Leadership And Administration
 
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Sara Berk

Director of K-12  Learning and Inclusion 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

sberk@tbsneedham.org

 

All children can succeed when they are provided with the right tools and support, which is why I love working at Temple Beth Shalom! TBS is a place where curriculum and support are provided in a way that allows each child to be successful. 

 

As the Director of K-12 Learning and Inclusion, I collaborate with Jewish Learning Guides (JLGs) and families to ensure that all children can successfully access the curriculum. I provide training for the K-12 faculty in order to support each child and teen in the Mayim and Etzim learning programs.

 

Prior to joining the team at TBS in 2013, I worked as a special educator in MA and NYC. I am a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and have a Masters Degree in Special Education. In January 2021, I founded Sara's Joyful Baking, which allows me to combine my love of teaching with baking.

 

Julia Zinn

Assistant Director of K-12 Engagement

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

jzinn@tbsneedham.org

As an educator, I do my best to get to know each student and allow them to learn and grow in their own way. I believe in meeting people where they are and giving them the tools and support that they need to thrive. I am constantly impressed by the creativity and curiosity students share when presented with the proper environment and something to sparks their interest. I am incredibly passionate about Judaism, and it brings me immense joy to share that with my students and see them excited about being Jewish.

I first started working at TBS in November 2016, and am so thrilled to be able to continue my journey here. I grew up with a family of Jewish professionals in Worcester, MA and have a degree in Psychology and minors in Judaic Studies and Theater from the University of Delaware. I have spent the past 8 years working in Synagogues and Jewish Camps, focusing on Jewish Life, Education and General Programming. I currently live in Chestnut Hill with my dog, Madeline, and enjoy crafting, cooking, and spending time with my family and friends.

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Adam Klein

Etzim Experience Coordinator

Pronouns: He/Him/His

aklein@tbsneedham.org

Hello, my name is Adam Klein and I am an Etzim Educator.  This is my fifth 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!

Jodi Fletcher

K-12 Logistics and Communications Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

jfletcher@tbsneedham.org

I am very excited to be a part of the TBS Learning Program team! For several years, I have been on the other side of things - I am a TBS member and a parent of 2 current Mayim students. I am so grateful to be connected to such an amazing, inclusive learning community, and I continue to be impressed by the experiences that the TBS Learning Programs have provided our family. I grew up in Newton, and I am fortunate to have my extended family in the area... we've been able to gather for so many important milestones in my children's lives - including Consecration and name celebrations at TBS! I currently live in Needham with my husband (Jason) and our children (Lilly and Aaron). We all feel so lucky to be a part of the Needham and TBS communities!

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Rachel Happel

Senior Director of Learning and Engagement

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

rhappel@tbsneedham.org

 

Rachel joined the Temple Beth Shalom team as the Director of Elementary Learning in September 2013, after having served as one of the key educational consultants in the development of the Mayim program for the three preceding years. In July of 2014, Rachel assumed the role of Director of K-12 Learning and oversees all aspects of our children's journey from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Rachel has over twenty years of experience in a variety of settings, working with children of all ages and their families to create rich, engaging, and dynamic learning experiences. Prior to joining TBS, Rachel worked for six years at Brandeis University as the Director of BIMA and Genesis, two immersive summer programs for Jewish high school students. From 2002-2007, Rachel worked at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, where she founded and directed their Havayah Program: a mixed-age, elective-based program for grades 8-12. Rachel received an MA in Jewish Communal Service and an MBA from Brandeis University, as well as a BA from Williams College. She lives in Natick with her husband and two daughters.