“My task is not to debate whether I’m a Jew or not, but to figure out what kind of Jew I am. For me, finding a secular Jewish community with progressive politics fits my version of that identity.”
Shule Teacher Bios
Circle Playtime: Meira Soloff is facilitating Circle Playtime and is very excited to be working with families for a 2nd year. Having staffed an anti-displacement and sustainable development coalition in Boston for 4 years and completed the JOIN fellowship, Meira has returned to her passion of working with very young people. During the week she is pursuing a masters in Early Childhood Education at Tufts and student teaching in Somerville. She can be found on a bicycle, yoga mat or cooking.
Kindergarten: Lily Sieradzki is a senior at Tufts University majoring in English and Communications and Media Studies. She is from Bethesda, Maryland originally and just returned from a spring semester in Prague. Lily worked as educational director last summer at Habonim Dror Camp Moshava in Belair, MD, a youth-led Jewish camp oriented towards social justice and Israel education. She has worked three previous summers as a counselor there and has run events in the Boston area for Habonim kids. Lily is considering education as a future career.
Alef (1): Sarah O’Connor graduated from Macalester College in Minnesota in 2013 where she studied geography and community health. She is now back in her home state of Massachusetts, where she is working this year as a JOIN for Justice fellow at St. Stephen’s Youth Programs as a community organizer and youth program counselor. She is excited to draw on her experiences around youth work, food and agriculture, social justice and Judaism to explore Jewish holidays and practice with the Alef Class this year.
Beyz (2): Sarah Robins is a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she studied International Relations and Human Rights with a minor in Judaic Studies. She is working this year on immigration issues at a small law firm, and is excited to also be working with the Beyz class at Shule! She is passionate about social justice, art, travel, cooking, and education, and she hopes to bring these interests and more to the classroom!
Giml (3): Pauline Katz is a graduate of our very own Boston Workmen's Circle Shule. She spent last two years serving with Americorps in schools in Dorchester and Roxbury. Previously, she was a fellow at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, and she has spent many summers on staff at Camp Kinderland. Pauli is beginning a year-long Masters of Education at Harvard in teaching History.
Daled (4): Elissa Schechner is returning for her sixth year of teaching the Daled class. Elissa is a certified teacher, and currently teaches in the Newton Public School system. Elissa will be working with our Daled students as they discover Jewish communities around the world. Elissa lives in Needham with her husband and two sons.
Hey (5): Mirah Sand is a youth worker and childcare provider living in Boston. She graduated from Bard College at Simon's Rock in 2012 with a degree in Social Action/Social Change and Theater. After spending a year in Thailand facilitating a social justice curriculum to American study abroad students, Mirah returned to the US with the hope of furthering her exploration of education for social change. She is so excited to be working with the Hey class this year.
Vov (6): Nellie Shippen, who originally hails from the Pacific Northwest, is a recent graduate of Tufts University and has decided to stay at Tufts on to complete her masters degree in Child Development. Nellie has spent many years in Habonim Dror working with youth and on social justice projects in North America and Israel. She is very excited to be returning to teaching and getting to join the Shule community and her 6th grade class.
Zayin (7): Gabrielle Goodman is a graduate of Haverford College and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, and is a first year Master's student at the Harvard Divinity School, where she studies Hebrew Bible and Jewish historical memory. She has several years of teaching experience in both academic and more informal settings, teaching English and Judaic studies. Gabby is originally from New York City, and is very excited to get to know Boston! She loves being outside, reading fiction, learning languages and playing the violin and guitar -- and exploring the multifaceted aspects of Judaism. She is thrilled to be joining the community of the Boston Workmen's Circle as a teacher this year.
Music: Sam Cantor was born in West Hartford and graduated from Tufts University in May 2013 where he studied politics and music. Sam has been singing and playing all sorts of music throughout his life, from choirs and a cappella groups to rock bands and solo performances. He spent this past year with Americorps working at Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School and, this summer, he taught music to 3rd and 4th graders at the Dever McCormack School in Dorchester. Sam is excited to be returning to Shule for his second year as music teacher.