I'm delighted to continue working at TBS for my second year! I love visiting museums, reading, baking gluten-free treats, and practicing yoga. Before joining the faculty at TBS, I graduated from Smith College, where I studied museum education.
In teaching, I believe that questions are the foundation of meaningful learning, and I strive to empower students to find their own answers with guidance and support. My goal is to create a classroom community that inspires exploration of ideas, fosters deep relationships, and values the perspectives and experiences of each individual.
My educational philosophy is that communication and accessibility are the key to successful learning. My background is largely in writing education. I recently earned my MFA in fiction writing and have spent time teaching writing at the college level and for the past two summers I have 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. This past year I had the pleasure of teaching first and second grade at TBS and I am looking forward to teaching 5th grade this coming year and sharing my passion for Judaism and writing with my students. Throughout the years 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.
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!
As an educator at TBS I am committed to creating an environment that welcomes each individual child with warmth, joy and a feeling of safety and acceptance. I provide structure, I encourage an interest in learning and I always look for ways to support each child in feeling successful, in a surrounding that meets all needs. I work tirelessly to connect with parents and sometimes with school so all are on the same plan for success. Family engagement and communication is essential in creating a home away from home in Mayim Tamid Shanah Alef.
During the year we will foster a sense of a family like, tight community, respect for each other and respect for all that’s around us, and we will focus on ways we can contribute to our world. Raised in Israel, I am passionate about sharing experiences and memories from my upbringing, and I find myself using content I remember enjoying as a child. I grew up on Kibbutz Ginnosar, right on Lake Kinneret. The Jewish education I received was centered on love for the land of Israel, the history of the people, and had a strong focus on celebrating the holidays and the traditions that kept Judaism alive all around the world for all these years.
I had gained incredible experience working with children at the Kibbutz, as well as teaching young women during my service at the Israeli Army, so when I arrived to the US over 20 years ago, I began working with children in a Children’s Center in Cambridge and then in Foxboro. My college courses focused on Child Psychology and Child development and added to my passion in continuing working with children at TBS. Here I found a warm community, that is open and inclusive. I feel fortunate to have been a part of developing and delivering the Mayim Education for KG/1st Grade, Kindergarten Enrichment on Fridays , Hebrew learning and Mayim Tamid.
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!
As a native Israeli I joined the IDF when I was 18. I served in the intelligence branch and then earned a certificate in accounting.
Six years after leaving the IDF, my husband and I, and our two boys, Nir and Lior moved to California. It was at that time that I discovered within me a passion for working with and teaching children. I then earned a certificate in child development and I became a pre-school teacher. After nine years and one more child, our daughter Tal, we moved to Massachusetts where I then put my skills as a teacher to work in Jewish education.
I joined the TBS "family" eighteen years ago, and it has been the best career choice for me. Teaching Hebrew, becoming a Mayim JLG, tutoring for bar/bat mitzvah.
I live in Newton with my husband Sasson, and our dog Uzi.
I am passionate about instilling a love of learning and a love of Judaism in the children with whom I have the honor to work. I grew up in Fairfax Virginia, received a BA in Education, Economics, and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University, and am currently working on my Master of Arts in Teaching at Brandeis. I plan to use this education as well as my experience working with children in both classrooms and experiential settings to create engaging learning experiences for my students. I am excited to work as a JLG to build relationships with my students, create community in and out of the classroom, and learn together. I’m looking forward to another wonderful year at TBS!
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Temple Beth Shalom's Teen Learning Program
Why is the 6-12th Grade Learning Program at TBS Called Etzim?
Etzim is Hebrew for trees!
Torah is the tree of life to those who hold fast to it.
Etzim need strong roots which are fed by Mayim (Hebrew for water). A sense of being rooted in Jewish tradition and community is a large part of what we provide for our teens.
Etzim branch out in many directions, as does our program with many different ways of getting connected to meet the needs of our teens who have varied interests and abilities.
Trees are fun to climb, ascending one branch at a time! Etzim allows our teens to grow from year to year through different age appropriate experiences, offering new opportunities, new travel programs, and continuously building new relationships.
From atop a tree one can gain new perspective regarding their surroundings and our Etzim program helps our teens to gain new perspectives on their lives, their Judaism, and their world.
Our family trees let us see clearly those to whom we are connected, and Etzim seeks to connect our teens more deeply with one another, with their families, and with our Jewish community.
Etzim are made up of many parts (roots, branches, leaves) but they also make up one whole, just like our teens, who are trying to sort through the many parts of their own identities, while also being whole. This is something we strive to teach our teens through our programming.
Etzim provide the air we inhale with each breath (nefesh), as our Etzim program seeks to nourish each the soul (nefesh) of each teen