the Holocaust, I have found a home at TBS where I get to teach these important and meaningful subjects every day.   Watching B’nei Mitzvah students become excited on their journeys towards Jewish adulthood, seeing the excitement on students’ faces when they learn new Hebrew letters and teaching the Holocaust and Human Behavior Class reinforces for me that I am right where I am meant to be doing what I love most.
I currently live in Acton with my husband Mark and our dog Ruby.   We have a son, Ben who is currently following his dreams and we are very proud of him!

Carl Shulman

Pronouns: He/Him/His

cshulman@tbsneedham.org

 

Since getting my first job at summer camp in 2006, teaching and experiential education have been foundational in my career. Graduating from UMass Amherst with a BFA in Sculpture and a minor in Art History, concentrating on protest art: 1950-present, solidified my interest in advocacy and action. Professionally, I am involved with NFTY-NE, American Jewish summer camping, as well as high school experimental curriculum development for a grant program in the southern MetroWest. 

Earnest Vener

Pronouns: He/Him/His

evener@tbsneedham.org

I cherish the opportunity to build a learning community of young people at TBS that is centered on our shared Jewish culture, community building, and personal growth. I see each child as a stakeholder of Judaism and work to create opportunities for them to take ownership over our stories, traditions, and language. I bring a deep love for Jewish texts, storytelling, and theatre to the classroom.

In my eight years working as Jewish educator, I continue to find that my favorite part of this work is developing personal relationships with each young person and their family. I am inspired by the passions, interests, and growing edges of my students and integrate my knowledge of them into our instructional time together.I utilize my M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Graduate Theological Union, B.A. in Hebrew from UC Berkeley, and my time at Svara Yeshiva to instill in my students a love for Jewish learning that is rooted in history, cultural arts, and social justice.