I am thrilled to be starting my fifth year as Director of Education, working on meaningful and engaging learning programs for our Kindergarten through 12th grade children and teens. My commitment to Jewish education is based on the idea that Judaism, Jewish community, and Jewish learning can offer us something we cannot get anywhere else. I believe strongly in listening to children and teens and to their parents, providing flexibility, support, and solutions to difficult situations.
My background includes undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania as well as certificates from the Mandel Teacher Educator Institute and the University of Cincinnati in Jewish educational leadership. I recently completed the Executive Masters program in Jewish Education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Before Shir Tikva, I was Director of Education at The Valley Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio for almost 10 years.
Before entering Jewish education, I spent several years in public education in Pennsylvania, New York, and Germany. I live in Carlisle with my husband, Rob. We have delightful young adult children, Josh, his wife, Arianne, and Maddie. When I’m not at TST, I love to garden, cook, and read, and I’d love to talk to you about any of those interests!
Jenna is thrilled to be embarking on her fourth year as the Director of Youth Engagement here at Temple Shir Tikva, and to continue building on the relationships she has established in her first three years. Jenna grew up in Westchester, NY and attended Tufts University, where she majored in English and minored in Film Studies. Jenna grew up an active member of her Temple’s youth program, and worked as a counselor at URJ’s Eisner Camp for 4 summers; she credits her deep passion for Judaism to her years of teen involvement and as a camper and counselor at Eisner.
In her role, Jenna serves as the coordinator for our Madrichim (teen classroom leadership) Program, an educator in AISH (our teen learning program), the advisor for STIFTY (our teen youth group), the facilitator for our new Teen Philanthropy program, and the manager of all Junior Youth programming. She has also taught both Hebrew and Judaics in our 6th Grade program.
Jenna is passionate about elevating teen voices, the power of storytelling in all forms (written, visual, and performative), and creating compassionate, joyful Jewish community. She is also a slam poet, amateur swing dancer, and a “retired” softball player.
Jenna is beyond excited to welcome your children to TST, and to get to know as many of you as possible! You are always welcome in her office, and she will always have a snack on hand for those who seek it.
Andie is excited to be starting their second school year in the Hineini community! In their role at TST, Andie works behind the scenes with our teachers to help everything run smoothly, as well as substitute teaching on occasion. Andie has fully embraced New Englander life since moving to Massachusetts to attend Brandeis University, leaving the Starbucks and mild winters of California behind. At Brandeis, they graduated with degrees in Health Science & Policy and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies, completing a thesis studying an LGBTQ synagogue’s community during the early days of the AIDS Crisis. While there, Andie fell in love with Judaism, converted, and became a fixture of leading tefillah and text study in the Reform minyan. They hope to one day attend rabbinical school and share their love of Torah with the world. Currently, they live with their girlfriend, Sam, and their little but fat orange cat named Orion. When not working, they can be found sewing, playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends, and watching the Bachelorette.
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.