Hineini Faculty

Hineini Faculty

Marjie Brockman

I am very excited to be back at TST as the Hineini Inclusion Coordinator. I look forward to working with the staff to ensure that all children feel safe, included and able to build on their strengths for a successful Hineini experience. When I am not at the temple, I am a Special Educator in The Framingham Public Schools, where I have just started my 28th year. I am the proud mother of two daughters. My older daughter is working in Needham Public schools. My younger daughter is a junior at Indiana University. That leaves my husband Rob and I as “empty nesters.” Well, almost, we have a 9-year-old dog Bree, who gives us tons of love.

Tikva Eigen

I am originally from Israel and have been teaching students about Judaism and Hebrew reading for the past 40 years. I love learning and sharing what I know with students. I love teaching about Israel, and I hope that learning with me inspires students to want to see it for themselves. I also love teaching about Hebrew reading, and helping students to access the prayers they hear when attending services. What I love about sharing Jewish learning… is teaching students about inspiring sentences from the Torah and the wisdom of Jewish learning. The Talmud has a lot of wisdom to share with us, and I love passing that on to my students. My goals in sharing Judaism with children… is for students to love being Jewish and feel a deep sense of community here. What I believe about children… is that if they are taught with love they will end up learning more deeply. When I am not at Shir Tikva I love to read, take walks in nature, and I teach students all over the metro Boston area!

Heidi Estrada

My name is Heidi and I’m very excited to be teaching again at TST. I taught Kindergarten at a Boston area Jewish day school for many years and after taking some time off,  I’ve loved being back in the beautiful world of teaching and sharing Judaism with young children.  I believe that learning should be joyful and authentic. I look forward to building a community of learners and fostering a love of Judaism with your children. I live in Weston and enjoy spending time with my husband and daughter, baking, art, musical theater, and figure skating.

Carrie Fuchs

Hi, My name is Carrie Fuchs. I work for the Sudbury Valley Jewish Special Education Initiative and have been at Shir Tikva for 4 years helping students with their Hebrew reading. I work primarily with 4th graders. I have an MBA and a Masters of Special Education, working for Jewish organizations and day schools over the last 15 years. I find that students like breaking down words into their constituent parts (letters and vowels) and putting them together. It’s like working on a puzzle.  Once they have some facility with this, they feel proud when they can read multiple words, sentences, prayers and are abundantly curious as to the meaning of them. Additionally, It’s very cool for them to read from right to left. Reading and Hearing Hebrew connects them to the ancient language of their people, connects them to the liturgy and prepares them for the milestone of B. Mitzvah.

Sam Gessman

Hello! My name is Sam Gessman and I will be teaching Jewish Journey this coming school year! I am originally from Rhode Island but I currently live in Waltham as I begin my senior year at Brandeis. I attended religious school all the way through confirmation and was a madrich at my temple for the rest of high school. I was a camp counselor for URJ Eisner Camp as well as a regional board member for NFTY-NE, so, my experience with Jewish education has been a long one! Though I have never taught a class before, I’m hoping to study Jewish education so I’m pretty excited to be spending this year with the fourth grade! My hope is to create a warm, inviting classroom that relieves the stress normally associated with school. I ask only for attendance when possible and a willingness to participate! My goal for teaching this year is to strengthen the Jewish identity within each student so that they may have a better grasp of their own connections to Judaism going forward. When I am not at Shir Tikva, I can be found on the Ultimate Frisbee field, playing board games, or nestled in the library attempting to stay on top of my classwork!

Joni Gunner

“A child is a gift from God.” My goal is to see your child’s potential, and help them have a positive experience that they will carry with them, beyond this year. I’m so excited to start my second year with you all. In addition to teaching, my skill set includes a SPED, Graphic Design, and an Office Management background. I have a creative approach to working with children, patience and compassion. I’m from Massachusetts, lived in Florida, and have one child, Katie. I’m the youngest of four and had a sister with special needs. Having had a sibling with special needs, allowed me to develop a sensitive soul. My loves are my grandchildren, Tyler and Molly. Spending any time with them, does my heart good! My daughter, Katie, also worked in Special Education.  My interests include anything creative, cooking, and an appreciation for nature. Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and concerns. I will keep you informed, on your child’s progress. We are a team, thank you for the privilege of working with your child.

Kalianni Neal-Desatnik

I graduated from Brandeis University in 2020 and currently work in higher education admissions. Jewish learning was a huge part of my childhood ranging from Jewish camp, to religious school, NFTY events, and even Jewish college internships. I am looking forward to my second year with the Shir Tikva community and hoping to continue to make Judaism as fun, immersive, and reflective as so many did for me. My goal is for students to come out with a better sense of what their Jewish identity means to them, how it is active every day not just when they’re at temple or camp. I also strive to make learning fun and individualized; no two people are the same and I want every student to feel successful in my classroom. In my free time, I can be found exploring the New England area, and spending time with friends.

Rhonda Magier-Cohen

I’m looking forward to teaching Grades 6 and 7 again this year.  I have been a B’nai Mitzvah tutor at TST with Cantor Hollis since 2001. Although I taught Grades 3, 4 and 5 earlier in my 25-year career teaching religious school, I’m truly inspired by our 12 and 13 year olds. I live in Framingham with my wonderful husband and our dog Bella. Our son is in his second year of medical school in Illinois and our daughter is in a PhD program in Ohio. My kids have not had an easy road on their journey to adulthood which has only made me more compassionate and aware of different learning styles and different family dynamics. Parents are welcome to text me at 508-789-7717.

Jacob Paikoff

Jacob is an engineer and entrepreneur who loves everything STEM and is passionate about creating learning environments that foster exploration and discovery and making things explode (in a safe, controlled way, of course). He previously was a counselor and the Robotics Instructor at the URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy for four summers, and now teaches STEM programs throughout the Boston area. Jacob has also volunteered or many years with FIRST Robotics in Florida, North Carolina, Indiana, and now here in Boston. He received his Bachelors’ in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University, and his Masters’ in Technical Entrepreneurship from the University of South Florida.